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Getting There: Taking a Trip Through Queer Kidlit

“What is your critical axe to grind?” That’s the question our professor, without much preamble, asked the two of us in our first children’s literature graduate seminar together. She explained that our “critical axe” was the thing (and we’re paraphrasing here) about youth literature that had us in a chokehold....

GTFOH with Magical Headaches: Chronic Pain in YA Fantasy

My medical records show frequent headaches and joint pain from the time I was able to articulate being in pain. When I was seventeen, a neck injury left me with a constant headache and more than fifteen days of migraine each month. It wasn’t until about six months ago —...

We Need Diverse Muslim and Jewish Books: An Update

In their March/April 2020 Horn Book article “We Need Diverse Jewish and Muslim Books: A Conversation,” Heidi Rabinowitz and Sadaf Siddique discussed the state of Jewish and Muslim books and the work being done to share them. They found a number of parallels in their approaches to showcasing Jewish and...

What "They" Want

How many times recently have you had this conversation regarding a diverse book? “Now they’re banning _______!” “______? But that’s such a beautiful book! How could anyone ban it?” “Yeah, it makes no sense.” But that’s not true. It does make sense. And we have to admit it and understand...

Complicated Feelings: Thoughts on Being a Diverse Writer

From the May/June 2023 special issue of The Horn Book Magazine: Diverse Books: Past, Present, and Future....

Lost & Found: Recover, Discover, Uncover Through Sharing Our Stories — The Mary Nagel Sweetser Lecture

Wade, Cheryl, Katura, and Stephan Hudson. Photo courtesy of Just Us Books. Wade Hudson: We are happy to be with you today at the 2022 Simmons Summer Institute in Children’s Literature. Big shout-outs to Cathryn Mercier and Shelley Isaacson of the Center for the Study of Children’s Literature and to...

CCBC and Diverse Books: Numbers Are Just Part of the Story

At the Cooperative Children’s Book Center (CCBC), we know there is great interest in the statistics we release every year about diversity in children’s and young adult literature. From the very beginning of our work documenting aspects of diversity in books for youth, we’ve understood that the numbers are part...

We Need Diverse Books: A Decade in Action

It all started on Twitter. In April 2014, the fan convention BookCon announced a lineup of authors for a “blockbuster” panel — a panel that consisted of four white men. Frustrated by this news, authors Ellen Oh and Malinda Lo discussed the lack of representation across the children’s publishing industry...


It is with hugely mixed emotions that I announce the retirement of Martha V. Parravano as Book Review Editor on Friday, May 5, 2023. A longtime/lifelong (!) Horn Booker, she is known as "keeper of the Horn Book flame" (--Editor Emeritus Roger Sutton). Pause. For. Weeping. But now the very good news:...
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