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Five questions for new Horn Book Editor in Chief Elissa Gershowitz

After twenty-five years as editor in chief, Roger Sutton semi-retired from the Horn Book at the end of 2021. Earlier this month, Elissa Gershowitz, who had been acting EIC, was named the Horn Book's eighth editor in chief. Roger asks Five Questions of his longtime (since 2006) fellow Horn Booker: 1. Growing...

Five questions for Margi Preus

In Windswept (Amulet/Abrams, 9–12 years) by Newbery Honoree (for Heart of a Samurai) Margi Preus, children are kept indoors to protect against wielders of cataclysmic weather-related weaponry. An intrepid band of youngsters sets out to fight these “Powers-That-Be.” The tale is steeped in Norwegian folklore, with a satisfying mix of...

Five questions for Elizabeth Partridge and Lauren Tamaki

In Seen and Unseen: What Dorothea Lange, Toyo Miyatake, and Ansel Adams’s Photographs Reveal About the Japanese American Incarceration (Chronicle, 10–14 years), author Elizabeth Partridge and illustrator Lauren Tamaki focus on the Manzanar War Relocation Center and three famous photographers’ work. Accessible main text and primary-source quotes combined with remarkably...

Five questions for John Cho and Sarah Suk

Troublemaker (Little, Brown, 10 years and up) is the middle-grade debut — starred by The Horn Book — of acclaimed actor John Cho, co-written by YA author Sarah Suk. The story takes place in 1992 and follows one (fictional) Korean American preteen’s experiences and observations surrounding what were then called...

Five questions for Talia Dutton

M Is for Monster (Surely/Abrams ComicArts, 14 years and up) by Talia Dutton is a comic-format, gothic, sci-fi, horror story about family and identity that takes for granted that people should identify their pronouns, and is published by a new queer graphic-novel imprint (curated by Mariko Tamaki). Happy Pride! 1....

Five questions for Ruta Sepetys

I Must Betray You (Philomel, 12 years and up) by Ruta Sepetys takes place in 1989 Romania under the repressive rule of Ceauşescu and on the cusp of revolution. Sepetys (most recently The Fountains of Silence) once again proves her mastery of immersive, propulsive, historical-fiction thrillers. 1. What draws you...

Five questions for Kat Fajardo

The middle-grade graphic novel Miss Quinces, written and illustrated by Kat Fajardo, with color by Mariana Azzi (Graphix/Scholastic, 10–13 years; simultaneously published in Spanish as Srta. Quinces) takes place during the summer of Suyapa’s fifteenth year, when her family goes to Honduras to visit extended family. Cajoled into a quinceañera,...

Five Questions for Maxine Beneba Clarke about When We Say Black Lives Matter

When Kitty and I visited All She Wrote Books last week, it was the first time we were able to see "in person" some of our recent favorite new picture books. Some of them even came home with us — including When We Say Black Lives Matter by Maxine Beneba Clarke, winner of...

Five questions for Kevin Young

Emile and the Field (Make Me a World/Random, ages 3–6; illus. by Chioma Ebinama) is the picture-book debut of Kevin Young, an acclaimed poet, poetry editor of the New Yorker, and the Andrew W. Mellon Director of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture. In the lyrically...
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