Notes From The Hornbook

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Five questions for Vashti Harrison

In the picture book Big (Little, Brown, 5–8 years), a young Black girl feels comfortable in her own skin — until classmates’ taunts and two adults’ admonishments make her question her size. Author/illustrator Vashti Harrison’s sensitive, compassionate story ends on an empowering note, with the girl finally able to hand...

Books mentioned in the May 2023 issue of Notes from the Horn Book

Five questions for Vashti Harrison Big by Vashti Harrison; Little, Brown.   Self-empowerment and self-love I Have a Question by Andrew Arnold; Roaring Brook. The Loud Librarian by Jenna Beatrice, illus. by Erika Lynne Jones; Atheneum. Woo Hoo! You’re Doing Great! by Sandra Boynton; Little, Brown. A Girl Can Build Anything...

From the Editor - May 2023

Last month’s Notes from the Horn Book was our annual Summer Reading special issue, including a baker’s dozen of unique and enjoyable titles for each age range. If you haven’t yet downloaded the free PDF version, there’s no time like the present! In addition to being my birthday month, May...

Their own stories

“Who tells your story?” In the following four cases, these authors share their very personal and moving memoirs — in prose, verse, or graphic format — with young adult readers about the difficult situations they experienced while coming of age. See also Thien Pham Talks with Roger about Family Style:...

Diverse stories for Asian Pacific American Heritage Month

May is Asian Pacific American Heritage Month, celebrating people in the United States with ancestral ties to the Asian continent and the Pacific islands of Melanesia, Micronesia, and Polynesia. Here are six works of fiction — featuring realism, folklore, short stories, and historical fiction — for middle-graders and middle-schoolers that...

Self-empowerment and self-love

Here are seven new picture books meant to encourage and inspire young readers to set aside self-consciousness and embrace who they are, what they think, and what they can achieve. And in this month’s Five Questions interview, Vashti Harrison discusses how the heroine of her new picture book Big finds her voice...

Five questions for Jerry Craft

New Kid fans rejoice! The third book in author/illustrator Jerry Craft’s wildly popular, bestselling, and highly decorated (by the Newbery Medal and Coretta Scott King Author Award, for example) graphic novel series is here; although its title is School Trip (HarperAlley/Quill Tree/HarperCollins, 9–13 years), an end-of-middle-school trip to Paris(!) feels...

2023 Summer Reading Recommendations

Right on the heels of School Vacation Week (a.k.a. Spring Break) here in Massachusetts, we bring you the Horn Book’s annual Summer Reading list! Parents and other caregivers, we suspect you’re saying, “SUMMER reading?!” But bookmark this list or download the PDF — you’ll thank us later. And librarians, teachers,...

2023 Summer Reading: High School

  Need suggestions for beach reading or books to bring to summer camp? Each of our lists — for all age ranges and including fiction, nonfiction, folklore, and poetry — includes thirteen selections (a baker's dozen!), all published 2022–2023 and ideal for the season. Grade levels are only suggestions; the...
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