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Learning curves

A new school year means emotional challenges in addition to academic ones. The teen protagonists of these nuanced YA dramas navigate the complex intersections of their school, familial, and social identities. See also our recommendations for middle-school and high-school readers in the 2018 Back-to-School Herald. Sophomore Darius Kellner doesn’t fit in at his Oregon high […]

Review of Lena’s Shoes Are Nervous: A First-Day-of-School Dilemma

Lena’s Shoes Are Nervous: A First-Day-of-School Dilemma by Keith Calabrese; illus. by Juana Medina Preschool, Primary    Atheneum    40 pp. 7/18    978-1-5344-0894-4    $17.99 e-book ed.  978-1-5344-0895-1    $10.99 Young Lena is totally prepared, and excited to start kindergarten. She’s not nervous…but her shoes are. Lena enlists her headband (who is “friends with everybody” and “a good listener”) […]

August 2018 Back-to-School Horn Book Herald: Class Notes

Go to the head of the class with our Lolly’s Classroom blog and more: Jason Reynolds’s 2018 Lesley University commencement speech Reading Is LIT: How a Classroom Project Can Impact an Entire Community Field Notes: Loud in the Library: Creating Social Activists at School Field Notes: “This Is Too Much!” Why Verse Novels Work for […]

Review of Dear Substitute

Dear Substitute by Liz Garton Scanlon and Audrey Vernick; illus. by Chris Raschka Primary    Disney-Hyperion    40 pp. 6/18    978-1-4847-5022-3    $17.99 With her regular teacher out sick (we glimpse a feverish Mrs. Giordano on the copyright page), a little girl in brown pigtails writes a series of letters throughout her school day, beginning: “Dear Substitute, / Wow. […]

August 2018 Back-to-School Horn Book Herald: Extracurriculars

Supplement school-day studies with reading for pleasure and experiential learning: 2018 Horn Book Summer Reading From The Guide: Summer of Change Summer and Children and Birds and Animals and Flowers and Trees and Bees and Books Extracurriculars from Nonfiction Notes from The Horn Book Welcome to Family Reading, a place for all families Unlucky Arithmetic: […]

August 2018 Horn Book Herald: Back-to-School Edition

Welcome to our back-to-school issue of The Horn Book Herald, in which we chat with Dear Substitute co-authors Liz Garton Scanlon and Audrey Vernick, recommend new books for students of all ages as well as essential reading for parents and teachers, and take a break from the school-day grind with pleasure reading and extracurricular activities. […]

August 2018 Back-to-School Horn Book Herald: High School

The Poet X by Elizabeth Acevedo HarperTeen     361 pp 3/18     978-0-06-266280-4     $17.99 e-book ed.  978-0-06-266282-8     $9.99 Fifteen-year-old Xiomara, a self-described “brown and big and angry” Dominican girl from Harlem, finds peace in writing poetry. The slow-burning suspense of what will transpire when devoutly Catholic Mami discovers Xiomara’s clandestine relationship with a classmate is eclipsed only […]

August 2018 Back-to-School Horn Book Herald: Middle School

March Forward, Girl: From Young Warrior to Little Rock Nine by Melba Pattillo Beals; illus. by Frank Morrison Houghton     214 pp. 1/18     978-1-328-88212-7     $16.99 As one of the Little Rock Nine, Beals helped integrate Central High School in 1957; here she recounts the childhood years that led up to that important step (described in the […]

August 2018 Back-to-School Horn Book Herald: Intermediate

Stella Díaz Has Something to Say by Angela Dominguez; illus. by the author Roaring Brook     202 pp. 1/18     978-1-62672-858-5     $16.99 Shy, artistic third grader Stella Díaz, who emigrated from Mexico to Chicago, is self-conscious about her accent and occasional English blunders. She’s also worried about being in a different class than best friend Jenny. Supportive […]

August 2018 Back-to-School Horn Book Herald: Picture Books

Lena’s Shoes Are Nervous: A First-Day-of-School Dilemma by Keith Calabrese; illus. by Juana Medina Atheneum     40 pp. 7/18     978-1-5344-0894-4     $17.99 e-book ed.  978-1-5344-0895-1     $10.99 Lena isn’t nervous to start kindergarten…but her shoes are. Lena enlists her headband (who is “a good listener”) to talk to them, and, with fears assuaged and a bit of reverse […]