Subscribe to The Horn Book

Review of The Party and Other Stories

The Party and Other Stories [Fox + Chick] by Sergio Ruzzier; illus. by the author Preschool, Primary    Chronicle    46 pp. 4/18    978-1-4521-5288-2    $14.99 In a volume with a picture book’s trim size but plenty of graphic-novel elements (simply structured panels, dialogue balloons, sound effects), Ruzzier delivers three stories well suited to both reading newcomers and […]

Truth and duty

Reading about difficult circumstances can be cathartic — and may enhance readers’ feelings of empathy. The following YA novels tackle complex subject matter in authentic, thought-provoking ways. In Eric Gansworth’s Give Me Some Truth, set in 1980 on the Tuscarora Indian Nation (the “Rez”), the alternating first-person narratives of two teens — seventeen-year-old Carson Mastick […]

Strange and magical middle-grade

What’s summer without a vacation from the norm? These fantasy and sci-fi novels for intermediate and middle-school readers are anything but ordinary. You’d think it would be hard to forget a weird, green, diminutive creature dressed in a chicken costume, but Livy has since her last visit to her grandmother’s in Australia five years ago. […]

Review of The Penderwicks at Last

The Penderwicks at Last by Jeanne Birdsall Intermediate    Knopf    294 pp. 5/18    978-0-385-75566-5    $16.99 Library ed.  978-0-385-75567-2    $19.99 e-book ed.  978-0-385-75568-9    $10.99 The Penderwick series finale (most recently The Penderwicks in Spring, rev. 3/15) is a summertime reverie set at the real-but-still-magical-seeming Arundel estate where it all began fifteen years before. Preparations are underway to […]

Review of Rebound

Rebound by Kwame Alexander; illus. by Dawud Anyabwile Intermediate, Middle School    Houghton    414 pp. 4/18    978-0-544-86813-7    $16.99 In this prequel to Alexander’s Newbery Medal–winning The Crossover (rev. 5/14), it’s the summer of 1988, and twelve-year-old Charlie Bell would rather roller-skate with his two best friends or escape into the pages of his beloved Fantastic Four […]

Review of All Summer Long

All Summer Long by Hope Larson; illus. by the author Middle School    Farrar    172 pp. 5/18    978-0-374-30485-0    $21.99 Paper ed.  978-0-374-31071-4    $12.99 This sensitive, realistic coming-of-age graphic novel by Eisner winner (most recently, for her Wrinkle in Time graphic novel adaptation) Larson beautifully captures the experiences of finding one’s own rhythm and place in a […]

Review of Give Me Some Truth

Give Me Some Truth by Eric Gansworth; illus. by the author High School    Levine/Scholastic    432 pp.    g 5/18    978-1-338-14354-6    $18.99 e-book ed.  978-1-338-14355-3    $11.99 Seventeen-year-old Carson Mastick has lived his whole life on the reservation, while fifteen-year-old Maggi (short for Magpie) Bokoni had been living in the city since she was eight and has only […]

Review of I Have Lost My Way

I Have Lost My Way by Gayle Forman High School    Viking    258 pp.    g 3/18    978-0-425-29077-4    $18.99 A chance meeting leads to intimate connections for three struggling nineteen-year-olds in Forman’s (If I Stay, rev. 7/09; I Was Here, rev. 1/15) latest novel. Freya is an up-and-coming singer who has lost her voice, to her controlling […]

Summer listening

These recent speculative fiction favorites are now available as audiobooks — just in time for summer, when teens may be seeking escapist vacation listening or entertainment on that epic road trip with friends. In Kristin Cashore’s Jane, Unlimited, recently bereaved Jane is unexpectedly invited to spend the weekend at a mysterious island mansion — and […]

Summer adventures

These four entertaining, summertime-set novels (including one graphic novel) will have readers channeling their inner sleuths to find buried treasure, getting an insider’s look at an (un)orthodox summer camp, revisiting a beloved family one last time, and gaining a deeper appreciation for the little things that can make a family trip so memorable. Author Jeanne […]