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Publishers’ Preview: Picture Books: Five Questions for Matthew Cordell

This interview originally appeared in the November/December 2017 Horn Book Magazine as part of the Publishers’ Preview: Picture Books, an advertising supplement that allows participating publishers a chance to each highlight a book from its current list. They choose the books; we ask the questions. Sponsored by A red-jacketed girl braves a snowstorm to return […]

Review of Twelve Days in May: Freedom Ride 1961

Twelve Days in May: Freedom Ride 1961 by Larry Dane Brimner Middle School    Calkins Creek/Boyds Mills    110 pp.    g 11/17    978-1-62979-586-7    $18.95 e-book ed.  978-1-62979-917-9    $9.99 Brimner (We Are One; Birmingham Sunday; Black & White) revisits the civil rights movement in this book about the 1961 Freedom Ride. Opening with a litany of landmark court […]

An Interview with Kishonna L. Gray

We need diverse books…and diverse games and diverse media. Game studies and comparative media studies expert Dr. Kishonna L. Gray, assistant professor in the School of Social and Behavioral Sciences at Arizona State University, spoke with Horn Book executive editor Elissa Gershowitz and elementary school librarian Liz Phipps Soeiro about representation and diversity in electronic […]

Review of Patina

Patina [Track] by Jason Reynolds Intermediate, Middle School    Dlouhy/Atheneum    234 pp. 8/17    978-1-4814-5018-8    $16.99 e-book ed.  978-1-4814-5020-1    $10.99 Back for the second leg of the Track series relay, the Defenders team has passed the baton to title character Patina, nicknamed Patty. First introduced to readers in Ghost (rev. 11/16), Patty has been forced to grow […]

Review of Lines

Lines by Suzy Lee; illus. by the author Preschool    Chronicle    32 pp. 9/17    978-1-4521-5665-1    $17.99 The front endpapers show a pencil and eraser on a blank page. The main story begins with a solitary figure skater tracing a crisp line across the ice. What follows are wordless pages of elegant choreography as the skater launches […]

Holiday High Notes 2017

We have a little section of books this time of year. They’re new (and some reissued), and filled with winter cheer. Nutcracked by Susan Adrian Intermediate    Random    234 pp. 9/17    978-0-399-55668-5    $16.99 Library ed.  978-0-399-55669-2     $19.99 e-book ed.  978-0-399-55670-8    $10.99 During each rehearsal for her role as Clara in The Nutcracker, Georgie finds herself — […]

Review of Grandma’s Tiny House: A Counting Story!

Grandma’s Tiny House: A Counting Story! by JaNay Brown-Wood; illus. by Priscilla Burris Preschool    Charlesbridge    32 pp. 8/17    978-1-58089-712-9    $16.99 e-book ed.  978-1-60734-868-9    $9.99 No matter how big Grandma’s extended family grows, she always finds room for relatives and friends. The young, brown-skinned narrator describes in (generally) metered verse a gathering at Grandma’s house. The […]

Review of Mama Africa!: How Miriam Makeba Spread Hope with Her Song

Mama Africa!: How Miriam Makeba Spread Hope with Her Song by Kathryn Erskine; illus. by Charly Palmer Primary, Intermediate    Farrar    48 pp. 10/17    978-0-374-30301-3    $18.99 The effects of colonialism on the continent of Africa are pernicious and vile; in every country the consequences continue to be real and raw, among them those from apartheid, the […]

Field Notes: Lucha Libros: Bilingual Battle of the Books

On May 3, 2017, fifty-six second- and third-graders and their parents gathered in the Pasadena Public Library’s Donald R. Wright Auditorium for the final battle of our third annual Lucha Libros reading competition. That month’s selection was Roald Dahl’s Fantastic Mr. Fox / El Superzorro. As I looked around the room and felt the excitement […]

From The Guide: Chapter Book Mirrors

In her “Field Notes” column “Lucha Libros: Bilingual Battle of the Books,” AnnMarie Hurtado says, “Lucha Libros started in response to the growing body of research on the importance of bolstering kids’ reading skills by third grade, and from hearing so many parents (especially non-English-speaking parents) tell me how hard it was to motivate their […]