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Encouraging a natural critic

I’ve been writing reviews for The Horn Book Guide since 2005, long before my daughter was born in 2011. When I first started, the reviews were a hypothetical glimpse into what I thought would appeal to children. I was in and out of classrooms during those early years, sometimes sharing the books I reviewed with […]

“The Truth of Capten Underpants!” (More fanfiction)

It’s February vacation week in Massachusetts — hang on — didn’t we just have a winter break? Why, yes, we did: Winter Break: The Aftermath. Elissa’s post inspired me to pull out some of my favorite comics by one of my favorite comic creators, my nine-year-old son. His Captain Underpants–inspired fan art has been voluminous […]

Winter break: The Aftermath

We are going through a Diary of a Wimpy Kid phase at my house, big-time (and thank you to the Cambridge Public Library for carrying a bajillion copies of many of the titles). Reading and re-reading those books was one of the things that kept us occupied over the winter break. And then came the […]

Yes, kids CAN!

I am so in awe of the twenty-one young people, ages eleven to twenty-two, suing the Federal Government in order to recognize and address the looming crisis of climate change for a better future (or for even a future). The Juliana v. U.S. trial was set to begin next Monday, October 29 — and has […]

The faces of change

This perfectly placed Post-It, indicating the publication month of a newly arrived book, grabbed my attention: “I Have the Right to March”? I immediately thought of the student-led, nationwide March for Our Lives demonstration for gun legislation reform coming up on March 24th. It’s been on all of our minds here at The Horn Book […]

The arc of the moral universe

Like many people in the country, I’ve been inspired by the Florida high school students who are making impassioned calls for gun law reform in the wake of last week’s mass shooting. Rather than turning inward to process the trauma — which would make complete sense — they’re using the national spotlight, social media, and […]

Reading Is LIT: How a Classroom Project Can Impact an Entire Community

As a school librarian, I strongly believe in the importance of books as mirrors and windows for students, especially with so many divisive things happening in our society. Using these sorts of books in the classroom helps to start tough dialogue that’s necessary for educators and students alike. That doesn’t happen all the time with […]