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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 […]

Everyday — and otherworldly — wonders

In these new books for intermediate readers, the boundaries between our reality and more fantastical realms blur, allowing protagonists and magical beings alike to walk between worlds. My Beijing: Four Stories of Everyday Wonder, author-illustrator Nie Jun’s graphic novel for young readers, begins with a girl, Yu’er, who dreams of swimming in the Special Olympics. […]

Five questions for Zetta Elliott

Zetta Elliott’s Dragons in a Bag (Random, 8–11 years) kicks off a new middle-grade fantasy series starring Jaxon, a young African American Brooklynite who gets a glimpse of the magical possibilities of our world (and others) when he spends a day with new acquaintance Ma. 1. In the acknowledgements of Dragons in a Bag you […]

Books mentioned in the September 2018 issue of Notes from the Horn Book

Five questions for Zetta Elliott Dragons in a Bag by Zetta Elliott, illus. by Geneva B, Random House, 8–11 years. Everyday — and otherworldly — wonders My Beijing: Four Stories of Everyday Wonder by Nie Jun, trans. by Edward Gauvin, Lerner/Graphic Universe, 8–11 years. The Tale of Angelino Brown by David Almond, illus. by Alex […]

Creative concepts

Crafting a fresh concept book is no easy task, but the creators of these new picture books introduce fundamental topics in imaginative ways. “Look! Elephants! / One, two, three, four, five…” Five elephants, each rendered in a different pastel color with a thick brown outline, march across the pages of A Parade of Elephants. Counting […]

From the Editor – September 2018

As a subscriber to Notes from the Horn Book you also receive Talks with Roger, a series of interviews with authors and illustrators of new books, sponsored by their publishers. You can find the archive here — including my first-ever live Talks, with newly minted National Book Award long-lister Jarrett J. Krosoczka, from earlier this […]