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Review of Jazz Owls: A Novel of the Zoot Suit Riots

Jazz Owls: A Novel of the Zoot Suit Riots by Margarita Engle; illus. by Rudy Gutierrez Middle School, High School    Atheneum    179 pp.    g 5/18    978-1-5344-0943-9    $17.99 e-book ed.  978-1-5344-0945-3    $10.99 In 1942 Los Angeles, after working all day at the canneries, teen sisters Lorena and Marisela can’t wait to put on their sharpest swing […]

Reviews of the 2018 Boston Globe–Horn Book Fiction and Poetry Award Winner and Honor Books

Fiction and Poetry Winner The Poet X by Elizabeth Acevedo High School    HarperTeen    361 pp.    g 3/18    978-0-06-266280-4    $17.99 e-book ed.  978-0-06-266282-8    $9.99 Fifteen-year-old Xiomara, whose name means “one who is ready for war,” has been fighting her whole life. The self-described “brown and big and angry” Dominican girl from Harlem furiously confronts catcalling boys, […]

Review of Did You Hear What I Heard?: Poems About School

Did You Hear What I Heard?: Poems About School by Kay Winters; illus by Patrice Barton Primary    Dial    40 pp.    g 2/18    978-0-399-53898-8    $16.99 Thirty-five poems cover the school year from “Bus Stop” to “Sing a Song of Summer,” with a fire drill, a snow day, April Fool’s Day, and Earth Day in between. There’s […]

The Book That Changed My Life: At Home in the Pages

My mother, now ninety — the first person who ever read poems to me — must have given me this book, but she does not remember the occasion. By the time I was seven (1959), my copy was hand-worn and familiar. I toted it proudly. At 608 pages, containing more than 700 poems, it was […]

Review of A Round of Robins

A Round of Robins by Katie Hesterman; 

illus. by Sergio Ruzzier Primary    Paulsen/Penguin    40 pp.    g 3/18    978-0-399-54778-2    $16.99 Sixteen poems follow a pair of robin parents as they raise not one but two sets of baby robins in this factual and funny volume. The story begins with “Defender Dad” telling three annoyed-looking birds on […]

Review of Jabberwalking

Jabberwalking by Juan Felipe Herrera Middle School, High School    Candlewick    138 pp. 3/18    978-1-5362-0140-6    $22.99 Paper ed.  978-0-7636-9264-3    $14.99 In a loose and jazzy style (and with a nod to Lewis Carroll), the former U.S. Poet Laureate offers instructions for “Jabberwalking,” or writing poetry while in motion: “You have to move fast! / Move, move, […]

Review of Between the Lines

Between the Lines by Nikki Grimes Middle School, High School    Paulsen/Penguin    213 pp.    g 2/18    978-0-399-24688-3    $17.99 “Just step up, step up to the mike / and let your truth fly, loud, / proud, raw.” That’s what students are preparing to do in Mr. Ward’s high school class in the Bronx. Through poetry, they are […]

Haiku: A Small Poem with Great Potential

snow melting the village brimming over… with children! –Issa (1763-1828) (translated by David Lanoue) Yes, I was taught that a haiku, a short poem that originated in Japan centuries ago, was supposed to consist of three lines of five, seven, and five syllables. And yes, because of the way haiku have been taught historically, they […]

April 2018 Horn Book Herald: Spring News: Five questions for Margarita Engle

Poet Margarita Engle is the author of poetry collections (Bravo!: Poems About Amazing Hispanics), picture-book biographies (Drum Dream Girl: How One Girl’s Courage Changed Music; The Poet Slave of Cuba: A Biography of Juan Francisco Manzano), memoir (Enchanted Air: Two Cultures, Two Wings), and works of historical fiction (Lion Island, Silver People, Hurricane Dancers, The […]

April 2018 Horn Book Herald: Spring News: Poetry Month

• Five Questions for Young People’s Poet Laureate Margarita Engle • The Power of Poetry (from Notes from the Horn Book), National Poetry Month 2018 (from Nonfiction Notes from the Horn Book), and Poetry Reviews of the Week • How I Discovered YA Poetry by Marilyn Nelson • Haiku: A Small Poem with Great Potential […]