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A Fine Bookshelf

I once taught a rites-of-passage class to a group of African American and Caribbean American teenage girls. The workshops included lessons in history, self-care, and literacy. These classes weren’t supposed to be like school. I was there to help deepen their understanding of their world and their place in it. I created a lesson called […]

Shortest month of the year #HBBlackHistoryMonth16

As our #HBBlackHistoryMonth16 coverage comes to a close, here is a reminder that these articles by and about African American children’s literature luminaries should be read by everyone, everywhere, everyday, not just during the shortest month of the year. In the meantime, we’ll keep updating our Horn Book Talking About Race resource page. We’ve already […]

Hermione, headcanons, and kindred spirits

Recently, the two-part what-happens-next-in-the-Wizarding-World play Harry Potter and the Cursed Child announced three key cast members: Jamie Parker as adult Harry, Paul Thornley as adult Ron, and Noma Dumezweni as adult Hermione. Congratulations to them all, and I hope the plays are as good as the books, and I really hope they make it to […]

A Thousand Winters: 2015 Coretta Scott King Author Honor Award Acceptance

I am a poet. On the morning of the youth media announcements, Jacqueline Woodson and I are texting each other. There is a shift happening in the wonderful world of children’s books, and we feel it, and I guess we want to share that moment. “Jackie, this is awesome, isn’t it? We need to get […]

#WeGotDiverseAwardBooks: Reflections on Awards and Allies

I missed out on ALA Midwinter this year. At nine months pregnant, there was just no way I could hop on a plane (or hop anywhere, really) to be a part of the conference and its festivities. But shortly after the 2015 ALA Youth Media Awards were announced, a colleague emailed me, “How about all […]

Dream Keepers: 2015 Coretta Scott King Author Award Acceptance

It is Friday afternoon and I’m sitting in a restaurant in Vancouver, B.C. In an hour, I will give my final talk of a two-day visit. In these two days, I’ve visited a number of schools in Vancouver — both independent and public. As I stood in front of each crowd, I was astonished by […]

2015 CSK Illustrator Award Acceptance

I’ve just about given up on the world. A friend of mine, a book-wise, hanger-thin Jamaican, whose spider fingers dance across endless stories, whose easy smile softens the formality of his dress, sent me an essay he wrote, about how much safer he felt as a child in the gangster-riddled streets of 1980s Kingston than […]

Walter Dean Myers’s legacy

Librarian Sara Lissa Paulson was so inspired by the work of Walter Dean Myers that she wrote this new article for us. It’s both a tribute to the man and a kick in the pants for publishers to create books for all children by all stripes of new authors and illustrators — and to produce […]

“There Is Work to Be Done” -Walter Dean Myers

It was difficult to accept Walter Dean Myers’s death last summer. Just months earlier, and almost exactly a year to this date, he brought the conversation, decades unresolved, to the general public, with his searing New York Times op-ed “Where Are the People of Color in Children’s Books?” He gave us the CCBC statistics: only […]

Mind the Gaps: Books for ALL Young Readers

When Roger invited me to deliver the keynote for today’s program, I was a bit intimidated. He told me that the idea for the “Mind the Gaps” theme was inspired by Christopher Myers’s essay “Young Dreamers,” published in The Horn Book last November. Christopher’s essay grew from the ongoing question: where are the people of […]