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Using Books

Bringing books and people together.

Making a Difference in Our Nation’s Library: An Interview with Dr. Carla Hayden

Carla Hayden, the first female and first African American Librarian of Congress, talks with Horn Book editor in chief Roger Sutton — her library school classmate! — about Bright April, mirror books, and nonpartisanship in the library. From the May/June 2018 Horn Book Magazine: Special Issue: Making a Difference.

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 […]

Nic Stone in Parents Magazine

Though I don’t go out of my way to read parenting magazines (and I will likely never have it together enough to “Pack a Super-Fun Lunch!”), if I do see one, I’ll give it a browse. I was so glad to discover Nic Stone‘s article “My Boy and the Bus” in the February 2018 issue […]

Autism Acceptance/Awareness Month

April is Autism Acceptance Month (also known as Autism Awareness Month). Below, we’ve compiled some resources for education and advocacy. Resources from The Horn Book “Reading on the Spectrum” by Ashley Waring (September/October 2010 Horn Book Magazine) and On Ashley Waring’s ‘Reading on the Spectrum’” by Kitty Flynn at Family Reading (September 21st, 2016) “Beyond […]

Five questions for Tomi Adeyemi

Tomi Adeyemi‘s high-octane fantasy Children of Blood and Bone (Holt, 14 years and up) begins with a bang (and, like much classic fantasy, with a map) and ends with a cliffhanger. In between, readers follow three narrators with shifting loyalties and motivations as they attempt to save, resurrect, harness, and/or obliterate the magic that once […]

Preschoolers’ life lessons

The ways of the world can be mysterious for preschoolers; it always helps to have a laugh. The following picture books teach age-appropriate life lessons without losing their sense of humor. In People Don’t Bite People, Lisa Wheeler enumerates (in subversively lilting rhymed verse) the reasons “people don’t bite people” and suggests alternatives: “It’s good […]

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

Five questions for Tomi Adeyemi Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi, Holt, 14 years and up. The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas, HarperCollins/Balzer + Bray, 14 years and up. Bad blood A Skinful of Shadows by Frances Hardinge, Abrams/Amulet, 12–16 years. Ink by Alice Broadway, Scholastic, 14 years and up. Isle of Blood […]

Listening to friends and family

These audiobooks, recommended for middle-grade and middle-school listeners, tell a variety of stories about contemporary kids and families in engaging and entertaining ways. Twelve-year-old Malú, star of Celia C. Pérez‘s The First Rule of Punk, is into punk rock and making zines. When her mother gets a teaching job in Chicago, Malú must reluctantly leave […]

The power of poetry

April is National Poetry Month! The following books show how poetry can combine with illustrations to express all kinds of feelings, from love to uncertainty to pride in one’s heritage. For more, click the tag poetry and see our upcoming Horn Book Herald: Spring News e-newsletter, featuring our Five Questions interview with Young People’s Poet […]

Bad blood

All teens grapple with family dynamics as they define their individual identities. But the protagonists of these YA fantasy novels must also contend with magic, secrets, and misdeeds in their bloodlines. In Frances Hardinge‘s A Skinful of Shadows, orphan Makepeace (an illegitimate relation) becomes a servant to the aristocratic Fellmotte family. She soon realizes that […]