Here is Fanfare, the Horn Book’s list of the best books for young people published in 2013. The complete annotated list will be sent to Notes from the Horn Book subscribers next week; sign up now (it’s free) to get it hot off the server. The annotated list, beautifully designed by Lolly Robinson and suitable [...]
Happy Thanksgiving, everyone, and may you all have lots of leisure time for reading this long weekend (if you get a long weekend). I’m happily juggling three time travel novels: Andrew Sean Greer’s The Impossible Lives of Greta Wells; Stephen King’s 11/22/63 (which I was at first listening to–it has a great reader–but it’s just [...]
The following books will receive starred reviews in the January-February 2014 issue of the Horn Book Magazine. Some of these books will also be included on our Fanfare best-of-the-year list, which will be published next month. Santiago Stays; written and illustrated by Angela Dominguez (Abrams Appleseed/Abrams) Hello, Mr. Hulot; written and illustrated by David Merveille (NorthSouth) Big [...]
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Former publisher of children’s books at HarperCollins and immortal author of picture books Charlotte Zolotow has died at the age of 98. As an editor and publisher she was quite a force, bringing us such revelations as The Pigman and Weetzie Bat; as an author, she is without peer in her particular realm: the quiet [...]
Back from New York, where I spent Saturday morning at Bank Street College talking about book reviewing with my sisters at SLJ (Luann Toth), Kirkus (Vicky Smith), and the New York Times (Sarah Harrison Smith). We talked about numbers of books (too many), lengths of books (too long) and the thinking involved in matching the [...]
Saturday morning AT THE UNGODLY HOUR OF 9:00AM I’ll be joining my book reviewing sisters Sarah Smith (NYTBR) Vicky Smith (Kirkus) and Luann Toth (SLJ) for a panel discussion of book reviewing at Bank Street College in New York. I hope you can join us.
I saw Ender’s Game last weekend and enjoyed it more than I thought I would. What impressed me most was how much a true children’s movie it is; like Asa Butterfield’s (Ender) previous movie Hugo, Ender’s Game neither winks over children’s heads to an adult audience nor sexes things up for putative YA interest. Although [...]
Peter Gutierrez has an excellent essay up over at SLJ about the calls to boycott the just-opening film adaptation of Ender’s Game. As Gutierrez points out and The Wrap confirms in greater detail, a boycott of the film has no impact on Card’s wallet–what you need to do is get people to stop buying his [...]
School Library Journal threw a nice party for retiring Book Review Editor Trevelyn T. Jones in the Louis L’Amour room at Random House on Tuesday night. It was so great to see Trev, who has been indefatigable for the past thirty years–I first worked with her when I was a reviewer for SLJ in the [...]
If you’re free and in Boston Wednesday night, I’ll be participating in a panel discussion of the Common Core State Standards for Bookbuilders of Boston. Other panelists include Simmons GSLIS prof Amy Pattee and educational publishing consultant Steve Pekich; the program runs from 6:00-8:00PM at 501 Boylston Street in Copley Square. Bring ID to get [...]
I’m still thinking about “literary fiction” and what it might mean in the context of books for young people. The National Book Awards named their shortlist of finalists yesterday, and I’m guessing those lucky ducks can serve as at least a pretty good approximation of what researchers Kidd and Castano were looking for when they [...]
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Congratulations to Alice Munro. What should I read by her? You might guess from that question that I am not the world’s heaviest lifter of “literary fiction,” and am not even sure I know it when I see it. The New York Times recently reported on a study published in Science which purported to suggest [...]
While Gary Soto seems a bit of a fragile flower in this essay about why he’s been scared off writing for children, I have sympathy for him. If your book is sexy or foul-mouthed or anti-authority, you have no better friends than the American Library Association and its adjacent professions. They will–and they should–stick up [...]
The following books will receive starred reviews in the November/December 2013 issue of The Horn Book Magazine: Little Santa; written and illustrated by Jon Agee (Dial) Mr. Tiger Goes Wild; written and illustrated by Peter Brown (Little, Brown) The Tiny King; written and illustrated by Taro Miura (Candlewick) All the Truth That’s in Me; by Julie Berry (Viking) Coaltown Jesus; by Ron Koertge (Candlewick) [...]
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We had a great time at the Children’s Books Boston inaugural bash; it was nice to see you if you were there and you were greatly missed if you were not. If you are a Children-Books-Boston type, that is, if you live in these here parts and have a scholarly or professional interest in books [...]
So I see the Man Booker Prize is opening itself up to Americans. I wonder why; my cynical side believes it has less to do with enhancing “its prestige and reputation through expansion” and more to do with trying to grab a piece of American publishing money (such as it is) through what has euphemistically [...]
I’m just catching up with SLJ’s Heavy Metal and our own Calling Caldecott (and I see Betsy Bird has posted her own award predictions, too). All good prep for a terrible prognosticator (who once told the Wall Street Journal that kids were gonna hate Lemony Snicket). I’m particularly enjoying the civilized debate following Martha’s post [...]
I hope to see many of you tonight for Children’s Books Boston‘s opening gala (read: cash bar and hummus) at Simmons College this evening. Cathie Mercier wanted me to remind you not to drive unless you are rich (in which case CBB will expect you to buy drinks all around) because parking in the Simmons [...]
Registration is now open for the 2013 Boston Globe-Horn Book Awards and Horn Book at Simmons Colloquium, October 4th and 5th at Simmons College. Cathie Mercier, Katrina Hedeen, and I are still shaping up this year’s HBAS program, titled “Building Character.” Don’t worry, it won’t be nearly as stuffy as it sounds. Our confirmed HBAS [...]