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August 29, 2015

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Roger Sutton

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God forbid?

He doesn’t really, but some incoming Duke University students are objecting to the pre-freshman year assignment of Fun Home, Alison Bechdel’s graphic novel memoir of growing up gay (and the basis for the wonderful musical of the same name). If I were God–or Duke chancellor–I would immediately revoke these kids’ admission, given the evidence that they […]

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Oh look, another newsletter

Look for The Horn Book’s new quarterly newsletter, WHAT MAKES A GOOD…? debuting on August 26th with “What Makes Good Narrative Nonfiction?” The issue features Five Questions for Steve Sheinkin, an essay about how to select NNF by the Junior Library Guild’s Deborah Brittain Ford, and brief reviews of our choices for the best narrative nonfiction published for kids […]

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Threesomes?

“You just follow your heart when it comes to fingering scenes” was MY takeaway quote from the latest newspaper report on the steamy goings-on in YA fiction, which predictably, has people a-Twitter. But while the article is sensationalized, it isn’t incorrect. Young adult fiction is sexier than it used to be, even if the “threesomes” […]

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Summerteen 2015

SLJ’s Summerteen virtual conference is this Thursday and it’s free and promises to be a good time. I am particularly looking forward to hearing M. T. Anderson, Paula Ayer, Marc Aronson, and Susan Campbell Bartoletti talk about narrative nonfiction, which also happens to be the topic for the debut issue of our latest newsletter coming later […]

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Starred reviews, September/October Horn Book

The following books will receive starred reviews in the September/October issue of The Horn Book Magazine: Fire Engine No. 9; written and illustrated by Mike Austin (Random) The Nonsense Show; written and illustrated by Eric Carle (Philomel) Waiting; written and illustrated by Kevin Henkes (Greenwillow) Two Mice; written and illustrated by Sergio Ruzzier (Clarion) Crenshaw; by Katherine Applegate (Feiwel) Sunny Side Up; by Jennifer L. […]

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Haunted home

With the theme “Homecoming,” Simmons College’s Center for the Study of Children’s Literature held its biennial Institute this weekend; the Horn Book staff provides an excellent summary. (And Shoshana Flax has written a poem in its honor, too.) The funniest moment was when Jack Benny Gantos quipped about Go Set a Watchman, whose publication, he said […]

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Remember what the dormouse said

Doing some reading for my upcoming interview with Bryan Collier tomorrow at the Simmons Institute, I got to spend a beautiful afternoon at the even more beautiful new children’s room at BPL. You should go see it. But if they ever legalize pot in this state there’s going to be a line out the door […]

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Can’t buy me love

The Gawker debacle has been very entertaining. I read and respect the site too much to enjoy the clusterfuck in a schadenfreudey kind of way, but I am enjoying the intellectual stimulation provided by the whole host of journalism questions set bristling. What’s a public figure? Was the subject in question a public figure, or a behind-the-scenes media […]

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#Stuffwhitepeoplelike: Go Set a Watchman

The Harpers Lee and Collins have certainly presented readers with a lively spectacle these past six months with the promise of another novel by the famous first-novelist-forever Lee. Go Set a Watchman was written  and submitted to Lippincott before To Kill a Mockingbird (published in 1960). Opinion seems to be divided as to whether Watchman should be considered […]

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Picture book problems

Just one more story about Miles–after deciphering the peculiar mysteries of the Thank-You Note, he wanted to hear a story, so for reasons of propinquity as much as anything else (Richard handed a copy to me lazing on the couch), I started in on Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel. Elizabeth Bluemle at ShelfTalker has […]

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Putting it together

After ALA, we had a couple of days to visit with our kids and grandchildren up in sunny Marin. One afternoon, Miles (just turned six) and I were walking back from the playground when a friendly neighbor lady approached and pressed an envelope into Miles’s hands. “Oh, I know what this is,” he said, “it’s […]

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TK

Upcoming: We’ve just put the July/August Horn Book Magazine to bed (with very firm orders to stay there until June 29th). At 176 pages, it is quite the fattest ALA Awards issue we’ve published but it’s what’s on those pages that has me so excited. Because so much of the content is embargoed until after […]

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Starred reviews, July/August Horn Book Magazine

The following books are receiving starred reviews in the July/August issue of The Horn Book Magazine: The Skunk; by Mac Barnett; illus. by Patrick McDonnell (Roaring Brook) Playful Pigs from A to Z; written and illus. by Anita Lobel (Knopf) Wait; written and illus. by Antoinette Portis (Porter/Roaring Brook) Binny in Secret; by Hilary McKay; illus. by Micah Player (McElderry) Lost in NYC: […]

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#winning!

I hope I can say how much I love the 2015 Boston Globe-Horn Book winners without anyone inferring my opinions about previous years. While under my strict don’t-ask-don’t-tell relationship with the judges I have no idea why they chose what they did, their choices for the top prizes illustrate three great things about this particular […]

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Judges on their way!

Our  judges (Maeve Visser Knoth, Jessica Tackett MacDonald, and Barbara Scotto as chair) will be meeting this weekend to select this year’s Boston Globe-Horn Book Award winners. What will they pick??? (I have no idea.) Katrina Hedeen and I head to New York early next week for the announcement, for which I will be partnered by the […]

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Judges on their way!

Our  judges (Maeve Visser Knoth, Jessica Tackett MacDonald, and Barbara Scotto as chair) will be meeting this weekend to select this year’s Boston Globe-Horn Book Award winners. What will they pick??? (I have no idea.) Katrina Hedeen and I head to New York early next week for the announcement, for which I will be partnered by the […]

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What was the address of Greenaway House?

Please join Children’s Books Boston for our second Wicked Boston Children’s Books Trivia Challenge, to be held at M.J. O’Connor’s Back Bay (yes, a BAR) on Monday June 15th at 6:30PM. Jack Gantos will be your host; admission is one sawbuck, cash money, at the door. Sign up here.

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What book will you take to the beach?

In my fantasy world, as I say in my introduction to the Horn Book’s annual summer reading recommendations. kids (and grownups) could read whatever they like while on their break. Wouldn’t that be GREAT? While I remember exhortations from teachers to read over the summer (not like I or probably you needed any encouragement) there were no lists […]

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Connecting the dots

Probably inspired by our seeing yesterday the wonderfully mysterious The Clouds of Sils Maria, I dreamed last night that we received for review a new YA novel that took the form of a high school yearbook. Apparently something very terrible had happened at that school, but the reader had to piece together clues in the text and […]

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Jack and Hazel

Jack and Hazel

WHY I have to go to Chicago to see Jack Gantos when he lives only a mile away from my office is a question I’ll happily ignore to hear his Zena Sutherland Lecture at the Chicago Public Library tomorrow night. Join us if you can; otherwise you can read Jack’s speech in the Horn Book this […]

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