January 18, 2018

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Roger Sutton

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The 2018 Scott O’Dell Award for Historical Fiction

from O’Dell committee chair Deborah Stevenson: The 2018 Scott O’Dell Award for Historical Fiction goes to Beyond the Bright Sea, by Lauren Wolk, published by Dutton Books for Young readers, an imprint of Penguin Young Readers. The isolated world of the Elizabeth Islands off of mainland Massachusetts in 1925 comes to life as our narrator, […]

Talks With Authors

Despite the fact that I told them I dropped an f-bomb back in my first-ever preschool story hour, the powers that be have still decided that I’m going to host my first-ever live webcast, and it’s coming your way this coming Wednesday. For “Exploring Race, Mistakes, and Friendship through Poetry,” I’ll be joined by Irene Latham, […]

Horn Book Magazine starred reviews January/February 2018

The following books will receive starred reviews in the January/February issue of The Horn Book Magazine.   Grace for Gus; written and illustrated by Harry Bliss (Tegen/HarperCollins) Ducks Away!; by Mem Fox; illustrated by Judy Horacek (Scholastic) Little i; written and illustrated by Michael Hall (Greenwillow) It’s Shoe Time!; by Bryan Collier; illustrated by Brian Collier and Mo Willems (Hyperion) […]

Horn Book Fanfare 2017

And here is Fanfare, the Horn Book’s list of the best books of the year for children and teens. The list, complete with annotations for the choices, will be published in Notes from the Horn Book, coming to your inbox (subscribe here; it’s free) next Wednesday. Picture Books Crown: An Ode to the Fresh Cut […]

R.I.P. Blanche

I was sad to hear from former Horn Book president Duncan Todd today that Blanche Egersheim, a stalwart of the Thomas Todd Company and the Horn Book for fifty years, died earlier this month at the age of ninety-eight. Blanche was, as then-publisher Anne Quirk wrote upon Blanche’s retirement in 2006, “the Horn Book’s bookkeeper, human […]

Debs!

This Thursday at 3, JLG’s Deb Ford and I will be webcasting about some recent debut authors. Should someone tell them that the second book is harder?
Angie Thomas has made my day by tweeting that she had no plans for a sequel to her first novel, …

Thanksgiving media consumption scorecard

Nope, didn’t watch a single game. And didn’t read any children’s books. Here is what I imbibed instead.   Movies: Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri. Hated the title; loved the performances and was with the plot for almost the whole movie. I did see Frances McDormand play this part better in Olive Kitteridge, however. B+ […]

Getting ready to blow

Today we all meet to decide Fanfare, the Horn Book’s choices for the best books of 2017. As I type, strategic alliances are being formed  to whittle down the current list of some sixty titles to… well, fewer. A lot fewer. It would be great if sometime before I retire I could strong-arm the staff into […]

Strike that

Spoilers ahead, I guess, for those who have neither read nor seen Wonderstruck; those who have read Brian Selznick’s 2011 novel will find a remarkably consonant story in Todd Haynes’ new movie for which Selznick wrote the screenplay. So if you’ve read the book but not seen the movie, press on, as you’ve been spoiled […]

BBF 2017

I hope to see some of you tomorrow, 11-5, at the Boston Book Festival. The Horn Book will be giving stuff (and opinions; I’m almost done with The Book of Dust) away at booth number 9 in Copley Square. We can see Roxy’s Grilled Cheese (number 33) from our booth! And our Elissa will be […]

Lonely Little In-between

My work-reading this weekend shuttled between The Book of Dust and Turtles All the Way Down, just three old cerebral white guys shooting the shit, yep. I’m liking them both, but we’ll see what Martha and her minions have to say about each in the January issue. My playtime reading shuttled between The Girl Who Takes […]

Heart of the Matter

I am not going to get into the relative merits of American Heart, because I haven’t read it. But I do want to speak to the questionable wisdom of revising a published review or removing a star from a published review, both of which Kirkus did in the case of this book. (Vulture has just published a good […]

Letter to the World

Over on Facebook, Penguin/Putnam Executive Editor Stacey Barney* led me to a great how-I-got-into-publishing-and-how-publishing-could-be-better piece by Random House adult editor Chris Jackson, best know for his publishing of Ta-Nehisi Coates’ Between the World and Me. I was especially struck by Jackson’s story about being in his first publishing job and not knowing how to type […]

Thank you all!

The Horn Book’s social media team–Elissa, Katie, and Lolly, but all hands on deck–has been busily documenting the events of last weekend’s Boston Globe-Horn Book/Horn Book at Simmons Colloquium for your viewing and reading pleasure. It was a great weekend, and I want to thank the Horn Book, Simmons, and Globe staff for making it such […]

Intended by whom?

In the comments to a recent Heavy Medal post, there is a discussion about the eligibility and/or chances of The Hate U Give for Newbery discussion. (In case you’re new here, The Hate U Give is receiving the 2017 Boston Globe-Horn Book Award for Fiction tomorrow night.) It was a Mr. H. who brought up […]

Intended by whom?

In the comments to a recent Heavy Medal post, there is a discussion about the eligibility and/or chances of The Hate U Give for Newbery discussion. (In case you’re new here, The Hate U Give is receiving the 2017 Boston Globe-Horn Book Award for Fiction tomorrow night.) It was a Mr. H. who brought up […]

Starred reviews, November/December 2017 Horn Book Magazine

  The following books will receive starred reviews in the November/December issue 2017 of The Horn Book Magazine. Crown: An Ode to the Fresh Cut; by Derrick Barnes; illustrated by Gordon C. James (Millner/Bolden Books/Agate) The Wolf, the Duck, and the Mouse; by Mac Barnett; illustrated by Jon Klassen (Candlewick) Windows; by Julia Denos; illustrated by E. B. Goodale […]

Not so simple gifts

Jeez, we didn’t get into any trouble at all the last time we criticized a First Lady, but clearly times have changed. I wanted to state that I am very proud that the Horn Book published Liz Phipps Soeiro’s  open letter to Melania Trump. It was polite, constructive, informative, and well-reasoned. Not so for all […]

Book packaging

Not THAT kind, but about the literal packaging of books sent to this office. And others: a publishing friend said she received an indignant phone call asking her company to PLEASE stop using mailers that contain that gray fluffy stuff as padding; and I also saw it on Twitter. I asked in this office if the […]

The star-making machinery

Grandpa got grumpy yesterday over one of his old nemeses: the Non-Disclosure Agreement. An NDA in this circumstance is when a publisher asks us to sign a contract putting certain restrictions on the Horn Book before forking over an advance review copy. We aren’t asked to sign them very often, and we never do sign them, […]