In this week’s Horn Book Podcast, Siân talks with Mackenzi Lee (This Monstrous Thing) about how they found kindred spirithood via The Raven Boys; and about fandom, fan fiction, and ‘shipping (there totally should be an apostrophe so shut up). I admire the impulse and envy the enthusiasm but so not my thing. I’m reminded of a […]
I was sorry to hear on Monday about the death of James Cross Giblin, editor, publisher, author, and friend–to me and countless others in the children’s book business. Back before it was even a Thing, Jim was writing narrative nonfiction about the damnedest things–windows, milk–and had the gift for conveying his own enthusiasm for his topics […]
We have a new podcast out today (with Horn Book reviewer Hannah Gómez as guest), mostly talking about Kirkus’ children’s editor Vicky Smith’s new policy of labelling, where possible, the race of all mentioned characters in reviews of children’s/YA fiction. When we recorded the podcast I hadn’t yet seen Kirkus operating under its new rule, but […]
The following books will receive starred reviews in the May/June issue of The Horn Book Magazine. Note, too, that this is our annual special issue, this year on the theme of Collaboration. Join us! The Airport Book; written and illustrated by Lisa Brown (Porter/Roaring Brook) Excellent Ed; written by Stacy McAnulty; illustrated by Julia Sarcone-Roach (Knopf) […]
You should totally come to this. Marilyn Nelson gave one of the best speeches I ever heard on the occasion of her winning the Boston Globe-Horn Book Award in 2001 for Carver. I hope I see you in Chicago on May 6th.
I’m glad that the powers that be have cleared up the lies they were spewing about me last Friday. But three further corrections–I did recite poetry on the steps of Honnold Library–Gertrude Stein, for my sins–and I did not sing in bars until alcoholism had a firmer grip on me, and I do not own a […]
I am off next week for California; visiting children and grandchildren; seeing friends including Mina, Eugene, and Andy; and attending the tennis tournament at Indian Wells, tickets for which Richard kindly surprised me with on Valentine’s Day. But I will be in virtual attendance at JLG’s free webcast on Thursday, March 17th from 3:00 to […]
I am over the moon about President Obama’s nomination of Carla D. Hayden to the position of Librarian of Congress. Carla and I were buddies back in Chicago–we met when she was YA coordinator at CPL and I interviewed her for a paper I was writing for library school, and later I worked for her […]
I agree with Allie Jane Bruce that “kids say this stuff” is a piss-poor reason for racist language in books for children. It’s a piss-poor reason generally, as the point of fiction has never been to mimic reality, which rarely makes nearly as much sense as even the most hackneyed novel. Fiction is always selecting: as Miss Binney explained to Ramona, […]
The following books will receive starred reviews in the March/April 2016 issue of The Horn Book Magazine: Thunder Boy Jr. by Sherman Alexie; illus. by Yuyi Morales (Little, Brown) When Spring Comes by Kevin Henkes; illus. by Laura Dronzek (Greenwillow) School’s First Day of School by Adam Rex; illus. by Christian Robinson (Porter/Roaring Brook) Twenty […]
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—Elissa and Katie are ransacking the archives to honor Black History Month with an article every day about African American books, authors, and illustrators. Up today, Yolanda Hare’s call for more books about “more black teens living mundane middle-class lives.” –On February 23rd, I’ll be moderating a panel discussion about the ALA awards and children’s […]
I’d really like to ban the term “self-censorship” from discourse, given that we already have a spectrum of words–from “prudence” to “cowardice”–that say more precisely what we mean, and because it causes us to be confused about what censorship actually is. As Megan Schliesman at Reading While White posted last week, the discussion about A Birthday […]
I had been content to let Calling Caldecott’s enlightening discussion about A Fine Dessert speak for itself, and the subsequent publication of A Birthday Cake for George Washington a year later was more than anything a spectacular example of bad timing–by the time A Fine Dessert was gathering outrage, A Birthday Cake was well on its […]
With the (incoming, anyway) scandal at this weekend’s ALA conference being a question about the not-always-bright line between editorial independence and advertisers’ interests, I thought I would remind you of the Horn Book’s position on the relationship between those two things. Otherwise, I hope I see some of you this weekend: the Horn Book can […]
The 2016 Scott O’Dell Award for Historical Fiction goes to The Hired Girl, by Laura Amy Schlitz, published by Candlewick Press. When Joan’s father burns her beloved books as an undeserved punishment for shirking her housework, the put-upon fourteen-year-old makes a reckless gambit for freedom, running away to Baltimore in search of paid work. There […]
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Winding things down here for the year, I’d like to wish readers a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year, hoping there is plenty of candy in your immediate future. And if candy is not your thing, Katie also has a host of recommendations of food favorites from children’s books. And do not forget Laura’s gingerbread! […]
As the Scott O’Dell committee winds up its considerations (look for an announcement after New Year’s but before ALA), I find myself seeing and pondering my favorite historical-fiction nemesis: the info dump. The following example is NOT from one of the contenders but from Katherine Neville’s The Eight, an enormously entertaining pile of balderdash that anticipated […]
Join Children’s Books Boston for a special theater event with author Gregory Maguire! Thursday, December 17th | 7 pm Central Square Theater 450 Mass. Ave., Cambridge Be part of a special CBB night at the theater, featuring two children’s books brought to life on the stage. MATCHLESS, written by Gregory Maguire, is a rekindling of […]
I think we’ve all written letters like this one. Responding to the announcement that David Almond’s A Song for Ella Grey had won the Guardian Children’s Fiction Award, author Lynne Reid Banks wrote to that publication: “Buoyed up by David Almond’s beautiful description (21 November) of his inspiration for writing A Song for Ella Grey, which has […]