March 28, 2017

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Outside over there

I hope you all had an enjoyable long weekend; we had a lovely Thanksgiving dinner with friends, saw two movies (Moonlight–wonderful; Allied–eh) and I fairly succesfully avoided thinking about work until Sunday afternoon when I began cranking on the editorial whose completion I am here prolonging as I have a dawdle with you. As promised, I […]

What will YOU be reading?

Following  Shoshana’s lead, I’d like to wish you all a Happy Thanksgiving. My plan is to spend the long weekend reading as much as possible–under the direction of Richard (for whom I am very thankful), we have just finished a home renovation project that has added several new reading locations to our house, an array […]

Crawl into a cave with a book, maybe?

Over on the Horn Book’s Family Reading blog, Kitty and Elissa are inviting you to share your stories about and strategies for helping children through what promises to be a difficult time for our country. Also see our latest booklist, “Making a Difference,” for some inspiration. I won’t pretend that I can think of anything […]

Three rules for successful book reviewing

The other day, I was tasked with delivering a PowerPoint about the Horn Book to our Media Source colleagues in Ohio and New York. Unfortunately for them, I had just watched the Imelda Staunton Gypsy on PBS this past weekend, and thus I had my gimmick, provided by the leading ladies of Wichita burlesque. Rule #1: […]

Arrival spoilers

The question is, how can I talk about Arrival without giving anything away? Well, go and come back, if you’ll allow me to allude to Joan Abelove’s 1998 novel (which I would love to see read through a lens of today’s conversations about social identity). And while you’re gone, re-read Shaun Tan’s The Arrival as […]

The morning after

[In a burst of apparently unwarranted Dewey-beats-Truman optimism, my original draft for this afternoon’s Notes from the Horn Book editorial suggested that Hillary Clinton could do worse than read some E.B. White (Melissa Sweet’s Some Writer! is reviewed in the issue) to guide her presidency. Probably still not a bad idea even as things turned […]

Happy Birthday to Us

Last Sunday marked the hundredth anniversary of the opening of Bertha Mahony’s Bookshop for Boys and Girls, whose “Suggestive Purchase List” begat The Horn Book Magazine and everything else we do today to blow the horn for fine books for youth. Lolly Robinson has given us the extraordinary gift of “The Horn Book’s Virtual History […]

Not a Box

We’ve begun gathering together and posting our coverage of the past weekend’s BGHB–my 21st, phew–and HBAS colloquium. It was a happy concatenation of thinking and talking about books for youth, and our Out-of-the-Box theme for the colloquium provided structure without strain. More than one of the speakers mentioned how nice children’s-book discussion is (absent M.T. Anderson […]

November/December Horn Book starred reviews

The following books will receive starred reviews in the November/December issue of The Horn Book Magazine:   Wolf in the Snow; written and illus. by Matthew Cordell (Feiwel/Macmillan) Sleep Tight Farm; by Eugenie Doyle; illus. by Becca Stadtlander (Chronicle) The Bossier Baby; written and illus. by Marla Frazee (Beach Lane/Simon) The Sleeping Gypsy; written and illus. by Mordicai Gerstein (Holiday) […]

When the censor is you

While you all know what I think of the term “self-censorship” (which does not mean censorship by oneself so much as of oneself, and you are not your library), SLJ’s survey of censorship by school librarians is eye-opening. Siân and I will be talking about it on the podcast we’re recording today (and publishing next Monday) […]

A truly great guy

Clarion Books and Houghton Mifflin Harcourt have asked me to invite you all to a memorial service  for their longtime colleague and my friend James Cross Giblin, to be held at NYC’s LGBT Center, 208 W. 13th St, on Friday, October 28th at 2:30PM. RSVP to rachael DOT stein AT hmhco DOT com.

I think I made this one too easy.

A mostly-forgotten book I love presented itself to my imagination twice yesterday. Can you guess what it is? Clue # 1 and #2: I was talking to Holiday House’s Mary Cash while she was with my buddy Elizabeth Law on Fire Island, and she mentioned her plan to go “swimming in the ocean” later in the day. […]

Stay home reading

I love Perri Klass, here offering sensible advocacy of young children reading real books. Shut up, you know what I mean by real. Right after Labor Day, the Horn Book will debut its new blog, Family Reading, devoted to offering book recommendations and advice about the whats and whens and whos and hows of sharing books in […]

“They’re here.”

So that TV show whose name I could not remember on today’s podcast is Stranger Things, which Richard and I Netflixed assiduously in a handful of evenings. People are loving the throwback allusions, but my experience of 80s adolescence is entirely secondhand and spotty: I was a youth services librarian for most of the decade but […]

Starred reviews, September/October ’16 Horn Book Magazine

The following books will receive starred reviews in the September/October issue of the Horn Book Magazine. Rescue Squad No. 9; written and illustrated by Mike Austin (Random) Du Iz Tak?; written and illustrated by Carson Ellis (Candlewick) Owl Sees Owl; by Laura Godwin; illus. by Rob Dunlavey (Schwartz & Wade/Random) Penguin Problems; by Jory John; […]

“Where was the editor?”

This week’s Horn Book podcast is devoted to–well, if you can ever say the podcast is devoted to one thing in particular beyond Siân and me yammering for half an hour–Lane Smith’s new book There Is a Tribe of Kids. At one point I opine that the publisher knew or should have known, anyway, about the […]

Candygram

On the bus this morning, I sat next to a mom and her strollered two-and-a-half-year-old son. He was being freaking adorable, his big Margaret Keane eyes peering wisely into my own. We’re chatting and the mom asks the boy if he wants to sing “Wheels on the Bus.” That was a challenge I could not […]

Grumpy Old Men

The Grumpy Old Men are coming your way around three o’clock this afternoon. Check back then at the Talks With Roger page to see us.

But where will I put it?

“Should this book go in nonfiction or folklore?” ACK, the book review placement problems.The Decider (Martha) is away this week so Shoshana, Elissa, and I are left to our own devices when it comes to deciding what goes in which category of the September/October Magazine review section. A historical illustrated book retelling a real incident but with invented situations and […]

Tribal trials

The latest book to cause noisy debate among our crowd is Lane Smith’s Tribe of Kids; it began with a post by Sam Bloom at Reading While White but was picked up by Roxanne Feldman, Debbie Reese, and Rosanne Parry. I feel like all concerned have had some good points to make, and I have […]