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February 8, 2016

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Starred reviews, November/December Horn Book Magazine

The following books will receive starred reviews in the November/December issue of The Horn Book Magazine: Tiptoe Tapirs; written and illustrated by Hanmin Kim; trans. from the Korean by Sera Lee (Holiday) I Used to Be Afraid; written and illustrated by Laura Vaccaro Seeger (Porter/Roaring Brook) Flop to the Top!; written and illustrated by Eleanor Davis and Drew Weing (TOON) […]

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Wake me up when it’s all over

I confess to feeling nonplussed when the publicist wrote to see if “Horn [ed note: AARGH] will review The Rabbit Who Wants to Go to Sleep,” the self-published bestseller that Random House picked up for a rumored seven-figure advance. I mean, yes, the Horn BOOK will review it in the Spring 2016 Horn Book Guide […]

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Beyond the Pluto Problem

Perusing Debbie’s Reese’s  provocative (to me, anyway!) and useful site American Indians in Children’s Literature, I came across a comment she made referencing and linking to the Texas State Library’s guide to weeding, CREW: A Weeding Manual for Modern Libraries (link goes to a pdf). Last revised in 2012 by my most respected colleague and […]

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Middle-Grade Madness recapped

Shoshana has written up an excellent recap of last night’s goings-on at the Cambridge Public Library. I’ll just add my thanks to the panelists, who were all engaged, enthusiastic, and nice to me and each other. (Jeanne Birdsall brought along a belt for me to use if things got out of hand, but luckily I […]

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Come early

Cambridge Public Library is telling me they expect to run out of room at Middle Grade Madness, tonight at the Main Library at 6:00PM; show up early to be guaranteed admission. Youth services director Julie Roach is legendary for the ease with which she firmly shuts the door on even the most well-connected mom trying to […]

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Middle Grade Madness

Next Monday, September 28th, I’ll be moderating a panel of five middle-grade Random House authors at the Cambridge Public Library at 6:00PM. Participating authors include: –Jeanne Birdsall, talking about THE PENDERWICKS IN SPRING –Bruce Coville, DIARY OF A MAD BROWNIE –Alice Hoffman, NIGHTBIRD –R.J. Palacio, AUGIE & ME –Rebecca Stead, GOODBYE STRANGER Quite the lineup, no? […]

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Not. So. Fast.

Those of you who follow @rogerreads might have seen my occasional cranky #authoraskyourself (#editoraskyourself, #revieweraskyourself…) tweets in which I turn whatever crime against language and/or literature that has crossed my desk that day into a blind item for an anonymous public spanking. I keep them anonymous because a) I’m not that mean, b) they’re often examples of […]

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MORE #stuffwhitepeoplelike

One of those stupid Facebook quizzes told me that I “tend to share thoughts that are not fully developed, using others as a sounding board for ideas and theories in a debate against themselves rather than as actual conversation partners.” RUDE. But also, true. So for now I am going to refrain from comment about […]

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The race is on

Calling Caldecott, Heavy Medal, and Someday My Printz Will Come are all up and running, so it’s time to start thinking your woulds and coulds and shoulds about this year’s field of potential prizewinners. (And SLJ has posted its reviews of the National Book Award longlist, although I have to say I think it’s tacky […]

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Harold goes gay

Not this Harold, or this Harold, or even this other Harold, but THIS Harold is gay. Who knew? In their latest adventure, Captain Underpants and the Sensational Saga of Sir Stinks-a-Lot, Harold and George travel twenty years into the future to meet their grown selves–George has a nice wife and two children, while Harold has a […]

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THIS, my dears, is censorship.

We talk a lot in this field (and on this blog, I guess) about censorship. And most of the time we use the term loosely, describing those who challenge a book’s distribution by a library, for example, as “censors.” I’ve always found the term in this context alarmist–it’s not the challengers who are censors, the censor is […]

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If you only had a brain

Farah Mendlesohn called my attention to this bit of fuckwittery from The Guardian, in which their art critic Jonathan Jones opines that the late Terry Pratchett wrote “trash” while the equally late Günter Grass was a “true titan of the novel,” so why is everyone more sad about the passing of Sir Terry? The dumbness of this point–let’s […]

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What ELSE do you do?: five questions for Deborah Taylor

This series of interviews debuted last spring with five questions for author T.A. Barron; now I’m following it up with five more for one of my favorite librarians, Deborah Taylor, coordinator of school and student services for the Enoch Pratt Free Library in Baltimore. Deb and I have been friends for more than thirty years since […]

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My weekend reviews

Friday night–When Robert C. O’Brien’s 1975 YA Z for Zachariah made it onto the silver screen forty years later, you’d think its post-apocalyptic setting and sturdy heroine would have been enough to give it currency but NO: the famous two-hander is now a lurve triangle, and–spoiler alert–the attempted rape, so controversial in its time, is glossed over […]

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Friday roundup

In a week when everybody is supposed to be away at the beach, the Horn Book has been cranking out stuff for you to read. Beach reading, it’s maybe not, but nevertheless useful and even entertaining, we hope. —Lolly’s Classroom is talking about STEM books and inexpensive sources for classroom libraries. –over on Out of the […]

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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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