I like the way Marie Lu (Seraphina v. Moonbird) and Catherine Gilbert Murdock (No Crystal Stair v. The One and Only Ivan) each find much in common between their contenders. (Especially Lu’s observation about the relationship between birds and dragons.) But where you might think that qualities in common might facilitate comparison, neither of these [...]
It was exciting to realize that emergent literacy was a field that was not spoken of at all in the pediatric literature. Imagine that! A whole area of crucial child development which doctors seemed utterly unaware of. It was an opportunity that could not be passed up.
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Let us first note that both Adam Gidwitz (Jepp, Who Defied the Stars v. Starry River of the Sky) and Franny Billingsley (Liar & Spy v. Splendors and Glooms) break the mold by discussing their winning books first. Billingsley more so than Gidwitz, who devotes some 1200 words to the agony of choice and the [...]
Very different approaches here from Kathi Appelt (Three Times Lucky v. Endangered) and Deb Caletti (Temple Grandin v. The Fault in Our Stars). Appelt’s voice is very . . . considered, placing her contenders in literary context and braiding her observations on one book with her thoughts about the other and bringing them into contention [...]
In our first bracket of BoB judges, Kenneth Oppel selects Bomb over Wonder, and Margarita Engle chooses Code Name Verity over Titanic. The fact that I agree with both of these decisions counts for nothing in my little meta-battle; what we are evaluating here is the ability of each judge to come to a clear [...]
Margarita Engle has completed her bit for the BoB, which means the showdown between her and Kenneth Oppel will commence here soon. But make sure you read their decisions first as God forbid I be accused of spoilering on top of everything else. One question though: has anyone ever analyzed the order in which the [...]
SLJ’s Battle of the Books has begun, with Kenneth Oppel judging Wonder v. Bomb. After Margarita Engle finishes with Code Name Verity v. Titanic tomorrow, I’ll weigh in on who was the better judge. Preliminary cavil: I’m a little bothered by Oppel’s ambiguous use of the word “faultlessly.” I spent most of yesterday at home, [...]
The Morning News started its tournament of books yesterday with a match between Louise Erdrich’s The Round House and John Green’s The Fault in Our Stars. I thought the critic, Edan Lepucki, did a great job of assessing each book’s strengths and shortcomings and coming up with a winner. Today, the match between Adam Johnson’s [...]
It’s Women’s History Month and thus the Kidlit Celebrates Women’s History Month blog is back. I’ll be over there later this month to write about our beloved Bertha; but go over there now to see accounts of the likes of Emily Brontë, Julia Morgan, and Temple Grandin. On a related note, I’ve been enjoying my [...]
The March/April issue of the Horn Book Magazine just arrived in my office and it looks great. Unfortunately, the printer had a traffic jam (although telling me enthusiastically about how much work your plant is getting means nothing to me if MY WORK ISN’T GETTING DONE) and the issue is being mailed out only this [...]
For COLLEGE. Ruta Sepetys and Penguin Young Readers Group are running an essay contest in conjunction with the release of Ruta’s new book, Out of the Easy, a tale of growing up in the French Quarter of 1950s New Orleans. The prize is $5000 toward college; full details can be found at the Out of [...]
The Morning News has begun its Tournament of Books, and SLJ is slated to begin its Battle of the Books on March 12th. I was pleased to see that the Morning News has already taken the gloves off, with Nathan Bradley calling The Yellow Birds a “slathering of wan cliches,” and I hope the SLJ [...]
We’re trying something new this spring. With Reach Out and Read and the Cambridge Public Library, the Horn Book is presenting a one-day conference about books and the youngest readers/listeners/lookers. We thought it would be useful to cross-fertilize our areas of expertise (Reach Out and Read on brain development, CPL on using books with children, [...]
Ha ha, not really. I hope everybody is getting some use out of our latest newsletter, Nonfiction Notes from the Horn Book. I’ve been thinking about NF a lot since ALA, where I spent two solid days talking to publishers about what they were planning for the coming year(s). Along with inflicting upon the world [...]
This weekend I happened upon Paul Collins’ essay “Vanishing Act,” about the writing prodigy Barbara Newhall Follett, whose The House Without Windows was published by Knopf in 1927 when the author was twelve. Our own Bertha Mahony loved the book, devoting three pages to it in the February 1927 Magazine. While Follett would go on to publish [...]
The following books will receive starred reviews in the March/April issue of the Horn Book Magazine. Incidentally, this is also our annual special issue; the theme this year is “Different Drummers” with a ground-breaking (for us, anyway) cover by Paul Zelinsky (whose absence from the recent Caldecott announcement marks a Dark Day in that award’s [...]
The 2013 Scott O’Dell Award for Historical Fiction goes to Louise Erdrich for Chickadee, published by Harper, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers. The annual award, created by Scott O’Dell and Zena Sutherland in 1982 and now administered by Elizabeth Hall, carries with it a prize of $5000, and goes to the author of a distinguished [...]
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As K.T. Horning embarks on her decade-by-decade Caldecott Medal retrospective (Mei Li in January; Prayer for a Child coming up in March) in the Horn Book Magazine, I’m reminded of Leonard Marcus’s own Caldecott Celebration, a book for kids (but you’ll like it too) in which he similarly looked at one winner from each decade, [...]