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<<October 2016>>
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Viewing: Blog Posts Tagged with: HBMJul12, Most Recent at Top [Help]
Results 1 - 11 of 11
1. Review of The Letter Q: Queer Writers’ Notes to 
Their Younger Selves

moon letterq 197x300 Review of The Letter Q: Queer Writers’ Notes to 
Their Younger SelvesThe Letter Q: Queer Writers’ Notes to Their Younger Selves
edited by Sarah Moon, with 
contributing editor James Lecesne
Middle School, High School    Levine/Scholastic    
282 pp.
5/12    978-0-545-39932-6    $17.99
Inspired by mentors in her own childhood, editor Sarah Moon asked sixty-four gay, lesbian, and bisexual writers, illustrators, and publishing professionals to write letters to themselves at a younger age — names such as Marion Dane Bauer, Jacqueline Woodson, Gregory Maguire, Brian Selznick, and a host of others. The resulting letters combine advice, reminiscence, funny stories, and encouragement for readers struggling with their sexuality. As with any collection with such a narrow focus, repetition is a problem, but panels from graphic novel creators help to break up the text and vary the pace, and a few of the writers arouse interest with truly surprising revelations (David Levithan, for instance, writes about bullying, but from the perspective of being the bully; Martin Moran writes about the sexual abuse that led to his award-winning book The Tricky Part). A mostly secular exploration of growing up gay, the book has regrettably little advice for gay and questioning teens grappling with religious dilemmas. Still, with its repeated exhortations to relax more and worry less, this book might be a life-saver for some — and could function as an author list, as well, for teens wanting to read more about People Like Us.

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2. Review of Traction Man and the Beach Odyssey

grey traction man beach odyssey 263x300 Review of Traction Man and the Beach OdysseyTraction Man and the Beach Odyssey
by Mini Grey; illus. by the author
Preschool, Primary     Knopf     32 pp.
5/12     978-0-375-86952-5     $16.99
Library ed. 978-0-375-96952-2     $19.99
The adventuresome duo from Traction Man Is Here! (rev. 3/05) and Traction Man Meets Turbodog (rev. 9/08) hits the beach for a manly day of scuba diving, picnic security duty, and…makeovers? Once again Grey’s action-figure hero and his sidekick Scrubbing Brush inhabit the fanciful world-within-a-world of creative play. Though the boy who totes the pair along in his beach bag is nominally in control of their actions, once they’re underwater exploring a tide pool, or left alone together on the picnic blanket, they take on lives of their own. Traction Man’s valiant campaign to keep Grandma’s dog Truffles away from lunch while the family swims comes to naught when Truffles carries him off and buries him in the sand. Scrubbing Brush digs Traction Man out, but then a wave whisks them both away, landing them in the clutches of another young beachgoer, who has her own ideas of how to play. Grey takes obvious delight in poking fun at Traction Man’s machismo by dressing him in a pink sarong and plunking him into an ice-cream party with some Beach- Time Brenda dolls. As usual, the wry cartoon art is teeming with animate characters—even the picnic quiche has a face. In the end, there’s a refreshingly gender-neutral pooling of resources as Beach-Time Brenda and her pal help the boys dig an “exploration hole to the Center of the Earth,” after which the whole crew floats happily on a “pinkly paisley inflatable dinghy.” Relaxation accomplished!

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3. From The Guide: Sports books

sports combined1 From The Guide: Sports booksSummer is the season for recreational reading, outdoor activities, fun, sports, and, this year, the Summer Olympics. In The Horn Book Guide, there’s never a shortage of sports-themed books, from high-interest bait for reluctant readers to entertaining diversions for voracious ones. The following sports-books-done-right for upper-elementary and middle-grade readers are all recommended in recent or forthcoming issues of the Guide.

Fitzmaurice, Kathryn A Diamond in the Desert
258 pp. Viking 2012. ISBN 978-0-670-01292-3
Gr. 4–6 In 1942, Japanese American boy Tetsu attempts to find dignity and purpose while living within the humiliating confines of the Gila River Relocation Center. Helping build a baseball field in the inhospitable desert provides some emotional relief; playing the game well further eases his anger. Informed by real-life memories of Gila River’s baseball team members, this novel delves deeply and affectingly into the human condition. Reading list, websites.

Florian, Douglas Poem Runs: Baseball Poems and Paintings
32 pp. Harcourt 2012. ISBN 978-0-547-68838-1
Gr. K–3 Fifteen poems (sixteen if you count the back cover) center on a baseball team’s season. Each entry features Florian’s signature wit and brevity: “With greatest greed / I take my lead. / My greatest need / Is speed” (from “Base Stealer”). The poems are set against double-page spreads with summery mixed-media illustrations featuring rubber-limbed baseball players—both male and female.

Freitas, Donna Gold Medal Summer
232 pp. Scholastic/Levine 2012. ISBN 978-0-545-32788-6
Gr. 4–6 Top gymnast Joey loves her sport and can’t understand why her best friend would quit just to have a social life—or why Joey’s older sister quit after winning Nationals, or why their parents find competitions too stressful to watch. A former competitive gymnast, Freitas provides an absorbing look at the challenging but rewarding life of a thirteen-year-old athlete.

Gutman, Dan The Day Roy Riegels Ran the Wrong Way
32 pp. Bloomsbury 2011. ISBN 978-1-59990-494-8
Gr. K–3 Illustrated by Kerry Talbott. A grandfather narrates the true story of Roy Riegels, the football player who ran the wrong way and cost his team the 1929 Rose Bowl championship. Digitally enhanced illustrations reflect the juxtaposition of past and present as Grandpa’s story alternates with an old-time radio announcer’s call of the game. An author’s note reveals how “Wrong-Way Riegels” moved on from his famous mistake.

Lang, Heather Queen of the Track: Alice Coachman, Olympic High-Jump Champion
40 pp. Boyds 2012. ISBN 978-1-59078-850-9
Gr. 4–6 Illustrated by Floyd Cooper. From the hardships of her Georgia childhood through the 1948 London Olympics at which she won gold and became a legend, this biography stands out for the lesser-known details it includes (e.g., Coachman’s dance performance aboard the London-bound ship). Cooper’s grainy sepia-hued pastels are striking; endnotes with more about Coachman and the historic 1948 Olympics support the thorough text. Websites. Bib.

Lupica, Mike Game Changers
207 pp. Scholastic 2012. ISBN 978-0-545-44315-9
Gr. 4–6 Talented, tough eleven-year-old Pop Warner football player Ben dreams of being quarterback of his team—but he’s short. As the season wears on and quarterback Shawn (the coach’s son) flounders, Ben proves he’s ultimately the right guy for the position. This story of football, friendship, and learning to be true to oneself is full of satisfying sport

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4. July/August 2012 Horn Book Magazine: Special Issue: Awards

july2012magcov 200x300 July/August 2012 Horn Book Magazine: Special Issue: AwardsHere’s a sneak peak at the new, beautiful July/August 2012 special awards issue of The Horn Book Magazine! If you’re going to ALA, you can pick up your free copy at The Horn Book/School Library Journal/Library Journal Booth #2234. Supplies are limited, so stop by anytime for a ticket; the Magazines will be available for pick-up on Monday. We’ll also have posters!

Don’t forget, you can see Roger’s Live Five interviews of some of your — and our! — favorite authors and illustrators throughout the day on Saturday and Sunday. We’ll post video on our website after the show.

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5. “My Favorite Caldecott” matching game featuring Beth Krommes

beth krommes small My Favorite Caldecott matching game featuring Beth Krommes

Photo by Marguerite Krommes

Beth Krommes received the 2009 Caldecott Medal for The House in the Night, written by Susan Marie Swanson. Her black, white, and gold scratchboard art perfectly complements the poetic bedtime tale.  Guess which of the titles below is the illustrator’s favorite Caldecott winner.

a) Kitten’s First Full Moon by Kevin Henkes (2005)
b) My Friend Rabbit by Eric Rohmann (2003)
c) Owl Moon written by Jane Yolen and illustrated by John Schoenherr (1988)

This post is part of our ongoing game matching Newbery and Caldecott medalists to their favorite winning titles. To see more entries, click on the tag matching game.

Previously: Neil Gaiman, Erin E. Stead, Lois Lowry, and Linda Sue Park.
Coming soon: Susan Cooper, Jerry Pinkney, and David Wiesner.


gameshow 500x341 My Favorite Caldecott matching game featuring Beth Krommes

Illustration by Devon Johnson

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6. 2012 Mind the Gap Awards

mindthegap2012 2012 Mind the Gap Awards

Most likely to haunt award committees Anya’s Ghost by Vera Brosgol
Bone Dog by Eric Rohmann
Better luck next time Good Luck, Anna Hibiscus! by Atinuke,
illustrated by Lauren Tobia
Tragic and tragically overlooked America Is Under Attack: September 11, 2001: The Day the Towers Fell by Don Brown
Amelia Lost: The Life and Disappearance
of Amelia Earhart
by Candace Fleming
The Watch That Ends the Night: Voices from the Titanic by Allan Wolf
Best Cold War book left out in the cold Life: An Exploded Diagram by Mal Peet
Best year-round Christmas book
(think of the money you’ll save!)
The Money We’ll Save by Brock Cole
Science made simple (youngest) Swirl by Swirl: Spirals in Nature by Joyce Sidman, illustrated by Beth Krommes
Science made simple (oldest) Feynman by Jim Ottaviani, illustrated by Leland Myrick
Best animal survival stories Can We Save the Tiger? by Martin Jenkins, illustrated by Vicky White
Naamah and the Ark at Night by Susan
Campbell Bartoletti, illustrated by Holly Meade
Best human survival stories Bluefish by Pat Schmatz
Blink & Caution by Tim Wynne-Jones
Best swamp survival stories Meadowlands: A Wetlands Survival Story
by Thomas F. Yezerski
Chime by Franny Billingsley
Batteries not required Press Here by Hervé Tullet

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7. “My Favorite Newbery” matching game featuring Neil Gaiman

GaimanNeil My Favorite Newbery matching game featuring Neil Gaiman

photo by Philippe Matas

Neil Gaiman won the 2009 Newbery Medal for The Graveyard Book, the Jungle Book–inspired story of a living boy raised by ghosts. Guess which of these titles is his favorite Newbery winner.

a) Dead End in Norvelt by Jack Gantos (2012)
b) A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle (1963)
c) When You Reach Me by Rebecca Stead (2010)

This post is part of our ongoing game matching Newbery and Caldecott medalists to their favorite winning titles. To see more entries, click on the tag matching game.

Coming soon: Jerry Pinkney, David Weisner, and Sharon Creech.

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8. Neil Gaiman’s Favorite Newbery

lengle wrinkletime Neil Gaimans Favorite Newbery

That’s a hard one. I know the leading candidates—The Voyages of Doctor Dolittle, A Wrinkle in Time, The High King, and From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler. All books I loved as a child, and read, and re-read. I think it has to be A Wrinkle in Time (1963), because it did weird things to the inside of my head. I do not think I saw the universe in the same way after reading it.

—Neil Gaiman,
winner of the 2009 Newbery Medal for The Graveyard Book

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9. “My Favorite Caldecott” matching game featuring Erin E. Stead

stead erin 170x198 My Favorite Caldecott matching game featuring Erin E. Stead

Photo by Nicole Haley

2012 BGHB honoree Erin E. Stead received the 2011 Caldecott for A Sick Day for Amos McGee (written by husband Philip C. Stead). When Amos, a kindly zookeeper, is stuck home with a cold, his charges visit to cheer him up. Guess which of the titles below is the illustrator’s favorite Caldecott winner.

a) Sylvester and the Magic Pebbleby William Steig (1970)
b) A Tree Is Nice written by Janice Udry and illustrated by Marc Simont (1957)
c) The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats (1963)

This post is part of our ongoing game matching Newbery and Caldecott medalists to their favorite winning titles. To see more entries, click on the tag matching game.

Previously: Neil Gaiman.
Coming soon: Susan Cooper, Linda Sue Park, and David Wiesner.

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10. Letter to the Editor from Leah Langby, July/August 2012

may2012HBMcov 200x300 Letter to the Editor from Leah Langby, July/August 2012May/June 2012 Horn Book

I want to thank you for publishing the piece by Hilary Rappaport (“On the Rights of Reading and Girls and Boys”). I really appreciated seeing some of my concerns about the gender divide in reading articulated so well. I have examined my biases related to literature and preferences, and have made adjustments in the way I think about them, as a result of the Guys Read movement. I’m glad for that. But I, too, am troubled by the push to further compartmentalize our young people by dividing the world of books into those for boys and those for girls.

I’m a huge fan of Jon Scieszka, but after hearing him speak at ALA in 2005, I was distressed to the point of writing him a letter, excerpted here:

I was troubled by your speech, especially considering that you spoke after a teenage boy who was gutsy enough to talk about how much he loves being in a book club and reading a huge variety of things. Not all boys (or girls, for that matter) fit the very specific gender roles you outlined. Not all boys like hockey, even if your son does. Not all boys are going to be satisfied with books that are pulled into a separate section for guys, and many girls will be less likely to pick up books if they are labeled as “guy” books.

It seems like there must be ways to validate and highlight a variety of reading while not pigeonholing people into behaving a certain way. Libraries have traditionally been a haven for boys who are not your typical “guy guys” (as James Howe puts it), and it makes me cringe to hear someone as charming and well-respected as you are implying that there is only one type of boy.

Please pass on my thanks to Hilary Rappaport for her column!

Leah Langby
Elk Mound, Wisconsin


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11. King of All the Caldecotts

sendak sutton 2011 170x207 King of All the Caldecotts“If this book doesn’t win the Caldecott Medal I’m going to kill myself.” I heard that from Zena Sutherland, quoting Ursula Nordstrom, while Zena and I were at Philadelphia’s Rosenbach Museum in 1982, viewing an exhibition of the complete original art for the book in question, Maurice Sendak’s Where the Wild Things Are.

That book did of course win the 1964 Medal, a very nice cherry on top of Sendak’s five previous Caldecott Honors (which would be joined by two more in later years). For Sendak, the best part of Where the Wild Things Are’s success was the financial security it brought (“It bought me my house,” he told me) and the freedom to do the projects he liked: “I took good advantage of [its] popularity to illustrate books that I passionately wanted to do without having to worry if they were commercial or not.” While the publishing economy of today might have encouraged Where the Wild Things Went and Where the Wild Things Went Next, Sendak mostly left the (considerable) spinning-off to others in order to to do what he wanted in a career that would include big books and small books, color and black-and-white, books by himself and books by others, opera and ballet design. Most Caldecott Medalists can’t afford to rest on their laurels; Sendak could, and didn’t.

When I look through the roster of Caldecott winners (seventy-five as of this year), I see dozens of fine books, but only three classics: Make Way for Ducklings, The Snowy Day, and Where the Wild Things Are. And of those, only the third has made the leap from the children’s bookshelf to become, as well, a touchstone of twentieth-century American art and culture. Maurice would sometimes complain about his other work being overshadowed, but come on, I would say, that’s huge. If sometimes he knew this and sometimes he forgot, what matters most is that it didn’t make one bit of difference either way to his work.

When I was speaking at the Eric Carle Museum recently, someone asked me if I thought Where the Wild Things Are could be published today. It’s an impossible question, because that book gave artists and publishers and librarians and children a new way to read. Its belief in an audience that could compose its own music for three wordless spreads and draw its own picture on the final page was generous. Its messages—that you can imagine without restraint, yell your head off, and still be altogether worthy of love—remain.

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