Careers Made with a Beep-Beep, Honk-Honk, Toot-toot…Blowing The Horn for Fine Books!


After riding my bicycle to to local library and finding the darkened “open” sign and locked doors, i returned home to access The Horn Book’s wonderfully engaging world online. 

Upon entering, I noticed the old-fashioned, black and  white illustration and an not-so-understated invitation, “Independent, opinionated, and stylish, The Horn Book Magazine has long been essential for everyone who cares about children’s and young adult literature. Our articles are lively, our reviews are insightful, our editorials are always sharp. We have gathered current and archival material to give you a taste of what we’ve been offering since 1924. Dig in. Better yet, subscribe.” This publication confidently commanded my interest.

Having just seen the premiere of The Maze Runner with my adventure/sci-fi enthusiast son, I was tempted to visit the movie review under “Recent Posts.” However, in the interest of building my technology foundation, responsibly, I entered the “App Review of the Week” thinking I’d determine quickly if an app would appeal to my 2nd graders. What I found was a list of 10, not one. 10 apps reviews. Suddenly preoccupied with illustrations by an all-time favorite, Eric Carle, I learned that while his books were not a part of the app, his illustrations saturate it. Young children use the short informational text to explore the animal and plant kingdom. During interactive exercises, preschoolers search for information, find text-based evidence, answer questions, complete puzzles to compare biological features – This sounds eerily, but wonderfully similar to performance tasks for the common core standards. At $3.99, it very well could ease young children into rigorous reading tasks through high-engagement!

Celebrating an engaging new app led me to a new title and page, “Cause to Celebrate” where Read Roger, Roger Sutton, one of Horn Book’s editors, compares a “challenged” to a “banned” list of books and the contention of censorship. Not knowing very much about banning, challenging, or censoring, I followed another link to Robert Doyle’s 2013-2014 list. As a parent who gently introduced media using Kids In Mind movie reviews and books with violence or sexual content by reading with or alongside my children for several years, rationalization of the challenges and banning seems almost reasonable. However, as a librarian-in-training, I critically read over submissions of individuals or groups attempting to curtail the freedoms of all citizens. I continued reading over several lists recognizing several titles and considering how this might present an enigma, but comfortable knowing that the development of knowledge, understanding, and interpersonal skills prevails over future internal conundrums.

Another worthy and valuable page within The Horn Book, Authors and Illustrators where I found two of my favorites, Marla Frazee and Judith Viorst . I found their quick interviews and comments entertaining and insightful. Though the interviews, I inched closer to relationship and understandings of the authors. This page presents me with opportunities to share insights and practices of authors with my students. In fact, I wasted no time creating a post on my classroom website encouraging parents and students to look over a June 27, 2014 post, “Happy Birthday, Helen Keller,” as we just finished reading our first Helen Keller biography.

Finally, considering how to begin this post, I wondered where in the world this publication began. Finding “A Little History of The Horn Book Magazine” entertained a smile as I read of the three daring librarians of the early 1900s. It’s difficult to believe that in a time when cars were just beginning to populate cities, a young librarian took it upon herself to create a Book Caravan, the BookMobile original,caraout2

to deliver books around her city. Frances Darling, Mary Frank, and Bertha Mahony created careers selling books, sharing books, driving books, and writing about books. Their simple direct goal, “Bertha stated emphatically at the beginning of Volume I, Number 1, “to blow the horn for fine books for boys and girls.”

Beep-Beep, Honk-Honk, Toot-toot…

I’m blowing the horn to gain attention to a 

fabulous child and young adult literature source,

The Horn Book Magazine

Passenger side view 8-25-08

PS — On a side note, eventually I tapped my way to find out that while The Maze Runner was not completely accurate to the book, producers and directors were able to pace the movie version, yet preserve the most important details of the story; the story arc and the characters personalities. “For a movie whose characters keep saying, “Everything is going to change,” The Maze Runner keeps most of the important things the same. 


One thought on “Careers Made with a Beep-Beep, Honk-Honk, Toot-toot…Blowing The Horn for Fine Books!

  1. I can’t wait to look into The Horn Book. I would love my students to look into the NF as well. I also love Eric Carle’s illustrations. Did you pay the 3.99? Such a small price for such an inspirational magazine. I wouldn’t mind driving some type if bookmobile with you when we get old😄anything to share books!

    Liked by 1 person

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