Horn Book Fanfare!

The Horn Book has announced their 2013 list of the best books for young people.  The selections range from picture books through books for teens.  It’s a beautiful list and I’m looking forward to discovering the ones I haven’t read yet.

Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark–The Movie

Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark (Scary Stories #1) More Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark Scary Stories 3: More Tales to Chill Your Bones

Deadline has the news that CBS Films will be adapting Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark by Alvin Schwartz into a film.  The premise for the movie will be a group of outcast kids standing up their fears as their nightmares come to life. 

Let’s hope that the films keep the feel of the illustrations by Stephen Gammell which manage to be creepy and wild rather than just jumpy scary. 

Review: King for a Day by Rukhsana Khan

king for a day

King for a Day by Rukhsana Khan, illustrated by Christiane Kromer

It is Basant in the city of Lahore, Pakistan and Malik has only made one kite to use in the kite battles over the city.  Malik is still sure of himself though, eager to show how fast his Falcon kite is.  Malik is especially interested in teaching the bully who lives next door a lesson for all of the times he’s said horrible things to Malik and his sister.  He also dreams of being the king of Basant, the best kite fighter in the city.  Malik spends his day freeing other kites by cutting their strings, and at the end of the day he has a pile of kites at his feet.  Then the neighborhood bully emerges again and tries to take a kite from a little girl, but Malik uses his new status as King to solve the problem.

Khan has captured a unique festival in Pakistan that is vivid, visual and offers children the ability to take on the city for a day.  Malik sits in a wheelchair throughout the book, but it is never mentioned in the text.  This quiet acceptance of a disability adds power to the idea that Basant is a holiday for everyone and that all abilities and ages can participate.  Khan has a nice touch with the kite battles, creating drama by sharing details but also making sure that the story is fast-paced and interesting.

Kromer’s illustrations are a beautiful mix of paper art and textiles.  Using textiles from the region brings in the deep colors and textures.  The paper arts capture the crispness of the kites in the sky and also the beauty of the people.  The mix of the two has a richness that suits the subject.

Celebrate Basant with this picture book that offers a glimpse of the Pakistani culture through the eyes of a young boy.  Appropriate for ages 4-6.

Reviewed from digital copy received from Edelweiss.

Kirkus Best Teen Books of 2013


Kirkus has released their list of the Best Teen Books of 2013.  Fifty books that include a lot of my favorites of the year and also some nice new books for my to-read list.  What are your favorites from the list?