Thursday, 4 June 2009

Horn Book

The May/June issue of The Horn Book Magazine has just arrived. It has a running theme of "Food for thought" with various food-related snippets, and a longer article by Linda Sue Park: Still hot: great food moments in children's literature. Food is deeply ingrained in our different cultures - apparently, it is only the fourth thing that immigrants lose through the generations after dress, language and religion. Park approaches the subject both as a writer (using food can identify characters and settings, and putting people together to develop relationships is easily done over a meal) and as a reader (she goes through each meal of the day picking out favourite passages from books). I was delighted that for dinner she picked a section from one of my favourite books - Homecoming by Cynthia Voigt. Not read it? Then you're missing a wonderful heroine, Dicey Tillerman, who leads her younger siblings on a walk hundreds of miles long to reach their estranged grandmother when their mother disappears. It's the start of a series, so lots more in store after that.

Other articles include an interview with Sarah Dessen. I hadn't heard of her, but we do have one of her books, Truth about forever (Puffin, 2008), a teenage novel in which the death of the heroine's father takes place before the book actually begins, but sets in motion all the things that happen to her. Lizza Aiken writes about her mother, the respected children's author Joan Aiken, and Debby Dahl Edwardson writes about the implications of worldview in children's books, those that reflect the child's own worldview and those that allow them insight into another culture. She uses the experience of her own children growing up in Alaska to illustrate this. Finally, Janet Hamilton asks What makes a good science book?

Check out the Horn Book in the library, or see its website.

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