Irresistible Reads for 2017


Picture Books: Grades PS to 2

Rescue Squad No. 9
Written and illus. by Mike Austin (Random House)
Rescue Squad No. 9’s helicopter and boat crews race into
a storm to find a stranded young sailor and a Dalmatian.
Dynamic illustrations and forceful text
are skillfully incorporated into a propulsive design.
40 pages.


Best Frints in the Whole Universe
Written and illus. by Antoinette Portis (Porter/Roaring Brook)
Two young aliens on planet Boborp, Omek and
Yelfred, “have been best frints since they were little blobbies.”
But then Omek crashes Yelfred’s new spaceship.
Can the frints make up?
The text plays it straight—not easy with all those
near-nonsense words—and vibrant illustrations
convey the Boborpian setting. 40 pages.



Primary: Grades 1 to 3

Giant Squid
By Candace Fleming, illus. by Eric Rohmann (Porter/Roaring Brook)
2017 Sibert Honor Book
Cadenced text and dramatic illustrations collaborate
beautifully to build suspense as a giant squid
and other sea creatures battle for survival.
Scientific information sneaks in effortlessly,
covering what we know while offering insight
into still-unanswered questions. 40 pages.


Radiant Child: The Story of Young Artist Jean-Michel Basquiat
Written and illus. by Javaka Steptoe (Little, Brown)
2017 Caldecott Medal Winner, Coretta Scott King Illustrator Award Winner
The art world first took note of Basquiat’s graffiti in the late 1970s.
He earned a large following and several art shows
but was often discouraged by racism.
Steptoe’s style, similar to Basquiat’s with its
vivid palette and use of found objects, provides
a close impression of the painter’s work. 40 pages.



Intermediate: Grades 4 to 6

The Girl Who Drank the Moon
By Kelly Barnhill (Algonquin)
2017 Newbery Medal Winner
Every year, the Protectorate elders
leave a baby in the woods to appease a witch no one has seen.
In fact, the witch rescues and finds
homes for the babies; she even adopts one,
the particularly magical Luna.
Love — familial, maternal, filial,
friendly— is this fantasy’s engine and moral.
388 pages.


Poop Detectives: Working Dogs in the Field
By Ginger Wadsworth (Charlesbridge)
Some dogs perform a critical task for
wildlife biologists: animal scat detection.
Studying animals’ poop allows researchers
to obtain information about their health.
Excellent photographs, copious asides
and text boxes, and resources for
further investigation will leave
readers fascinated. 80 pages.


Middle School: Grades 6 to 8

One Trick Pony
Written and illus. by Nathan Hale (Amulet/Abrams)
In this sci-fi graphic novel, Strata
becomes fiercely devoted to Kleidi,
a robot horse she excavates on a salvage expedition.
This discovery ultimately threatens
not just the pair, but humanity itself.
An engrossing dystopian adventure with
a racially diverse cast and a
principled, brave heroine. 127 pages.


Here We Are: Feminism for the Real World
Edited by Kelly Jensen (Algonquin)
This anthology includes 44 essays, comics,
poems, interviews, and other material
aimed at an adolescent audience.
Contributors include celebrities,
activists, artists and authors.
The book sends a strong message
that feminism is for all. 228 pages.


Learn more about The Horn Book Summer Reading List


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