What Is the Horn Book Award

The Boston Globe-Horn Book Award is a prestigious award given by the Boston Globe and Horn Book magazine, a publication about children's books. The award is given to the best books in children and young adult literature published in the preceding year.

First presented in 1967, there are three Boston Globe-Horn Book Award categories:

  • Picture book
  • Fiction and poetry
  • Nonfiction

Each category has one Boston Globe-Horn Book Award winner and at least two runner-ups who are awarded an Honor Book title. The separate categories allow both artistic and literary books to be judged on their own merit.

Horn Book Rules
Any children's or young adult's book published in the US is eligible for a Boston Globe-Horn Book Award, regardless of the author's or illustrator's country of residence. The three-judge panel only accepts book submissions from the publisher, though the panel can also pick books they feel are worthy without needing a publisher submission. The award is only for traditional books. Audio, or audio-assisted, books are not eligible.

Horn Book Award Winners
The first Boston Globe-Horn Book Award took place in 1967 with "The Little Fishes" by Erik Christian Haugaard winning in the fiction category and "London Bridge Is Falling Down" by Peter Spier winning in the picture book category. No nonfiction or honor books were awarded.

A popular Boston Globe-Horn Book Award picture book winner is "Tikki Tikki Tembo," written by Arlene Mosel and illustrated by Blair Lent. The story, set in ancient China, tells the tale of two brothers. The older brother, who has a very long name, falls down a well and his younger brother must find help. However, the younger brother becomes winded trying to recite the long name. In the end the older brother is rescued and his name is shortened.

A popular Boston Globe-Horn Book Award fiction book winner is "Holes" by Louis Sachar. The book, which was made into a movie in 2003, details the story of a young boy who gets in trouble and is sent to a juvenile detention facility known as Green Lake Camp. The dried up lake is scattered with holes. Nevertheless, the young inmates are forced to dig new holes each and every day. The boy becomes suspicious about the reason for digging the holes and unravels a deep secret.

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