August 15, 2017

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Roger Sutton

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Always something there to remind me

Here is the sole note I took during last weekend’s “(im)possible dreams,” Simmons College’s Summer Institute, but for the life of me I cannot recall what it was intended to recall. Any ideas? Candy? Neal? Luckily, Shoshana was also there and can give you a fuller account, And I will take this opportunity to remind […]

Horn Book Magazine September/October 2017 starred books

The following books will received starred reviews in the September/October 2017 issue of The Horn Book Magazine:   When’s My Birthday?; by Julie Fogliano; illustrated by Christian Robinson (Porter/Roaring Brook) Home in the Rain; written and illustrated by Bob Graham (Candlewick) Red Again; written and illustrated by Barbara Lehman (Houghton) A Different Pond; by Bao Phi; illustrated by Thi Bui (Capstone) […]

Oh boy

I call bullshit on Daniel Handler’s Sunday New York Times essay about the need of teenaged boys for dirty books. Of course, yes, kids read for the dirty parts, girls as well as boys. And you could make an argument, and I don’t understand why Handler didn’t, that the prurient interests of girls are better […]

And the world will be better for this

I hope I see some of you this weekend at Simmons’ Summer Children’s Literature Institute, (im)possible dreams. I had the coffee the other day with BPL children’s services manager Farouqua Abuzeit, and she reminded me she had been a student in a Simmons Institute I led almost thirty years ago, Masquerade. That was my introduction […]

Everybody needs a Boss

If you follow me on Twitter or Facebook, you’ll know that I sometimes chastise others for their shortcomings, as demonstrated in whatever piece of text lies before me at a given moment, in taste or intellect or grammar. My victims, shamed but unnamed, include authors, publishers, journalists, or politicians; those with whom I work at the Horn […]

Tiny but tough

Happy birthday, Barbara Bader. NINETY, wow. In your honor we have rounded up some of your greatest hits. Like other old people, I frequently find myself wanting to tell the young to know your history, and the Horn Book is proud to have for so long published one of children’s librarianship and children’s literature’s ablest and […]

Thank you, David

Former director of Simmons’s Center for the Study of Children’s Literature and Horn Book Magazine reviewer Susan Bloom’s husband David died this week at the age of 91, and I wanted to take a minute to pay tribute to him and all the (what we call locally) Horn Book Husbands, those otherwise sensible men married to […]

I’m rubber and you’re glue

Over on the Horn Book’s Facebook page, there’s an opinion that Javaka Steptoe only won the Caldecott Medal because his father was John Steptoe. When pressed for evidence, the (former, as she’ll tell you) subscriber replied that “the pattern of ALA award committees in the past several years in its selections of winners/honors. Promote diversity […]

Roger’s ALA 2017

My ALA began on a sad note when, while Richard and I were on the way to the airport, Martha texted to tell me that Robin Smith had died. This is such a loss – I knew no one as good as Robin at connecting children and books. I saw it in her many years […]

More News from ALA Annual 2017:

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“It’s bigger than it looks.”

Forgive me but one more brief rant about television. What is UP with shows that hobble perfectly watchable characters and situations with annoying and incomprehensible long-game backstories? Sense8 and Orphan Black, and Fringe and Alias before them, are in most ways just the kind of TV I like: human characters in the contemporary world who […]

ALA Attire

The worst thing about the days leading up to ALA is the wardrobe issue. You’re saving all the good (well, better) stuff for Conference and you wear rags to work. Those V-neck t-shirts you bought by mistake. The socks that used to be purple but are now decidedly pink. Don’t look at me. But I […]

No, the places YOU’LL go.

When I say, as I do with some regularity, “I hate Dr. Seuss,” I don’t mean it as criticism of his work for any kind of aesthetic or political shortcoming, and obviously I don’t have anything against the man himself. What I mean is that The Cat and the Hat, etc. made five-year-old me very, very […]

I Can Cook Too

No sooner did I leave New York last week when I was off to Columbus for two days of meetings with my  fellow Mediasource Inc. editors (Rebecca Miller of SLJ/LJ and Susan Marston of JLG) and all the top brass, including what seem to be the zillion new vice-presidents (five, actually). It’s very helpful to do this […]

New York Time…

… which happens to be the title of Richard Peck’s 1981 novel for adults, providing me a great opportunity to bridge two worlds when that Richard and my Richard and I were having dinner before seeing A Doll’s House, Part Two last Saturday night. We could all talk about real estate, which we did, as well […]

July/August 2017 Horn Book Magazine starred reviews

The following books will receive starred reviews in the upcoming issue of The Horn Book Magazine: Special Issue: ALA Awards. Stay: A Girl, a Dog, a Bucket List by Kate Klise; illus. by M. Sarah Klise (Feiwel) The Little Red Cat Who Ran Away and Learned His ABC’s (the Hard Way) by Patrick McDonnell (Little, Brown) […]

July/August 2017 Horn Book Magazine starred reviews

The following books will receive starred reviews in the upcoming issue of The Horn Book Magazine: Special Issue: ALA Awards. Stay: A Girl, a Dog, a Bucket List by Kate Klise; illus. by M. Sarah Klise (Feiwel) The Little Red Cat Who Ran Away and Learned His ABC’s (the Hard Way) by Patrick McDonnell (Little, Brown) […]

“We are all winners.”

As promised, I am reminding you that Kwame Alexander and I will be announcing the winners of the 2017 Boston Globe-Horn Book Awards on Wednesday, May 31st at/around 4:45 PM EST and you can watch for free from the comfort of your office/home/tiki bar. Live from New York! I hope all the envelopes will be in […]

The Mystery in the Bookshop

A colleague from the New York office was over for drinks last Friday and she mentioned that she forgot to bring a book for the train back.  I gave her my copy of Elizabeth Peters’ Die for Love, a cozy about an academic librarian who finds love and murder at a romance-writers convention she attends […]

BGHB wrapped up tight

The 2017 Boston Globe-Horn Book judges have made their choices, and I will be happy to share them with you on May 31st, when Kwame Alexander and I will announce the winners around 5:00PM at SLJ’s Day of Dialogue in NYC and simultaneously via live-stream video on our BGHB page. Until then, please join me in thanking […]

Shut up, Rihanna

I guess the phrase “last night on TV” has been rendered obsolete, but last night on TV we watched the fourth episode of the second season of The Path, a Hulu series starring Hugh Dancy, Michelle Monaghan, and Aaron Paul about people in a cult–true believers, skeptics, and apostates (sometimes all in the same character, as […]