October 27, 2016

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Roger Sutton

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Happy Birthday to Us

Last Sunday marked the hundredth anniversary of the opening of Bertha Mahony’s Bookshop for Boys and Girls, whose “Suggestive Purchase List” begat The Horn Book Magazine and everything else we do today to blow the horn for fine books for youth. Lolly Robinson has given us the extraordinary gift of “The Horn Book’s Virtual History […]

Not a Box

We’ve begun gathering together and posting our coverage of the past weekend’s BGHB–my 21st, phew–and HBAS colloquium. It was a happy concatenation of thinking and talking about books for youth, and our Out-of-the-Box theme for the colloquium provided structure without strain. More than one of the speakers mentioned how nice children’s-book discussion is (absent M.T. Anderson […]

November/December Horn Book starred reviews

The following books will receive starred reviews in the November/December issue of The Horn Book Magazine:   Wolf in the Snow; written and illus. by Matthew Cordell (Feiwel/Macmillan) Sleep Tight Farm; by Eugenie Doyle; illus. by Becca Stadtlander (Chronicle) The Bossier Baby; written and illus. by Marla Frazee (Beach Lane/Simon) The Sleeping Gypsy; written and illus. by Mordicai Gerstein (Holiday) […]

When the censor is you

While you all know what I think of the term “self-censorship” (which does not mean censorship by oneself so much as of oneself, and you are not your library), SLJ’s survey of censorship by school librarians is eye-opening. Siân and I will be talking about it on the podcast we’re recording today (and publishing next Monday) […]

A truly great guy

Clarion Books and Houghton Mifflin Harcourt have asked me to invite you all to a memorial service  for their longtime colleague and my friend James Cross Giblin, to be held at NYC’s LGBT Center, 208 W. 13th St, on Friday, October 28th at 2:30PM. RSVP to rachael DOT stein AT hmhco DOT com.

I think I made this one too easy.

A mostly-forgotten book I love presented itself to my imagination twice yesterday. Can you guess what it is? Clue # 1 and #2: I was talking to Holiday House’s Mary Cash while she was with my buddy Elizabeth Law on Fire Island, and she mentioned her plan to go “swimming in the ocean” later in the day. […]

Stay home reading

I love Perri Klass, here offering sensible advocacy of young children reading real books. Shut up, you know what I mean by real. Right after Labor Day, the Horn Book will debut its new blog, Family Reading, devoted to offering book recommendations and advice about the whats and whens and whos and hows of sharing books in […]

“They’re here.”

So that TV show whose name I could not remember on today’s podcast is Stranger Things, which Richard and I Netflixed assiduously in a handful of evenings. People are loving the throwback allusions, but my experience of 80s adolescence is entirely secondhand and spotty: I was a youth services librarian for most of the decade but […]

Starred reviews, September/October ’16 Horn Book Magazine

The following books will receive starred reviews in the September/October issue of the Horn Book Magazine. Rescue Squad No. 9; written and illustrated by Mike Austin (Random) Du Iz Tak?; written and illustrated by Carson Ellis (Candlewick) Owl Sees Owl; by Laura Godwin; illus. by Rob Dunlavey (Schwartz & Wade/Random) Penguin Problems; by Jory John; […]

“Where was the editor?”

This week’s Horn Book podcast is devoted to–well, if you can ever say the podcast is devoted to one thing in particular beyond Siân and me yammering for half an hour–Lane Smith’s new book There Is a Tribe of Kids. At one point I opine that the publisher knew or should have known, anyway, about the […]


On the bus this morning, I sat next to a mom and her strollered two-and-a-half-year-old son. He was being freaking adorable, his big Margaret Keane eyes peering wisely into my own. We’re chatting and the mom asks the boy if he wants to sing “Wheels on the Bus.” That was a challenge I could not […]

Grumpy Old Men

The Grumpy Old Men are coming your way around three o’clock this afternoon. Check back then at the Talks With Roger page to see us.

But where will I put it?

“Should this book go in nonfiction or folklore?” ACK, the book review placement problems.The Decider (Martha) is away this week so Shoshana, Elissa, and I are left to our own devices when it comes to deciding what goes in which category of the September/October Magazine review section. A historical illustrated book retelling a real incident but with invented situations and […]

Tribal trials

The latest book to cause noisy debate among our crowd is Lane Smith’s Tribe of Kids; it began with a post by Sam Bloom at Reading While White but was picked up by Roxanne Feldman, Debbie Reese, and Rosanne Parry. I feel like all concerned have had some good points to make, and I have […]

Talking about BGHB

Tomorrow afternoon at 3:00, Deborah Ford of JLG and I are webinaring about this year’s BGHB winners. It’s free; come listen.

A trip to the library will make a new boy of me

Last week I went over to the school across the street from my house to help school parent (and librarian and Horn Book Magazine reviewer) Pam Yosca as she worked to reopen its long-closed library. (More truthfully, “help.”) There is so much to do: the library has been closed for six years, and no new […]

Back from ALA

I’m back from ALA, but I hope that before Conference gets too far behind us that everybody takes a few minutes to read Christopher Myers’ meditation on the killings in Orlando that happened earlier this month. Chris proposed this piece to me last Tuesday night via email and got it to me Thursday morning; we […]

Potter’s Field Redux

Thanks to Siân (recently) and Martha (several years ago), I am compulsively reading Harry Potter. Sian brought the guy up in a Horn Book podcast and awakened my curiosity; Martha had told me back in the day that Jim Dale’s audio edition is the perfect entrée to the books for those who are not among the […]

RIP Lois Duncan

I was sorry to hear about Lois Duncan’s death yesterday. Lois had been writing for young people for a long time–her first novel, Debutante Hill, was published in 1958 (and republished in 2013 by Lizzie Skurnick Books). She is someone whose work I always point towards as a reminder that YA fiction did not begin […]

On the Square

Linda Pizzuti Henry of the Globe and I announced the Boston Globe-Horn Book Awards yesterday; see if you won! And, if you would like to take a look at the winning titles, we’ll have them all at our booth at tomorrow’s Hubbub Festival. See you there in Copley Square. And for those out-of-towners who just want […]