>Happy New Year

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With our best girls Charlene and Lori at Lorraine’s in Provincetown last night. Ptown was hit by a blizzard yesterday so it was something of a haul getting to the restaurant but the streets sure looked pretty with the Christmas lights twinkling against the snow. I’ve discovered a problem with bringing lots of books on vacation–it’s hard to settle on one. Currently I’m dividing my time between an audiobook of My Cousin Rachel, an ebook of an old Lisa Scottoline favorite (on my new iPod Touch–thank you honey) and Tana French’s The Likeness. Hope you all are having an equally relaxing week.

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Roger Sutton About Roger Sutton

Roger Sutton has been the editor in chief of The Horn Book, Inc, since 1996. He was previously editor of The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books and a children's and young adult librarian. He received his M.A. in library science from the University of Chicago in 1982 and a B.A. from Pitzer College in 1978. Follow him on Twitter: @RogerReads.

Comments

  1. Anamaria (bookstogether) says:

    >I love My Cousin Rachel. My father-in-law has one of those libraries that is sorted by the color of the faux-leather binding, and I always read a couple of chapters from the Du Maurier books when we’re there over Christmas.

  2. >Roger, I’ve been waiting with bated breath, hoping you will respond to that absurd article about a supposed lack of diversity among Newbery winners. It was so misleading and distorted–don’t you have any comments? I laughed at its insinuation that characters from two-parent families are over-represented in the winners since 1980.

  3. Roger Sutton says:

    >Wendy, what article do you mean?

  4. >Sorry, it quoted you, so I thought you knew about it:

    http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601088&sid=aCT1f48_Qwzo&refer=muse

  5. >Wendy–

    I’m curious: what about the article seemed misleading or distorted? The one issue I would have with the original study is that it focuses merely on the Newbery award, and not on the children’s publishing industry as a whole. But this concern is addressed in the article. (I would also question whether most of the protagonists are boys– that conclusion does seem somewhat backwards!)

    Ruth

  6. >Uh, if one skims the Garza article too fast, one comes away thinking that Roger is 85….

  7. Roger Sutton says:

    >I urged that reporter to get in touch with the CCBC (which she did) because the original assignment had her querying why Newbery winners did not match up demographically with the colors of kids. My point to her was that ethnic representation among Newbery winners was less of an issue than such representation among children’s books as a whole. Julia Alvarez has me thinking, “Bitter, party of one. . .”

  8. >Ruth, the article makes it sound like the majority of Newbery books are about white children with two parents. Actually, protagonists like that are rare among Newbery winners–under-represented, if one is going to use that term. When the journalist cites the statistic about how few of the protagonists are from one-parent families, she ignores the number that are orphans, usually living with other family members.

    In the past ten years, there have been two Asian / Asian American protagonists. Why not talk about how well the Newbery is doing there?

    It is true that there are quite a few more Newbery winners with boy protagonists than girl protagonists, although the field is starting to even out.

    The article seemed to me to be simply an effort to create controversy where not much exists–but I’m sure most people are ready to believe it.

  9. Anonymous says:

    >Wendy, I’m with you. It seems like outrage for the sake of outrage. Or to paraphrase Roger, “Bitter, much?” I do think there are issues worth discussing that relate to race and the preconceptions of “value” in children’s literature, but this article doesn’t address any of them. There have been better, more interesting comments here on Roger’s blog.

    h

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