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Letter to the Editor from Karen Coy, August 2017

july/August 2017 Horn Book MagazineMay/June and July/August 2017 Horn Book

I was dismayed by the May/June edition of The Horn Book.  I am not a Republican and find it shocking and depressing that a vulgar man like Trump could win the nomination of a major political party, let alone be elected as president of the United States. I would have enjoyed these spoofs coming from a different source. However I was deeply saddened to see The Horn Book deviate from its long-standing mission to “herald the best in children’s literature” to use the issue to publish political commentary. Rather than writing a letter to the editor after reading that issue, I mourned the loss of professional standards in a journal that I have loved and respected for over 40 years.

I have been fuming with anger over Roger Sutton’s response to Patricia Tingle in the July/August 2017 issue. It has taken several weeks to calm down enough to reply. I found that response arrogant and presumptuous. Comparing The Horn Book 1924 reviews of new books about African-Americans, which absolutely belong in a journal dedicated to the best of new books for children and young adults, to the anti-Trump spoofs in the May/June 2017 issue was preposterous.

Resist yes, but do not betray the mission of the venerated journal entrusted to your guidance. Resist by reviewing books for young readers that promote the values of fairness, respect and inclusiveness which we desperately need to bring to our young readers. Only content that is “blowing the horn for the finest books for boys and girls” should be included in The Horn Book. Using The Horn Book as a venue to mock a political leader, no matter how objectionable the man and his values, was a violation of the vision and mission of a venerated journal.

Karen Coy
Villa Hills, Kentucky

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