News from the North


Please forgive my long absence here; between Christmas and some family stuff I’ve been mostly out of the office for almost a month. And how things DO pile up: I am heartened by the advice of the late Booklist editor Edna Vanek, passed down to me by Betsy Hearne: “one book at a time.” That […]

Remembering Trina Schart Hyman


November 19, 2014 marks the ten-year anniversary of the death of illustrator Trina Schart Hyman. Author/illustrator Jim Arnosky shares his memories of the Great Lady — what she meant to him as a mentor and as a friend. We are approaching ten years since the world of children’s literature lost Trina Schart Hyman. I still […]

Girls in Towers


Madeleine L’Engle’s novel Camilla (titled Camilla Dickinson when first published in 1951 and recently reissued) features a bright and passionate fifteen-year-old who presents us with the essential question of the YA genre — how will this girl survive the emotional chaos of adolescence? In fairy tales, this same question is more logistical — how will […]

Marla Frazee, wipe that smile off your face!


The story below is one reason we love Marla Frazee. Find out many more by reading her Talks with Roger interview. I was once a clown, in high school. A bunch of us were nominated to be on the homecoming court — twenty-five or thirty people — and I did not want to be one […]

Elisabeth Hamilton & Margaret McElderry: Two Approaches, One Passion


In 1919, when Louise Seaman Bechtel became the nation’s first children’s book editor, at Macmillan, her customers-in-waiting were chiefly children’s librarians. One specialty had bred another; now, one editor would follow another. Many of those new children’s book editors came from the ranks of children’s librarians. The story of two of them, the first two […]

Do you read your reviews?


I’ve been reading soprano Barbara Hendricks‘s memoir, Lifting My Voice, and it’s led me not only to a rewarding reacquaintance with her singing but to some thinking about the relationship between the artist and the critic. Hendricks spills a suspicious amount of ink over how she doesn’t pay any attention to critics (whose opinions of her […]

Why Can’t the English?


We saw Dawn of the Planet of the Apes last night–ehh. Some the intra- and inter-species encounters were quite moving and dramatic but the plot was on automatic and the fabulously watchable Judy Greer was wasted (she could have been completely blotto given that all she had to do was lie there with a suffering […]

From the Editor — July 2014

Roger Sutton

We lost two significant pioneers of YA literature this past month. When Nancy Garden’s Annie on My Mind was published in 1982, the possibilities for GLBTQ characters in teen fiction changed forever. The book said to gay kids: you are not going through a phase, you will meet others like yourself, you can have a […]

My gun, my foot


Instant karma whacked me upside the head at the end of last month when the July-August issue of the Horn Book Magazine, wherein I take ALSC to task for demanding too much secrecy around its Newbery and Caldecott deliberations, was mailed a full week early, thus spoiling the entirely justifiable secret of just what Kate […]

Thanks for Annie, Nancy.


I was very sorry to read that Nancy Garden died on Monday. While she wrote in just about every children’s-book genre there is, it’s Annie on My Mind that made her immortal, and led to her parallel, equally admirable, career as a defender of intellectual freedom in libraries and communities across the nation. The first […]