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But where will I put it?

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“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 […]

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

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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 […]

Hbook Podcast 1.17 – Special Guest Librarian Julie Roach

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Hbook podcast the seventeenth with guest librarian (and killer storyteller) Julie Roach. **There are a few spots where the sound drops out a bit (we’re sorry) but the stories Roger and Julie tell are so awesome, they’re worth a little bit of ear straining. Promise.** Julie Roach on what makes a good storytime Books we talk […]

East Side, West Side

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Thank you, Allie Jane Bruce, for inviting me to come tell a story last week at the Bank Street College library. It was great to TRIP TRAP TRIP TRAP over that bridge one more time. And I loved spending time with my longtime friend Richard Peck, whose new book THE BEST MAN comes out in the […]

HBook Podcast 1.1 – Social Medias

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Podcast the First in which Roger and Siân talk about the Twitters, the recalling of A Birthday Cake for George Washington, and Roger’s gourmet Chex mix. Links: Scholastic’s recall announcement Andrea Davis Pinkney’s statement Ramin Ganeshram’s statement Vicky Smith’s opinion piece Opinion piece links: Roger Sutton Links from Debbie Reese Page by page breakdown from […]

Editorial: Everybody’s Talking

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Along with our perpetual mission concisely originated in Bertha Mahony Miller’s first editorial in October 1924, to “blow the horn for fine books for boys and girls,” each of The Horn Book Magazine’s seven editors in chief has had to address the world around her or him. Bertha guided us through the establishment of children’s […]

She’ll be swell, she’ll be great!

Carla Hayden

I am over the moon about President Obama’s nomination of Carla D. Hayden to the position of Librarian of Congress. Carla and I were buddies back in Chicago–we met when she was YA coordinator at CPL and I interviewed her for a paper I was writing for library school, and later I worked for her […]

Freeing writers AND readers

Mrs. Trimmer

I agree with Allie Jane Bruce that “kids say this stuff” is a piss-poor reason for racist language in books for children. It’s a piss-poor reason generally, as the point of fiction has never been to mimic reality, which rarely makes nearly as much sense as even the most hackneyed novel. Fiction is always selecting: as Miss Binney explained to Ramona, […]

Whips AND chains

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I’d really like to ban the term “self-censorship” from discourse, given that we already have a spectrum of words–from “prudence” to “cowardice”–that say more precisely what we mean, and because it causes us to be confused about what censorship actually is. As Megan Schliesman at Reading While White posted last week, the discussion about A Birthday […]

Beyond the Pluto Problem

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Perusing Debbie’s Reese’s  provocative (to me, anyway!) and useful site American Indians in Children’s Literature, I came across a comment she made referencing and linking to the Texas State Library’s guide to weeding, CREW: A Weeding Manual for Modern Libraries (link goes to a pdf). Last revised in 2012 by my most respected colleague and […]