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The star-making machinery

Grandpa got grumpy yesterday over one of his old nemeses: the Non-Disclosure Agreement. An NDA in this circumstance is when a publisher asks us to sign a contract putting certain restrictions on the Horn Book before forking over an advance review copy. We aren’t asked to sign them very often, and we never do sign them, […]

Everybody’s talking

My brief thoughts about two current scandals. The first is the bouncing of a Newbery committee member for mentioning a book on Twitter. I said at the time ALSC revamped its social media policy that it was a bad idea. It still is, and Angie Manfredi would have been a great contributor to that committee’s work. […]

God forbid?

He doesn’t really, but some incoming Duke University students are objecting to the pre-freshman year assignment of Fun Home, Alison Bechdel’s graphic novel memoir of growing up gay (and the basis for the wonderful musical of the same name). If I were God–or Duke chancellor–I would immediately revoke these kids’ admission, given the evidence that they […]

WTF, ALA?

The new Banned Books Week poster has too many design elements to keep straight, uses a dumb and hard to parse neologism as its main message, and dog-whistles anti-Islamic sentiment with an image of what looks like a woman in a niqab. You had ONE JOB….  

The Babyfication of Our Youth

Just a little rant here–Martha Parravano and I are preparing a talk for next week’s Fostering Lifelong Learners conference in Ohio, and the other day we visited the Children’s Book Shop for some titles we wanted to share but couldn’t find in the office.  I was struck by the number of picture book titles for […]

He must have been pissed.

In hunting down a quote in the June 1972 issue of the Magazine, I happened upon a note that resonates with the recent debate over the ALA awards and confidentiality. Under “Staff Notes,” in the Hunt Breakfast (yesteryear’s Impromptu column) the first entry is: “Paul Heins [the then-Editor of HB], as one of the three […]

This is not just about opera

The Metropolitan Opera’s cancellation of the announced HD broadcast of The Death of Klinghoffer is galling for a number of reasons. The Met’s decision to stage the opera (albeit with a note in the program by Leon Klinghoffer’s daughters, who have condemned the work as anti-Semitic)  but not broadcast it will please nobody. It is […]

What Would Mickey Do?

At a preconference in Anaheim this June, ALA is offering you tips on how to turn your library into a Magic Kingdom™. No, you first, I insist.  

In which I promise not to tell anyone about your terrific new book

I spent most of yesterday being irritated by the conundrum of review books that come (or don’t) with nondisclosure agreements. Here’s what one looks like: CONFIDENTIALITY AGREEMENT Date: xx/xx/xx Publisher XYZ Re: Title: Book ABC Author: Author LMNOP Publication Date: xx/xx/xx ______________________ ______________________ ______________________ Dear ___________: In order to induce [Publisher XYZ] to deliver a […]

>Website worries

>If you’re trying to get onto our website (hbook.com) you can’t because it isn’t working. We hope it will be back soon. [Update 8:45 AM Wednesday:  it’s fixed, and, on my computer anyway, faster than ever.]