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>Make it Stop!

>SLJ, I love you. I happily worked with Lillian Gerhardt and Trev Jones for years, and I did some of my best writing in your pages. And Little, Brown, too, where I published my sole book for young people and whose upcoming offerings include the extremely terrific The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie. Smooches to you both.

So my decision to no longer visit or link to anything on your websites is not personal. It’s because of that fucking ad for some LB fantasy novel bouncing all over the SLJ site and ravaging my nerves. It will not be gotten rid of. It follows you as you try to scroll down the page. The whole page quivers with its movement. I am not at all opposed to nice, polite blog ads that stay in the margins where they belong. But advertising via animated stalking is really beneath both of you. I suppose valiant VOYA, whose name is the most persistent image in the ad (not exactly what LB had in mind, I’m sure, and it can’t make SLJ happy, either) is the real winner here, but it’s hard not to include them in my resentment, too. VOYA, however, is worth a link, and the only thing that bounces over there is the prose.

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.



  1. Anonymous says:

    >Yes, please make the bouncing ad stop. It makes it ever so distracting to visit the entertaining Ms. Fuse.


  2. Loree Burns says:

    >Hear! Hear!

  3. fusenumber8 says:

    >Oh, GOD do I agree.

  4. >I thought it was my computron!

  5. Roger Sutton says:

    >And Fuse, we love you, too. I can’t read your blog over there now but I remain confident that SLJ will see the error of its ways soon, and/or start handing out Dramamine to its readers.

    I’ve just been working on my speech for the Newbery/Caldecott/Wilder banquet and wondering how everyone would like it if I delivered it while bouncing up and down with an ad for the Horn Book on my shirt.

  6. Anonymous says:

    >Yes, so true! I can’t even tell what the ad is for. How ridiculous.

  7. Charlotte says:

    >Me too! I almost posted a begging note to Fuse to please kill that thing! I will never buy that wretched book.

  8. Barbara O'Connor says:

    >Well, hallelujah that someone spoke up! I second, third, and quadruple that vote! I hate that ad thing so much. I am still visiting Fuse, but it is not nearly as pleasant and you can bet I get the heck out of there pronto.

    So SLJ – STOP IT!

  9. Anonymous says:

    >I’m joining your boycott, Roger. I won’t go to SLJ until someone tells me that ad and ads like it will never appear again.

    I hope that lots of other people also boycott and that SLJ notices. It will be interesting to see if they do, or if I find, within the month, a banner ad on your site and on every other site I visit.

  10. Kevin Moore says:

    >Wow, that is super annoying. Especially if you still use an old 466 MHz Processor G3 that falls half a step behind in rendering Javascript. Or Flash. Or whatever they are using. Accessibility issues, what-what?

  11. rhubarb says:

    >That ad is beyond the pale, I’ve felt tormented by it all week. Who would think a place like SLJ would have an ad that makes a red lobster inn popup look like a model of respectful restraint?

    Only if it was for a book like FEED could I take it, and then only as a temporary joke.

  12. Elizabeth says:

    >Of course I went to the site to see the ad–it does make me feel like I’m doing something wrong when I scroll, which is one more piece of self-criticism I don’t need.

    But forget that, are we all going to be blase about Roger using the word “fucking” in his blog entry? At my computer I swear like Christopher Moltisante, but until now I have tried to contain myself in public. But if the Horn is doing it, then Katy bar the door.

  13. >If you use Mozilla as a browser and download their wonderful plug-in that blocks flash animation, you won’t see that annoying ad — or any other bouncing, blinking, flashing ad — ever again. And all you have to do if you do want to see an animation for some reason is to click on the arrow overlay that replaces the flash image.

    I don’t work for Mozilla or anything, but have found surfing much more pleasurable since I made the switch. Both are free.

    There is an alternative to ignoring SLJ and Fuse8. I’m just sayin’

  14. Kelly Fineman says:

    >That ad? Sucks. Big time.

  15. fusenumber8 says:

    >The sad thing? I actually liked Atherton (the book that the Ad From Hell is advertising). I was going to review it. Now there’s no way in the world I’m touching that puppy with a ten foot pole. Sorry, Little Brown & Co. Atherton is now the bane of my life.

  16. Elizabeth says:

    >That shows how ineffective the ad is, though. I’ve seen other ads for Atherton and even attended a party where the original art was shown, so the book is very high on my radar. And yet I didn’t even realize that Atherton is what the ad was for. All I remember is that I couldn’t get the stupid thing off the screen.

  17. >Amen, brother!

    My Fuse habit had gotten pretty strong but this is killing it quick. I look at a lot of web sites with ads on them but I draw the line at the flashing and the bouncing and the twitching. SLJ either doesn’t know ugly from attractive, much less tolerable; or they have no respect for their readers; or no interest in keeping them; or all, ah, what was I up to? Or all three!

    And as for RS’s language, there are ads, and there are fucking ads, and this is maybe the most fucking fuckingest of all fucking ads.

  18. Michelle says:

    >I didn’t even notice what book was being advertised–I only noticed that it was yellow and annoying and it wouldn’t go away–but it made me go away from the SLJ website!

  19. Anonymous says:


    yes you’re right, there is a mozilla answer, but rather than getting into an arms race where SLJ keeps trying to get their annoying in past my defenses, I would really rather that they just STOP IT RIGHT NOW.

  20. Anonymous says:

    >SLJ… SLJ… SLJ… Are you listening? Act quickly! Next step is a call for reparations!

  21. Anonymous says:

    >Betsy, I’ve been trying to read your Fuse #8 blog since about 10 pm tonight (June 14) and it’s just not there. not there at all. Just white blankness.

    Either SLJ is trying to remove that bouncing banner and has temporarily shut you down, or else hhhmmm. I don’t know what.

    You might tell SLJ that I never did figure out what the ad was advertising — no book name showed on my Mac. The quote showed, but I had no idea what it was referring to. So, as advertisement, this bouncing idea seems to have flopped. (flipped and floped?)

    p.s. it didn’t bother me much because it kept skooting to the bottom of the screen, nicely keeping itself away from the part of your blog I was reading at the time.

    -wendie old, librarian, writer, mom

  22. Anonymous says:

    >Wendie, if you click on the ad, it will tell you and your Mac all about Atherton, etc. But then you will have only encouraged it.

  23. Anonymous says:

    >Please, please, blame the messenger not the book. Atherton, a science-fiction/dystopic story for middle graders is worth reading.

  24. Monica Edinger says:

    >That last message was from me (just so you know that it wasn’t from the author or publisher).

  25. >I found that if I started at the bottom of the screen and scrolled up it didn’t seem as annoying but eventually I had to scroll down again & it bounced along with me. Very irritating.

  26. >There have been 26 comments here devoted to the ad and the book which means that the ad has managed to bounce its way over into Horn Book’s blog without Little, Brown having to pay for it. Meanwhile, Horn Book blog readers rush over to SLJ’s blog to see what all the fuss is about while SLJ pockets the money Little, Brown paid them for the ad.

    I’d say that’s one successful ad, for both SLJ and Little, Brown. Don’t look for it to disappear any time soon.

  27. >Not so! I’ve worked in advertising, and that would not be considered a successful ad! People at an influential and well read website talk of boycotting a whole site because of one ad? People in the book business claiming to never want to read the book or review it? People didn’t just pop over to see because of Roger’s comment, many of the commenters had already seen it and had already been avoiding it or developing negative feelings about it all all their own.

    Public controversy and the resultant attention do often work in the favor of things like this, but this is clearly an example of something backfiring.

  28. fusenumber8 says:

    >I have received word (and I may or may not blog about it) that SLJ has heard the cries of pain and is promising never ever ever to do this kind of an ad again. That said, the ad is still there. So…. huh.

  29. lslqgwo says:

    >Oh, please, people boycotting a site or refusing to read or review a book just because Roger Sutton voices his disapproval of an ad on a competitor’s online journal?

    Could it be that he’s just pissed that SLJ’s now got Fuse8, and he’s no longer the hippest blogger in kidlit rags?

  30. Roger Sutton says:

    >Fuse has always been hipper than I, o craven Anonymouse; keep up.

  31. Anonymous says:

    >As I leave the office at last I offer this humbly:

    I repent in dust and ashes. I tried something new. It ddin’t work. I will not do it again. Please don’t anyone come to my booth during ALA to hurt me.

    My head is hung.

    My face is pink.

    OK. I’m done.

    Victoria Stapleton
    Manager, Library Services
    Little, Brown Books for Young Readers

  32. Roger Sutton says:

    >No, Victoria, YOU are the latest Blog Laureate, crow-ned with the sacred wreath for your honesty and good humor in the face of scorn and adversity. All hail Victoria!

  33. >I hope you set aside your ban to read Brian Kenney’s post on SLJ explaining the ad today at
    I confess the ads drive me crazy, but I have been tolerating them to an extent because the bloggers, myself included, are trying to do something new. Please don’t throw out the baby with the bath. Give the bloggers a break.

  34. Roger Sutton says:

    >I did go over to Brian’s blog and leave a comment there; thanks for the heads-up, Diane. But I’m not going to lump this one in with the “give the bloggers a break” breaks. At least two of the bloggers (Fuse and Brian) said they too found the ad annoying and were as surprised as the rest of us to see it. Their ignorance of the ad is completely correct–as editorial contributors, they should be kept as far away as possible from the department of SLJ that solicits ads. I think you inadvertently expose yet another dimension of the blog-book-reviewing issues: the prospect of the same person reviewing books and soliciting ads for the same blog. That’s a potential fuck-up far more serious than the SLJ business, which was really just an example of a bad ad.

  35. fusenumber8 says:

    >Exactly my point. Either consciously or unconsciously I’m going to find myself avoiding reviewing any title that has an ad on my site. This shouldn’t be too difficult if I’m able to review books long before they get to the ad stage of things, but Atherton is a case in point. I may still review it (I mean, I actually did like it) but maybe not for a couple months when the fresh pain of the ad has subsided a little.

    By “hip” I am going to assume that you are referring to the relative size of my actual physical hips. Which, truth be told, are magnificently wide and able to carry small children without the use of hands. So yes. I am, in this sense alone, more “hip” than Roger. In terms of being cool, however, the man wipes the floor with me.

  36. Rinda M. Byers says:

    >If Roger wants to swear on his blog, it’s his blog, and if you don’t like it, you can just skip over the swear words if they raise your blood pressure or if they bore or otherwise annoy you…

    It’s VERY difficult to nicely ignore an online ad that follows you around…next time around, they’ll have the awful thing SPEAKING to you…and I have every popup blockup thingie I can think of in operation on my browser..but it’s still not enough, enough, ENOUGH of the bibbity bobbity boo!

    These creepcrawly ads give me NIGHTMARES! I wake up in cold sweats thinking they’ve stolen my idendity!

    Am very pleased to see the mention of Sherman Alexie’s new book. I admire him greatly and am eagerly anticipating reading this new book of his. YA have been reading his books for years, though the books are not shelved, in my local library, on YA shelves for some odd reason?? He’s done a lot of work with Indian young people in schools that people don’t seem to know about as much as his books. I watched both of his films, too.

  37. >Amen! Why do you think I’m visiting here rather than hanging out with Betsy? I can’t stand that thing!

    That said, how awesome is Victoria?! Now THAT is how you do PR! Try something new, find that people loathe it, and then make an apology. All is forgiven! Huzzah!

    So why hasn’t SLJ taken it down?! Let’s go over there with pitchforks and flames!

  38. Anonymous says:

    >it is gone!

  39. Anonymous says:

    >Though I’ll miss the indignation it allowed me, hallelujah and praise be!

  40. If infmoartoin were soccer, this would be a goooooal!

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