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>We Were There

Does anyone remember the We Were There books? There were two I read over and over: We Were There at Pearl Harbor and We Were There at Guadalcanal. I would have been reading them around 1964, roughly twenty-five years after the events in the books took place, which seemed to me like forever ago.

I’m thinking of them because tomorrow I’m talking to Norma Jean Sawicki’s publishing class at Simmons; my topic, the last twenty-five years of children’s book publishing. I was there. How weird. Now I know why Betsy Hearne was once initially resistant to giving the Scott O’Dell Award for Historical Fiction to a book set during WWII. She was there, so it didn’t feel like history to her.

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. J. L. Bell says:

    >I have We Were There at the Boston Tea Party here in my office. I wasn’t there myself.

    I was around in the 1970s, which the American Girl series has decided is historic. Or at least has its own fashions to sell.

  2. Cassandra Mortmain says:

    >I have a friend/co-worker in that class tomorrow, and I am simply consumed with jealousy that she gets to hear you speak. I hope it all goes well!

  3. >LOL the American Girl Series! Historical$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$

  4. Ms. Yingling says:

    >My husband collects these books and has found all but one. I was rather enamored of the Childhood of Famous American series.

  5. slwhitman says:

    >So is Anita Silvey no longer teaching the Simmons publishing class? That was an amazing class. Sounds like the new teacher is doing the same kinds of cool things–I loved getting to meet people in the industry and pick their brains.

  6. Wait, I cannot fathom it being so striahtgfowrard.

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