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>Go flame her

>But, Lord, I now adore this woman even more.

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:

    >I dunno. I liked her in the nineties in some early British productions, but now she is just becoming some shrewish contrarian who reminds me of say that snarky coworker who makes constant remarks about the contents of your sandwich during lunch.

    Plus starring in Narnia, a far less successful movie on every level, makes it smack just a little of sour grapes to me.


  2. >Thank God Rowling is the only author in the world who thought of setting her books at a boarding school. Otherwise the YA shelves at Borders would be filled with fetish-lit

  3. Anonymous says:

    >To Anonymous P.: Indeed, but at least C.S. Lewis hated boarding schools. He compared his own experience at boarding school to a concentration camp, and that was also where he lost his childhood faith in God; Edmund learns to be spiteful, self-centered, and “mean to smaller children” at boarding school; and then there’s the dreadful boarding school that Eustace and Jill attend in the fourth book (leading us to believe that Eustace, too, learned to be a selfish prig at boarding school, although his new-age vegetarian parents apparently didn’t help). That school had a female headmaster, who, with her feminist ideas about discipline, of course only made things worse.

    I admit to enjoying the romanticizing of boarding schools in all those formulaic British school series, but I also adore the satirizing of the genre as it appears in a few books by Diana Wynne Jones and other authors.


  4. Anonymous says:

    >You’re picking a lot of fights these days, Rog.

  5. Roger Sutton says:

    >Tilda Swinton takes on JKR and I’m picking a fight? No sir/ma’am, I chose my battles.

  6. >I can’t pretend to know anything about boarding school, specifically, but I’ve always thought that a big part of HP’s draw was the school setting as much as the magic. The various teachers, the bullies, the class clowns…these are all stereotypes/archetypes that adult readers are as interested in as kid readers are. And I think a lot of people really want to get behind the idea of a beloved, wise mentor/teacher.

    I would be willing to consider the possibility that the HP books treat the school experience with a certain reverence.

  7. Anonymous says:

    >Unlike Rowling, Swinton was raised in a proper upper-class family of some significance, and thus likely has first-hand knowledge of the true horrors that is the boarding school experience.

    Why then should she have to suffer the existence of some total fantasy wherein nobody actually gets called Stecky Beanstalk, Miss Snobby-knickers, or Freaky-Freaky Face by the other girls? Hmm?

  8. >Readers love boarding school stories for the same reason they love orphan stories. NO PARENTS. Obviously, the lives of real orphans are not one long glorious adventure. But kids love to fantasize.

  9. Anonymous says:

    >I like Roald Dahl’s take on boarding schools.

    Just Thinking…….

    Imagine Harry Potter’s setting in a U.S. Public School!

    Just an Observation……….

    When I was visiting schools in England-Not one of the students could name an American author. The Head Mistress had read Snow on Cedars and couldn’t recall a single other!

  10. Christina says:

    >I was fantasizing about boarding schools LONG before HP came out. Fetish-izing? Maybe. But as a young reader/writer, there was something delicious about them. It wasn’t really the no parents– or rather, no adults– vibe… I think it was the microcosmic element to it. It was small enough to be safe, but big enough and foreign enough (to my US public school heart) to be quite enthralling.

    Though, really, who doesn’t want to crawl through a portrait to get to their bedroom?

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