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>Fightin’ Words or the Simple Truth?

>The Guardian‘s Derek Draper on Meghan McCain’s new picture book:

It’s easy for us Brits to assume that such sentimental spin will backfire but, having lived in the US for three years, I can assure you that Americans are made of gooier stuff.

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:

    >ugh. It does make my stomach turn. Oh yeah, I am Canadian.

  2. miscellany says:

    >Me too! Wait, I’m American, perhaps it’s because I’m from New York!

  3. >IMHO, as an American, I think it’s both–the fightin’ words and the truth. (Although this particular book looks terrible…and, not discounting his merits, McCain is not warm and fuzzy, so I doubt Meghan’s picture book will have any effect at all.)

  4. janeyolen says:

    >One to miss. I mean–I’m from Massachusetts. And besides the fact that I am voting Obama, I would vote against a celebrity book just on
    principle. And a gooey celebrity book? Double vote against.


  5. Roger Sutton says:

    >Rest easy, Jane, the Obama picture bok is just as gooey.

  6. Anonymous says:

    >these campaign bios are fund-raising devices – for the candidate and the publisher – never intended to be read.

  7. Anonymous says:

    >Do people really buy these books? I can’t imagine reading it to my kids.

  8. Anonymous says:

    >of course they aren’t READ. they are bought in bulk orders for distribution to supporters. didn’t you see the fuss about the new anti-Obama book?

  9. Roger Sutton says:

    >I dunno, gooey celebrity picture books get bought all the time; why not these?

  10. Good Parent says:

    >Well, I wouldn’t buy it unless it taught a good lesson about how it’s okay to be different.

  11. another good parent says:

    >or that it was okay to like reading. i bought, like, ten copies of that Bush book and gave them to all my friends.

  12. >You know I've been wondering who buys these books. There are new picture book bios of McCain, Obama and Hillary Clinton all coming out this fall – and interestingly all are from S&S. Kathleen Krull wrote the Hillary book and I love her stuff, but is there really any value to these books being published right now? Presidential bios after a presidency I can understand and maybe even the Hillary book right now as she has done something fairly historic and is out of the race, but the Obama and McCain? They don't make sense for any reason other to make money from supporters.

    I also find it just bizarre that McCain's daughter wrote his book. Has she done anything that wasn't connected to her father's campaign? At least Jenna Bush traveled on her own and worked as a teacher.

    Anyway, I'm interested to see the sales figures on these, and more importantly, if they are only being bought in bulk.

  13. Roger Sutton says:

    >I think S&S routinely publishes picture book biographies of the candidates, and such books are also regularly published by school-series producers. Those books are published for current events curricula and reports; the S&S books are published, I think, for the faithful, and at least there is some attempt to give the books individuality rather than sticking to boilerplate. Meaghan McCain is a great choice for the John McCain book, giving it an intimacy–however faux–that supporters will respond to. People are buying the book because it's a warm and fuzzy portrait of McCain, and the fact that his daughter wrote it makes it all the fuzzier.

  14. >I see your point about the current events curricula but man – wait three more months and you have books that can be reissued for years because they finally have endings! (Do the books for the runners-up even stay in print? Are there John Kerry bios still running around the classrooms? Or Michael Dukakis? hmmmm)

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