Subscribe to The Horn Book

>Listen to the children!

>Maybe Sherry Jones, whose The Jewel of Medina was cancelled by Ballantine for fear of Muslim terrorist rage, was just working with the wrong division of Random House. The copyright page of each fall 08 Random House ARC I’ve received states “Random House Children’s Books supports the First Amendment and celebrates the right to read.”

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:

    >True, but having worked at Penguin around the time of Rushdie, I can say it is no picnic walking into a building where you don’t feel safe. Even years afterward there were bomb sniffing dogs in the lobby. I am sure it was worse for some of the booksellers.

  2. Roger Sutton says:

    >What’s ironic is that Denise Spellberg, who “warned” Muslims (and Random House) about the book, promotes the idea that offended Muslims are dangerous Muslims. And then she does her best to make sure they’re offended. Wackjob.

  3. Anonymous says:

    >Ballantine=the Spain of publishing.

  4. Anonymous says:


  5. Anonymous says:

    >I like Stanley Fish but in this instance I think he raises a point that is beside the point. So this isn’t censorship. Granted and he’s exactly right, but who cares? The point is that a major American publisher is giving a gang of murderous, medieval-minded, fanatics veto power over what they will publish.

  6. Roger Sutton says:

    >I would put a finer point on the last Anon’s pencil: the gang of murderous fanatics was in this case one non-Muslim academic from Texas.

  7. Anonymous says:

    >In a sense, yes. But Ballantine wasn’t worried about Denise Spellberg driving up from Austin in a rage. They were worried because (to quote the Random House e-mail quoted in the WSJ piece):

    “She thinks there is a very real possibility of major danger for the building and staff and widespread violence,” Ms. Garrett wrote. “Denise says it is ‘a declaration of war . . . explosive stuff . . . a national security issue.’ Thinks it will be far more controversial than the satanic verses and the Danish cartoons. Does not know if the author and Ballantine folks are clueless or calculating, but thinks the book should be withdrawn ASAP.”

    Denise’s predictive abilities are of course anyone’s guess. But she was never the threat.

  8. Roger Sutton says:

    >If Party A tells me Party B is going to blow me up unless I do what Party A wants (and then goes and tells Party B to blow me up) I’m gonna worry about A.

Comment Policy:
  1. Be respectful, and do not attack the author, people mentioned in the article, or other commenters. Take on the idea, not the messenger.
  2. Don't use obscene, profane, or vulgar language.
  3. Stay on point. Comments that stray from the topic at hand may be deleted.

We are not able to monitor every comment that comes through (though some comments with links to multiple URLs are held for spam-check moderation by the system). If you see something objectionable, please let us know. Once a comment has been flagged, a staff member will investigate.

We accept clean XHTML in comments, but don't overdo it and please limit the number of links submitted in your comment. For more info, see the full Terms of Use.

Speak Your Mind