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>"Well, here’s one thing in the mail that is not a bill."

>Said Beverly Cleary in her Newbery acceptance speech, quoting from a letter written to her by a young reader. Cleary went on to bemoan the cookie-cutter class-assignment letters she received by the thousands, and who can blame her?

But who can top her? Lisi Harrison (The Clique), that’s who, caught by Chasing Ray in a delicious quote that, with any justice, will come back to haunt her:

“I don’t mean to brag — but I get literally thousands and thousands of letters, thousands and thousands of e-mails from these girls, and I do read them and not one of them has accused me of perpetuating poison into their world and their society,” she said. “Every one of them says, ‘I suddenly realize that it’s not so important to be popular anymore. I used to be like this with our friends, but we’ve all changed. Truly. I really, really mean it.'”

Which would you rather read thousands and thousands of times? I suddenly realize that it’s not so important to be popular anymore or Where do you get your ideas?

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. >So what’s your point, Roger?

    It took me until I was 40 to get over the idea that I needed to be popular. I’d love my 12-year-old to get that message earlier.

  2. Roger Sutton says:

    >Laudable message, wrapped in self-glorification. And notice how it told us just how popular she is?

  3. >I heard her speak at a conference and she bragged about writing five or six novels in seven months. During that same speech she said that she wrote literature. I think she truly believed it.

  4. >I’d rather hear:

    I didn’t like to read before –and now I do.”


  5. Roger Sutton says:

    >Or, “I liked your book. Here is some money.”

  6. >At least, if they send money, you can tell if it’s real.

  7. >Roger–I think I like THAT even better! LOL

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