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>Well, it’s not like there’s an election or financial crisis or anything.

>So I’m glad our hardworking Massachusetts legislators are doing their bit to declare Moby-Dick the “state epic novel.” How many of them do you think have read it? (I haven’t.)

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. david elzey says:

    >Speranzo filed the bill at the request of fifth-grade pupils at Egremont Elementary School so they could follow the bill through the legislative process.

    So the legislature is working on a bill filed by fifth graders… how many of them have read the book?

  2. Roger Sutton says:

    >Apparently they read an abridged version in class together.

  3. rebelbookseller says:

    >The Horn Book is just a hotbed of anti-intellectualism, aintcha?

  4. rebelbookseller says:

    >The Horn Book is just a hotbed of anti-intellectualism, aintcha?

  5. >Well, some of us have read it. I’ve read it three times and love it!

  6. >I read it last year, and it was pretty awesome, and I still can’t figure out what the man was doing with that chapter on Cetology, but at the end there it was like, bang bang, Melville’s silver hammer came down upon my head. That man is something else.

  7. Anonymous says:

    >Didn’t you all have to do this in grade school? Stndard social studies project – be grateful they weren’t promoting a STATE INSECT!

  8. Anonymous says:

    >You know it was not reading Moby Dick that caused LEonard Zelig all his problems.

  9. >After Bartleby the Scrivenger, I avoid Melville like the plague.

    But I’m rather jealous of your “state epic novel.” Now I’m off to research great works by Ohioans.

  10. Anonymous says:

    >The cetology chapter is just there to weed out the easily discouraged. It’s a great, powerful, wonderful, strange, sometimes funny, towering book.

  11. >It is discouraging to see such resentment of a magnificent novel – especially among so-called (or should I say self-proclaimed?) book people?)

  12. Anonymous says:

    >It’s discouraging to see how many “book people” (at least one assumes that’s what they consider themselves to be) take pride in boasting their scorn for a magnificent novel.

  13. Anonymous says:

    >from “discouraged anonymous, 12:50 PM”: OOPS!!! I didn’t understand the commenting procedure, hence the repetition.

  14. Roger Sutton says:

    >I know, Discouraged Anonymous, the damned gold farmers have made me taken to moderating comments, which means they won’t appear until I get to my computer. Am wondering if it’s worth the tradeoff.

    But I don’t see why you’re discouraged. Only Christina evinced any dislike of Melville. My problem is not with the book but with the use of it as ammo for a social studies assignment about bill-passing.

  15. >I’ve been reading it for years. Sometimes I read it to my daughter. After living in Boston for three years I realy enjoy it but I’m not sure I’ll finish it some day. Spanish speakers have the same problem with El Quijote.

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