Subscribe to The Horn Book

>What Happened to . . .?

>We have been very busy this morning pulling together our webpage of the ALA Awards, which should be available for your viewing pleasure in fairly short order. Scrutinizing what won always reveals a shadow–what didn’t? Of course we all have favorites that don’t go the distance (like Melissa Leo last night at the SAG Awards–sob!), but what’s really interesting are those books you thought, based on buzz and chatter, were sure bets for something but failed to make an appearance. Like, last year, The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-time Indian. And, this year, The Hunger Games. And Chains. And The Way We Work. There are a few walls I’d like to have been a fly on.

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. >And like Marissa Tomei for her dress at the SAG…

    …and like Louise Erdrich for the Porcupine Year. Still: I am thrilled.

  2. >I’m very surprised not to see anything for Wabi Sabi and In a Blue Room, which I thought dominated the Caldecott discussions.

    I also thought Graceling would make an appearance somewhere, although I haven’t gotten to read it yet.

    As for The Hunger Games… I didn’t think most bloggers were taking it seriously as a contender, and I wasn’t surprised to see that it didn’t make the list.

  3. Anonymous says:

    >can’t believe D. Macaulay didn’t make the list!!!

  4. Anonymous says:

    >Agreed about Macaulay. Did The Way We Work skew too old, does anyone think? I ask this without checking the Sibert criteria or the jacket flap, of course…

  5. Roger Sutton says:

    >Good point, Anon. The Sibert only goes through age 14 (the upper end of the ALSC service range) and the Macaulay would be tough for most junior high kids. But it would be tough for anybody–I always worry about books like that one, or Anderson’s Octavian books or The Book Thief, because they get pushed up to high school even while there it will still be only a special few who will read them, just as would be true if you had those books in a middle school. So since they are great books, with relatively few potential young readers anyway, doesn’t it make sense to get them into the hands of the gifted fifth-grader as well as the gifted tenth-grader? (I realize I’ve just argued both ways for the Macaulay getting Sibert attention but I’m tired.)

  6. >It’s late, and I’m tired, too, but I’m sure I agree with whatever you said. Some books scale by age, a kid who doesn’t like it at eleven might love it at thirteen. But some books belong to certain subsets of the population. They will love it at twelve and or seventeen, if that’s when they come across it, and all kinds of other twelves and seventeens will never be interested at all. This makes for trouble when you have an award fixed to an age group. Instead of say– “Best book for science kids” or “best book for kids who have already read everything else in the library.”

  7. >The good news is that BOTH Hunger Games AND Chains are featured happily on the 2009 Notables. So are worthy titles such as Trouble Begins at 8, The Lincolns, Washington at Valley Forge, Old Bear, Horse Song, and Rapunzel’s Revenge. I think the list will be up pretty quickly — we worked on it this morning as a team and I sent off the final annotated list upon Caroline Ward’s, our amazing Chair for the last 2 years, approval. YEAH!

  8. >but whatever its “age level,” Macaulay can be read by younger kids like an encyclopedia – that is, they can pick and choose a spcific subject- don’t have to go cover to covr as one would with a novel or history

  9. Anonymous says:

    >I think with those Macaulay books you dip in and realize you aren’t understanding everything, but he makes you understand enough to be curious, and to want to keep going back and assembling the pieces.

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