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Five Questions for . . .

You might know our monthly Notes from the Horn Book feature, “Five questions for . . .” in which I ask an author or illustrator of the moment questions both pertinent and inane. At ALA next week (yikes) in Chicago, this feature is going live at the Junior Library Guild booth (#2256) right across from ours (#2259) in the convention center. Here’s the lineup:

Saturday 10:00 Candace Fleming, who has just won the Boston Globe-Horn Book Award for The Lincolns.

Saturday 12:00 Neil Gaiman, Newbery Medalist.

Saturday 2:00 Ashley Bryan, Wilder Medalist.

Sunday 11:00 Brian Selznick, for one last walk down the runway before he surrenders his Caldecott crown.

Monday 10:00 Laurie Halse Anderson, this year’s winner of the Scott O’Dell Award for Chains and author of the much talked-about Wintergirls.

Monday 11:30 Beth Krommes, Caldecott Medalist, and she will be accompanied by Susan Marie Swanson, who has promised to read their House in the Night aloud.

Do come! And do here, in the comments, suggest some questions I might ask any or all of them.

More information about our conference activities–dancing boys! beautiful women!–can be found here.

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. Teacherninja says:

    >Favorite poet?

    Edge brownie or center brownie?

    Favorite Shakespeare play?

    Ninjas or Pirates?

    Bach or Mozart?

    Spiderman or Batman?

  2. Anonymous says:

    >Does Brian Selznick think Hugo Cabret is a picture book or a graphic novel?

  3. Anonymous says:

    >This might be a tough question to frame, but would you consider asking Anderson about Wintergirls and whether she would consider turning her great talent to writing a sequel about the process of recovery? I really admire Anderson's previous books, but because of personal history, I can't appreciate Wintergirls. There are already any number of books about girls with eating disorders and very few of them are written about recovery. It's a long, lonely time, with little glamour and little to draw the horrified fascination that a book like Wintergirls gets. It's a much harder book to make successful, but Anderson is the one I think could do it. I wish Anderson had written about it instead. I understand that, as Gaiman says, the author is not my bitch, but I wish you would ask for me.

  4. Anonymous says:

    >I wish I could be at ALA, but I'm going to the beach with a bag of books!

  5. cathyjune says:

    >For Beth Krommes – Do the illustrations from "House in the Night" have a connection with your own childhood?

  6. J. L. Bell says:

    >Comics critics say that Gaiman's scripts have more and more been about storytelling itself. Does he think that theme works differently in children's books?

  7. Anonymous says:

    >Would Ashley Bryan want to illustrate Laura Ingalls Wilder?

  8. Melinda says:

    >What happens if you're writing to meet a deadline and your writing suddenly crashes into a brick wall? What measures do you take to keep going?

  9. Anonymous says:

    >Just wondering what you thought of Nicholas Kristof's column listing the "best children's books of all time" (in his opinion, of course).

    I liked the variety (Lad, a Dog vs. Harry Potter and Alex Rider) but feel like there a definitely a few missing.

  10. Melinda says:

    >What books have you studied intensely, and what issues of craft do you glean from them? Give examples from the text. (That ought to keep them busy for a while.)

    Which children's book authors would make the most amusing spectacle when pitted against each other in a Texas cage match?

    Texas cage match, main character style: Katniss from Hunger Games or Katsa from Graceling?

    What kind of daily goals do you set — how many hours/day or pages/day do you shoot for to keep the book going?

  11. Jennifer Schultz says:

    >No questions off the top of my head! Wow, Roger…just looked at the schedule and this looks great. I always have a gap between a few sessions, but usually not enough time to leave the area at that time. I'm really looking forward to this. Thanks so much.

  12. Melinda says:

    >I've heard of research that states it takes about 10 years of study and hard work before an artist starts creating solid, good work. Has this been the case for each of you?

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