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>The last time I was at BEA it was called ABA and I had just started working here. What I remember most, along with the glitz and giveaways that made ALA look like a sidewalk sale, was one renowned (his word) author of joke books coming over to angrily berate me for the fact that  he had never been reviewed in the Horn Book despite the fact that his books had sold in the tens of thousands. Why are publicly funny people so frequently privately bitter? And why is my memory so good for the smallest of slights?

In any event I’ll be there next Wednesday, walking around with the Horn Book’s own (M)ad man Al Berman and signing ARCs of A Family of Readers: The Book Lover’s Guide to Children’s and Young Adult Literature by Martha and me. Candlewick booth #2759 in the Javits Center, 1:00 to 2:00 PM. And speaking of private bitterness, the last time I signed books (Hearing Us Out) it was at TLA and freaking Jon & Lane were signing Math Curse right next to me. Phyllis Naylor came by and bought two copies out of pity.

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. P.B. Samuelson says:

    >The first book event I went to was Phyllis Naylor speaking at a local college. I was the only child there, and the only person who brought his own copies (rather than have her sign the ones on sale). I still remember the fact that I was embarassed my feet didn't touch the ground–and wondering what someone so famous was doing in Wichita Falls TX.

    I'll look for you at BEA!

  2. Julie Anne says:


    One time I had to sign next to Gloria Estefan. Needless to say…

  3. Peni R. Griffin says:

    >The first year I was nominated for an Edgar, I had a signing alongside another nominee, a Carolyn Keene, an established series author, and – Joan Lowery Nixon. As we sat fiddling with her pens and watching her line, the other nominee said: "Well, we're not getting writer's cramp today."

    I said: "If you were them, would you be here to see us?"

    "Heck, no." But Joan was so nice we didn't mind that much.

    The biggest names often are the nicest; partly, maybe, because they know how much book people gossip. By the time you've sold tens of thousands of books, it should have struck you that people aren't likely to be bullied into reviewing you, for instance.

  4. Anonymous says:

    >My first signing was next to Alice Hoffman. She was charmingly sympathetic. Better luck to you and Martha!

  5. KT Horning says:

    >I once accidentally stepped on Ed Koch's foot in a crowded booth at BEA. That would never happen at ALA.

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