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>A dilemma

>Can I be appalled at the Humble, TX decision to disinvite (upon the advice of a perfidious school librarian) an author from their YA bookfest but still feel that said author needs to take a pin to her head?

Then Mr. Sconzo went on to say that there are so many authors they could never have them all at their Teen Lit Fests. Like I’m just another author. (Oh, except one that apparently gets under people’s skin.) I am not just another author. I’m an author who is a voice for a generation that faces real problems every day. An author who tries to dissect those problems, look for reasons, suggest solutions, show outcomes to choices through characters who walk off the page. I’m an author who cares about her readership in a very real way. I am thoughtful, respectful of my readers, and not afraid to tell the truth.

I’m on your side and all, but please don’t make it any harder than it needs to be.

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. >I appreciate your saying it, because I didn't feel brave enough. I'm sure if you asked her Hopkins would never claim that she's the only one who's writing hard-hitting realistic fiction for teens, but she sure makes it sound that way–like she's doing something no one else is willing to do. And one line about "plus, great stories!" amidst all the analyze-and-solve-your-problems stuff would have done a lot to curb my eye-roll.

    But I was amused to note–when I was eye-rolling about the implication that this generation faces more "real problems" than previous generations–that I could take that whole paragraph you quote and apply it perfectly well to my favorite malt-shop teen author of the 50s and 60s, Anne Emery. 'Twas ever thus!

  2. >Love the perfect use of the "GET OVER YOURSELF" tag. That said, I would love to Ellen Hopkins speak at my library. We simply can't afford it.

  3. Michael Grant says:

    >Good grief. "Voice for a generation." Never start believing your own bullshit.

  4. Anonymous says:

    >The sole drawback to how nice most people in this business are is that the truth sometimes suffers as a result. Thanks for pointing out the Emperor's lack of clothing this time.

  5. Roger Sutton says:

    >Oh, I think she has clothes on, Anon. The organizers were wrong to do what they did, and Hopkins has every reason to be furious and even self-righteous. Where we part ways is in her implication that it would be okay to do this to someone who wasn't as important as Hopkins clearly believes herself to be.

  6. Anonymous says:

    >Is it just me or do other people have a hard time reading Roger's quoted material?

    Seriously, Roger, I am not just another reader. I am the eyes of a generation that faces real problems of advanced age every day. I'm a reader who has moved from bifocals to trifocals, who tries valiantly to keep up online, even though the type is getting smaller and smaller.

    When you're finished inscribing Ellen Hopkins' quote on the head of that pin, by all means, please use it to deflate her ego.

  7. Anonymous says:

    >Anon. 4:11,

    Most browsers allow you to adjust the font size. If you use Safari, go to View > Customize Toolbar and add the "Zoom" button to your toolbar. Safari is not just another browser, but I assume other browsers, too, offer options.

  8. Roger Sutton says:

    >You know, it looked really small to me, too, but I thought that was just some glitch on my browser. It's definitely smaller than my quote font (one size smaller than main text) used to be, although I used the same settings. I've enlarged it.

  9. >Roger @2:59, I wish you had made that clearer in your post. Your post just sounds like you want to take Hopkins down a notch.

  10. Anonymous says:

    >Off topic: In Firefox on a PC, all you have to do is hit Control-Plus, and font size will magically enlarge. Control-minus=smaller.


  11. Roger Sutton says:

    >Notemily, I thought Hopkins' quote spoke for itself. Big egos are everywhere (like when I look in the mirror); what bothered me was the sense of entitlement.

  12. Anonymous says:

    >If it was another author, I would consider that maybe it was just a poorly worded post. But she's a terror. I'm pretty sure she means it just like it sounds.

  13. >I hadn't heard of her (I'm the wrong generation. If someone finds out who's the voice of my generation–I'm 42–please drop me a line) so I read back a ways. The self-righteousness pours off several entries. Plus she writes like this. In choppy sentences, or non-sentences. A lot. Her cause is just, but I won't be running to my wonderful, non-censoring library for any of her books.

  14. >Judging by her comments, I think it's clear she would not fit in at the HUMBLE book fair.

  15. Anonymous says:

    >I'm just another author. Goddammit.

  16. Anonymous says:

    >The festival has apparently now been canceled, though there hasn't been much coverage of this. Just a tweet or two.

  17. Alex Flinn says:

    >I'm your age, Amy, and I'm pretty sure the voice of our generation was V.C. Andrews, sad though it is.

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