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Let’s get special

cover by Paul O. Zelinsky

On Thursday, the Horn Book staff will be at my house stuffing our faces with pastry and planning our 2018 editorial calendar. You can help! As Magazine readers will know, we publish one special themed issue each year. We’ve done this from the start, with most early special issues being devoted to one great lady or another until Anita Silvey published one devoted to “multicultural literature” in 1995. Since then we’ve devoted issues to such themes as Family Reading, Poetry, School, Different Drummers, the Future of Children’s Books, Collaboration, Picture Books, and most recently Humor, which not everyone found funny. Oh well. But what should we do next year? I keep suggesting Mythology but no one else seems to like it. What would you like to see?




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 would love to see (and contribute to) a special issue on children’s/YA poetry. Verse is a pillar of children’s literature that too often gets short shrift.

  2. Beyond poetry, which I know has appeared once before, I would love to see a special issue on mythology and folklore. Also Science Fiction.

  3. Nonfiction

    Harry Potter (turns 21 next year) — I was just thinking about this last night. Does it have the same appeal for today’s 10 year olds? What’s become of the Harry Potter generation? etc

  4. Readers/chapter books for the beginning reader. I feel like they are often ignored–in book awards (save for the Geisel), best books of the year lists, social media, etc. (I’m loving the King & Kayla series–one of my favorite reads this year–and would love to read more about the production of readers, challenges in creating readers that captivate young readers, etc)

  5. Roger Sutton Roger Sutton says:

    K.T., I still kind of find it aging when young staff talk about reading HP as children!

  6. Elena Abós says:

    Books that make/made a difference. Subjective cathegory, I know, but still.

  7. I’ll also put in a vote for Nonfiction, and add Comics as a suggestion. It’d also be cool to see an issue devoted to Influences: works and creators that have had a lasting impact on readers, creators, and the industry as a whole. I can’t wait to see what you decide!

  8. Lynn Van Auken says:

    I’d love to see an issue devoted to mythology. Or, if this is a hard-sell, perhaps expand to include all types of folklore. New books for every age continue to feature creatures & characters grounded in tradition and cultural ethos. We are fairly desperate these days for heroes and heroines to look up to and opportunities to affirm our most basic commonalities. What better time to explore the importance of folklore and its role in illuminating and inspiring hope for the universal challenges of humanity?

  9. I’d love to see an issue on queerness in kidlit (there have been excellent articles but has there been a whole issue?). Or, better yet, an issue on intersectionality in kidlit.

    I also second the suggestions for early readers/beginning chapter books, science fiction & myth/folklore.

  10. Protagonists with disabilities in children’s books would be my top choice.

  11. Kazia Berkley-Cramer says:

    I second Alec with the suggestion of queerness! And also his suggestion of intersectionality, and also Tess’s suggestion of disability.

  12. Amy Seto Forrester says:

    I’ll add my vote for readers/chapter books for beginning readers! They’re so easily overlooked, but such an essential part of becoming a confident reader. And darn tricky to write/illustrate, too!

  13. Jonathan Hunt says:

    I know the editorial calendar meeting has come and gone, but what about Equity & Literacy, looking at the ways we can and should ensure that all young readers have access to books, how poverty and literacy each affect the brain in different, but countervailing ways, etc.

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