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What shall they read?

I wanted to call your attention to two articles we have recently published about African American children’s literature. Kim Parker and Our Elissa interviewed Denene Millner about her publishing of instant-landmark Crown: An Ode to the Fresh Cut, and her interest in black everyday life stories. Children’s literature professor Jonda McNair politely raised an eyebrow at some opinions Millner shares (in the interview and a NYT op-ed)  about the dimensions and scope of black books for children and provides some context.This isn’t the first time the academy has taken issue with the popular press (child_lit thrived on such debates), and the discussion is also as old as children’s books themselves: shall the books be Improving or Entertaining? We will all quickly admit that children need both kinds, of course, and that the qualities are not contradictory and can frequently be found in the same book. But, to me, the tension between these impulses is what keeps children’s literature, in toto, hopping. We need it. So, thanks to you both!

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.

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