A Note from Me (Feb 26, 2021)

Dear friends:

While you are awaiting — I hope you are awaiting — the March/April issue of the Horn Book, we here are busily entrenched in preparing May/June, our annual Special Issue, this time devoted to the 25th anniversary of the Pura Belpré Award, established by ALA and REFORMA in 1996 to honor a “Latino/Latina writer and illustrator whose work best portrays, affirms, and celebrates the Latino cultural experience in an outstanding work of literature for children and youth.” To that end, we’ve asked many recipients of the Belpré Award to contribute something to the issue, and what a panoply of riches it is. Sometimes editing can really give you what you need: I’ve been working on what we call the “short pieces,” where we ask a clutch of authors and illustrators to respond to a single broad prompt, in this issue’s case, a call to reflect on a moment in youth when they each realized that the creative life would be for them. These stories are so great, and to see again and again what sparks a young person to realize that they could be a writer or illustrator is downright inspirational. The only spoiler I’ll drop here is to tell you teachers that your work reaches farther and deeper than you may ever know. Subscribe today!

On hbook.com, Viktor and Nadya fight the Nazis, Frank Morrison talks about Mannerism and basketball, and Marmee gets pissed off. (Is anyone watching Dickinson? I’m of several minds about it, but I did enjoy the cheerfully foulmouthed* Louisa May Alcott crashing the Dickinsons’ Christmas dinner.) And in Horn Book news, I’m very pleased to tell you that Cindy Ritter and Shoshana Flax have both been promoted, Cindy to Managing Editor and Shoshana to Associate Editor. They are increasingly indispensable, and I’m happy to have this opportunity to reward their hard work through this difficult year.

My recreational reading has taken an unexpected detour after my writer/classical music text-pal Bruce Brooks recommended The Grand Sophy by Georgette Heyer, which had been recommended to Bruce by his wife, Chronicle’s Ginee Seo. I guess I thought Heyer was going to be Jane Austen-lite, but The Grand Sophy is distinctly its own and I’m loving it. And now Bruce and I have formed our own Old Men Reading Club to climb Thomas Mann’s Magic Mountain together. I have a feeling my Swiss train videos are going to be getting a lot of screen time.



*“Hawthorne can eat a dick, am I right?”

Roger Sutton
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.
Comment Policy:
  • Be respectful, and do not attack the author, people mentioned in the article, or other commenters. Take on the idea, not the messenger.
  • Don't use obscene, profane, or vulgar language.
  • Stay on point. Comments that stray from the topic at hand may be deleted.
  • Comments may be republished in print, online, or other forms of media.
  • If you see something objectionable, please let us know. Once a comment has been flagged, a staff member will investigate.

Susan Golden

I remember, too well, slogging through Magic Mountain during one summer as a break (?) from being an English major the rest of the year. I read it because it was my mother's favorite book. I really, really, did not enjoy it, not least because I didn't know the European philosophers sampled so generously in the novel. I did finish it. Off topic, another summer or two I tried to read The 40 Days of Musa Dagh with little success.

Posted : Mar 20, 2021 01:14


Community matters. Stay up to date on breaking news, trends, reviews, and more.

Get access to reviews of books, ebooks, and more