A Note from Me (July 17, 2020)

Dear friends,

Back when I was terrified that no ALA might mean no Speeches, and no Speeches meant an enormous hole in our July/August issue, and an enormous hole in the July/August issue — one that we would not know about until we teetered at its precipice (my psychiatrist calls this catastrophizing) — meant that we conjured an article out of thin air devoted to the Horn Book’s take on the awards and award year.* I thank God every day for my fellow Horn Book editors, mainly because they are among the smartest people I know, an intelligence you will see on copious display in “A Year with Words and Pictures—but no ALA Annual.” I do not feel immodest in claiming such brilliance as I contributed maybe one sentence to the essay in question. But thank you, Elissa, Martha, Shoshana, and Cindy for this piece. You’ll be doing it again next year.

And Shoshana has been watching The Baby-Sitters Club on Netflix. When last week I tried to casually dash off a BSC reference in a book review, I got schooled. One has to be very careful around here; people really love their books.

I said we would talk about food. (Cindy points out that it’s National Ice Cream Month, in which case, tell Emack & Bolio’s to send me a tub of York Peppermint Patty.) I’m interested in what new recipes you’ve tried, not for artisanal cassoulets or sourdough bread, but for your new standards. Mainstays. Like, three times a week I have the same lunch, which in itself is not a new routine, but it’s a totally new lunch: half a small container of deli tuna salad placed next to a handful of pineapple chunks, the whole lightly dusted with Lawry’s salt, accompanied by a dozen saltines, themselves a childhood favorite only resurrected in the lockdown. Feel free to try it; the trick is remembering to keep a chunk of pineapple for the final bite.



*Elissa and Cindy say this isn’t a sentence. They are wrong and how very dare they.

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.

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