A Note from Me (Oct 9, 2020)

Dear friends:

Our 2020 Boston Globe–Horn Book festivities have begun, and I was happy to see that our Fiction and Poetry winner King and the Dragonflies by Kacen Callender is now also a finalist for the 2020 National Book Award. BGHB’s weird calendar (June through May) puts it between normal awards like the NBA or all the ALA prizes, which follow the calendar year. Although this means that the BGHB committee and, say, the Caldecott committee are never evaluating the same set of books, it does mean that some years we come off like harbingers (2018, The Poet X) and sometimes like also-rans (1999, Holes). The librarian part of me wants us to get in line with the others, but the publishing part of me enjoys the off-season uniqueness.

Cindy and Elissa have been polling people about their favorite BGHB winner; yesterday I voted for The Snowman (probably because it became my favorite Christmas movie) but today I’m voting for M.C. Higgins, the Great. I’m writing something for the Center for Children’s Books’ seventy-fifth anniversary, and I will never forget reading M.C. up in a carrel in the Center when it was on the fourth floor of Regenstein Library at the University of Chicago. That was in 1980; that was the book that taught me how much of a book a children’s book could be.

BGHB chair Jules Danielson is on Calling Caldecott this week, talking about the pitfalls of picture-book reading on a device. Amen, amen. I’ve started getting some book-books-for-work at home now and am realizing I need to rethink my workspace for better lighting. But, baby, I am glad you’re back.

Love,

Roger

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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