A Note from Me (Jun 11, 2021)

Dear friends:

So sorry to have missed you last week (dummy-reading-duty called!), but I hope everyone had an enjoyable long weekend/Memorial Day holiday. One of your number took perplexing exception to something anodyne I wrote here referencing Kamala Harris; I think our Vice President is in all ways wonderful, and when she told us to enjoy the long weekend, I took her words in the spirit they were intended and did. But let us not forget (as Harris herself did not forget) why we have this holiday, and Jeff Gottesfeld offers Horn Book readers an inspiring meditation on its meaning.

Happy Pride! I don’t think I’ve been to a Pride parade since I moved back to Boston twenty-five years ago, but I did enjoy those moments when the Pride parade and ALA would intersect, and crossing New Orleans’s Canal Street would become a more festive challenge than usual. There will be no Pride Parade in Boston this month, but I see that last night was Pride Night at the Red Sox and tomorrow there will be a March & Vigil for Black Trans Lives, beginning in Nubian Square (home of the excellent Frugal Bookstore) and ending at Franklin Park, home of the abandoned bear dens and other masonry that makes you feel like you’re in Middle-earth.

The July/August stars are out along with a preview of that ALA Awards special issue, and we continue our coverage of the Pura Belpré Award at 25 with articles from William García-Medina about AfroLatinx lit and the Black diaspora; Celia C. Pérez and a bossy gallito; the history of Cinco Puntos Press; and more “Lighting the Candle” pieces. Last week REFORMA hosted a community event in East Harlem (where Pura lived and worked) and gave out free copies of the Magazine; follow hashtags #PuraBelpré #25YearsOfBelpré #25AñosDelBelpré for more.

I hadn’t realized wicked stepparents were still much of a thing in children’s books, but apparently there are enough of them to prompt a letter to our Family Reading advice column for book suggestions to the contrary. Back in the last century, I became a stepparent to two teenaged boys, which was fortunately not the wacky sitcom you might be imagining. And in November the younger one turns fifty, with two rising adolescents of his own. Now we’ll cue the sitcom.


Garrulous Grandpa

P.S. Still the best Pride anthem ever.

Roger Sutton
Roger Sutton

Editor Emeritus Roger Sutton was editor in chief of The Horn Book, Inc., from 1996-2021. 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 MA in library science from the University of Chicago in 1982 and a BA from Pitzer College in 1978. Follow him on Twitter: @RogerReads.

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