A Note from Me (Mar 12, 2021)

Dear friends:

Cindy urges us all to keep an eye out for virtual bookstore events happening in our neighborhoods, which, given the nature of virtual events, is EVERYWHERE. How to choose? I see that Cindy’s neighborhood bookstore, Jeff Kinney’s An Unlikely Story, just had an event with adult historical fiction author Kate Quinn, whose two WWII novels, The Huntress and The Alice Network, I greatly enjoyed. The new one, The Rose Code, is set at Bletchley Park, so my weekend reading is all lined up. And if it’s libraries you’d like to visit, my friend Tom Barron pointed me toward a list of virtual tours of some splendid collections in gorgeous surroundings. I especially enjoyed the Clementinum library in Prague, a city high on the list of places Richard and I want to visit when it’s all over but before It’s All Over if you catch my drift.

Women’s History Month continues at the Horn Book, and we’ve just posted an interview with authors Lesa Cline-Ransome and Andrea Pinkney about their entries (on Claudette Colvin and Harriet Tubman, respectively) in a new chapter book series about great women. I’m so glad to see more biography moving up from picture books and down from middle-grade into the chapter book “space”—does anyone remember the terrific Women of Our Time series from Viking in the ’80s under the late, great Deborah Brodie’s direction (and assisted by my best friend Elizabeth Law, then Deborah’s assistant). I still have somewhere a copy of a hilarious postcard author R. R. Knudson sent to Deborah in response to her request for more local Czech color in Knudson’s manuscript about Martina Navratilova—it was an entirely fictional line about Martina, her sister, and their mother hand-sewing Martina’s tennis dresses by the fire “long into the night, while singing ‘Ow-cay, ow-cay’ from a time-honored ditty of the Snow Witch.” Something to listen for in Prague, I suppose.

We were sorry to have lost the great Norton Juster this week, and Jane Yolen has written a lovely poem in his honor. And a note for the many friends and fans of the late David Gale, a longtime editor at Simon & Schuster and an enormous power for good in YA publishing. S&S is holding a memorial service for David on Thursday, March 18th at 5:30 p.m. EST. Preregistration is not required and here’s the Zoom link. John Lithgow, Gary Paulsen, and Neal Shusterman will be speaking, and I know the stories are gonna be good.

I see that Pi Day is coming up this Sunday and we should all eat some in its honor. (Cherry for me.) And on the same day, Daylight Saving Time begins. Coincidence or new Dan Brown novel?



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.

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