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|75th Anniversary Logo by Brian Selznick|
This Christmas card was sent in by Gwen Connolley.
Names All Children’s Writers Should Know How To Spell: A Tribute to Kidlit Greatness
Though the below descriptions/explanations are mine, this list is from a lecture by Shelley Tanaka, an award-winning nonfiction children’s author, Canadian children’s book publisher and editor (link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shelley_Tanaka).
In preparation of starting my studies at the Vermont College of Fine Arts in pursuit of an MFA in Writing for Children and Young Adults in less than a month from now, I came across a handout from one of my teachers, Shelley Tanaka, which, with her gracious permission, I would like to share with you. This list is more than a checklist of names with tricky spellings – although it’s that too. It is a reminder of our roots as children’s writers. These are the names of the great kidlit warriors, whose shoulders we are all trying to stand on.
(Note: Don’t feel bad if you don’t know all of them. I had to look up a couple!)
I love the quote on her website: “You have to write the book that wants to be written. And if the book will be too difficult for grown-ups, then you write it for children.”
There are two more I’d like to add to this list:
15. Laurie Halse Anderson. Another great author name with literary spelling, this versatile YA giant writes books on difficult subjects spanning from rape and anorexia, to slavery.
16. SCBWI! Founded in 1971, by several Los Angeles writers, including the versatile Stephen Mooser, author of more than 50 works, including picture books and chapter books, and the middle-grade series author Lin Oliver, our beloved Society of Children’s Writers and Illustrators is a source of knowledge and support, organizer of conferences and forger of great ties, and a promoter of children’s literature all around the world.
Of course this list only barely scratches the surface, and if she chose to Ms. Tanaka could probably have come up with a book filled with names of importance. But if there is anything you’d like to add to the list, please post a comment, below.
Katia Raina is the author of “Castle of Concrete,” a young adult novel about a timid half-Russian, half-Jewish teen in search of a braver “self” reuniting with her dissident mother in the last year of the collapsing Soviet Union, to be published by Namelos. On her blog, The Magic Mirror, http://katiaraina.wordpress.com Katia talks about writing and history, features interviews, book lists and all sorts of literary randomness.
Katia will start her MFA program in January 2013 at the Vermont College of Fine Arts, pursuing a degree in Writing for Children and Young Adults. (link: http://www.vcfa.edu/wyca)
The following books will receive starred reviews in the May/June issue of the Horn Book Magazine:
Animal Masquerade; by Marianne Dubuc; trans. from the French by Yvette Ghione (Kids Can)
Demolition; by Sally Sutton; illus. by Brian Lovelock (Candlewick)
The Drowned Cities; by Paolo Bacigalupi (Little, Brown)
Dying to Know You; by Aidan Chambers (Amulet/Abrams)
A Confusion of Princes; by Garth Nix (Harper/HarperCollins)
Code Name Verity; by Elizabeth Wein (Hyperion)
Forget-Me-Nots:Poems to Learn by Heart; selected by Mary Ann Hoberman; illus. by Michael Emberley (Tingley/Little, Brown)
The President’s Stuck in the Bathtub: Poems about the Presidents; by Susan Katz; illus. by Robert Neubecker (Clarion)
A Black Hole Is NOT a Hole; by Carolyn Cinami DeCristofano; illus. by Michael Carroll (Charlesbridge)Add a Comment
The Fantastic Secret of Owen Jester is on Horn Book's Summer Reading List.
Check out the others.
The school and library world is a-buzzing with accolades for Thanhha Lai’s debut novel INSIDE OUT AND BACK AGAIN! Check out these reviews…and the shiny stars that accompany them:
“In her not-too-be-missed debut, Lai evokes a distinct time and place and presents a complex, realistic heroine whom readers will recognize, even if they haven’t found themselves in a strange new country.” ~ Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
“Lai’s spare language captures the sensory disorientation of changing cultures as well as a refugee’s complex emotions and kaleidoscopic loyalties.” ~ The Horn Book
And here is what our teacher and librarian friends are saying:
INSIDE OUT AND BACK AGAIN (ISBN 9780061962783) is on-sale now.Add a Comment
and a fine trip it was. Monday evening I had the chance to meet scads of people from the child_lit listserv including its creator Michael Joseph, whose glasses I want but don't think I could pull off (him or on me). The food was just-okay--wild boar shouldn't be as boring as this one was--but the conversation was lively even before Linda Sue Park showed up with a Colin Farrell story I'll let her tell.
The next day I had a commiserative--and tasty--lunch with FSG publisher Margaret Ferguson which was its own delight and came with the bonus of a gift from editor Wes Adams--Alan Bennett's The Uncommon Reader, a novella, Wes assured me, that would provide fine entertainment for my bus trip home. Concerning itself with what might happen should the Queen conceive a passion for reading, it did, hugely. I can already see Helen Mirren doing it as a Hallmark Hall of Fame Christmas Special.
I didn't know Lloyd Alexander but he certainly had enough friends without me, many of whom spoke warmly at the celebration in his honor hosted by Cricket's Blouke and Marianne Carus. Did you know Lloyd was "Old Cricket"? Most unexpectedly hilarious was Lloyd's longtime editor Ann Durell explaining why she agreed to publish, in a fantasy-unfriendly era, what would become the Prydain series: Lloyd's agent had plied her with martinis. My old BCCB colleague Kate Pierson Jennings was there, too--she had been exchanging letters with Lloyd since she was ten years old.
Back here to the sad news that Elizabeth Watson--Horn Book Board member, longtime reviewer and past president of ALSC--had died on October 13th. Liz was great--sometimes the conversations at our old reviewer meetings could get a bit rarefied, and cutting right through it all would come Liz's cultured and authoritative contralto: "no child is going to touch that book."
Here is the Horn Book's "Best of" list for 2007. There are now a couple of titles which are starting to appear consistently on this year's lists: Shaun Tan's The Arrival, Peter Sis's The Wall, And Sherman Alexi's The True Story of a Part Time Indian, just to name a few.Add a Comment
Ah, Provincetown, where the Gays meet the Fisherfolk:
photo by Richard Asch
And where Buster met two of Santa's minions:
photo by Richard Asch
But vacation is O-ver. Now I'm busy getting ready for ALA (any late Caldecott hopes, dreams, and fears you care to share?) and hustling up copy for the premier issue of our new publication, Notes from the Horn Book, an e-newsletter for parents and other adults at the consumer end of children's books debuting in March. If you're interested in being a charter subscriber (relax, it's free) write to Sarah Scriver, sscriver, at hbookdotcom.
Former Horn Book editor Anita Silvey received the Education Publishing Association's Ludington Award "for an individual who has made a significant contribution to the paperback book business." Her confrerees at the award banquet sported the singular Silvey accessory in her honor:
(Anita is second from the left.)
Let us join in the salute. Congrats, A.S.!
Photo by Duncan Todd
The Horn Book will be offering a free monthly newsletter starting in March:
Each monthly issue features interviews with leading writers and illustrators, brief recommendations of noteworthy titles, and the latest news from the children's book world.
Click here to sign up!
(The magazine is well worth the price, too... judging by the issues that float around my house for years...)
Whatever whoever chooses to read is their business, of course, but adults whose taste in recreational reading ends with the YA novel need to grow up.Words of wisdom from Roger Sutton editor in chief of The Horn Book, a literary magazine about books for children and young adults. The best response in my book?I'm rubber You're glue Whatever you say bounces off of me And sticks to you!Actually,Display Comments Add a Comment
I came across this fascinating article about reviewing picture books in the Web Extras section of the Horn Book Guide website. As a reviewer of picture books myself, I was interested in author Karla Kuskin's observations about the difficulty involved in writing a lengthy, intelligent critique of a book which is often shorter than the review itself. I was also impressed with her impassioned defense of the picture book as art, an opinion I hold as well.
The role of the Book Reviewer has been on the wane for awhile now, with high-profile periodicals choosing to do away with review sections. And the influence of the blogosphere (to which I of course happily contribute) cannot be underestimated. If everyone is a critic, many of them are choosing to put their opinion on-line for all the world to see. And let's face it, not everyone wants to read a wordy, high-falootin break down of Nobunny is Perfect. They just want to know if their three year old will want to read it ten times a night. The Washington Post book reviews may not have insight on this, but joreads, a mom, TX, on Amazon.com, will.
We're on Facebook now. Really, I have no idea what this means. But come play with us!Display Comments Add a Comment
Visit The Horn Book to find out the winners and honor books of the Boston Globe-Horn Book Awards.
Presented annually since 1967, the Boston Globe–Horn Book Awards are customarily given in three categories: Fiction and Poetry, Picture Book, and Nonfiction. This year, as happens occasionally, the judges also awarded a Special Citation.
I just finished reading an interesting blog post from Editorial Anonymous (EA), where he/she states that the Coretta Scott King (CSK) Award may no longer be necessary. The CSK award is celebrating its 40th anniversary this year and honors African-American authors. EA states this in the post:
Giving an award for creating art about the experience of race is a wonderful thing. But giving an award for creating art and being a particular race? That’s racism in action.
It’s interesting that someone in the comment section said that this post reminded them of a Horn Book essay by Marc Aronson. It reminded me of this essay as well. But there is also a flip side to this argument presented in another Horn Book essay by Andrea Davis Pinkney that also makes valid points.
Honestly, I can see both sides of this argument. Just look at what happened earlier this year with Kadir Nelson’s We are the Ship. If there weren’t a CSK award, would Nelson have won the Caldecott? We can only ponder that answer. Maybe, maybe not.
But then you have other statistics such as the one researched by The Cooperative Children’s Book Center, which stated that in 2007 only 150 of nearly 3,000 titles were by African-American authors.
So, if the CSK award did go away, would any books by African-Americans by spotlighted? What if the award did away with its consideration of race? Would it be okay for non-African-American authors to be honored? If that were the case, Laurie Halse Anderson could been have considered for a CSK award for her book Chains. That speaks of the African-American experience, right?
I can also look at it another way as well. If you look at the CSK award recipients, you see a trend of the same authors wining the award several times. Does that make it harder for unknown African-American authors to break through? I know that this is one of the reasons that The Brown Bookshelf came into existence.
Personally, I’m all about trying to remove the focus of race from children’s literature. It’s easier said than done. Especially when you’re coming for the minority side of the equation.
EA points out in his/her blog post, giving an award only to black people causes a divide. That may be so, but if African-American authors are not on the same playing field with the number of published books and there is a small percentage of editors of color, how large can that divide really be?
There are points made on both sides. I can see that this is a conversation that we will be having for a while.Add a Comment
Today we welcome editorial director Brian Kenney (with me above; photo taken by Mitali Perkins at Midwinter), publisher Ron Shank, and the rest of School Library Journal and Library Journal to Media Source, our parent company. Here's the press release:
Ohio-based Media Source Inc. announces today that it has acquired Library Journal and School Library Journal from Reed Business Information-US. The acquisition includes all print and Web products, services, supplements, and newsletters, including Library Hotline. With this purchase, Media Source, best known for its ownership of Junior Library Guild and The Horn Book, Inc., adds substantially to its product offerings in the library market.
“Library Journal and School Library Journal are valuable magazines that deserve a corporate home focused on libraries,” said Randall Asmo, CEO of Media Source. “We respect the history and contribution of LJ and SLJ. Our goal is to build upon those strengths to provide a vital and comprehensive service to the librarian community.”
The Editorial and Advertising Sales groups of the acquired publications will continue operations in New York City. Asmo continues, “Editor-in-Chief Brian Kenney and Publisher Ron Shank are important to the success of SLJ and LJ, and they will remain in their current roles. We believe that the combined businesses of SLJ, LJ, Junior Library Guild, and The Horn Book will create a myriad of new opportunities in the marketplace. At the same time, our plan is to have each business unit continue to operate with complete editorial independence.”
About Media Source Inc.: Media Source, with headquarters just outside Columbus, Ohio, is the parent company of Junior Library Guild (JLG) and The Horn Book, Inc. JLG is a review and collection development service that provides new release children’s and young adult books to more than 17,000 school and public libraries. The Horn Book, Inc. reviews children’s and young adult books in two print publications, The Horn Book Magazine and The Horn Book Guide.
About School Library Journal (SLJ): Each monthly issue of SLJ includes reviews of children’s and young adult books, audio, and multimedia products, as well as news, features, and columns that deliver the perspective, resources, and leadership tools necessary for its readers to become indispensable players in their schools and libraries. More than 100,000 librarians who work with students in public and school libraries read School Library Journal.
About Library Journal (LJ): Founded in 1876, Library Journal is the oldest and most respected publication covering the library field. Over 100,000 library directors, administrators, and staff in public, academic, and special libraries read LJ. In its twenty annual issues, LJ reviews nearly 7000 books and provides coverage of technology, management, policy, and other professional concerns.
About Reed Business Information-US: Reed Business Information-US (www.reedbusiness.com/us) is a leading business-to-business information provider of publications and web sites, as well as custom publishing, directories and research. Reed Business Information-US is part of Reed Elsevier (NYSE: RUK and ENL), a world leading provider of professional information and workflow solutions in the Science, Medical, Legal, Risk Management and Business sectors.
Reed Business Information-US and Reed Elsevier were represented by The Jordan, Edmiston Group, Inc., a New York City-based investment bank that specializes in the media and information Display Comments Add a Comment
(photo courtesy of CNW Group)
Longtime Horn Book contributor (I swear, she must have started writing the "News from the North" column when she was twelve) Sarah Ellis has won the TD Canadian Children's Literature Award for Odd Man Out. And, in an oh-let's-be-vulgar shout out to any civic-minded U.S. banking corporation, she gets 20,000 smackers. Canadian, which is like a million in our money, right?