Controversies & Kerfuffles


VHEgallery_map_controversies_242x205From its earliest days, the Horn Book has stood up for its principles, sometimes fighting Goliaths like the U.S. Government (during the 1940s Japanese internment) and Walt Disney. We blush to admit that we were sometimes wrong, too: check out NYPL librarian Anne Carroll Moore’s infamous tirade against Charlotte’s Web.

Americans with the Wrong Ancestors by Clara Breed (July/August 1943 Horn Book Magazine)
The forced internment of Japanese-American young readers.

The Three Owls’ Notebook (December 1952 Horn Book Magazine)
Why Anne Carroll Moore is squeamish about Charlotte’s Web.

On Spies, and Applesauce and Such (February 1965 Horn Book Magazine)
Ruth Hill Viguers takes aim at Harriet the Spy.

Walt Disney Accused: an interview with Frances Clarke Sayers (December 1965 Horn Book Magazine)
Was Walt Disney a great educator? Frances Clarke Sayers says, “No!”

Eleanor Cameron vs. Roald Dahl (October 1972–October 1973 Horn Book Magazine)
Two heavyweights clash in a classic battle.

Lillian N. Gerhardt vs. Ethel L. Heins (May 1974–November 1975 in Horn Book Magazine and School Library Journal)
Why did SLJ editor Lillian Gerhardt want to hit Horn Book editor Ethel Heins over the head with a chair?

Where Do All the Prizes Go?: The Case for Nonfiction by Milton Meltzer (February 1976 Horn Book Magazine)
A passionate plea for “information” books to be judged fairly and justly rewarded.

Could Randolph Caldecott Win the Caldecott Medal? by Anita Silvey (July 1986 Horn Book Magazine)
Does the term “distinguished” in the Caldecott criteria prevent the award from going to books with a lighter touch?

A Wider Vision for the Newbery (Horn Book Magazine editorial, January 1996 Horn Book Magazine)
The Horn Book editors challenge the Newbery Committee to look more closely at books of various genres and featuring diverse characters.

Letters to the Editor (March/April 1996 Horn Book Magazine)
Readers respond to “A Wider Vision for the Newbery”

Slippery Slopes and Proliferating Prizes by Marc Aronson (May/June 2001 Horn Book Magazine)
A critique of identity-based awards, such as the Coretta Scott King and Pura Belpre Awards.

Awards that Stand on Solid Ground by Andrea Davis Pinkney  (September/October 2001 Horn Book Magazine)
A response to Marc Aronson

Letters to the Editor (September/October 2001 Horn Book Magazine)

The other g-word (Read Roger blog post, Oct. 29, 2007)
Roger Sutton’s blog post questioned the inordinate number of male illustrators who have won the Caldecott Medal.

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