posted February 6, 2014 4:15 PM by Alec Chunn
So, I moved. I'm still in Allston (darn), but at least I am several steps closer to Brookline. I could wax poetic about how much I love that city (fun fact: I volunteer in the Teen Room at the main branch of the public library) but that would do little for our purposes here. As much as I might like to publicly complain about my laborious moving process (it really wasn't so bad), I find myself distracted by a much more exciting move than my own: The Horn Book is coming to Simmons. For the children's literature world, this is huge. HUGE. I'm telling you.
(Don't believe me? Click here.)
This move makes a lot of sense considering that the magazine's founder, Bertha Mahony, graduated from Simmons in 1902. Nowadays, Simmons (specifically its Center for the Study of Children's Literature) and The Horn Book are both involved in Children's Book Boston, a new organization dedicated to providing a shared space for the Boston-based kid lit world. Simmons also hosts The Horn Book at Simmons Colloquium following the Boston Globe/Horn Book Awards each year.
Maybe this sounds like a bit of a fact dump to you, but these factors basically all add up to the fact that Simmons continues to be the premier institution for those who study children's books (librarians included). The college's location in Boston, a literary epicenter in children's publishing since its American inception, marks it as a member of an incredible legacy. While The Horn Book's move does not signify a merger with Simmons, it does signify a stronger partnership. There's no telling what sort of internships might arise but, at the very least, students won't have to commute very far!
Lastly, in related, equally huge news, the American Library Association's Youth Media Awards were announced on January 27. Several Simmons students, myself included, joined Cathie Mercier in the Palace Road building for the live broadcasting of the ceremony. Bagels in hand, we all cheered for our favorites and shared our surprises (I'm looking at you, Midwinterblood). As sad as I might have been that Aaron Becker's Journey didn't win, I have to celebrate another move in the field of children's literature: the selection of a nonfiction title to win the Caldecott Medal. Maybe we can thank the Common Core for this uncommon win, but it certainly signifies an interesting shift in values from previous committees. It's not the first nonfiction win, but there aren't many to precede it. We can only speculate what's in store for next year. And, who knows, maybe we'll even be joined by The Horn Book staff for the 2015 broadcast!
So, there you have it. It's only February and already 2014 is groundbreaking. I can't wait to find out what happens between now and June 6 (which, for those not in the know, is the day the film adaptation of John Green's The Fault in Our Stars comes out and basically ends the world because of feelings). For now, it's back to the books for another excellent week of grad school.