Sutton, Roger 1956–
SUTTON, Roger 1956–
PERSONAL: Born October 26, 1956, in Manchester, CT; son of Franklin Thomas (in sales) and Mary Sheila (a secretary; maiden name, McNally) Sutton; companion of Richard L. Asch. Education: Pitzer College, B.A., 1978; University of Chicago, M.L.S., 1982. Politics: Democrat. Religion: Roman Catholic.
ADDRESSES: Office—Horn Book, Inc., 56 Roland St., Ste. 200, Boston, MA 02129. E-mail—[email protected]
CAREER: Zion-Benton Public Library District, young adult services librarian, 1981–83; Chicago Public Library, Chicago, IL, librarian, 1983–87; Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books, senior editor, 1988–92, executive editor, 1992–94, editor in chief, 1994–96; Horn Book, Inc., Boston, MA, editor in chief, 1996–. Columbia University, director of Children's Literature Institute and teacher of children's literature classes, 1987–91; Rosary College, River Forest, IL, lecturer, 1991; teacher of children's literature classes at Simmons College and University of Chicago. University of Southern Mississippi, Ezra Jack Keats Lecturer at Children's Book Festival, 1998; judge and juror of competitions, including National Book Award for young people's literature and Newbery Medal, both 1999, and Jo Osburne Award for Humor; consultant to Children's Literature Center, Library of Congress.
MEMBER: American Library Association (member of board of directors for young adult services).
AWARDS, HONORS: Edpress Distinguished Achievement Awards, 1991, 1992, 1993; cited among "Best Books for Young Adults," American Library Association, "Children's Book of Distinction," Hungry Mind Review, and "Best Juvenile Nonfiction," Society of Midland Authors, all 1994, for Hearing Us Out: Voices from the Gay and Lesbian Community.
(Editor, with Zena Sutherland and Betsy Hearne, and contributor) The Best in Children's Books: The University of Chicago Guide to Children's Literature, 1985–1990, University of Chicago Press (Chicago, IL), 1991.
(Editor, with Betsy Hearne) Evaluating Children's Books: A Critical Look, Graduate School of Library and Information Sciences, University of Illinois—Urbana-Champaign (Urbana, IL), 1993.
Hearing Us Out: Voices from the Gay and Lesbian Community, Little, Brown (Boston, MA), 1994.
(Editor) The Newbery and Caldecott Medal Books, 1986–2000: A Comprehensive Guide to the Winners, American Library Association (Chicago, IL), 2001.
Contributor of articles and reviews to periodicals, including School Library Journal and New York Times Book Review. Editor in chief, Horn Book and Horn Book Guide, both 1996–.
SIDELIGHTS: Roger Sutton's Hearing Us Out: Voices from the Gay and Lesbian Community is a collection of interviews he conducted with fifteen gay and lesbian people in Chicago. Although some of the subjects are teenagers, many are adults because, as Sutton stated in the introduction, "I thought it was important to show teenage gays and lesbians … life goes on past junior-high humiliation and high-school ostracism."
Sutton's book has garnered a number of assessments from reviewers who note that it fills an important need for many young readers. In a foreword to the book, novelist M. E. Kerr ponders "what this book might have meant to me, growing up gay, but also to a parent like my mother." Booklist reviewer Carolyn Phelan cited the "wide diversity of experiences, backgrounds, and points of view" brought together in Sutton's work, concluding that "readers wondering about what it means to be gay or lesbian will find this an intriguing and informative book of personal reflections." In a review in School Library Journal, Claudia Morrow stated that Hearing Us Out "succeeds largely because the narrators' words bespeak qualities such as humor, honesty, generosity, and commitment." Voice of Youth Advocates contributor Keith McCoy similarly observed: "In all, the angst from discovering one's differentness comes across, but not at the expense of hearing how normal these people are."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Sutton, Roger, Hearing Us Out: Voices from the Gay and Lesbian Community, Little, Brown (Boston, MA), 1994.
Booklist, September, 1994, Carolyn Phelan, review of Hearing Us Out: Voices from the Gay and Lesbian Community, p. 124.
Horn Book, January-February, 1995, p. 71; March-April, 1996, p. 133.
Publishers Weekly, November 21, 1994, p. 79.
School Library Journal, December, 1994, Claudia Morrow, review of Hearing Us Out, p. 140.
Voice of Youth Advocates, February, 1995, Keith McCoy, review of Hearing Us Out, p. 365.
Horn Book Web Site, http://www.hbook.com/ (January 16, 2003).
Time Warner Bookmark, http://www.twbookmark.com/ (January 16, 2003), review of Hearing Us Out.