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Likely Stories

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Keir Graff and editors from Booklist's adult and youth departments write candidly about books, book reviewing, and the publishing industry

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Wednesday, February 16, 2011 10:41 am
Margaret McElderry and Janet Schulman, R.I.P.
Posted by: Ilene Cooper

In 1997, Booklist hosted a party for Margaret McElderry on the occasion of her 50th year in publishing. She also did an interview with us in which she reminisced about her long and storied career: how she was initially was told by a career counselor she had nothing to offer publishing; the camaraderie she enjoyed with legendary editors such as Ursula Nordstrom; and her joy at the unbelievable triumph of winning the Newbery and Caldecott awards in the same year. Smart and gracious, Margaret McElderry was an advocate for children’s books and her audience of young readers. I wish she were here to respond to the interview given by Martin Amis (“Martin Amis: Only Brain Injury Could Make Me Write for Children,” by Benedicte Page, Guardian). She was just the woman to give him what for.

The children’s publishing world lost another star last week: Janet Schulman, author and editor-at-large at Random House. During Janet’s more than 40-year-career, she was Dr. Seuss’ editor and wrote her own books, too, including the memorable Pale Male: Citizen Hawk of New York City (2008). Her most recent book, 10 Easter Egg Hunters, illustrated by Linda Davick, was reviewed in the February 1 issue of Booklist. Janet was a great gal. Tennis was one of her passions, and I remember how frustrating it was for her when Wimbledon would fall during ALA’s annual conference (which was almost always).

Both Margaret and Janet will be greatly missed.

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