A customer noticed our Horn Book Magazine display at the cash register just now, and called out to her adult daughter, “I had my poem published in Horn Book when I was ten!” I asked her what year that was….she hesitated before responding, “It must have been 1961.” I asked if she remembered the poem and she promptly recited:
When I grow up I hope to see
A world of love and peace and glee,
A world where children far and near
Will never have a single fear.
She said that in 1961 there were frequent civil defense duck-and-cover exercises in the classroom, and this was the inspiration for her poem.
I asked if having her poem published in Horn Book had been important to her. She said, “Of course! I became famous in school.” She went on to become an elementary school teacher, and is now retired.
Although Horn Book no longer publishes children’s poetry, this long-concluded publishing program resonates down the years through its influence on the children who participated. That’s the stunning thing about working with young people, isn’t it? The work continues to have impact long after you yourself have moved on.
Good work, Horn Book!