November 17, 2017

Zena Sutherland Dead at 86

By Debra Lau

Zena Bailey Sutherland, 86, a writer, editor, and university professor who
became a prominent reviewer of children’s literature, died of cancer, June 12,
in a Chicago hospital.

Sutherland was internationally known as a children’s book critic, having
reviewed more than 30,000 books from 1958 to 1985 for The Bulletin
of the Center for Children’s Books, read by librarians, editors,
publishers, writers, and illustrators.

Sutherland was internationally known as a children’s book critic, having
reviewed more than 30,000 books from 1958 to 1985 for The Bulletin
of the Center for Children’s Books, read by librarians, editors,
publishers, writers, and illustrators. She also wrote 19 books, succeeding May
Hill Arbuthnot as the author of the textbook Children and Books,
considered a classic in the field of library science. Sutherland wrote the
monthly “Books for Young People” column for the Saturday Review from
1966 to 1972, and from 1972 to 1986 she taught at the University of Chicago
library school. While there, she served on the Newbery and Caldecott Awards
committees, as well as on other important library and children’s books
committees. Sutherland was also the children’s book editor at the Chicago
Tribune
from 1972 to 1984.

Born in 1915 in Winthrop, MA, Sutherland grew up in Chicago and earned her
bachelor and master’s degree from the University of Chicago. While attending the
university’s graduate library school, Sutherland took a children’s literature
course on a whim and soon after was asked to temporarily take over The
Bulletin
.

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