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[Susan notes: Kudos. People in the world of children's books rarely make statements attacking political programs. It's good to see this.]

Published in New York Times

To the editor

Re" For Young Latino Readers, an Image Is Missing: One reason children's trade books for and about young Latinos are in such short supply is that the last Bush administration's No Child Left Behind education policy compelled teachers to focus unduly on test preparation, often to the exclusion of class time devoted to the reading of literature.

Teachers who once kept a shelf or more of children's trade books in their classrooms were sometimes even forced to remove the books for fear of putting unwanted ''distractions'' in their children's hands.

Publishers, who are risk-averse anyway, witnessed the evaporation of a major portion of their institutional market, and rechanneled their limited resources to produce more books about pink princesses, teenage vampires and the like.

The writer is a historian and the author of 'Minders of Make-Believe,' a history of children's book publishing in the United States.

Leonard Marcus

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