>November/December Horn Book Magazine

> The November/December issue is out, with a beautiful cover by Anita Lobel, whose Sutherland Lecture is in the issue. We’ve put online our reviews of new holiday books, Vicky Smith writing about religion and reviewing, Leonard Marcus on picture books from overseas and Mary Downing Hahn, Susan Cooper, and I discussing our choices for […]

>NBA Finalists

>We’ve posted our reviews of the finalists for the National Book Award, young people’s literature category, and I see that our little sister has done the same thing. Compare ‘n contrast!

>Did she just say what I think she did?

>Sparked by the Speak drama, the Tea Cozy asks the question, “what would you do if someone used your review as ‘proof’ that a book shouldn’t be in a library or a classroom?” and there’s a good discussion in the comments. My own touchstone for this question is Judy Blume’s Here’s to You, Rachel Robinson, […]

>We ARE here to judge, but . . .

> . . . not lay blame. Editorial Anonymous has a letter from a reader asking why reviewers don’t ever blame the publisher for “inept design and production decisions” that “ruin” a book. While the letter-writer seems to have a particular if unspoken agenda for his or her comment, I was rather more taken aback by […]

Not as rhetorical a question as you might have wished

From the promo blurb for My Double Life, by Janette Rallison: You know how they say everyone has a twin somewhere in the world, a person chance has formed to be their mirror image? Well, mine happens to be rock star Kari Kingsley. How crazy is that? Not crazy at all, when you, like I, […]

>Would we get more love from advertisers

>. . . if we worked the way Yelp is accused of doing? “Oh, we can make that 5-in-the-Guide totally go away, no problem. A star, you say? Well, let me tell you what I can do . . . .” I remember some years ago my friend Mary K. Chelton raising a ruckus in […]

>Check for lint

>Andrew sent me this op-ed re Kirkus and consumer reviewing whose sentiments I much appreciate, especially this gem: “Too often, the pretense of sharing advice devolves into oversharing the contours of one’s navel.” Meghan Daum is here talking primarily about consumer boards like Yelp and Amazon reviews, and I noticed yesterday while looking something up […]

>Kirkus Alive

>Frequent Horn Book contributor and former owner of Kirkus Reviews, Barbara Bader offers her thoughts on the announced shuttering of that review service: Kirkus Alive Within days, Kirkus will cease publishing after 76 years. A long, sometimes turbulent run, which has meant different things in the fields of children’s and adult books. I was successively, […]

>To "see like a child": all it’s cracked up to be?

>Back on the discussion of long book reviews, Maluose commented that “those of you who think kids are naturally great reviewers have never had to endure any of their blow-by-blow plot summaries. They make most bloggers sound positively terse.” Too true. The “book reviews” kids would deliver when I ran a summer reading club a […]

>Too damned long

>I see that PW has followed up on Betsy Bird’s thoughts on the Amazon Vine program; their speculation that membership in Vine might be a perk for good customers is intriguing if not substantiated. What seems oddest to me is that this program–for which publishers and other producers pay for the privilege of having their […]