>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 […]

>Milton Meltzer, 94

>”That damned Horn Book”–the first words Milton Meltzer ever said to me, upon our mutual introduction fifteen years ago. Meltzer was ever-watchful of how the review journals were treating nonfiction books, a crusade begun by him in our pages more than thirty years ago. We commemorate the passing, on September 19th, of this omnivorously curious […]

>Digital reviewing

>We had a call this morning from a publisher who is thinking about supplying reviewers with f&gs of picture books in digital form and wanted to know if Horn Book could work with that/those. I demurred. Electronic galleys for fiction, maybe. Although my Kindle gathers dust (too hard to hold; I hate the buttons and […]