Not as rhetorical a question as you might have wished

http://www.hbook.com/blog/2010/03/not-as-rhetorical-question-as-you-might.html

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, have just spent two days combing through dozens (and dozens) of new YA novels, every other one of which seeming to encapsulate a formula of romance novel plus high-concept commercial hook plus glamorama cover art. In my day we called these paperbacks.

One of the more interesting of post-Harry Potter developments has been the emergence of commercial fiction for young people; that is, books designed to be purchased by kids/teens themselves, written in an undemanding style and with an alluring, quickly graspable premise. Airport books. Except if they were airport books, I wouldn't have to think twice about not reviewing them. And. There. Are. So. Many. And so many that seem to want desperately to be just like some other book that has already been a hit. Little Vampire Women, I'm looking at you.

Maybe this is only funny if you've been reviewing books for twenty-five years, but

http://www.hbook.com/blog/2010/03/maybe-this-is-only-funny-if-youve-been.html

What do Heath Ledger: Talented Actor, John Lennon: Legendary Musician & Beatle, and Michael Jackson: King of Pop have in common? They are all entries in the Lives Cut Short series from ABDO.

Aw, now I'm all nostalgic for Things to Know about Death and Dying, published in Silver Burdett's Look Before You Leap series in 1985.

Honor Books or Runners-Up?

http://www.hbook.com/blog/2010/03/honor-books-or-runners-up.html

Until I read Time magazine this morning, I hadn't noticed that the Academy Awards had changed "and the Oscar goes to . . ." to "and the winner is . . . ," a phrasing not heard on the show since 1989. In our own world, ALSC changed the designation runner up to Honor Book for, er, runners-up for the Newbery and Caldecott Medals in 1971. I've been assured by several people that the change was not just euphemistic and that the terms mean different things but damned if I can figure out what the difference is. Does anyone know? K.T., Nina, Peter, are you out there?