A discussion on child_lit about book reviews that give away a book's plot twist or ending led NYPLer John Peters to post a link to Library Journal's announcement that it had begun editing its reviews with the reader--rather than the librarian selecting for that reader--in mind, as well as making them more Twitterific. Meaning: because the real money in book-review publishing now lies in their dissemination through databases rather than as print publications, it's smart to make them as versatile and buzzable as possible. But it would also be smart--financially--to make book reviews as positive as possible, too, as the companies that purchase them--from Baker & Taylor to Amazon.com--use them in alliance with systems designed to sell people books. So we all need to watch our step.
I wonder what if anything this might mean for the children's review media. While I don't think anyone will be urging SLJ or the Horn Book to write reviews for children themselves, there is a larger and larger audience of adults who read children's books not as gatekeepers but for their own pleasure. Should we be worrying more about "spoilers"? As it is, half the Horn Book office is closing its ears around the other half, all because of Catching Fire.
(And I won't spill anything here. Catching Fire is great fun to read and will be especially appreciated by people who enjoyed The Hunger Games, he said ambiguously.)