. . . 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 the Letters column of SLJ, implying that positive reviews (in SLJ and elsewhere) bore an interesting relationship to advertising in the same pages. And I myself have pondered the practice of book award committee members being wined-dined-and-sixty-nined by publishers. While I know of no instance where a review or an award has been even attempted to be bought or sold outright, it behooves us all to keep the lines as bright as possible. At the risk of boring you with this anecdote for the tenth time, I remember a BBYA committee I was on arguing about what Gary Paulsen might have meant by some ambiguous turn of phrase or plot, I forget just which. One member brightly announced that she knew exactly what was meant because "Gary told me while we were dancing last night." It's not the dancing I minded so much as its bumping into the evaluation process.