Some time ago, Terry wrote about multiple copies/versions of classical records. It put me in mind of a session I attended at HVLA, where three librarians involved with various awards committees spoke.

One of them, who'd been a Caldecott "voter", said that she sometimes wished that there were no new books, that the pace of publishing had gotten too fast and quality control was sometimes pushed aside. It sounded a little like this from Terry:
What is it that causes an otherwise sensible musician to conclude that the world is waiting breathlessly for him to reduce to digits his interpretation of a score that has already been recorded twenty times or more?
But then she went on to say that it was silly to think that way because every so often, a gem arises. For me, as far as children's/YA lit goes,

If I never read another orphan/abused child growing into powers/position story again... daienu.

If I never read about a quest... daienu.

If I never see a series where book 3 (or 11) is vastly larger than Book 1... daienu.

If I never read another book written by an adult genre writer for the YA/Children's audience (who generally has no idea what children like)... daienu.

If I never read another book written by a precocious teen... daienu.

But then I'd never have read Rick Riordan. Or Amanda Marquit. Or Clive Barker. Or many others.

So yes, quality control is important. But to stop simply because it all looks like it's been written before would be denying the real gems, the books that will become classics, their place on the shelf.


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