Here's what I'm thinking...
Children's book reviews by kids could be a useful resource for parents or other kids. Knowing what other people like, after all, is important to us as adults, in that it can steer us to the best books, the best entertainment, the best products...
And kids value their peers' opinions even more than we do!
But that's not the main reason I'm adding this feature to the site. The main reason is I think writing children's book reviews could be a heck of a motivator to read children's books!
(And here's a site that proves it: Spaghetti Book Club - Book Reviews By Kids For Kids)
Kids want to be recognized
Heck, once they've had enough exposure to TV, most of them want to be famous! So that's what I'm offering here in the Book Reviews By Kids department.
A couple web pages worth of fame. The warm feeling that comes from knowing that their opinions are valued.
I'm confident parents will be able to use this as a motivator not only to get their children to read but to have kids think about what they're reading.
So Book Reviews By Kids will promote reading and critical thinking. What greater gifts could you give your child to ensure their future success!
Book Reviews By Kids -
Is a children's book review the same thing as a book report?
Good question. Some teachers would make a distinction, saying that a kid's book report is supposed to be entirely factual, entirely objective. In other words, no opinions, no critique.
Other teachers don't bother with the distinction and allow children to offer their opinions/critiques.
Either way, the body of the book report gives factual information about the book, including what it's about.
Here's how we're going to do it
Book Reviews By Kids should contain both factual information and your child's critique. Your child, though, should attempt to justify his/her critique.
In other words, it's not enough to say, "I didn't like this book." Your child should explain his/her dislike.
Any format that your child uses at school is fine with me, as long as it contains both fact and opinion.
Other Book Reviews By Kids ground rules
First, we need to protect your child's privacy in these times. I want first names only. And since I'm going to permit parents to post their child's beautiful picture if they so choose, I'm going to include no geographical information.
That should keep everyone safe.
I'm also going to ask that it be parents who communicate with me, not children. When your child's work is ready, I ask that you send it.
Second, I'm going to insist on two Book Reviews By Kids reviews from every participating child.
Why two? Because every other review site on the internet - whether for children's books or flat screen TVs - suffers from "review inflation." That is, people tend to review what they like. Because they tend not to bother with what they don't like, practically everything gets a thumbs up.
I don't want that. I want to encourage critical thinking. Children can learn as much - or more - from what they don't like as they can from what they do.
Third, I'm afraid I don't have time to devote to being your child's editor. Your child can write the review, but I ask that you read it over before sending it along. Make sure it's presentable, please. Don't be afraid to send Junior back for a rewrite. All the best editors do!
Fourth, I want younger children to be able to participate in Book Reviews By Kids too, so I'll also accept reviews ghost-written by parents. Solicit your child's opinion and write it down. Interview format might work best, for instance:
Dad: What do you like about the pictures?
Sabrina: I like that the teacher always looks nice.
Here's what will happen
Start by filling out the form below. Once you submit the form, an email will automatically be sent to you. Reply to the email to submit your child's two reviews.
If you're submitting your child's picture, attach it to the email, rather than inserting it. You can submit any nice picture of your child, but my preference would be to get two pictures:
Remember: no identifying visuals in the picture.
Are we ready? Okay, let's go:
I'll look forward to reading (and posting) your child's reviews!
Best Children's Books - Find, Read or Write home page.