We don't do stars...
We don't do thumbs...
We read children's books and grade them in 10 categories:
literary quality
descriptive ability
humor (if attempted)
illustrations (if present)
believability of characters
believability of situations
overall reading enjoyment

There is no grading curve. There are no points for classroom participation. There is no extra credit.
If you disagree, come speak to us after class.

The Grading System

A+.....this means (guess what) we think it's great. So great it surprised even us.
A.....this means it's pretty darn good. A book we'd recommend to just about everyone we know.
B.....better than most. Not exactly Shakespeare for kids, though, if you get our drift.
C.....mediocre. Like the color beige, it didn't stand out.
D.....we didn't like it. There were more bad aspects than good ones.
F.....it reeked of badness. We read it over and over when we are in dire need of hysterical laughter.
F-.....We're pretty sure Dante had a circle of hell for the people who wrote these...and a lower circle for those who published them.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Reporter's Review: Eleven, by Patricia Reilly Giff

Overall Grade: C
Random House, Wendy Lamb Books; 2008

Eleven, from Newbery Honor recipient Patricia Reilly Giff, was pretty disappointing. There isn’t much actually bad to say about it—our biggest specific complaint was that she had characters cry when this seemed a little over the top. The saddest thing about this book was that nothing—at all—stood out. The plot was mediocre and predictable, the tension seemed contrived, the characters weren’t vivid enough. For a book that on the surface seems to be all about relationships (Sam’s relationship with his grandfather, with the new girl at school, with his reading teacher, with his neighbors), the relationships were very vaguely recreated…and the problem is it didn’t turn out to be about anything else either.
Eleven wasn’t a bad read, wasn’t an unpleasant way to spend a few hours…but we probably won’t remember it by this time next week.

Literary Quality: B
Plot: C
Voice: C
Originality: C
Descriptive Ability: B
Humor: C
Illustrations: (none)
Believability of Characters: C
Believability of Situations: C
Overall Reading Enjoyment: C

Possibly objectionable topics*: Vague memories of child abuse.

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