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.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Reporter's Review: Cicada Summer, by Andrea Beaty

Overall Grade: A-
Amulet Books; 2008

In this case, we want to start by airing our biggest complaint: whoever wrote the dust jacket blurb for Cicada Summer did Andrea Beaty a grave injustice. From the blurb, we expected a sickly-sweet, happy-go-lucky story about one girl’s exciting summer; in other words, we expected to hate it. We did not. The actual book was completely different from its description, being a meaningful story of dealing with loss and guilt in a way that is refreshingly uplifting and honest. The one disappointment was that the book’s very short length (at 167 small pages) left some loose ends in character development and plot that could have been tied up more effectively in a slightly longer work.

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

Possibly objectionable topics*: death of a child; a criminal parent.

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