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, February 7, 2009

A Pocketful of Reviews

This new year is bringing The Children's Book Reporter the amazing opportunity to be part of Random House's Random Buzzers Bloggers... which reminds us how bad a job we've done at keeping this blog up to date.
We've been lazy about blogging, but not reading... Here, in brief (and in the order we read them), are some of the titles we've read through the year, and a quick letter grade evaluation for each:
The Calder Game, by Blue Balliett: C
Savvy, by Ingrid Law: A-
Peeled, by Joan Bauer: A
The Facttracker, by Jason Carter Eaton: B
The Magic Half, by Annie Barrows: A-
Artemis Fowl, the Time Paradox, by Eoin Colfer: A-
Brooklyn Bridge, by Karen Hess: A+
The Totally Made-Up Civil War Diary of Amanda MacLeish, by Claudia Mills: B-
My 100 Adventures, by Polly Horvath: B
The Postcard, by Tony Abbott: B
The Cabinet of Wonders, by Marie Ritkoski: B+
Keeping Score, by Linda Sue Park: C+
Phillipa Fisher's Fairy Godsister, by Liz Kessler: B
The Ruby Key, byHolly Lisle: A-
Masterpiece, by Elise Broach: A
Antsy Does Time, by Neil Schusterman: A
The Hunger Games, by Suzanne Collins: A+
The Graveyard Book, by Neil Gaiman: A+
The Life and Times of Bernetta Wallflower, by Lisa Graff: A-
The Dragonfly Pool, by Eva Ibbotson: B
Palace of Mirrors, by Margaret Peterson Haddix: B
The Trouble Begins at 8, by Sid Fleischman: A+
Out of the Wild, by Sarah Beth Durst: B-
Impossible, by Nancy Werlin: C+
Bringing the Boy Home, by N. A. Nelson: A-

Finally, our congratulations to Neil Gaiman for winning the Newbery medal! The Graveyard Book was, without a question, our favorite book of the year. We couldn't think of any more deserving of such an honor.