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.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Reporter's Review: Princess of the Midnight Ball, by Jessica Day George

Bloomsbury, 2009 (published in Britain in 2008)
Overall Grade: A-

Galen is a young, parentless soldier returning from a recently-ended war to work as a palace gardener, and Rose is the eldest of twelve motherless princesses under a curse. Coincidentally (or maybe not), after the two meet, their lives begin to be filled with excitement and danger; the sorcerer king who has cursed the princesses to dance with his half-human sons every third night grows more demanding, the princesses’ father grows more worried, and a witch-hunter with a lust for hangings grows more suspicious. Galen determines to save Rose and her sisters, though others have tried and died. But they weren’t Galen, and they didn’t have his help: a little magic, a lot of ingenuity, and a heart full of true love.
Jessica Day George’s Princess of the Midnight Ball is an exciting retelling of the Brothers Grimm’s The Twelve Dancing Princesses. Perhaps because the original story already has so much depth and completeness, George’s plot is not as original or clever as some other recent masterful fairy tale retellings. However, it is a beautiful rendition of an already beautiful folk tale, and the characters are given personalities that make the story personal as well as intriguing.

Literary Quality: A-
Plot: B+
Voice: A-
Originality: B+
Descriptive Ability: A
Humor: n/a
Illustrations: n/a
Believability of Characters: A
Believability of Situations: A
Overall Reading Enjoyment: A

Possibly objectionable topics*: sorcery and curses

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