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, May 23, 2009

Reporter's Review: Soldier's Secret, by Sheila Solomon Klass

Henry Holt, March 2009
Overall Grade: A-

Deborah Sampson never had any desire to be a man; but when her family abandons her and her country needs her, she determines to do everything she can to be able to fight like a man. She enlists in the army to support General Washington in the War for Independence, disguising herself and battling as a young man—and fooling everyone for over a year.
In Soldier’s Secret, Sheila Solomon Klass does an admirable job of translating Deborah’s true story to an entertaining and accessible novel for young readers. She brings historical details vividly to life, and will give readers an understanding of colonial life they will be hard-pressed to find elsewhere, illuminating the daily lives both of a woman and of a soldier.

Literary Quality: A-
Plot: A-
Voice: A+
Originality: B
Descriptive Ability: A-
Humor: n/a
Illustrations: n/a
Believability of Characters: A
Believability of Situations: B+ (The romance plot seems, at times, unbelievable)
Overall Reading Enjoyment: A

Possibly objectionable topics*: mild language; some mention of inappropriate behavior mentioned among soldiers; frank discussion of feminine topics related to Deborah’s disguising herself as a man; war-related violence.

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