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, June 17, 2009

Reporter's Review: The Amaranth Enchantment, by Julie Berry

Bloomsbury, March 2009
Overall Grade: A

Lucinda is the daughter of wealthy aristocrats, but when they die in a tragic carriage accident, Lucinda is taken in my her uncle-by-marriage and his cruel wife, the owners of a struggling goldsmithy. When Uncle dies, Lucinda is thrown out onto the streets—but fate brings her to the home of a kind, but mysterious woman reputed to be a witch…and it turns out to be Lucinda’s childhood home, as well. Throw in a charming thief, a down-to-earth prince, an immortal villain, and a magical stone that they all seem to be after—and you have the key ingredients for one of the most exciting Cinderella stories you’ll ever read.
The Amaranth Enchantment is gripping and fast-paced as well as romantic. Julie Berry is a master of thinking outside the box, turning a wonderful, but dog-eared, fairy tale into an original novel. Her plot was very clever, though at times the pacing of the events was slightly jarring. There are a few unbelievable moments at the dénouement—but they provide such a satisfying ending that they likely won’t bother anyone. On the whole, a very enjoyable, and highly recommended, read.

Literary Quality: A-
Plot: B+ (While the actual plot was brilliant, the way it was pieced together was occasionally sudden and, as a result, slightly confusing)
Voice: A
Originality: A+
Descriptive Ability: A+
Humor: A
Illustrations: n/a
Believability of Characters: A
Believability of Situations: B
Overall Reading Enjoyment: A+

Possibly objectionable topics*: child neglect/abuse, mild swears, some blood and violence

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