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.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Special Topic: Authors are our favorite “real people”

Perhaps one of the dangers of being completely obsessed with books is that we readers tend to put authors on gigantic pedestals, solid mountains of their published books and those that came before them, looking down on us mortals with lofty smiles.
Reality check: authors are real people. Really cool people, granted, but quite approachable and, indeed, mortal and tangible. They’re not abnormal, they’re not weird, and they’re not gods on earth. Their creativity and perseverance certainly makes them worthy of our admiration, but the truth is they really don’t want to be isolated from society simply because their name is in print.
There a couple ways to get over this problem… First of all, we highly recommend seeking out and attending book signings and presentations by your favorite authors. It is a great way to see just how real and likable many authors are—and a good chance for them to meet admiring, but not crazy/worshipping, fans. Did you know that Gail Carson Levine is really cute…and really short? Or that Linda Sue Park loves babies? Or that Jeanne DuPrau is very sweet and shy? Or that Norton Juster used to get picked on in the Navy because he was drawing dragons and castles everywhere? All true—all memories we will keep forever of the chances we had to meet these gifted people.
But meeting an author in person isn’t always possible… so we are happy to announce that we are about to begin a new tradition on this blog: author interviews! Our inaugural interview will be with the delightful Robin Brande, author of the upcoming novel FAT CAT. So stay tuned to meet some cool real people…even if it’s not in the real world…
And a couple addendums…
To readers: please feel free to share your favorite author stories here!
To authors: We always love to hear from you, whether in response to a review or just to comment and say hi. And if you’d like us to review your book and/or feature you in a future author interview, please email us at thechildrensbookreporter@gmail.com. (We have a particular soft spot for debut authors, as well, so don’t be shy. :)

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