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.

Friday, July 31, 2009

Reporter's Review: Dying to Meet You; 43 Old Cemetery Road, by Kate Klise, illustrated by M. Sarah Klise

Harcourt; April, 2009
Overall Grade: B+/A-

Ignatius B. Grumply, an author of children's books with a twenty-year case of writer's block, decides to rent a old Victorian mansion in which he can ignore the distractions of the world and meet his publisher's deadline for his latest ghost story. But he soon finds out he's hardly safe from distractions there: a boy, a cat, and a very old ghost are already living on the third floor, and they don't intend to let him rest.

Dying to Meet You was an easy, enjoyable read which will likely be devoured by middle grade lovers of not-too-scary ghost stories. There was nothing spectacularly wonderful about it...but there was nothing which stood out as bad, either. Basically, it was cute and clever. You'll probably have fun reading it; you're less likely to be reading it to your grandkids in 20 years.

Literary Quality: B
Plot: B
Voice: A-
Originality: A
Descriptive Ability: B
Humor: A
Illustrations: B (They're cute, but they don't add much to the text)
Believability of Characters: A-
Believability of Situations: A-
Overall Reading Enjoyment: A-

Possibly objectionable topics*: parental neglect; ghosts (imagine that!)

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