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, September 3, 2009

Reporter's Review: Mudshark, by Gary Paulsen

Wendy Lamb Books, 2009
Overall Grade: A

Mudshark is cool. He’s athletic, he’s friendly, and he’s smart. Really, really smart. He can remember everything, and reigns supreme as item-finder and mystery-solver at his middle school…until a strange, “telepathic” parrot takes up residence in the library, just as things around his school are beginning to get very strange.
Mudshark (I mean the book this time) is clever and very, very funny. Because it is clearly early middle grade, the plot is small; I would argue that even as a middle grade book, it could have been slightly better developed… In particular, I would have been more satisfied if the reader had more insight/emotional involvement in the solving of the mystery, as the outcome seemed rather sudden. However, the characters were lovable and unique, the narrative voice was excellent, and the humor was superb. Highly recommended to readers ages 8-10 in particular.

Literary Quality: B
Plot: B
Voice: A+
Originality: A-
Descriptive Ability: A-
Humor: A+
Illustrations: n/a
Believability of Characters: A+ (although the development is minimal in such a short book, it is very accurate)
Believability of Situations: A-
Overall Reading Enjoyment: A

Possibly objectionable topics*: none

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