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, January 22, 2010

Reporter's Review: Scones and Sensibility, by Lindsay Eland

Egmont, December 2009
Overall Grade: A-
Indeed, love is in the air for one Polly Madassa, a reader of most elegant books and daughter of the owners of a quaint and lovely bakery. Determined to find matches for her friends and family befitting the romantic ideals set forth in her favorite books (Anne of Green Gables and Pride and Prejudice—hey, the girl's got taste;), Polly takes it upon herself to manage a little matchmaking. When things go awry, however, she finds herself in the depths of despair...will she be able to right the terrible wrongs she has committed?
Scones and Sensibility is a must-read for all those girls (you know who you are) who always wished they could be Anne of Green Gables. (Oops, did my hand just jump into the air? Sorry.) Polly is a delightful, extremely memorable character, just like her heroine. There are moments when the story's and characters' believability is called into question; chiefly this stems from the unique way Polly narrates her story in first person. Her thoughts and commentary are all told to the audience in the archaic, flowery, adjective- and adverb-laden speech she admires, and which she uses. Because we have a constant dose of the strongest examples of that, it seems at times that Polly's friends and family should be more startled/annoyed by it than they are...however, that reaction—the rolled eyes, the confused stares, etc.--is there if you look. The only actual flaw may have been that Polly, as she was narrating, did not point out the emotional moments where she lapses into modern speech (except in one instance); she leaves it to her audience to draw their own conclusions, the classic show-don't-tell theory...but Polly would tell. That's just the kind of girl she is. Perhaps this is a case of the factor that makes a story lovable (that unique, kinda crazy voice) also making it difficult for some readers to follow.
Nonetheless, I love the idea, that wonderful exploration of what a girl could end up like if she took storybook romance too much to heart—and I love the conclusion that is reached, that ultimately, true love does exist and is even better than storybook love.
Literary Quality: B+
Plot: A-
Voice: A
Originality: A-
Descriptive Ability: A-
Humor: A+
Illustrations: n/a
Believability of Characters: B-
Believability of Situations: A-
Overall Reading Enjoyment: A

*Possibly objectionable topics: broken families


Kay Cassidy said...

I absolutely ADORED Scones & Sensibility. Polly is one of the most charming and memorable characters from 2009, imho. The only downside? I craved baked goods the entire time I was reading! :-)

Laura said...

I loved Anne of Green Gables first, but I love this book too, http://lauramitolife.blogspot.com/2010/04/scones-and-sensibility.html