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.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Mothers' Day Writer Mama Guest Post: Lindsey Leavitt

(Lindsay is the author of the delicious 2010 debut novel Princess for Hire.)

Last week was my oldest daughter's birthday. Since my husband was out of town, we saved the party business for another day and opted to have some girl time instead. We spent the day at Chuck E Cheese, playing with friends, watching movies and eating cupcakes. 
That night, my little-six-year-old cuddled up to me and said, "Mom? It's night time. Why aren't you on your computer?"
I kissed her head and answered, "I'm not working today. I'm hanging out with you."
And her eyes got super wide and she said, "Wow! That's the first time you've EVER done that! Thank you for not working, Mommy!"
Yeah, I listened to Cat's Cradle on repeat that night and drowned my Mommy Guilt in the leftover cupcakes, comforted in the fact that this same daughter also said she NEVER goes to the bookstore. Hello, if I buy another book, they're going to name a wing after us. If bookstores had wings.
The truth is, I am on my computer a lot. Or hiding in the closet so I can talk to my agent. Or I'm reading a friend's book at the park. Two years ago, when I sold my first book, I went from a full-time mom with a dream to a full-time mom with a career. Sometimes, I feel like I'm straddling some invisible line between the two, wanting so desperately to succeed in both, never feeling like I'm doing my best in either.
But. The beauty of my job is that I CAN be a full-time mom. I can put my kids to bed and stay up until 1 to get that dang character description right. There are weeks where cereal is on the menu every night, and others where I don't write at all. And I teach my kids the importance of perseverance and going after a dream simply by booting up that computer every day.
It's a crazy, wonderful balancing act, filled with play-do and "quick email checks". And a day NEVER EVER goes by that I'm not grateful for it.

You can visit Lindsey at http://www.lindseyleavitt.com


HAPPY MOTHERS' DAY, TO ALL YOU MOTHERS OUT THERE! (And especially to Lindsey, Rosanne, and Lindsay! Thanks for inspiring us!)


JoAnn said...

I am not a writer, but I LOVE to read. I want to take a moment to thank Lindsey, Rosanne, Lindsay, and ALL of the "writer mamas" out there who make the sacrifices necessary to share their gift of writing with us readers: mothers, children and all.

For so many years I have enjoyed good books without giving much thought to the work involved in writing. But watching you, dear Book Reporter, on your journey to publication and seeing how you balance all the responsibilities of parenting and writing has taught me much.

So, thank you, writer mamas, especially The Book Reporter, for sharing your talents with the rest of us. It is deeply appreciated!

HAPPY MOTHER'S DAY to you all!

Theresa Milstein said...

I have this book on my Amazon wishlist. After reading the description, my daughter wants a copy.