Book Review Resources for Parents and Teens


Book Review for Parents

When children write book reviews, they need to have a plan. Parents should assist them in developing the introduction, main body and conclusion of their review.

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Book Review Sites for Parents

It’s not always possible to find book ratings in the store, but there are plenty of online resources that offer this kind of information. Some focus on specific themes, others provide comprehensive reviews written by professionals.

Amazon offers its own rating system, which is based on the number of stars a book receives. The site also provides a look inside feature, which allows you to preview the first few pages of a book.

Common Sense Media is an online resource that provides content ratings for books and other types of media, including movies. These ratings are based on content and age-appropriateness, as well as the level of sophistication required to read a given title.

Brown Bookshelf is a website dedicated to promoting kids’ literature with an emphasis on black voices. It includes curated booklists by theme, such as “Activism,” “Asian American” and “Bullying.” It also has a database that allows you to search for particular topics.

Age-Appropriate Books

Parents can curate a book collection that combines their child’s developmental stage and reading abilities with their personal preferences. The public library is a treasure trove of age-appropriate books and the staff can recommend titles based on your child’s interests.

The age recommendations on books are usually a good guideline, but you should always read a book’s details before deciding whether it is appropriate for your child. Many of the popular children’s books today are edgier than in years past, featuring stories that explore such topics as homelessness, family addiction, bullying, parental death, mental illness, and natural disasters.

If you are concerned about the content of a particular book, check with other parents online or on social media. For example, the online parent review website Common Sense Media provides expert guidelines on the level of violence, sex, and language in books for children and teens. Their reviews also list a range of age recommendations for different types of books.

Book Reviews for Kids

Writing book reviews provides a great exercise for children to improve penmanship and learn how to work within a genre. It also helps them to understand the importance of analyzing a text and can be a useful step toward future writing assignments — for example, movie or video game reviews.

Many parents use book ratings to decide whether a particular book is appropriate for their child. These ratings single out content like sex, violence, language and drinking, drugs and smoking, and they encourage kids to avoid literature that depicts these topics.

These book ratings take material out of context and deny the value, message and intent of a story. Instead of guiding parents, these ratings actually misinform them.

Book Reviews for Teens

A book review explains whether or not a work is a good fit for an intended audience. It also includes a summary of the story, author information and a description of the author’s style. Most book reviews provide a rating, with a scale from one to five stars. Some book reviews also include the publisher and price of the title.

While there are tools to rate movies, television shows and video games, a content-specific ratings system for books hasn’t been developed. Nevertheless, Common Sense Media does offer an online tool that allows parents to search for specific content within a book, including sex, violence, language, drinking and drugs and materialism.

This teen-written book is well-suited for readers who enjoy the thrill of mystery and romance riddled with magic, chivalry and loyalty. However, it does contain some sensitive dynamics for teens, including Belly’s parents’ divorce and her friend Susannah’s cancer recurrence. In addition, there is some racy and adult language and the characters are often name-calling.

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