BOOKS FOR CHILDREN: How do you know what's good?

While there are many places (especially on the internet) where you can read book reviews, how do you really know if it's a good book or not when a single book might receive anywhere from one to five stars?
The answer: read the reviews of a book-addicted teacher librarian.

** The age recommendations are guidelines only; whether or not a certain book is suitable for a particular child depends on multiple factors, including their maturity, reading level, interests, and in some cases their experiences.
** While the ratings are largely based on my own personal appreciation/enjoyment of the book, they are also influenced by my experiences as a teacher and the potential attraction for the target-aged child (acknowledging that what one child may love, another may find exceptionally boring). A rating of 5 indicates the book is likely to be popular with the majority.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Series: Monster Blood Tattoo (YA Fic)

AUTHOR: D.M. Cornish (Aust) PUBLISHED: 2008+
PAGES: ~600 pgs. SERIES: Monster Blood Tattoo
BOOKS: Foundling, Lamplighter, Factotum

PLOT (Lamplighter):
A young boy becomes an apprentice lamplighter: people charged with lighting the lamps lining the roads in order to keep people safe, and deter the monsters who live in the area. One night he witnesses a carriage attacked, and he forges an unsteady friendship with one of the occupants.

The language is archaic and new vocabulary is added. Different names are given to known objects, tasks, etc, making it a difficult read, even for those who love to do so. Overall, the story drags. It is a very long book (599 pgs, not including appendices), and a tedious read.

Links to a website.

The Ranger's Apprentice is FAR better.

AGES: 11+
GENRE: Fantasy
RATING: 3 stars. It holds little appeal overall, but some may thoroughly enjoy it.

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