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.

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Just a Dog (Fic)

AUTHOR: Michael Gerard Bauer (Aust)

An ultimately sad little book about a dog and his family as told through the eyes of a 10-year-old boy. It is a collection of stories about the dog's antics, and how a dog can truly be a member of the family.

It made me laugh, and brought a tear to my eye, and reminded me of the dogs I've had in my life.

One criticism I have is the grammar and the over-misuse of the word "but" instead of "though" at the end of sentences ("It was good but."; "I didn't mind but.") Yes, it is supposed to be how the boy is talking, but it actually gets distracting and quite annoying. I'll go through my copy and edit it properly before I give it or read it to a child.
I wouldn't give the book to children under 10, or to sensitive children, as there are some themes (financial and marital problems, fighting, suggestions of infidelity, animals being scared and eventually dying) that will be confusing and/or confronting to some children.

AGE: Ages 10/11-15 (take maturity into account when suggesting this book)
GENRE: Realistic fiction
RATING: 4 1/2 stars

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