This week, one of my book reviews was linked to an article that was posted on the Huffington Post. Seriously, I dreamed of writing for a big newspaper when I was in high school (alas, it was a dream that only lasted about a semester, but still!), so it was an exciting surprise to see a link to my review, even though it wasn’t the glowing introduction I might have dreamed of. That is fine. I’m grateful that folks are reading what I wrote. I understand that not everyone will agree with all of my reviews, but if any of the readers from the Huffington Post have stuck around this week, I thought I should probably talk about what I’m doing on this blog.
First of all, if you ever do read any of my reviews in its entirety: thank you. Seriously, I appreciate you taking the time to read it! My reviews are really long and thorough, and they probably cover more than what your family has a problem with. I know I cover more than the things that are red flags in our family! Here is why I do that: I know that not all families are the same. One family may have zero tolerance with magic, but another family may be fine with some magic if it is presented negatively. One family may believe strongly that their children should not be exposed to any violence in entertainment, another family may be fine with hunting, and yet another family may be fine with any violence as long as there is a good message. I try to deliver thorough reviews so that parents can make informed decisions because I strongly believe that parents have a right and duty to decide how to raise their children – even down to the messages they want their children absorbing and experiencing. So, I try to tell you every detail that might be offensive to your family, so you can decide what is right for your kids. I also provide potential discussion questions, so that you have some ideas of things you might want to talk about with your kids if you choose to let them read the book. Also, it’s just nice to be able to talk with your kids about what they’re reading even when you don’t have time to read the same book.
Secondly, I try to choose chapter books from three categories: classics, series, and current bestsellers. I figure there may be some classics that parents have forgotten about or may not have heard of. I try to include books in a series because sometimes the first book of a series is written for a younger reader but later books in the same series may be more appropriate for older children (the Harry Potter series is a good example of that). I try to review current bestselling chapter books because, well, that’s probably what your kids are reading and I am always looking for new chapter books for my kids. I don’t usually read anything about the book before reading it. This has led to some surprises in my reading recently, but it has also led to several enjoyable books that I might have passed up. If there is a book that you would like me to review, I would love to add it to my list! You can send me suggestions through the book suggestion link at the top of my sidebar.
Finally, my Mom-Meter is just that – an approximate measurement of my mom-heart about how cautious I would be introducing a particular book to kids in the age range I specify. You will probably have a slightly different scale, but if you find yourself agreeing with my ratings on some books, then maybe it will help you in choosing other books. Either way, if you are interested in seeing what may have set off my Mom-Meter, please scroll down to the specifics so that you can make your own informed decision for your family.
I am so very grateful for every reader that takes the time to read my blog. (Hi, Mom!) I hope that my reviews will be a blessing and resource to your families as you pick out books for your kids to read!
Do you have any suggestions on how to make my reviews easier to navigate? Have a category you’d like me to flag in my reviews? Please let me know! You can leave a comment below or send it through the book suggestion link at the top of the sidebar. Thanks so much for stopping by today!