Jen Robinson has posted some great thoughts about reading and reviewing books. I have reviewed or mentioned a variety of books here at Snapshot--nonfiction: parenting, health, writing, and cooking; and fiction: for toddlers, middle-grade children, older children, and adults (popular, Christian and classics). I would love to get your feedback on book reviews. I enjoying knowing what people are reading, their thoughts on what they read, so I like to share my thoughts. Since I've been prompted by Semicolon's Saturday Review of Books (where you can link a book review from that week on her site and read many others), I do try to post a book review every week.
Jen Robinson also addressed the issue of negative book reviews a while back (and includes several links to others who broached the subject). I feel like I have a duty to report honestly, but I am not ever going to ruthlessly tear a book apart. If I don't like it at all, I will either just not review it, or I will say why I didn't like it. For example, I may not like a book because it talked too much about gardening, which I have no interest in (but some people love). I also like to point out any objectionable (to me) content, because I think that many readers want to know about such things as well, so that they can make a decision on their own about whether or not to read it. I like to give enough information so that someone could decide if they wanted to read it or not, but not so much that the book doesn't seem fresh and new when you read it for yourself, because that's what I like to see in a book review.
What do you like to read in a review? What don't you like to read? What types of books are you most interesting in reading, and therefore most interested in hearing about here at Snapshot?
On a semi-related note, I have volunteered to be a judge for the Cybils. As one interested in children's reading, and as a booklover in general (and as one always eager to give my opinion), participating in this inaugural year was compelling to me. The Cybils are a new book award, sponsored by the bloggers of the kidlitosphere, for children's and young adult books. They were born out of frustration in the other book awards, namely the Newberry awards, which seemed too elistist, and the Quills, which didn't seem elitist enough (read the entire press release here).
Nominations are open until November 20. Anyone can make one nomination in each category. Guidelines are listed here. The categories are middle grade novels, young adult novels, children's picture books, graphic novels, middle grade and young adult nonfiction, nonfiction picture books, fantasy and science fiction, and poetry.
Click over to the site if you or your child has read a book this year that you think should be nominated. There will also be a review a day of some of the nominees, so bookmark the site and check it frequently.