Important Dates

Reviews Due - April 27

Reviewer Luncheon - May 4

Do you have trouble remembering important dates? Sign up to get text reminders of upcoming events.


Student Reviewers - Guidelines
Remember that the content of your review should be strictly your own words, thoughts, and opinions. It is best to avoid reading other reviews of your book until you have completed your own so that you don't inadvertently plagiarize another reviewer. Remember, these reviews are sent to the book's publisher, so it's important that your writing is as polished as possible but also that you are conveying your individual response to the book. Most reviewers of teen books are adults. As the intended audience of the book, your feedback is valuable to them!

The content of your review should include:
  • Grade range (What grade levels is this book appropriate for?)
  • Genre (Realistic, historical, fantasy, mystery, science fiction, etc)
  • Literary Merit (Mediocre, Good, Very Good, or Excellent)
  • Characterization (Mediocre, Good, Very Good, or Excellent)
  • Review (5-10 sentences) – Begin your review with a couple of sentences that sum up what the book is about. The next 3-5 sentences should include specific criticisms or praises of the book. The more specific, the better (see the questions below to give you ideas of what to write about). Conclude your review with a sentence stating whether or not you recommend the book and what audience you would recommend it to.
  • Recommendation (Awesome – everyone should read it, good – libraries should purchase this book, ok – it will appeal to some teens, bad – no one should read this book…it’s that bad)
Questions to consider when writing your review:
  • Literary Merit (Was the book well written?)
  • Characterization (Were the characters realistic? Were they likable? Could you relate to them? Did they grow or change throughout the novel?)
  • Did the plot keep you interested? Was the pace too fast or too slow?
  • Did the author have a message? Was it conveyed successfully?
  • Did the book have emotional and/or logical appeal?
  • What did you think of the book's cover? Did it draw you in? Did accurately reflect the content of the book?
  • How did it compare to other books of the same genre or by the same author? (Be specific and list similar titles or similar authors)
  • What was the best aspect of the book? What was most interesting or compelling?
  • Who would you recommend this book to? (For example: Readers who liked The Fault in our Stars will enjoy this. OR I recommend this to readers looking to get hooked on fact-paced sci fi series.)

Proofread! Your review will be posted online and sent to the publisher, so you should write and revise as if this is an English assignment. Capital letters, punctuation, spelling and grammar are all important! Type and revise your review in Word before posting online.

*NEW* Submission Guidelines
Please type and share your review with Ms. Miller on Google Docs(bmiller@nwlsd.org'). Save the document as the book's title and your last name (for example, The Book Thief - Miller). You may receive comments or feedback that requires revisions. Please make any requested changes prior to our meeting date.

What will happen to my review?
Your review will be:
  • edited (if needed) by Ms. Miller and/or a student editor prior to publication,
  • posted to the ROYAL group on Goodreads as a “student review,”
  • posted on the our new NWHS LMIC tumblr (http://nwhslmic.tumblr.com/) with your first name, last initial and grade (let me know if you prefer it to be anonymous),
  • emailed directly to the book’s publisher.

Need more help writing your review? Check out https://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/704/01/ and http://www.mensaforkids.org/teach/lesson-plans/book-review-guide/ for tips.

Sample Review
Review by: Laura P (12th grade)
Grade range: 8th Grade and up
Genre: Horror
Literary Merit: Excellent
Characterization: Excellent
Review:
Beware the Wild follows Sterling Saucier as she looks for her brother Phin, who was last seen slipping into the ominous pond that haunts the town of Sticks, Louisiana. Sterling is sure, as is the rest of the town, that something supernatural is lurking in the swamp, and that in crossing the fence Phin has given up his life. The rest of the town, however, soon forgets Phin when Lenora May climbs over the fence and takes over his life. Sterling is the only one who remembers him, aside from Heath Duram, the local recluse, who she will have to team up with in her crusade against the swamp.

The atmosphere in this novel is simply astounding. Too often, you’ll find authors who simply set their novels in ‘small town,’ ‘big city,’ or ‘suburbia’ USA, without letting the culture of that specific area permeate the story. Parker, on the other hand, really managed to make Louisiana feel very real and very distinct to the reader, without over exaggerating. This is most evident in the dialogue, which captured the southern dialect perfectly without losing any readability. Parker also did a wonderful job of maintaining a beautiful sort of eerie tone throughout the entire novel. Now as far as horror goes the book wasn’t very scary, but honestly I preferred it that way. In staying creepy, as opposed to frightening, it managed to avoid melodrama, which is always a plus.

Recommendation: Anyone who likes a good book, but especially people with an appreciation of horror, southern American culture, or really good writing.


Updated: 3/27/17