Eowyn
1--I will usually try to sum up the book in two to three sentences. (Now, knowing me, that could get longer. I have the tendency to be verbose at times.)

2--I'll tell you what I did and didn't like about the book. If I can, I will talk about how well written from a literary point of view a book is, but I do not claim to be the perfect person for that.

3--I'll tell you how the book made me feel during and at the end. Books have different feels to me and that feeling is the predominant factor on whether I like a book or not.

4--I'll tell you anything else I think is pertinent, like my pre-disposed likes and dislikes.

5--I'll tell you whether I would let my kids read it or not, and what age I find it appropriate for.

6--Two numbers. 1-5 on whether I liked it or not. And an age I find it appropriate.
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For Example:

Beauty by Robin Mckinley

I am predisposed to like fantasy. I'm also predisposed to like fairy tale re-writes. I loved reading fairy tales as a child, and I still own volumes of the complete works of both Hans Christian Anderson and the Brothers Grimm, as well as an edited version of Arabian Nights. My favorite fairy tale book growing up was The Green Fairy Book, a collection of fairy tales from all across the world. I have a goal to own all of the color fairy books. I don't own any yet, but it will come. A close second was my mom's version of Arabian Nights. Suffice it to say, I like fairy tales.

This book is a re-telling of the story of Beauty and the Beast. Not the Disney version, the French version. The version where the beast asks Beauty to marry him every night at dinner.

I love the concept of the book. It gives meaning and depth to the story. Now, I've always loved the story, so it would have had to be good for me to enjoy the book. And I did. Literary-ily (I know it's not a word, but it's fun to say!) speaking, I was annoyed at how much description went into the book. There would be pages of Beauty, who is the narrator, telling about events or things when a good scene could have shown the same thing. But I enjoyed the book and felt relatively light hearted at the end of it.

Because I felt relatively light hearted at the end of it, I ultimately didn't have any problem with Kendra reading it. Now, Kendra reads well above her grade level, though I don't exactly know what grade level she reads at. (They keep stopping the test after going so far and I keep wanting to scream and say, "Please, finish so I have an idea of where she is at!") The themes were fairly innocuous. What is real beauty? Family relationships. Stuff like that. I believe it will be more challenging for her just because the format is slightly more adult than she is used to.

So, overall, I'll give it a 4 and a 10. As in, I wouldn't mind my 10 year old reading it.
1 Response
  1. Kimberly Says:

    I'm definitely putting this one on my To Read list as I think I feel the same about Fairy Tales as you do. Sounds like it's not the best written book ever, but sounds quite lovely despite!