What is your criteria for choosing a book for you or your students to read? I recommend joining the free website Goodreads. It's an amazing resource for reading reviews and learning what others are reading currently. The website includes the following introduction to encourage people to become members of an audience of more than 4 million book lovers.
Have you ever wanted a better way to:
My daughter works at a bookshop and the staff there relies on this site to guide book buyers in deciding good books to purchase.
What are your thoughts on this website? Are there other sites you have found to help with selecting books to read? What are your requirements for considering a book "good"?
How have you been? I was going to my Aunt Sandi's wedding in the end of April. It was May1st. It was a wonderful wedding. Sorry for getting off the subject!
This website Goodreads sounds great! I'm going to try it. I usually go with book recommendations from people I know- friends, colleagues, students, relatives, and my dentist.
My daughter's teacher sent home Is This the Right Book for Me? sheet from ReadWriteThink.org at the beginning of the school year to help us with Reading Log homework (which is essentially 20 minutes of reading per night).
I also love the books recommended in Chatting About Books for my 6-year-old. Episodes 24 and 32 are our favorites!
Thanks for sharing these resources. It's great that your daughter's teacher is suggesting reading activities from a Thinkfinity partner. Also it's wonderful that you are reading with your 6-year-old. I read every night with my two daughters, and now that they are grown, they continue to read before bedtime. There are worlds to explore in books.
I also like the site "Library Thing" (www.librarything.com). It works a lot like "Good Reads," including author chats, reader reviews, and reader recommendations.
But for the quickest and easiest way to find a good book, I typically use Amazon's web site. It allows me to find a title I've read and liked and then see what titles others have purchased, as well as offering reviews from both "experts" (Publisher's Weekly and Kirkus Reviews) and ordinary readers. And there are always wonderful suggestions offered in Amazon's "Featured Categories" such as "Best Books of the Month," "Summer Reading," and "Book Awards."
While I rarely purchase a book on-line, Amazon's web site offers wonderful resources for those who want to learn what books are worth checking out of the library or looking for at flea markets!
At ReadWriteThink.org, we host two podcast series that give great book suggestions:
Chatting About Books: Recommendations for Young Readers (
Emily Manning chats with kids, parents, and teachers about the best in children’s literature for ages 4 through 11. Discussions include reading tips and fun activities to do with children before, during, and after reading.
Text Messages: Recommendations for Adolescent Readers (
Text Messages is a monthly podcast providing families, educators, out-of-school practitioners, and tutors reading recommendations they can pass along to teen readers. Each episode will feature in-depth recommendations of titles that will engage and excite teen readers.
I am sure you could find a good read by listening to one or both of those podcast series!
I must speak up here in the discussion on behalf of my fellow/sister librarians! From my perspective, there is no substitute for an in-person reader's advisory from a librarian - either school media specialist/librarian or public librarian with a first hand knowldege and insight into a particular student or patron. They can gear the recommendation with an eye to reading level, interest, appropriate maturity level, appeal, personal circumstances, etc. not to mention the fruitful discussions and motivation they foster in sponsoring book clubs and literature circles (as they are now called) within their institutions.
Beyond this, librarians are infectious with their enthusiasm and provide modeling of a lifelong reader/learner for thier students and patrons (that parents and other influential people in their life might often not provide due to demanding family commitments and work schedules not allowing for recreational reading.) Thankfully in my experience and my twin 10 year daughter's experience these librarians are the norm and not the exception!
Online resources can be valuable especially if accessed by a commited paretn and/ or educator who can translate them into applications with/for a student or students. But none can compare with a gifted librarian/media specialist - they are pure gold!
I found a GoodHousekeeping Magazine article on page 83, titled "Get Your Kid Hooked on Books" by Laura Hahn. (I do not know which issue date it was.) The main information is included below.
The National Endowment for the Arts stated that young people now spend an average of only about seven minutes a day reading for pleasure. This is one reason 12th grade reading scores are declining. It listed 3 web sites that can be used to get your students/kids excited about books and help them think outside their required reading lists. They were:
(1) Bookadventure.com Created by Sylvan Learning, this site's Book Finder matches kids (grades K-8) with reads they'll enjoy. Acing book quizzes allows them to win prizes like Highlights subscriptions and free access to e-books.
(2) Teenreads.com This extensive site posts lists of upcoming books and interviews with popular writers like Anthony Horowitz and Judy Blume. It also gives tips about how to start a reading club.
(3) Guysread.com Jon Scieszka, author of The True Story of the 3 Little Pigs, launched this site to connect boys of all ages with literature relevant to them. He urges boys to expand their definition of reading, pointing out that nonfiction, comics, and magazines count, too.
These look like three good websites for students to find good reading material for the summer. Your annotations about each site are very useful. Thanks for offering these great suggestions. Hopefully, teachers will share these sites with their students and parents so the 12th grade reading scores will increase.
Thank you for mentioning the International Reading Association's website for Choice Books. For those who would like to readily view the lists, they can go to IRA Choices Reading Lists and see the three categories you mentioned.
You shared a great idea for selecting a "good" book to read.
As a youth services librarian, I was asked this question all of the time. I try to keep current with the new fiction and non-fiction at each level but there is so much published each year that I can't always keep up with it no matter how fast I try to read. I really liked some of the links mentioned in previous posts and will use them in the future.
I have a process that I try to follow and go-to resources that I tend to use:
1. I ask what was the last book he/she read that they really liked because they may want to read something in the same genre or from the same author. I notice that many youth and teens like to read series. I also ask if they have any particular interest or preference in book topics.
2. If it is a young reader, I go through the "Five Finger Rule."
3. I ask other youth services librarians and young library clients what they would recommend.
4. I tend to go to the Association for Library Service to Children's (a part of the American Library Association) Grants and Awards List page at http://www.ala.org/ala/mgrps/divs/alsc/awardsgrants/profawards/index.cfm for ideas. There are links to multiple years worth of awards lists for books, videos, and recordings divided by theme/ content/ or cultural representation (Newberry Award, Caldecot Award, Bulpre Award, etc.). I also like the ALSC's Notable Children's lists since they are divided by Younger, Middle, and Older Readers, Fiction and Non-Fiction.
5. Besides professional journals, I also go to an online bookseller like Amazon.com because they offer the professional review, a synopsis, recommended age range, reader reviews and other book recommendations from customers who expressed interest in the same book (If you like this...you may like that...).
6. For teens, I go to YALSA's book nomination list at http://www.ala.org/ala/mgrps/divs/yalsa/teenreading/teenstopten/teenstopten.cfm. since it features the top ten books each year nominated by teens.
7. If a new movie just came out, there is usually a book behind it so I mention that if it is age appropriate.
I also found a library website from Skokie, Illinois that I think is a really great source for teen reading:
Skokie Public Library Teen Scene Books and Authors at http://www.skokie.lib.il.us/s_teens/tn_books/index.asp#corner.
I thought this teen page was informative and easy to use for someone looking for something else to read with little effort. It has some current and past lists that include title, author, and synopsis within different categories.