Thursday, November 20, 2008

Let's Hear from the Readers

Very often the popularity and sales of a children's book is determined by adults -- librarians, reviewers, marketing teams, salespeople, etc. So I really love reading reviews of kids' books that are actually written by kids. There are a few sites that I check out regularly for kids' book reviews, such as,, and Spaghetti Book Club, and I just found this new one from National Geographic Kids.

Reading these reviews remind me of the mindset of my audience, and that very often adult reviewers are just trying to sound important. Here's a line from this new site about a pretty fabulous book called Shug by our own Jenny Han:
The author described things very well so I could see how everything looked.

Sounds trivial, but I remember feeling exactly the same way when I was 10 or 11. I didn't want to have to guess how characters and places and whatnot looked, I wanted to be told!

So the next time you read an adult review that talks about pacing, or secondary characters or this or that, think about what your intended readers think of the book. Because that's what matters.

*caroline hickey