BookBlogging… How do I rate children’s books?

So… I started to read this book:


And after about 3 pages I was cringing. The jokes were bad… I mean really bad. And then I started thinking about audience… who is this graphic novel written for? How the heck would I know what was funny to a 2nd grader? Then my mind skipped to all books that I read that may not be focused on my demographic. I read a fair number of YA books and comics and I try my best to comment on them through my own eyes but also with an idea of who else might like them. I’ve been working with teens for over 20 years, so I have a bit of insight on what they would like. And I’ll dabble in some middle-grade books, but I feel at a loss when reviewing them at times also.

The question remains: What is the best way to review books that are published for audiences outside of your demographic, specifically ones for children?

13 thoughts on “BookBlogging… How do I rate children’s books?

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  1. Just as you did. Think about the mindset of a kid. At least that is how I have always thought it should be done. You know kids better than most anyone else because of your experience. You are perfect to review a book like that.

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  2. I read a lot of kids books, and I basically look at them on three levels – are they entertaining/useful for the kids, do they serve a purpose, and do they get the kids thinking. Therre’s a lot of junk out there, but I’ve also read some stuff thart I probably liked more than my ikds did, the most recent Dogman, for example.

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  3. I typically evaluate it on my own standards, and then I think about how my kids would’ve reacted if I read it to them/they read it. (they’re all too old to use as actual test subjects).

    Yeah, it may not be fair since I’m not a part of the target audience, but I think of it in the spirit of Lewis: “When I was ten, I read fairy tales in secret and would have been ashamed if I had been found doing so. Now that I am fifty, I read them openly. When I became a man I put away childish things, including the fear of childishness and the desire to be very grown up.” If I can enjoy them when done well now (even at less than 50), I can point out when I don’t (but give them the benefit of the doubt).

    Liked by 1 person

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