Jackie Briggs Martin and I have a book review column in the local newspaper. It’s hard to believe, but we’ve been doing it for NINE years already! We take turns every other month…and we’ve sort of fallen into a pattern where she reviews picture books and I review middle grade and YA novels. We only review books we think are absolutely wonderful…the whole point of the column is to lead people to great children’s books. There are plenty of other review opportunities for a children’s book to get slammed. If your book gets mentioned in one of our columns, you know it’s going to be a GOOD review.

I just turned my column in this morning. I’ve been reading a lot of good books lately, so I had a lot to choose from. I reviewed Nancy Garden’s, End Game; Dana Reinhardt’s, Brief Chapter in my Impossible Life; Sarah Dessen’s, Just Listen; Amy Goldman Koss’s, Poison Ivy; and Dan Gutman’s, The Homework Machine. I feel good that I got five in this time (sometimes I’m really pushing the limit with word count). I used to review just one or two books per column. What was nice about that was I could take a little more time to say what was wonderful about each book. But I decided a few years ago that when I’m only doing this every other month, it’s nice to mention as many books as I possibly can. So I really only have room to give a brief summary of the book, say something wonderful about it, and tell readers who it’s aimed at. My reviews are not great literature by any stretch of the imagination (they’re not as beautifully written as Jackie’s, for example), but hopefully they get people interested in kids books. And at least the column is still going. Apparently the Des Moines newspaper has done away with their children’s book review column. (See the April 7 entry at http://kelcrocker.livejournal.com/)

Book Reviews

4 thoughts on “Book Reviews

  • April 24, 2006 at 2:11 pm
    Permalink

    Yeah that your column is still going for so long. That’s really amazing. And geez, what a wonderful excuse to read more books!
    A tough job but somebody has to do it.

    And I heart Jackie.

    Reply
    • April 24, 2006 at 4:06 pm
      Permalink

      So many books, so little time! I can’t decide what to start next: my friend, Sharelle Moranville’s, A Higher Geometry; Julie Anne Peters’, Between Mom and Jo; Patrick Jones’, Nailed or Catherine Gilbert Murdock’s, Dairy Queen (which I think is a first novel…it looks great!). I’m leaning toward Sharelle’s book…since she’s a friend, and I really SHOULD have read her book before now! But I’m always interested in hearing what other people are reading and enjoying…

      Reply
  • April 24, 2006 at 5:07 pm
    Permalink

    Nine years—Congrats, Dori! That is really wonderful. Sounds like you chose some good ones for this time, all books I’ve been meaning to read and haven’t gotten to yet. Not only should you read Sharelle’s because she’s your friend, she’s also an Iowan. Local angle! 🙂 I haven’nt read hers yet, either, though.

    Thanks for the link to my livejournal!

    Reply
    • April 24, 2006 at 8:17 pm
      Permalink

      How long did your column (or any children’s book review column) run in the Register, Kellye?

      Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *