Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Betsy's Review Policy

My book review goals/agenda:

  • to review books that are worth reading--in particular, books that illuminate the Creation-Fall-Redemption framework found in Scripture, that show us something about the way Creation works and/or about the nature of humanity and/or about the nature of redemption. This is by no means limited to "Christian" books but refers to excellent literature regardless of the author's professed beliefs.
  • to review award winners and best sellers--I like to know what the general public and/or the award committees are reading and what they feel is "excellent" or "noteworthy" in some way
  • to keep a record/review of some of my favorite reads! 
When I say "recommended for" followed by an age group, you should know that this does not mean that age group SHOULD read that book necessarily. It simply means that if you deem that book worth reading from my review, then I think that is the best age group to shoot for. The age group recommendations refer to maturity level more than reading level; some 7-year-olds are reading voraciously at a middle school reading level while some middle school students still aren't reading at that level. Kids' maturity levels often don't coincide with their reading levels. 

I have reviewed many books that many Christian parents I know would not want their children to read. I respect that. I know my standards are more liberal than some of my peers since I have no problem with witchcraft, profanity, etc. in a book. I think how those elements are used and/or reflected in the text determines whether or not I think the book is worth reading. When there are elements such as these in a book that might give a fellow Christian parent pause, I try to note them. It's worth encouraging you, dear reader, to remember that your child will come into contact with things you deem inappropriate no matter how much you shelter them. Wouldn't you rather have the opportunity to discuss some of life's big issues while your child is still under your roof than to wait until he or she chooses to experiences some of those things down the road? A well-written book can be a great conversation starter!

It's worth knowing, as a parent and/or teacher, what's out there in the current book publishing world. Currently, I simply follow other folks' recommendations on what's new, what's hot, what's coming up, and so forth. I also choose some Advance Review Copies (ARCs) from netgalley on occasion. Essentially, I read what looks interesting to me and/or what looks like it's got award potential.

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