Professional Development & Resources

Reviewing Children’s Literature

So, this is not one of my typical cross-curricular posts because it simply lists the books I’ve covered since being selected as a Reviewer for Children’s Literature. I will say, however, that the act of writing reviews that adults will read about children’s and YA books does indeed tap into a wide and somewhat mashed-up set of writing skills. Why? Well, the review must concisely convey both the effective and not-so-great elements of the book. It also must tap into the tone and/or voice of the book – which by definition is not for the typical adult reader. And the titles certainly have had me zipping through science, history, classic stories, silliness in all types of genre.

It’s a bit of a mental tongue twister. And it’s fun.

I am not at liberty to publish the reviews here; they are in the Children’s Literature dispersal system. And I don’t have the staff (ha!) to track down where any actually appear. So if you see reviews for any of these titles in places like Publisher’s Weekly or on a book jacket, I’d adore if you’d Tweet me @KTOEngen.

Titles I’ve Reviewed to Date

February 2016

  • Mr. Lemoncello’s Library Olympics, 2016, Penguin Random House, Ages 8-12
  • Bedroom Makeovers, 2016, Black Rabbit Press., Ages 6-10
  • Lego DC Comics Super Heroes Handbook, 2016, Scholastic, Inc., Ages 6-10
  • I’ve Been Working on the Railroad, 2016, Cantata Learning, Ages 4-9
  • Horses of the Dawn: Wild Blood, 2016, Scholastic, Inc., Ages 8-12

January 2016

  • Are You My Mom?, 2015, Scholastic, Inc., Ages 0-3
  • Coral Reefs by Kristin Baird Rattini, 2015 National Geographic Kids, Ages 6-10
  • Scooby-Doo and the Truth Behind Ghosts by Terry Collins, 2015, Capstone Press, Ages 6-8
  • The Typewriter by Bill Thomson, 2016, Two Lions, Ages 3-7
  • Volcanoes by John Cooper, 2016, The Salariya Book Company Ltd., Ages 6-10

December 2015

  • Brain Games by Jennifer Swanson, 2015, National Geographic Kids, Ages 8-12
  • Fizzy’s Lunch – Escape from Greasy World by Jamie Michalak, 2015, Candlewick Press/Candlewick Entertainment, Ages 6-9
  • Liberia-Enchantment of the World  by Ruth Bjorklund, 2016, Children’s Press/Scholastic, Grades 4-6
  • The Name of the Blade by Zoë Marriott, 2014, Candlewick Press, Ages 12&up
  • Super Cute! Baby Bears by Kari Schuetz,  2014, Children’s Press/Scholastic, Ages 5-9

November 2015

  • An Infinite Number of Parallel Universes by Randy Ribay, 2015, Merit Press, Ages 14 up
  • Jumping Off Library Shelves – a book of poems by Lee Bennett Hopkins, 2015, Boyds Mill Press, Ages 4 to 8
  • Madame Martine Breaks the Rules by Sarah S. Brannen, 2015, Albert Whitman & Company, Ages 4 to 8, 2014, Houghton, Mifflin, Harcourt Publishing Company, Ages 5 to 9
  • 100 Things to Make You Happy by Lisa M. Gerry, 2015, National Geographic Society, Ages 8 to 12

October 2015

  • About Habitats: Polar Regions by Cathryn Sill, 2015, Peachtree Publishers, Ages 5-9
  • Bayou Magic by Jewell Parker Rhodes, 2015, Little, Brown and Company, Ages 8-12
  • Judy Moody & Stink: The Wishbone Wish by Megan McDonald, 2015, Candlewick Press, Ages 6-9
  • Ketzel the Cat Who Composed by Lesléa Newman, 2015, Candlewick Press, Ages 5-9
  • Zombelina Dances the Nutcracker by Kristyn Crow, 2015, Bloomsbury, Ages 5-9

September 2015

  • Baseball Superstars 2015 by K.C. Kelley, 2015, Scholastic, Ages 8-12
  • Lovely Old Lion by Julia Jarman, 2015, Andersen Press USA, Ages 4-9
  • Poppy’s Best Paper by Susan Eaddy 2015, Charlesbridge, Ages 5-9
  • Sparkling Jewel by D.L. Green, 2015, Scholastic, Ages 5-9
  • Where I Belong by Mary Downing Hahn, 2014, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing, Ages 8-12

August 2015

  • Even When You Lie to Me by Jessica Alcott, 2015, Crown Books for Young Readers/Random House, 14&up
  • Loud Lula by Katy S. Duffield, 2015, Two Lions, Ages 3-8
  • Love From a Star by Katherine Cutchin Gazzetta, 2015, Sleeping Bear Press, Ages 3-8
  • Pet Hermit Crabs Up Close by Jeni Wittrock, 2015, Capstone Press, Ages 5 to 8
  • Rampage of the Goblins by Tommy Donbavand, 2015, Candlewick Press, Ages 8 to 12

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