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Feeling blue because the fifth Harry Potter book “Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix” won’t be released until November, 2001? Don’t let it get you down. There are hundreds (maybe even thousands) of great books just waiting to be your next favorite book. These five sites, with reviews written by kids and grown ups, can help you choose your next reading adventure.
Eleven-year old Alex Weisler offers book reviews (reprinted from trade publications such as “School Library Journal”) along with commentary sent in by other kids, book excerpts and author biographies. Profiled authors include Roald Dahl, C.S. Lewis, Louis Sachar, Shel Silverstein and (of course) J.K. Rowling. For an extra bit of fun, hit refresh on the front page to see a different featured book! Best clicks are the links to authors’ own Web sites, which you’ll find under Meet the Author.
From the Public Library of Charlotte-Mecklenburg County in North Carolina, comes Zinger the book-reviewing bee who says “Welcome to the BookHive! We have been as busy as bees reviewing a hive-full of children’s books for you to enjoy.” Books reviews for kids up to age twelve are written by librarians and categorized into twenty topics including African-American, Beginning Chapter Books, Classics, Fantasy, Historical and Scary Fiction. Zinger promises at least twelve new reviews every month.
Bookworm: Great Books for Kids 6-12
Bookworm is chock full of book reviews, reading lists, author interviews, and author mailing addresses (some email, some street). In addition to coverage on popular series books for a variety of reading levels (such as Madeline and Redwall), Bookworm organizes its reviews by genre and reading level. Mysteries, Gardening, and Math are just a sample of the more than sixty reading lists. Teens have their own version of the site at TeenReads.com (http://www.teensreads.com).
Just for Kids who Love Books
“Hey you! Yes, you there, sitting in that chair reading these words on your computer screen! Are you a kid? Do you like reading books? You do? Great! You’ve come to the right place.
Newberry and Caldecott Medals
The Newberry Medal, named for eighteenth-century British bookseller John Newbery, is given annually to the author of an exceptional contribution to children’s literature. The Caldecott Medal, named in honor of nineteenth-century English illustrator Randolph Caldecott, is awarded each year to the illustrator of an outstanding picture book. Both are bestowed by a division of the American Library Association. This ALA site features current year 2000 winners, as well as lists of past recipients. You’ll find the link to the Caldecott pages near the bottom of the Newberry page, and vice versa.