Young Reader Review Program Gives a Voice to Youth Bibliophiles

Young Reader Review Program Gives a Voice to Youth Bibliophiles

Enthusiastic young readers now have a new platform through which to share their thoughts about what they’ve read: Broadside Bookshop’s new Young Reader Review Program! Perfect for readers who have strong opinions about what they’ve read or who love to share their thoughts, the Young Reader Review Program gives youth readers a voice in the ongoing conversation about what makes quality young adult and children’s literature. 

Located in downtown Northampton and open to independent readers under the age of 18, the Young Reader Review Program offers readers the chance to read not-yet-released books. Called Advanced Reader Copies (ARC’s), these future releases are sent to the bookshop before their release so that they can be read and recommended – which is exactly what youth reviewers will do with them! Interested readers can borrow one ARC at a time, trading their already-read copy and their thoughtfully written review for a new ARC book. Participation requires only that readers can both read and write reviews on their own, can be reached via e-mail (theirs or a parent’s), and have been given written permission by a parent (visit the store for an official form!).

Broadside Bookshop offers a form that readers can use to structure their reviews by considering the story’s plot, main characters, their own opinion on the story, whether or not they would recommend the book, and what kind of reader might enjoy it. Hand-written reviews can be turned in on the bookshop’s form, and if published, will be typed and lightly edited. If used by the bookshop, submitted reviews will be displayed in the store and perhaps included in whole or in part on the bookshop’s blog.

In addition to offering young readers the chance to share their opinion about a book, the opportunity to write reviews presents an interesting challenge to readers. Because good reviews are not long-winded, readers must share all that they know about the story in just a few sentences, thus challenging them to identify the main ideas presented in the book. Additionally, reviewers must think about what about the book needs to be shared with a future reader – meaning they must consider the story’s themes, its genre, and the topics that it addresses. Not only will reviewers give a short summary, they’ll need to use critical thinking skills to thoroughly (and yet concisely!) describe all aspects of the book – not just its plot.

For more information about the Young Reader Review Program, visit Broadside Bookshop or call 413-586-4235. For review-writing inspiration, look to our monthly column, Open Sesame: Kid Lit Musings and Reviews.

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