March 10, 2010
Book Loons.com boasts over 12,000 book reviews. Wow! There’s also a special section on the website with links to book giveaways going on at lots of different websites. I posted my latest giveaway of Autumn Winifred Oliver Does Things Different by Kristin O’Donnell Tubb there (don’t forget to comment for a chance to win). Managing Editor Hilary Williamson says she launched the site to share her love of reading books with others and to help people connect to the books they want to read.
When you click on the Teens page, you’ll find reviews, contests, articles, interviews and more. And Book Loons contest listings are easy to review also. I was happy to enter my daughter, Catherine, into a giveaway by James Patterson of his new book in the Maximum Ride series, Fang. Catherine has read the whole series so far, and I know she’s anxiously awaiting this new book. It would be so fun for her to win an advance copy. You may also find a book you’d like to win under the adult contest listings. There are lots to choose from.
February 18, 2010
I’ve recently discovered BookBundlz.com, a website with a wealth of information for book club members. I’ll be posting articles on a regular basis, and the first one you’ll find is this one on working moms and mother-daughter book clubs. While you’re there, you can check out BookBundlz’ other features as well. While many of the recommended books are for adult groups, you’ll also find reviews of kids books, a newsletter you can sign up for and lots more. And I really love that BookBundlz has a Campaign for Literacy where it lists lots of groups both national and in individual states that are dedicated to literacy.
February 4, 2010
Booklist is a great source for finding reviews on all kinds of books. The magazine publishes a blog called Book Group Buzz that’s worth checking out occasionally to see what they are recommending. Recently, I cam across this post on how to use book reviews in your book club.
To this list I’ll add my thoughts. When I’m looking for a book to recommend to any of my reading groups (both mother-daughter book clubs and a discussion group I’m in with my husband), I get recommendations from book store personnel or librarians. I look at book reviews in magazines and newspapers. Then I start to look for reviews online. I post my own reviews to several sites in addition to printing them here. Those are the sites I also check out: Amazon.com, Powells.com, BarnesandNoble.com, Borders.com, and GoodReads.com. I look for the best reviews and the worst. The best help me get a feeling for what the book is about. The worst reviews help me see what people don’t like about it. Even if there are lots of negative reviews, it doesn’t mean I won’t choose that book. It depends on what the reviewer says about why he didn’t like it.
I can easily see how Booklist’s suggestions for using reviews to help your book club choose a book and discuss it can be helpful.
May 8, 2008
With one foot in the modern world and one foot in a world of fantasy, Girlwood takes us into the life of Polly Greene, who can see the colors that surround people, revealing their true selves. Polly’s older sister, Bree, disappears into the woods one night, and Polly is the only one who believes she has not run far, that she’s hiding nearby to heal her out-of-control life.
When Polly finds a magical clearing hidden among the trees, she’s certain that her sister is close. She determines to leave her food and clothing and healing plants in a magical spot she and her friends dub Girlwood to help Bree survive until she’s ready to return.
Girlwood explores many themes as Polly enlists the help of friends and family in her mission:
- What’s the value of nature compared to development?
- Why do girls sometimes subvert their own personalities when they start to date?
- How does divorce affect family dynamics?
- How can parents teach and protect their children while also allowing them to have independent thoughts?
The themes are woven into a story that is as enchanting as the magical clearing, Girlwood, itself. And by the end, you may even find yourself searching for your own Girlwood.
Recommended for mother-daughter book clubs with girls in aged 12 and up.