Share Our Book Love!

I love books.  I love reading.  I love so many authors.

z-Middle-Grade-Book-PileSometimes this is referred to as Book Love (thanks for that term, Penny Kittle).  Many of my friends have Book Love, too.  How do I know?  Because they share it!  Sometimes in person, but more often on social media. There are Facebook posts and groups.  There are Twitter chats and hashtags.  There are Instagram pics and Vine videos.  I have surrounded myself with Book Love.

I try to share my Book Love as well as receive it (A huge thank you to my Nerdy Book Club friends).

Last week one of my favorite authors, Gae Polisner, (The Pull of Gravity, The Summer of Letting Go) reminded me, as I read her blog, about the importance of book reviews to authors. Click below.

Tuesday Feedback: A Little Conversation about Book Reviews Starring YOU

Her message was that authors need us to keep them in the public eye.  Sharing our favorite books on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, or Tumblr will inform our friends and followers.  But how can we expand our Book Love beyond our relatively small circle?  How can we support those authors we love so they can continue their writing careers and bring us even more Book Love??

Our reviews on sites like Goodreads will certainly expand our influence and love, but sites like Amazon have a much stronger impact for sales of books.  THAT is the ultimate way we support our favorite authors.  Love a book?  Let others know!! Don’t know how to post an Amazon review?  Go here.  Don’t worry about sounding like an editorial reviewer from Kirkus, New York Times, Booklist, or School Library Journal. The length and quality aren’t as important as the willingness to do it! Here are a few quick tips for posting reviews for the books you love!

  • (This book) is about brief synopsis (but I think it’s really about)what it means to you. (Your review  doesn’t require a complete retelling-editorial reviewers have already done that! What is this book about for YOU?)
  • If you like_____________this book is for you! Who would like this book?  Who would be a target audience? Why would they enjoy it?
  • I really liked ______________ . Were the characters compelling?  Was the writing engaging?  Was it humorous? Suspenseful? Realistic? Heartwarming? Mention one or two things about the book that made it memorable for you.
  • Mention the author’s name (and illustrator).  Remind readers of the person behind those words who pounded out that plot, those characters, that dialogue, those facts and worked their bums off. Books don’t just happen, someone dreams them and brings them to life-we need to honor that!

THAT’S IT!  Sure you could do more or less.  You could write a review any way you want. Check out how kids do it at The Spaghetti Book Club! The big idea isn’t HOW?…it’s WHEN?!!  When will you take a few minutes and go to the independent or big box bookstore or  the website where you purchased your copy and leave a quick, but important review?  We want to keep this authors “employed” and creating the books we love!

What if I can’t afford to buy the book?  No worries.  I try to be a book patron as often as possible, but my local library knows me by my first name.  I check out dozens and dozens of books a month.  I always make sure to tell the librarian about the books I love the most and that ensures they’ll be recommended to other patrons.  I’ve also been known to leave a post-it note or note card sticking out to grab readers’ attention, “Hey!  You should check _______ out!  You’ll love it!”

So now that you’ve read my soapbox spiel – click on over to Amazon and post a review for one of your favorite authors!  They deserve it!

What’s on My Book Radar?

These two books are my contenders for Caldecott and Newbery awards so far!  Both are brilliant and imaginative.

23309640A little boy creates a boat out of newspaper and takes it out for a day’s adventure.  When the boat rushes away and down a gutter he goes on a hunt for his beloved boat.  I won’t tell you what happens-you’ll have to check out this gem for yourself.  I was so reminded of Ezra Jack Keats’ work as I savored this amazing book by Daniel Miyares.

23281919Cassie Beasley’s debut novel is like a cross between Water for Elephants and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory-it’s FANTASTIC!! Micah’s grandfather Ephraim is on the verge of death and has shared with Micah his mysterious tales of Circus Mirandus.  He offers that the Lightbender from the circus owes him a miracle, and so Micah is determined to find the man he believes can save his grandfather.  This would be a fantastic read aloud in any middle grade classroom and a perfect gift for anyone who would like a little more “magic” in their lives!


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