But Who, Sir, Shall Review the Reviewers?
Because the very nature of the Internet provides information that can blink out at a moment’s notice or be changed by its creators on a whim, book reviews written on blogs will never quite reach the same level of respect or understanding as their professional print brethren. Which is NOT to say that blog reviews are inconsequential. And should you read enough of them and you will begin to get a sense of the ones you can trust.
Here then is just a very small sampling of blogs that I particularly enjoy the reviews of. I include them because generally I prefer to read reviewers who aren’t afraid to say what they do and (more importantly) do not like to see in books for kids. Bear in mind that these are not all the reviewers I read, nor even most of them. But if you’re looking for some fine reading, I cannot recommend these five people highly enough:
bookshelves of doom – Leila Roy
Leila has the ability to actually make me laugh out loud while reading her thoughts and comments on one title or another. I generally steer clear of YA reviewers, but for this particular site I always make an exception. When people ask me for good YA blogs, this is the one I always mention first. For extra bonus points you should read her blow-by-blow take on the Nancy Drew books.
Seven Impossible Things Before Breakfast – Jules and Eisha
Now generally I prefer bloggers that give critical as well as positive reviews. Jules and Eisha don’t do that as often as some, but their superior taste in fine literature combined with the massive amount of work they put into their blog makes them one of the finest sites out there today. I am generally very jealous of the magnificent blogging they do.
excelsior file – David Elzey
Generally I read blogs that aren’t all love and kisses to every book they review. On his site, David offers criticism alongside a clear-cut point of view and a notable voice in his reviews. He doesn’t bandy about with niceties if he feels a title falls short, and that’s something I can really respect. At the same time, when he likes a book there’s no one better to persuade you to seek it out.
Book Buds – Anne Levy
Speaking of bloggers who suffer no fools, Anne manages to balance her blogging and reviewing alongside organizing the Cybil Awards. She also manages to locate below-the-radar picture book goodies that might not catch your eye immediately. Great stuff.
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About Betsy Bird
Betsy Bird is currently the Collection Development Manager of the Evanston Public Library system and a former Materials Specialist for New York Public Library. She has served on Newbery, written for Horn Book, and has done other lovely little things that she'd love to tell you about but that she's sure you'd find more interesting to hear of in person. Her opinions are her own and do not reflect those of EPL, SLJ, or any of the other acronyms you might be able to name. Follow her on Twitter: @fuseeight.
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