Think about the last book you bought. Did you choose it because you found it on a real or virtual bookshelf? Did you go looking for it because a friend recommended it? Or did you read a review that piqued your interest?
As we shop more online, we increasingly look to reviews to help us make buying decisions. As a result, books (and other projects) with more reviews are more likely to appear on our feeds than those with fewer ratings. Put simply, the best (and most accessible way) to support good writing and quality books is to post an honest review on your favorite shopping sites and in reading communities like GoodReads.
Book reviews don’t have to be lengthy and can be shared in just a few minutes. Consider the information you’d like to know about a book and include that in your review. Be honest and include both what you did and didn’t like. For kids’ books, it’s helpful to include the age of your reader—for example, my nine-year-old son or my fourth grader, etc.
Tips for Writing Book Reviews:
- Be honest but kind. If you don’t care for a book, say that in a way that doesn’t attack the author or illustrator. Be constructive. “I wish the drawings had been for life-like” rather than “the illustrations were trash!”
- Give a summary of the book.
- Point out unique features.
- End with a quick summary and your recommendation.
Below are two reviews that readers found helpful.
“This is the third book in this fun-filled children’s book series. The story is filled with suspense, laughter, and playfulness. Night Buddies revolves around the nighttime adventures of a young boy named John, who is not ready to go to sleep, and a bright red crocodile named Crosley, who turns up under John’s bed each night. The language is imaginary, and there are lots of futuristic doohickeys to spark your interest as this pair surreptitiously exits John’s house using Crosely’s I-ain’t-here doodad, which makes them invisible to John’s parents. Who wouldn’t want one of those?
“The two show up at the Pineapple Cheesecake Factory and find Big Foot Mae lying on the floor, staring up at her Great Star Puzzle on the ceiling. Of course, they suspect something is awry. Mae points to the ceiling, indicating that this anomaly needs to be solved, and the Night Buddies are off and immersed in a brand-new fantasy adventure.
The vibe of the book is fun-loving and hilarious. The characters are lovable, and the storyline keeps moving you forward at a fast pace as the plot develops. It’s always amusing to use different font sizes in a book to capture and add interest to the story. The black-and-white pencil sketch drawings are a visual treat as well. I am sure the book will appeal especially to boys who love an out-of-the-box reading experience.”
-Storywraps Amazon review of Night Buddies Go Sky High
“Just finished reading Night Buddies and the Pineapple Cheesecake Scare after a friend recommended it as a good example of creative writing. I was not left disappointed. The story follows a young boy, John, who can’t sleep – but is he? Upon being left alone in his dark bedroom by his mother, John befriends a crocodile who sneaks him out of the house and into another world of humorous characters, scary tunnels, and some things I’d rather just forget. In other words, everything one might dream about.
“It’s a perfect book for more advanced young readers (some big words) or something Mom or Dad might read to their children at bedtime. Be advised, there are a few scary parts but no one gets hurt. If reading with Mom or Dad, there are places where the young reader can make the sounds of the creatures John encounters in his adventure. At 127 pages, the book is fairly long and might require more than a night or two for the younger reader or parent/child team, but it’s all good fun.”
-ArtP Amazon review of Night Buddies and the Pineapple Cheesecake Scare