MotherTalk/MomCentral is currently hosting their best blog tour ever: James Patterson's ReadKiddoRead. (James Patterson being the author of the Maximum Ride books coincidentally and currently being devoured by my daughter Iz.) I would have been interested even without the Amazon gift certificate the tour organizers dangled in front of me.
If your kid is anything like my kid, and not content to have books on hand, or to go to the library on Mondays, or to surf the Amazon.com "also boughts" for recommendations, if your kid wants more more more book recommendations all the time all day long, and isn't satisfied by Newberry credentials ("Those books are all so depressing, Mommy! Everyone always dies!") then ReadKiddoRead is a godsend. If you're simply interested in a well-organized resource for finding your kids nice meaty, enjoyable books to read, then ReadKiddoRead will merely please you immensely.
James Patterson talks about the idea behind ReadKiddoRead:
"A few years ago, I realized my son, Jack, didn't exactly love books. We'd always read to him as a baby, and he was beginning to read for school. When he got home, him going to the shelf and picking up a book was about as likely as his pulling out a notebook and solving quantum physics problems. Actually, the latter was more likely. He's a smart kid.Judy Freeman, the site's primary reviewer, has this to say about why ReadKiddoRead is so important:
"So Sue and I took it on ourselves to fix the problem if we could.
"Starting that summer, and every summer since, we went out and found books that I was pretty sure he'd not just read, but would love to read. That was a big part of the inspiration for READKIDDOREAD."
"James Patterson’s mission is to get kids hooked on unputdownable books that will lead them to other unforgettable books that will launch them as lifetime readers. Naturally, to become a reader, you need to be surrounded by good books. There are more than 5,000 children’s books published every year. How on earth do you figure out which ones are the best ones to read to or share with or recommend to your children? That’s where ReadKiddoRead can help.Aside from thoughtful book recommendations for kids of all ages and inclinations (I especially appreciate the understanding that some five-year-olds are ready for books like City of Ember), the site contains interviews with authors such as Julie Andrews, links for getting free books, and (warning!) access to the dangerously slippery slope that is Shelfari.
"We’ve tried to help make your job easier with this website, culling a select list of cutting edge books we believe your kids will love. We couldn’t review every exemplary book out there, so included with each title is a list of more treasures (If You Loved This Book, Then Try) on the same theme or subject or by the same author, that will keep kiddos reading and exploring.
"Will every single book listed here ring your child’s literary bell? Well, no. That would be impossible. Children’s book tastes are far-ranging, just like yours are. So, we’ve gone through thousands of books to come up with an eclectic mix, balancing historical, hysterical, drama, fantasy, contemporary, mystery, suspense, animals, fictional, fact-ional, and then some. We think it’s a compelling assortment of titles that will really pop. Some are more for girls than boys, or vice versa; others are more universal in theme.
"I like to tell kids, “Everything you read makes you smarter and makes your brain grow. But if you always read the same type of book, your brain will develop an unsightly bulge. You need to try a bit of everything.”
The main is nicely organized into four main reading levels, each with four sub-categories of recommendations, but it is not infinitely deep in terms of the number of books. This is okay -- there's a lot of additional current and potential meat in the Ning, so don't forget to join the increasingly lively ReadKiddoRead community and help this potentially amazing resource grow and flourish.
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