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Reviewing nonfiction books for children and young adults: Stance, scholarship and structure

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Title: Reviewing nonfiction books for children and young adults: Stance, scholarship and structure
Author(s): Carter, Betty
Subject(s): Book reviewing Children --Books and reading
Abstract: Both the writing and the reviewing of children's and young adult nonfiction are art forms. Fine works of nonfiction promise hours of pleasure, exhilaration, and contemplation for their readers; they convey both wonder and passion about a particular topic or theme; and, to paraphrase Robert Probst (1986), they feed a child's thinking rather than control it. At best, nonfiction books are characterized by beautifully written prose, definable themes, unifying structure, and stimulating subjects. Likewise, so are fine reviews. They don't simply indicate a thumbs up/thumbs down recommendation, but instead impart a sense of the book as a whole, discuss what subject is covered as well as how it is presented, and suggest ways to extend a book and thus bring it to more readers. Reviews not only introduce specific titles to librarians, teachers, parents, and booksellers, who in turn share them with young people, but they also feed the profession's thinking about matters concerning the nature of literature. Not surprisingly, the best reviewers are readers readers who devour books rather than simply pick them up to satisfy the demands of their jobs; readers who surround themselves with books, and words, and ideas; and readers who want to share these passions with others. Frequently, though, their literary love affairs begin with the traditional triumvirate of fiction, poetry, and drama, and it is that particular genre orientation that unconsciously affects the ways in which they interact with all subsequent books they encounter.
Issue Date: 1993
Publisher: Graduate School of Library and Information Science, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Citation Info: In B. Hearne and R. Sutton (eds) Evaluating children’s books : a critical look : aesthetic, social, and political aspects of analyzing and using children’s books (Papers presented at the Allerton Park Institute held October 25-27, 1992): 59-71.
Series/Report: Allerton Park Institute (34nd : 1992)
Genre: Conference Paper / Presentation
Type: Text
Language: English
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/2142/637
ISBN: 0-87845-092-0
ISSN: 0536-4604
Publication Status: published or submitted for publication
Date Available in IDEALS: 2007-04-16
 

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