In homage to my students from my first teaching job, I will use a rating scale from 1 to 5 fish.

 Couldn’t stand it.

 It was all right, but not something I’d read again.

 Decent. Not great, but not bad.

 Great book, and probably worth another read in the future.

 WOW! Awesome book! Pick this one up right now!

Also, a word about my reviews: simple. More words: I use the same review method I recommend to my students. That is, 1 paragraph of plot/character summary, 1 paragraph of my personal thoughts, and 1 paragraph for recommendations. I will deviate from this, but this is the basic structure I use. Pro tip: if I do stray from this format, it’s probably because the book was really good or really bad.

Another quick note: I am more likely to review books I really like than those I don’t care for too much. Part of this is because of my own excitement level that would make me want to write a review. But the other part is that I wouldn’t necessarily want to write a negative review if there’s a book I didn’t really enjoy. Every book has its audience. I’m glad for my incredibly small part in helping some books find the right audience. But if I’m not the audience for a certain book and I’m not sure who is, I might not review it. It’s not my job to discourage people from reading anything. It’s my job to encourage, and that’s what I’ll be doing. So when you see mostly 4- and 5-fish reviews, it’s because I choose to review those books, not because I just like everything I read.

. . .though I do know what I like, and I make good reading choices.


3 thoughts on “Ratings

  1.            Hello,
    Please consider reviewing Last Voyage a the Vengeferth. I’ve pasted the synopsis below.  Greg Schindler

    Last Voyage a the Vengeferth: An adventure pitting man against nature.

    This book is suitable for a mature ten year old, or an older reader of any age. It’s historically accurate to the time, and a vocabulary builder. Amid his half page introduction, Wil DeVoe, narrator and first mate, explains that he’ll leave out the hardest language: Aye, ‘twas there, salty sprinkled through, as wherever seafaring men are found. But I swear the tale can be well told without it. (‘Tis humor, swearing not ta use the swearing words.) I must leave out the hardest language, or apologize ta the ladies an’ youngsters on its account.
    The author’s poetry background is evident in riveting passages like the moment the rogue wave that capsizes the Vengeferth, known by seamen as a wall, is spotted by the man in the nest: Wallllll!!!  A second’s prayer in my head begged I’d misheard ‘im shrilling squall. But all the raw fear’d ripped through his voice. Hair on necks prickled, as eightysome eyes flew ta the horizon. “Port bow” was gasped, an’ heads swiveled. This bleary gaze saw a silver sword blade stretched across the distance, sparkling with the sun. My white knuckles clasped the rail as my knees tried ta buckle.
              “Four ta the oars!” Captain barked. “The rest below! Tighten ship, douse candles, an’ hug a bed leg! Batten down all but aft hatch! Doc, raise the weather flag ‘fore ya go down!” His words rang, sharp, quick, an’ clear, like sword clangs in a hot fray.
                In another  passages DeVoe spots an approaching squall: Half the sun on the horizon woke me. I raised my head an’ eyed the scene, feeling pain and soreness in each move. I deep breathed honey sweet air. Everything considered, all wasn’t honey sweet. ‘Twas sweet we had a usable craft ‘neath us. Sweet we had enough kegs a food an’ water ta survive a time. Sweet that many materials strewn about awaited our use. Most sweet ‘twas that we, breathing, flesh an’ blood men, had faced a wall an’ were no crumbs brushed ta the floor. Yet there was a storm abrew on the horizon.
    Factually, there she was! A squall looming at us from the north. I espied her, though she half hid behind our desperate, low sinking Vengeferth struggling still, like a whale last-gasping. I roused the crew, whilst beseeching: When might we lowly men expect ta draw a peacefull breath in this bloody lifetime?
    Last Voyage a the Vengeferth is a 46,660-word tale for adventure lovers of any age. 

  2. I ate the fish, I’m leaving a comment. I’m a young adult author and my work is perfect for the age you teach. I write fast paced contemporary YA but keep it PG to PG 13 at the most so the Jr High kids really like it. Don’t know if you take books for review but wanted to let you know about my work. The three books in order of published date, Unbreakable Love, Shackled, and Becoming Bryn ! Thanks for your time. We’ll get them reading yet!

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