It’s not often I post about other blogs – or even get a chance to steal a look at some of the millions of blogs out there. But, I wanted to give a long overdue shout out to a particular site run by 11-year-old Erik that I think deserves some extra kudos. Erik has been a devoted follower of my blog (thanks dude!), and in his spare time has been running a fantastic service of his own, for other like minded kids of his age.
Erik reviews books. Books for kids. Of all ages. Picture books, novels, comic books, graphic novels, and more. You can find his reviews on his site This Kid Reviews Books.
Perhaps one reason I’m so enthralled with Erik’s site, is because as you all well know, I’m a 5th grade teacher. There is nothing more near and dear to my heart than seeing a student of his age thoroughly enjoy reading, be excited by it, want to pick up book after book, and then share it with others. Browsing through the pages of his reviews I can easily recognize countless books I have on the shelves of my own classroom library. The same books my students and I order from the Scholastic Book Club every month. Erik reads a few books per week, and blogs about most of them. I think one of my favorite parts of his blog is his Accelerated Reader (AR) counter. For those unfamiliar, the AR program quizzes readers on comprehension, plot devices, etc. Different books are worth different amounts of points – depending on length, complexity, and reading level. An average 5th grade novel is usually about 10 points. Some larger books like Harry Potter can be worth as much as 30. Right now, his total is just a hair over 1,000 points. My class’s total so far this year? 890. Yup, Erik alone has out-read all 23 of my students put together. Awesome job, dude!
Erik’s reviews aren’t lengthy, and in his short blurbs does a great job of rounding up a book’s perspective, story, characters, and points out if anything might be inappropriate for younger readers. They’re perfect for kids to read. He writes them all himself, too. His parents help with the behind the scenes functions of the site, and preview some more young adult books for him. I’d like to tip my hat to them for being so incredibly proactive in Erik’s love of reading. I wish all my students had parents as engaged in their child’s education.
So parents, kids, everyone – make sure you head on over to Erik’s site and find some books to read. I’m sure he can help you out.
Erik takes suggestions for books to read and review, so I’ve got a couple for you, buddy. (And I highly, highly recommend these for any and all students of a higher reading level in grades 5 and up:
-The Giver by Lois Lowry
-Haroun & the Sea of Stories by Salman Rushdie (currently my read aloud book in class)