for two years. -less often, now

That kid reviews books

Screen shot 2013-03-06 at 9.52.03 PMIt’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)

Happy reading!

9 responses

  1. Very nice! Awesome of him! Awesome of them (his parents)! Awesome of you!

    March 6, 2013 at 10:21 pm

  2. E.

    This is awesome! Kids who read are great. But kids who read and blog about his reviews are definitely awesome. Thanks for sharing!

    March 6, 2013 at 10:25 pm

  3. THANK YOU MR PHELPS!!!!!! Your site is AWESOME!!!!!! I am very happy you like mine! :mrgreen: LEGOs and Reading are my 2 favorite things!!! :D I am trying to get 1500 AR points this year. I am the first kid in the district to break 1000! I get to have lunch served to me by the principal up on the stage in the Lunch Room today because I have so many AR points! :cool:

    March 7, 2013 at 6:32 am

    • PS Thank you for the book recommendations! I haven’t read them yet. I put “The Giver” and “Haroun & the Sea of Stories” on my TBR list! :D

      March 7, 2013 at 6:36 am

      • Excellent! I know you will enjoy them. They are a little higher level books, so they will probably fall under the category of “mom & dad need to read them first.” But I’m fairly sure they’ll pass them on to you. If/when you do read them, I’d love to hear your thoughts!

        March 7, 2013 at 12:38 pm

  4. This is a fantastic shout-out to my blogging friend Erik. He is a hero to many of us in the kidlit community — not only does he read books, he’s working on writing books as well, and learns as much as he can about what goes into writing a book, as well as knowing what makes a book one that kids will want to read over and over again. PLUS everything else he does. Thank you for highlighting this Great Kid!

    March 7, 2013 at 10:38 am

  5. Great to see Erik’s blog celebrated here! I am a loyal follower of his blog and am always impressed by his passion for reading and writing, his great reviews, and his commitment to spotlighting other kids. :)

    March 7, 2013 at 11:09 am

  6. Pretty soon everyone will realize how fabulous Erik the Great is! But we already knew…:~)

    Donna L Martin

    March 7, 2013 at 9:54 pm

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