I have a hip aunt who likes to read the same books as her teenagers. She does this so she knows what they're reading and she can chime in on conversations and know what they're talking about.
I think this approach is quite brilliant, actually. It's a great way to stay in tune with what your kids are up to as well as have a way to connect with them.
But what if you don't have time to read every book your kids are reading? Or what if you don't have teenagers, but you see a popular book and wonder if it has offensive material? Just because we're adults doesn't mean we want to read explicit material or be submerged in foul language.
Well, a few days ago I stumbled upon a book blog that is so ingenious, I had to share.
ReadingTeen.net. Here's how it works. Three teenagers read YA books and then post reviews. Then they hand them over to a parent or adult to read. The adult then posts a review on www.parentalbookreviews.com including ratings on violence, sexual content, language, and anything else they think you, as the parent or interested reader, might need to know. (A link to the parental review is at the bottom of every review on readingteen.net.) In some cases, they even break down by page where the sexual references are or list the number of each swear word.
There is a list of books for guys (because not every teenage boy loves to read Twilight) and a list of recommended clean reads. Still all popular YA novels.
This is fabulous! I feel like this is now my go-to website for wanting to know about a book. In fact, the other day I saw a book I thought looked interesting. I went to this website and found it had more swearing than I wanted to read. So I didn't check it out. (I admit I can stomach a handful of "mild" swear words, but any more than that and I start to lose confidence in the author's lack to create an intriguing story. It starts to sound crass and cheap.)
Anyway, this is so cool.
Thanks to everyone who makes this service possible. It is really amazing. Do them a favor and check out their website. Follow them if you'd like. It seems like a worthy cause to me. That and they do giveaways at least once a week:)
Any other good book reviewing blogs or websites you would suggest?