A Letter to Aspiring Book Reviewers : A Blog Series


While reaching out to prospective reviewers for my young adult novel, Heathens, I had occasion to meet and chat with several young people who expressed a desire to become book reviewers. I found myself inspired by their enthusiasm, their attentiveness, and their vigorous curiosity. They had questions—lots of questions, and I did my best to answer them. I sent them the reviewer package for Heathens, and I drafted a letter to serve as a quick guide to help them get started.

It occurred to me that there might be more young people with similar questions. I thought a series of posts discussing the process of reviewing books might be helpful. I’ve added both practical and conceptual topics and expanded on the theme of the original letter. It’s my hope that these posts and comments will help these aspiring artists get off to a good start.

Over the next weeks I’ll be posting on this under the tag “Book Reviewing.”


Suggestion: Learn first, then do. That’s how you learn more. You’ll want to develop your own style, your own way of doing things, but remember, traditions that exists in our human society came about for a reason. Not much of it is arbitrary. Sometimes the rules constrain, but more often than not they save you from repeating the mistakes of those who came before. So learn first, then do.

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