Week 12: Reviewing reviews for The Hate U Give

Reviews come in all shapes and sizes, from professional sources and from amateur sources.  I have gathered reviews for Angie Thomas’s The Hate U Give from Kirkus Reviews, The Guardian, and School Library Journal as professional reviews, and a parent review from Common Sense Media, and a review from a Goodreads user as amateur reviews.  I will also be looking at the guidelines for the reviews for VOYA.

  • Word count is of great importance when looking at reviews, librarians do not have all of the time in the world to read.  According to the VOYA guidelines, a professional review should be between 250 and 300 words.  Both the Kirkus review and the School LIbrary Journal review are slightly under this range.  The Guardian however is more than double the maximum amount of words, requiring more time to read than the other two reviews.  In a short amount of words, Kirkus and SLJ give the reader a good feel of the book and the main character, Starr Carter, and weight of situation that she is thrown into.  The Guardian does use its extra words to flesh out more of the characters and story. 
  • The School Library Journal and Kirkus Review both provide grades/ages that are optimal for this book, eight grade and up and ages 14 to adult respectively.  The Guardian does not specifically say what age group this book is for, but it does place the review under the topic of “children and teenagers.” 
  • The Hate U Give was published in February of 2017.  Kirkus posted their review in December 2016, SLJ posted theirs in January 2017, and The Guardian did not post their review until April 2017. 
  • Amateur reviews are not bound by VOYA’s standards for reviews.  It is normal to see reviews that are only a few words long, and reviews that can be quite extensive and long.  The parent review from Common Sense Media does not give details about the story, but it does give the impact that the reader felt. 
  • The Goodreads review makes good use of the first person, something that would not be seen in a professional review.  What’s great about Goodreads reviews is that the reviewer can always go back and edit their review, as seen in this one.

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