Saturday, October 17, 2015

How To Read A Story

How to Read A Story. Kate Messner. Illustrated by Mark Siegel. 2015. Chronicle. 32 pages. [Source: Library]

First sentence: Step 1: Find a story. A good one. It can have princesses and castles, if you like that sort of thing, or witches and trolls. (As long as they're not too scary.)

Premise/plot: The book shares TEN STEPS with young readers about how to read a story. (Step ten is to say "the end" when the book is over.) It is a cute, clever, practical book that delivers just what it promises.

My thoughts: Want a book that celebrates reading? Want a book that celebrates a child learning how to read for himself/herself? It doesn't really get any cuter than Kate Messner's How To Read A Story. It advocates reading with a buddy. It advocates reading JOYFULLY and PASSIONATELY. For example, step six is "When the characters talk, whatever's being said...say it in a voice to match who's talking." Readers then are given a chance to practice. A lion saying: "I will save the kingdom." A mouse saying: "I am the most POWERFUL in all the land." A knight saying "I'm hungry for lunch."

I think this one will definitely prove appealing to teachers and librarians and parents.

Text: 5 out of 5
Illustrations: 5 out of 5
Total: 10 out of 10

© 2015 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews

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Review Policy

I am interested in reviewing books and audio books. This blog focuses on books written for middle grade on up (essentially 10 to a 110). I review middle grade fiction and young adult fiction (aka tween and teen).

I also review adult books.

I read in a variety of genres including realistic fiction, historical fiction, mystery, romance, science fiction, fantasy, literary fiction, and chick lit. (I've read one western to date.)

I read a few poetry books, a few short story collections, a few graphic novels, a few nonfiction books.

I am especially fond of:

  • Regency romances (including Austen prequels/sequels)
  • Historical fiction set in the Tudor dynasty
  • Historical fiction and nonfiction set during World War II
  • Jewish fiction/nonfiction
  • dystopias
  • apocalyptic fiction
  • science fiction (especially if it involves time travel and alternate realities)
  • fantasy
  • multicultural books and international books

I am not a fan of:

  • sports books
  • horse books
  • dog books if the dog dies (same goes with most pets actually except maybe fish)
  • westerns (if it's a pioneer story with women and children, then maybe)
  • extremely violent books with blood, blood, and more blood

I am more interested in strong characters, well-written, fleshed-out, human characters. Plot is secondary to me in a way. I have to care about the characters in order to care about the plot. That being said, compelling storytelling is something that I love. I love to become absorbed in what I'm reading.

If you're interested in sending me a review copy of your book, I'm happy to hear from you. Email me at laney_po AT yahoo DOT com.

You should know several things before you contact me:

1) I do not guarantee a review of your book. I am just agreeing to consider it for review.
2) I give all books at least fifty pages.
3) I am not promising anyone (author or publisher) a positive review in exchange for a review copy. That's not how I work.
4) In all of my reviews I strive for honesty. My reviews are my opinions--so yes, they are subjective--you should know my blog will feature both negative and positive reviews.
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