I was over at the Drowning Machine site earlier, floating around on the Internet ether as I do from time to time, when my attention was caught by a review by a 'middle-schooler' named Marie.
First of all, I'd like to congratulate Marie for telling me all I need to know about the book in just a handful of paragraphs. You can find it yourself at:
should this be of interest to you.
The review is for a children's book called 'The Tilting House' by Tom Llewellyn.
I have spent my adult working life as a primary school teacher and have been on the lookout for new books for many years. I've also put many a child through their paces by asking them to write about a book they've just read. It's not an easy job as any of you who have tried will understand.
Thing is, I've rarely seen the two things put together - review space for children, by children - outside of an individual school or classroom. Maybe the Drowning Machine is about to set a new trend.
Reviews of books for children by adults are about as valid as any other kind (ie if you're lucky enough to find a couple of reviewers with whom you usually agree, you're doing OK), but surely we miss some of the magic or the fresh eyes a youngster can offer the task. Let's see more of this 'children reviewing things for themselves' approach elsewhere, please. Class teachers out there, maybe you could take the initiative and set up a blog of your own.
I took my three children to see Alice In Wonderland yesterday and they loved the experience of being scared (or should that be scarred?) within the safe environment offered by the cinema. It was only a shame I don't have three knees so that I could fit them on at once. I mention it because 'The Tilting House' seems likely to have sections that work in overlap or in parallel with it every once in a while. I'll certainly be getting hold of a copy soon to read to my own and reckon that if you check it out at the link above, there's more than a small chance that you'll be doing the same.