Evaluating books – 7th Habit of Highly Effective Readers

Evaluating books – 7th Habit of Highly Effective Readers

Well, it is that time of year again. My kids are off to school, and I am excited to begin writing a brand new book. I will be creating the book through this blog, and you will have free access to all of it’s content here. This book/blog series is called 7 Habits of Highly Effective Readers and will give you information on what you can do to create an avid reader.


This is it.  The very last post in this series.  See how easy it can be to write a book.  I started this in September, and now the rough draft of the book is complete.  It just takes consistent action each day, and it is done in no time at all.

After a highly effective reader has finished a book, they immediately have a response.  They think, hmmm... "Did I like it or not like it?"  How a book ends plays a big-human-65931_640 part in whether someone likes a book or not.  If they don't like the ending, then they most likely will not like it.

A group of 7th graders were reading the book Monsters by Walter Dean Myers and one girl said, "I have never liked a book that a teacher has suggested before.  This book has been great all the way until the end. I hate that the author ended the book with a question."  That speaks volumes for how important an ending can be.  The book was great until the last sentence.  This reader doesn't like to be left hanging, but it is allowing her to discover what she likes and doesn't like about reading certain books.

Having an opinion about a book isn't just liking it and not liking it.  It is backing up what you have to say.  Why do you like it?  Which parts did you like?  Which parts didn't you like?  If you were the author, would you change anything?  If so, what would that be?

Having these opinions about books is pivotal to figuring out your own tastes in reading.  It helps you become a better judge of a book the next time you pick one up.  If you know that you don't like a certain genre because it has never caught your attention, then you will be less likely to pick that genre up again.  However, if you did like a certain genre, then you may be more likely to pick it up again.

Getting into  the habit of evaluating a book is powerful for a child.  I am going to show you how powerful it can really be.  Remember at the beginning of the book when I mentioned that Goodreads was a good tool?  Well, now we are going to see how it is like Pandora.

Everyone loves Pandora for it's ability to customize music channels with music you totally love.  Well Goodreads does the same thing for books.  You leave your recommendation for how you felt about a book and then rate it on a scale of 1-5 stars.  Based on your reviews Goodreads will recommend other books.  Here is how the stars break down.

1 star = I hated this book

2 stars = I did not like this book

3 stars = This book was o.k

4 stars = This book was really good

5 stars = I loved this book

Have your child create an account with their e-mail address.  If your child does not have an e-mail address, then you can sign up under an e-mail address that you do not access all the time.  Then your child can become active in the community and begin rating the books that she has read.  She can add just the latest book she has read or have fun with all the books she has read in the past year.

Then she can begin adding her recommendations.  Here is an outline of information to include in a recommendation.

Introduction - List the name of the book, the author, and who you would recommend the book to.

Summary - Give some information about the book.

Assessment - Describe why you liked it?

Conclusion - Why you rated it with the star's that you gave it?

Recommendations don't have to be long.  This is a simple formula to follow that can make it an easy task.  It is not a book report, just your overall opinion.

Why is this important for all kids to do?  Well, again it helps them figure out what kinds of books they enjoy reading, and it spreads the love of reading good books to others.

What books have you reviewed lately?


  1. I loved your post. I’ve not read the others before but as a long time Book Club Member in my neighborhood (15 years, one book a month), I can appreciate your comments about the WHY you like or don’t like a book.

    Some of our best discussions were when a few of us have different perspectives on what the book was all about and why we agreed/disagreed with the content.

    I am so glad to see young people reading as it was the best thing for me as a teen.

    I look forward to reading more.

    Claudette Chenevert
    The Stepmom Coach
    Claudette Chenevert recently posted..How To Be a United Stepfamily.My Profile

    • Thank you for your response. Wow, that is awesome that you have been a book club member for so long. I love it. That is truly outstanding. Yes, I agree the Why is really important. I had someone leave a review for one of my books this reason and the reason they didn’t like my book was because they were not my target audience. I can’t fault them for that. I appreciated their review and did not mind that it left a lower rating.

  2. I love this idea! Anything that gets kids to read is good, because it can form a habit – if they like a book, they become keen to read others that are similar, then will be willing to try books that are different. Along the way, their horizons get broadened, their knowledge gets expanded – win/win/win!
    Cheers, Gordon
    The Great Gordino recently posted..Goal Achievement – Hooray For Hedy!My Profile

  3. Linda Luke
    Twitter: coachlindaluke

    I may ask my grandchildren if they like a book, but after this am going to be more thorough. I want to hear what they really think and see this as a way to learn about them and connect more deeply. Thank you.
    Linda Luke recently posted..The Quick and Easy Guide to Escaping OverwhelmMy Profile

  4. nice post. i have not reviewed recently any books though i read them. but i am going to start this habit.
    Amar Naik recently posted..Phoneography Challenge, the Phone as Your Lens: Macro (Spring Refresh)My Profile

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