Teen Review: How to Choose a Good Book

October 22, 2018 | Teen Blogger

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Review by Samir, member of the Cedarbrae Youth Advisory Group

Choosing books is a beneficial skill in many ways. Not only does it help you choose a good entertaining book, it is also useful for students doing research. In this blog entry, I will share a few of the techniques I use to pick out entertaining books as well as informative books. The process of finding an entertaining book or an informative book is somewhat similar. However, there are obviously differences as your objective and purpose has changed.

Finding an entertaining book is rather easy. You must identify three things that are appealing to you: genre, reading level, and tone. Look for a book that fulfills these three categories. However with this method most of the books you encounter will be similar. If you wish to explore different kinds of books, there are many resources available that can help you find them such as online book reviews and library book displays.

Check out The List published by the Toronto Public Library with help from teen readers.

The List includes different genres like Coming Of Age, Hard Hitting, Nailbiters, Humour, Fantasy, Science Fiction etc.

Index (2)
Index (2)

The books displayed in the teen section of the library cater towards teens and are popular with teens. Also, the teen section of the library blog contains many reviews for books.  These can help you determine if a book is for you.  Since your friends usually have similar tastes to yours, ask them about books that they like. Once you find a book that you seem to like, you should read a few pages from the beginning and middle of the book to determine if it is of your reading level and reading style. Finally, another skill for finding good books is judging it by its cover! Contrary to popular belief, I have noticed that a book with an interesting cover is usually a good book.

Finding an informative book is slightly harder. Nowadays, most information can be found online but information in a book is definitely considered more credible and reliable.  Also, many teachers require a print resource in high school for cross reference. The librarian can help you find the books about the topic you are trying to research. You can also use the library catalog, which is a great resource. When using books for projects, you should check if the book is specific and detailed enough for your grade level. Most books are credible but you should give priority to well-known publishers. Another thing to look out for when looking for an informative book (especially for research) is whether the author or publisher is biased. An example of this could be a seller of GMOs writing a book on the topic.

To conclude, these are some of the thoughts that cross my head when looking for a book. Reading is a valuable skill and it deteriorates if it isn’t utilized. It is important to explore all kinds of books as you may be in for a surprise. These methods may not work for everyone but I’m sure that if you visit the library you will find at least one book that interests you!