Who are your reviewers and how may an author or publisher contact you about a review request?
Our reviewers are parents who read with their children and kids who are reading themselves. Some of the parents are teachers or former teachers, some are reading mentors, some just like to read books with their kids. It is very important to us that when someone is trying to find a book for a child, that they know what other children think of the book. Professional reviews are great, but getting feedback from the person who is the intended audience is particularly important to us. We try to wear several hats... like the grandparent who wants to find a book for a child, but wants to know what other kids thought about it first.
In March 2004 we partnered with Be the Star You Are!® another non-profit that empowers children and families through positive media. Their message is that to be a leader you must be a reader. BTSYA runs an after-school center for youth at risk, and they created a Teen STAR Book Review Team. We send them books for the 9 to 12 target audience. The kids read the books and write the reviews. I post them on the website with their logo.
Authors and publishers can contact me through the Website. We have a contact form just for that purpose. I would like to add a footnote. We are more than happy to introduce the world to books published for kids, and we would love the opportunity to read yours. But our role is not to help you sell them. Over the years we have had authors who get angry at us for only recommending that someone borrow their book at the library and not buy it. I can truly appreciate the pride authors take in their work – we do, too – but asking for a review doesn't guarantee that the reader will rave about it.
We are a public charity dedicated to children's literacy and family reading. Our goal is to help get our kids excited about reading. We think telling people to ask for the book in their local library is an endorsement, too. Not everyone can afford to buy books for a personal library.
When we review a book, we are looking at its substantive qualities: did our child like this book? is this a story we enjoyed reading with our child? Does it have educational value (explicit or implicit) that can bring reading to life and make it relevant? Would we recommend that others read this book? We just want to make sure that kids have the skills to READ your book.