Transcript from SLJ Reviewer Chat: August 17, 2015

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Kiera Parrott: Hi everyone. We’ll be hosting a chat for SLJ Reviewers right here on Monday, August 17 at 11am ET. See you then!

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Maggie Knapp: Hello, reviewer friends!

Kiera Parrott: Hi Maggie! Hi everyone! We are going to get started in a few minutes. So glad you’re all here.

Erin Holt: Hi! This is SUCH an awesome idea! I’ve been looking forward to the chat!

Kiera Parrott: Us, too!

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Maggi: *waving*

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Maggi: I can stay for part of it, anyway, before I head out for work.

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Kiera Parrott: Hey! The editors are gathered, almost ready to start. We’ll try to keep things to about 45 minutes, but if anyone needs to duck out early, that’s okay.

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Kiera Parrott: We’ll archive the chat on the SLJ site.

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Ellen: Awesome!

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Brenda K.: Hi everyone!

GretchenC: Good morning

Ellen: Good Morning

Kiera Parrott: Hi everyone

Kiera Parrott: Welcome to the chat

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Sara Lissa Paulson: Hi

Leighanne Law: Morning!

Eliza joined the chat 2 minutes ago

Kiera Parrott: I know some folks were having trouble logging in. We are trying to fix that, but let’s get started and we’ll see how it goes.

Kiera Parrott: So if you haven’t already, say hi!

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Kiera Parrott: I’m Kiera. I’m in charge of SLJ reviews. I assign mostly middle grade novels, some YA, and the professional reading titles.

Ellen: Hi, my name is Ellen, and I am a librarian in Crest Hill, Illinois.

Murasaki: Hello from Newport, RI (not Heian Kyo, if you recognize the nickname!).

GretchenC: Hi, I work in Alexandria, VA

Maggie Knapp: I’m from Trinity Valley School in Fort Worth

Brenda K.: Brenda Kahn, middle school (5 – 8th grade) librarian in Closter, NJ

Nikitia Wilson joined the chat 47 seconds ago

Erin Holt: Hi, I’m Erin, Teen Librarian in Franklin, TN

Maggi Rohde: I’m a teacher librarian in Ann Arbor, MI and a book blogger as mama_librarian.

Stacy D: Hi, I’m Stacy Lower School Librarian at LREI in NYC

Sara Lissa Paulson: I was an elem librarian in NYC and will be starting at City-As-School, a high school in the fall.

Leighanne Law: I’m a teacher-librarian at a high school in Endmonds, WA.

Maggi Rohde: Would love to share Twitter handles.

cyndi: Hi! I work in Libertyville, IL

Cathy Potter: Hi, I’m Cathy. I’m a school librarian at an elementary school in Maine, and I review apps.

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Erin Holt: Maggi I’m @LibrarianE13

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Cathy Potter: My Twitter handle is @cppotter

Maggi Rohde: Thanks, Erin, I’m @mama_librarian

Shelley Diaz: Hello, I’m Shelley Diaz, SLJTeen editor, Senior Reviews editor responsible for assigning YA, YA graphic novels, and Spanish-language books. I’m a twin and I love purple! @sdiaz101 on Twitter

Sara Lissa Paulson: mine is @coralinej

LuannToth: I’m Luann Toth and I assign all of the picture books and easy readers.

Stacy D: Mine is @mytweendom

Hilary Writt: Hello. I’m a librarian at Sullivan University in Lexington, KY. I review middle and young adult fiction and some nonfiction.

Nikitia Wilson: Hi, I’m Nikitia (Niki is preferred). I will start an Assistant School Librarian position in the fall in NYC.

Brenda K.: Mine is @kahnbrenda

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GretchenC: I have twins! They are 21 now, fortunately for both me and them!

Mahnaz: Hi guys. I’m Mahnaz Dar. I assign nonfiction including all of the series nonfiction, and reference databases and books. Apart from kid lit, I enjoy Woody Allen pictures, pop and rock music from the 1950s/60s, and relatively short walks on the beach.

Maggi Rohde: Luann, I primarily work with K-2 and I’ve been a Cybils judge for the Easy Reader/beginning chapter category.

Daryl Grabarek: Hi, Daryl Grabarek just signing in, I assign apps and Curriculum Connections content!

aula: Hi pals this is Paula Willey @pwbalto

Chris Gustafson: Hi, Chris Gustafson, Whitman Middle School in Seattle.

Kent Turner: I’m Kent Turner. I assign and edit the DVD reviews. I also help edit book reviews

Leighanne Law: Hi Chris!

Eliza: Eliza Langhans, Director of the Hatfield Public Library in Massachusetts

Murasaki: I started with picture books and now do mostly reference. Does that mean I’m a grownup now?

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Kiera Parrott: Alright! So happy you are all here–and such a great mix of people! Let’s get things going with some tips from the editors. Then we’ll open it up to general questions from all of you.

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aula: I started with NF and graphic novels for SLJ and now I write the Series Made Simple craft section and occasional features. oh hey Mary Ann!

Vicki: Hello all – long time reviewer here, and recently retired high school librarian, & Children’s Lit Instructor

Ellen: I’ve noticed that some of the editors have added a big VERDICT to the end of my reviews, is this something I should be doing?

Beth Saxton: Beth Saxton, public librarian on mommy hiatus, primarily YA

Lisa Nabel: Lisa Nabel – Dayton Metro Library – primarily YA and with some middle school

Kiera Parrott: Actually I have a question for all the reviewers before we start: Do all of you currently get the SLJ Reviewers Newsletter? It comes out once per month.

Murasaki: Vicki, where are you? (About to relocate, looking for new connections.)

GretchenC: Yes

Erin Holt: Yes

Vicki: Cazenovia, New York – near Syracuse

Murasaki: No.

Beth Saxton: I get it.

Sara Lissa Paulson: yes

aula: Yep Keira I get it

Mary Ann Scheuer: No

Stacy D: Yes, Kiera. I like it a lot. It’s great to have filed away for tips!

Eliza: yep

Cathy Potter: No, I don’t receive the newsletter.

Chris Gustafson: No

Kiera Parrott: Ellen: Re the VERDICT. Yes, that’s new as of about February. It was an idea stolen from our sister publication, Library Journal.

Lisa Nabel: Yes

Maggie Knapp: Yes, I get the newsletter. Very nice!

cyndi: I get the newsletter

Brenda K.: I get the newsletter

Mary Ann Scheuer: I also just discovered the reviewer site b/c of your email today

Kiera Parrott: Okay–anyone who does NOT currently receive the newsletter, please send me a quick email later today (kparrott@mediasourceinc​.com)

Shelley Diaz: Hi all, YA editor here. We would love for those who review YA to mention if a title is for more mature teens (whether in the body of the review) or in the notes field. Even if it doesn’t make into the final review, at least we’re aware of it. No one likes to be surprised

Kiera Parrott: I’ll get you all added ASAP

Ellen: Oh, okay. That is good to know. I will start adding that to my reviews.

Leighanne Law: Yes, the newsletter is very helpful.

Maggie Knapp: @Vicki: thanks for encouraging me to come into the reviewer fold, way back when.

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Vicki: Wow! Maggie! How are you?

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Maggi Rohde: Me? =)

Maggi Rohde: I’m married!

Maggie Knapp: @Vicki

Kiera Parrott: The newsletter has lots of info on changes and updates–like the new VERDICTs. Ellen–I can also send you some additional info on that, too!

Maggi Rohde: (Hi, Maggie.)

GretchenC: When we put that in notes, do you not want it in body of the review?

Mary Ann Scheuer: Mary Ann Scheuer, elementary librarian, Berkeley CA

Eden Grey: I love the newsletter! I’m Eden, a YA Librarian/Programmer in Northern Kentucky.

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Sara Lissa Paulson: @eden That’s a great combo: librarian/programmer!

Shelley Diaz: Hi Gretchen, if it can’t be worked in elegantly within the review, notes field would be great. It at least gives us editors an heads up

GretchenC: Great- good to know

Ellen: Thanks, I get the newsletter, but I guessed I missed that.

Eden Grey: My title is YA Programmer, but I’m really the YA Programming Librarian. And I just call myself a Teen Librarian most days

Brenda K.: Huh, maybe I don’t get the newsletter. I don’t remember reading about VERDICT and wondered whether I should be adding it.

Sara Lissa Paulson: @eden I was thinking Douglas Rushkoff!

Kiera Parrott: So I’ve asked each editor to give you all just a few tips on reviewing. Above, Shelley mentioned “content” in YA novels and using the notes field to make us aware of that (if it’s something that doesn’t fit well in the review itself.)

Kent Turner: To echo what Shelley just said: if you find there is mature/controversail content in a DVD, please include that information in the body of the review or in a note to me

Brenda K.: I appreciate learning of content when I read YA reviews b/c I buy YA for my middle school

Mahnaz: Hey guys, this is the nonfiction editor. Coming up, I’ll have some NF tips!

Kiera Parrott: Re: the VERDICTs. Here’s a good handout for you guys:…

Murasaki: Quick question: I was on the reviewers’ site recently, looking for a reminder of length of reviews, and couldn’t find that info. Did I just miss it?

Kiera Parrott: Hi Murasaki. We try to keep most reviews somewhere between 250 to 300 words.

Daryl Grabarek: The exception is app reviews…I do let reviewers go beyond that….

Mahnaz: While it’s great to provide context about the book’s subject in an NF review, it’s more important to focus on the book itself, focusing on how it tackles the subject. So a review that provides a lot of info on, say, Thomas Jefferson, followed by a brief sentence on the book, isn’t as helpful as a book that analyzes HOW the book explains Jefferson’s life/achievements.

Murasaki: Thanks. Maybe I just didn’t see that number in the FAQs.

Lisa Nabel: I was wondering about an email I received (from SLJ Bookroom) stating when my review would me in the September issue and what it would say. I have never received that before, is that NEW or is it because my review was changed? It looks like what I wrote but I cannot tell.

Sara Lissa Paulson: I usually try to discipline myself to 250. How important is that?

Maggie Knapp: On the word count: does that count th e title and book info, and our name and school at end? Or just the body of the review?

Erin Holt: ditto what Lisa Nabel said I got the same email on Friday, was wondering if it was new. If so, a great added feature IMHO

Brenda K.: Oh! So if we go above 250, it’ll submit? Haha! I always assumed that there would be some lock-out feature. But I can usually pare it down.

Kiera Parrott: Lisa: Yes–that is a totally new thing. We are trying to figure out a way to let reviewers know when their review will appear in the next issue. I wanted to try it out this month and see if folks like it or not.

Mahnaz: Hey guys, on word count, it does NOT count the biblio info (and you guys don’t have to include that in a review). However, it is important to stick to the 250 word count, because otherwise we’ll have to cut the review down, and we may cut something you think is really important!

Lisa Nabel: I liked it. Thank you

Erin Holt: And re: bookroom email, if we do have questions / concerns what is the timeframe to get them addressed before publication?

GretchenC: I would greatly appreciate knowing when/if my review will appear.

Erin Holt: yes, Kiera, I like the new feature very much! good to know when to expect our reviews to appear!

Brenda K.: I liked the email as well but wondered if I was meant to respond to it. Don’t want to clog the in-box

GretchenC: I have always wondered if you publish every one of our reviews??

Leighanne Law: Kiera, it’s a great addition! Thanks.

Kiera Parrott: Erin: Great question. To make corrections that will appear in print, you can let me know within a day or two of getting the review. Just email me directly and I cn make those changes.

Mary Ann Scheuer: Kiera, if we’d like to branch out and review other areas/types of books, should we just email you?

Shelley Diaz: We try our best to publish all of the reviews. If we don’t, we usually try to contact you. If it’s cut, is usually because of timing, etc.

Eliza: I liked the email as well – I have gotten into the habit of tracking down my reviews and looking to at what was changed, to see what I can improve in the future. Getting the edited version in the email made that easier.

GretchenC: Good to know, thanks

Kiera Parrott: Mary Ann: Yes. Absolutely. Email me and I’m always happy to adjust your profile and send you other/different types of material.

Mahnaz: @Brenda K, yes, it will submit even if you go above the word count, so we count on you to pare them down.

Mary Ann Scheuer: thanks!

Maggie Knapp: What is best way for us to let editors know we are ready for a few item?

LuannToth: Also, feel free to contact us with any concerns or questions prior to submitting your reviews.

Erin Holt: Shelley, if we need more time on a review does that delay the chance that it will come out in a print issue?

Maggie Knapp: NEW itme

Shelley Diaz: Something to be mindful of when reviewing graphic novels: please be sure to include evaluation of the art as well as the text and how the two work together (or don’t)

Daryl Grabarek: Kiera asked that I talk about app criteria. Much of the same criteria that apply to books – both fiction and nonfiction also apply to apps, of course. We look for comments on storyline, voice, point-of-view, scope, accuracy, visuals, and audience. In addition, we ask reviewers to comment on the quality of the narration, animation, audio, and other enhancements/special features. Do these and the interactive elements serve the content or are they unnecessary distractions? Functionality/navigation​ is always important to look at as well. And these are just some of the things we ask reviewers to examine and consider!

Shelley Diaz: @erin not usually. We would always rather a richer, more accurate review, even if timing is slightly off.

Kiera Parrott: Maggie–I wish there was a quick way, but in lieu of a “send me an assignment” button, just email me.

Brenda K.: Erin, if you look at your profile tab online, there’s a list of what you reviewed and the issue that your review appeared in.

Erin Holt: gotcha, thanks Shelley

Kent Turner: Hi Maggie, feel free to email me as well

Kiera Parrott: Brenda/Erin: There is that function under your profile, although our system is quite buggy and it’s not always the most accurate listing, unfortunately.

Sara Lissa Paulson: @Daryl I like that question: do the features serve the content?

Kiera Parrott: Thanks, Daryl

Brenda K.: Thx, Kiera. Good to know.

Erin Holt: ditto

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Mary Ann Scheuer: Daryl, that’s one of the things I like about reviewing apps — you need to look at all these different features, and ask how they build together to serve the content & experience

Nikitia Wilson: I am a new reviewer. I received an assignment this past June but not in July. Should I expect one every month?

LuannToth: When evaluating picture books, try to determine the potential audience and the usages for the book. Does it work for storytime? Is it better for one-on-one sharing? Does it have curricular usage?

Vicki: How is your “bank” of reviewers? Are you in need in any particular areas?

Kiera Parrott: Niki: Yes–we try to send reviewers one assignment per month, though occasionally we fall a bit behind. If you’re eager for a new assignment and haven’t gotten one, please don’t hesitate to email me. I’m always more than happy to send out a book!

Daryl Grabarek: If anyone is interested in reviewing apps, just email me at dgrabarek@mediasourcinc.​com. I see several members of the app crewe are here!

GretchenC: Thanks for that tip on picture book reviews

Kent Turner: Curricular usage whould be noted in DVD reviews as well when applicable

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Nikitia Wilson: Thank you Kiera! I was not sure about the process and did not want to cross any boundaries by asking for my next assignment. Glad to know I can email you.

paula willey: Luann are you still in charge of audio? I’d love to sign up to do audio again.

Nikitia Wilson: @ Luann Thank you for the picture book tips.

Sara Lissa Paulson: can someone share the link to the reviewers’ site? I imagine that is a repository of tips and guidelines, but haven’t used it…

Kiera Parrott: Vicki- Because we “lose” reviewers to committee work periodically, we are almost always in need of folks to review across the board. But specifically, I noticed recently that we don’t have enough people to do Sports Fiction (or Sports Nonfiction for that matter.)

LuannToth: I always suggest reading picture books aloud or trying out a picture book with some kids if at all possible before writng a review. Does it stand up to repeated readings?

Shelley Diaz: great question, Vicki! I would love more Spanish-language reviewers.

Kent Turner: Likewise, if anyone is interested in reviewing DVDs, please let me know at kturner@mediasourceinc.c​om

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Sara Lissa Paulson: I would love to review Spanish language books!

Maggie Knapp: unsolicited tip for audio reviews: try to look at the print copy if possible. Sometimes there are illustrations that are not apparent in the audio, but helpful to mention in the review.

LuannToth: Paula, our audio reviews are assigned by Stephanie Klose, but I will pass this info along to her.

Kiera Parrott: Good tip, Maggie!

Shelley Diaz: And if you’re interested in reviewing YA short story collections, hit me u p at​

paula willey: thx Luann!

Kent Turner: Here’s the link for “information for Reviewers”:…

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Sara Lissa Paulson: thx Kent!

Maggie Knapp: Shout out to whoever sends finished copies: THANK YOU! They are such a nice perk of the job.

Hilary Writt: I agre on the finished copies. Thank you.

Kiera Parrott: And if anyone would like to review professional reading materials, email me. I don’t have enough reviewers for the amount of professional titles we get.

Erin Holt: oh yeah, that is a SUPER awesome perk!

Nikitia Wilson: I would be interested in reviewing Sports Fiction and Nonfiction. I will email you Kiera.

Shelley Diaz: @sara awesome! would you prefer picture book length or are you ok with longer works?

Kiera Parrott: Maggie: Yes–that would be our book room assistants and Ashleigh Williams, our editorial assistant. We couldn’t do what we do with out them!

Stacy D: Sometimes, though, there are finished copies I already have or can’t use? Is there a way to tell SLJ that so that it could be donated to a library in need or a classroom etc?

Kiera Parrott: Niki: Awesome! Please do.

Sara Lissa Paulson: @shelley either! I will be working with high school kids…BIG change for me, but some have internships in elem schools and there is a day care at the school…

Shelley Diaz: @sara wonderful! I’ll make a note in your profile

Vicki: Must reviewers be library media specialists, or public librarians?

paula willey: Stacy the review copies are only going to multiply better find a local school or daycare or juvenile detention center or dr’s office to take your overflow!

Kiera Parrott: Stacy: Um…good question. There’s not a great way to stop them coming (we mail them out periodically as the publishers send them in to us), but you could send us an email and we can make a note in the book record–that way we try not to send you the copy. But you should always feel free to donate to whomever you like.

LuannToth: I would also like to stress how important it is to talk about the art in picture books. It’s great to comment on the medium if possible, but almost more important to comment on the quality of the illustration and how well it suits and enhances the text. Remember that readers don’t have the book in front of them.

Erin Holt: I typically donate my finishd copies to my own library

Erin Holt: my own public library I mean

Stacy D: Ok. I wasn’t sure of the system. Off to Housing Works they go.

Chris Gustafson: Your local public schools would put them to good use!

Shelley Diaz: @Stacy actually, all of our extra copies go to Housing Works, too!

Mary Ann Scheuer: With picture books, if the notes & CIP don’t specify the art medium, can you suggest how to comment on that? I worry sometimes about making educated guesses or assumptions.

paula willey: Ask first though – some schools and public libraries don’t have the manpower to process donated books

Maggie Knapp: As a librarian, it helps me to know in a review if there is something unique about the size, shape, cover for YA books. More and more are larger size (picture book biographies, for example.)

Erin Holt: Question for the editors: how do you determine which books go out for review? I imagine you get *tons* of them daily…

Mahnaz: For locals willing to come to our New York office, we’re always happy to let you come by and pick out some titles! And if you’re far away, we can always make you up a box. Just ask!

Sara Lissa Paulson: I remember taking Lisa Von Drasek’s class on reviewing and she used the ex. of J. Woodson’s book about the picnic last summer…can’t remember exact title and how the comic illustrations destroyed the story….

Kiera Parrott: Vicki: That’s a great question. Historically, yes. All the SLJ reviewers were school or public librarians. But we also have a handful of academic librarians and a bunch of wonderful retired librarians. And we are thinking about opening it up to literacy specialist, though we haven’t done so quite yet.

Ellen: Stacy- I don’t know about your library, but my public library loves them. We give away books to kids when they finish the summer or winter reading program. So book donations are always great.

Lisa Nabel: @Stacy D I always give mine to Little Free Libraries within my area. Different ones every couple of months and I use this map. Maybe there are some in your area. –

Nikitia Wilson: @Mahnaz That is great news! I live in NYC and would love to stop by and pick out books. Who do I contact specifically to do that?

Sara Lissa Paulson: Lisa Von Drasek also stressed that one negative word means librarians won’t buy the book. I always struggle with that issue…I don’t want to be a cheerleader but I know the weight of that one negative word….

Maggie Knapp: I think to maintain the credibility and usefulness for librarians, reviewers should be very close to the library in profession. Reviews from the teachers or general public do not serve the same purpose.

Stacy D: I’ve been meaning to build a LFL. If you can believe it there aren’t any around me. @lisa Nabel

Erin Holt: Mahnaz, you could make up a box of finished copies of books to send to us to donate to our teens you mean?

GretchenC: As a reader of reviews, when on a slim budget here at a public library, a negative review can be a deal breaker.

Mahnaz: @Nikitia You can email Kiera Parrot, kparrott@mediasourceinc.​com — we look forward to seeing you!

Erin Holt: ditto GretchenC

Maggie Knapp: I really trust SLJ to read with a librarians eye — not a marketing or “I love this book” attitude

Kiera Parrott: Erin: So on which books go out…it’s a complex and quick process that amounts to a bit of a “gut check” for each editor. Ultimately, we are looking at timeliness and relevance to our audience (namely, school and/or public librarians.) So that’s a wide set of criteria, obviously. Which makes it rather tricky. That’s why each editor focuses on a specific type of lit.

Erin Holt: yup @maggie knapp

Mahnaz: @Erin Holt, yes that’s right!

Beth Saxton: I really think about whether I want libraries to use money on this book with the overall tone of my review

Kiera Parrott: Maggie: I agree, which is why we’ve held off on opening it up too much. I think you make a great point.

Stacy D: I have a question about stars. Does it ever happen that a reviewer doesn’t give a star, but an editor adds one on? What is the process?

Erin Holt: yes @bethSaxton that’s how I go about it as well

Shelley Diaz: @Beth, great point!

Vicki: I’ve had several instances where I’ve liked to pan the book, but students loved it. Hash it out with an editor before being negative.

Sara Lissa Paulson: @beth helpful to focus on tone….thanks

Maggi Rohde: I am sad to say that our library has such a small budget that I haven’t been subscribing to SLJ for the past four years. Can we get copies as reviewers?

Kiera Parrott: Stacy: Yes. Sometimes we read a book, love it, and decide to star it even if the reviewer did not. But usually only if the reviewer was super positive. If not, we will likely contact you directly and have a conversation about it.

paula willey: I think an ambivalent review is helpful too – ‘this book is poorly written and has minimal character development, but the slapstick humor or whatever appeals to many kids’

Shelley Diaz: @vicki exactly, the review should also be written with the intended audience in mind- ultimately, what will kids get from this title

GretchenC: @ Paula- I agree

Mahnaz: @paula, very true! it’s so rarely black and white and books are so subjective

Stacy D: @paula – I agree as well.

Maggie Knapp: @vicki – good point on noting if kids loved it

Kiera Parrott: Maggi: Because we have about 400+ reviewers, sadly we’re not able to offer free subscriptions. Though we almost always have special promotion deals. Email me and I’ll see what I can do for you on that front.

paula willey: ‘or whatever’ is very professional

Maggi Rohde: Do you ask your kids’ opinions when doing reviews?

Maggi Rohde: Kiera, thanks. =)

Maggie Knapp: @Maggi — I don’t usually. There is not time for them to read a book and give me honest opinion

Ellen: How do you decide if a review gets a star? I submitted my last review to be a star, but I guess it didn’t make the cut. Just out of curiosity, what process does a book need to go through to earn the star review?

Kiera Parrott: So just a few tips from me on reviewing middle grade and YA….

Sara Lissa Paulson: @maggi I always try to share with students or teachers…but with picture books, apps, DVDs it is easier, obviously

Mary Ann Scheuer: Maggi, I try to ask a wide range of kids. So not just my own kids. Especially with picture books, it’s really helpful to read it in front of a group. That experience has changed my “meh” feelings into a more positive one.

LuannToth: I think that it is important to look beyond your own circumstances and budget in making your accessment. You might not need it in your collection but it would be an additional purchasse to someone. Certainly, there are occasions when going negative is warranted, but I would be careful in totally panning something.

Erin Holt: @Ellen check our SLJ Reviewer Central, Kiera wrote a great post about how a book receives a star

Beth Saxton: I’ve messaged former library kids with “Would your friends ever say this” since I sometimes get books to review that represent groups I’ve worked with but I am not a part of.

GretchenC: Luann, good points

Kiera Parrott: A reminder about spoiler alerts. Be careful not to divulge major spoilers in your review. But if it’s essential information to the critique, you can always put something in the Notes field to the editors.

Murasaki: @paula: in context, ‘or whatever’ was perfect! Context is everything . . .

Kiera Parrott: And for middle grade fiction in particular, I’m always interested in the pacing. Fast, leisurely? Does it hook that reader in the first, say, 30 pages or so?

Mahnaz: @Ellen, we make a list of the books that are recommended for stars as well as books that are getting buzz and assign them out to be read among the editors. Sometimes we don’t star a book a reviewer loved and sometimes we do star a book a reviewer did not recommend. We strive to star books that are distinguished or truly excellent, and that often depends on what else is out there on the subject. If there are very few truly great “where do babies come from books” and a wonderful one comes along, we might be more inclined to star it, for instance.

Ellen: Erin, thanks I found the article.

LuannToth: Who has some picks for 2016 Caldecott contenders?

Kiera Parrott: RE: Stars. We also tend to be a bit more critical (sometimes) because we are seeing hundreds and hundreds of books each month. So we have a lot to compare them to.

Beth Saxton: @Luann Float

Kiera Parrott: Just a note…we are coming up on the 45 minute mark. If folks want to stick around, I’m happy to keep chatting!

Ellen: @mahnaz – Thank you!

Mahnaz: @Beth good one!

Kiera Parrott: Ditto on Float. Such a gorgeous book.

Erin Holt: I find the starred reviews to be very helpful, knowing how much time etc goes into the title actually receiving the star, it’s practically an auto-purchase for me if it gets a star

Nikitia Wilson: Thank you all for the tips. I have to leave, but I will be sure to check the transcript later for more ideas.

Shelley Diaz: Any Printz contenders?

Kiera Parrott: Thanks for coming, Niki!

Mahnaz: And any Sibert predictions?

Stacy D: For the Printz I am thinking Bone Gap!

Eden Grey: Would love to see A.S. King’s GLORY OBRIEN be a Printz contender!

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Erin Holt: another editor question: what % of your job is editing / assigning books out? I feel like I see your names on various articles online and in print as well. Such busy bees

Cathy Potter: Sibert: The Boys Who Challenged Hitler and Tommy: The Gun That Changed America

Shelley Diaz: @Stacy i looooooove Bone Gap

Mahnaz: @Cathy Potter good choices! I loved the Boys Who Challenged Hitler. What a gripping read.

Kiera Parrott: Erin: We just laughed out loud at that. Um, yeah. We tend to do a bit of everything. Though our primary job is editing and assigning reviews. The other stuff is…extra.

Daryl Grabarek: Ditto on Boys Who Challenged Hitler

LuannToth: My Printz pick is M.T. Anderson’s Symphony for the City of the Dead

paula willey: Eden Glory totally needs to be a Printz contender, ditto on Boys Who Challenged Hitler

Sara Lissa Paulson: Thanks! My eyes are all on foreign titles that don’t win prizes, but fav is “We are all made of molecules” but Canadian!

paula willey: For Caldecott I am gutted that The Tea Party in the Woods is not eligible

Beth Saxton: @Shelley Challenger Deep is a quiet possibility, I think the Morris committee has a really hard job this year

Hilary Writt: Thank you for organizing this chat. I know that I mostly read instead of commenting, but the comments have been helpful.

Leighanne Law: Yes, GLORY OBRIEN! What an amazing book.

Mahnaz: @Hilary Writt Glad to have you here

Kiera Parrott: Sara: I’m with you. So many great Canadian books that are not eligible. Sidewalk Flowers, The Nest, Two White Rabbits. Ahhh!

Erin Holt: gotcha, thanks @kiera

GretchenC: Thanks to the editors for setting up the chat. I would love to see more. Getting those little questions answered is very helpful. Cheers.

Shelley Diaz: I would love to hear what you think about her new book I Crawl Through This

paula willey: Sidewalk Flowers is Canadian? ARG

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Cathy Potter: Thanks for taking time to chat with us. It was really informative.

Mary Ann Scheuer: Ohh Cathy, I’m so excited to read those. Philip Hoose is coming to our local bookstore on Friday this week.

Kiera Parrott: Thanks, Gretchen. That 45 minutes flies right by! I definitely think we’ll do this once per month–and make signing in easier next time.

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Maggie Knapp: Chat idea for future: focus on one aspect: audiobooks or YA or picture for example. M

Mahnaz: @Mary Ann how exciting!!!

paula willey: Shelley you can ask me about I Crawl Through It (SPOILER: LOVE)

Eden Grey: Re: Caldecott: I recently got to review an upcoming picture book, Beyond the Pond, and it was sooooo amazing. Most imaginative and meaningful pb I’ve literally ever read!

Erin Holt: Yup, please continue this chat, Super informative

Erin Holt: on a monthly basis

Daryl Grabarek: Shusterman and Nielsen both at SLJ’s Summit this year….

Sara Lissa Paulson: yes, sadly @ paula and i had a child linger on that page of the dead bird. I just stopped turning pages.

Shelley Diaz: @paula she’s the best, isn’t she?

Kiera Parrott: Maggie: Great idea! I think this first one was great as a pilot. But having specific topics would be a wonderful way to focus the chat a bit more.

Erin Holt: oh adding I Crawl Through It to my list. I’ve been seeing TONS of buzz about it

paula willey: Amy King is my hero

Cathy Potter: Phillip is wonderful, Mary Ann. He lives in Portland, Maine.

Eliza: Thanks so much!

Eden Grey: I Crawl Through It was spectacular. Weird, very very weird But amazing

Maggie Knapp: Idea for future chat: have an audiobook reviewer chat or YA books or picture books focus. Have loved this big chat, too.

Erin Holt: oh yeah, a more focused chat could be useful as well

Beth Saxton: King is one of those authors I respect highly, but whose books I don’t always connect with

Eden Grey: Future chats: Having the SLJ staff be a certain specific color would help a lot with sorting out the chat

Mary Ann Scheuer: Yes, loved this chat, too. I was a bit unclear about having to sign up for premium Chatzy account… It didn’t let me in unless I registered.

Maggie Knapp: gotta run! THank you

Leighanne Law: Thanks, all! This was great.

paula willey: can I put in a brief plug for KidLitCon 2015? Y’all should come!

Kiera Parrott: Oh, Eden! That is a brilliant idea. YES.

Brenda K.: Thinking about it Paula, since it’s driving distance!

Mahnaz: @Paula thank you! and i’ll be there in person on a reviewing panel

paula willey:

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Sara Lissa Paulson: Bye! Thank you….

Daryl Grabarek: This was fun – great idea, Kiera!

Beth Saxton: Thank you

Kiera Parrott: Bye, Sara. Thanks for coming!

Murasaki: Or, a rotation: specific focus areas, and then every few rounds, a general? There wasn’t much on my specific area, but I still got a lot out of this general chat and would return.

Ellen: Great chatting with all of you! Thank you SLJ for doing this. I feel like I recieved a lot of helpful tips.

Stacy D: Anyone willing to give a Newbery favorite?

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paula willey: Thanks Keira & Co! Bye!

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Brenda K.: War That Saved My Life is high on my list

Erin Holt: thanks all, I’ve gotta get to shelving my books! Great chat!

Mary Ann Scheuer: Newbery faves: I loved loved Gone Crazy in Alabama. Want to reread it with kids. Same with Crenshaw.

Kiera Parrott: Great feedback everyone! I love the suggestions for next time.

Mary Ann Scheuer: Thanks everyone — bye!

Brenda K.: I also loved Chasing Secrets

Kiera Parrott: Newbery contenders….

Kiera Parrott: The Marvels?

LuannToth: Anyone still looking for an assignment? I’ll be sending out books this afternoon!!!!

Kiera Parrott: The Thing About Jellyfish was quite affecting

Mahnaz: Yes, and if anyone’s hoping to get some NF assignments, please let me know!

Kiera Parrott: Goodbye Stranger by Rebecca Stead

Stacy D: I just put together a mock list, and it was harder than in years past!

Brenda K.: Where’s your list Stacy. I’d be interested in seeing it

Kiera Parrott: Stacy: I feel like the Newbery is going to be on the upper end of the spectrum–more YAish

Lisa Nabel: Echo was beyond phenomeonm

Brenda K.: Oh gosh, forgot about Echo! Yes!

Lisa Nabel: phenomenal

Stacy D: Brenda – It’s for Bookfest at Bankstreet. Should be listed online soon!

Kiera Parrott: Bye, Mary Ann! Thanks for coming.

Shelley Diaz: See you next time!

Stacy D: Thanks for the chat everyone. My daughters are circling for the computer!

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LuannToth: Bye, all. Enjoy the rest of your summer.

Murasaki: Thanks, all: great idea.

Brenda K.: Looking forward to Bookfest!

Kiera Parrott: Wow–it’s been a full hour. Thank you everyone for coming.

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Brenda K.: Okay! THanks! Bye now!

Kiera Parrott: We will definitely do this again next month! With a theme, most likely.