Middle School vs. High School: Transcript from February 24 Reviewer Chat

Erin: hi to everyone & Briana i LUV getting bookmail from you

Briana Moore, SLJ: Hello Erin!!

Erin: hello?

Editor Kiera P: Hi all!

Editor Shelley: Here’s the link to last month’s chat, in case: https://contributors.slj.com/2016/01/revi…

Editor Kiera P: Hey Erin

Erin: what’s the thing up top that says you cleared the room Kiera?

Editor Shelley: Hi everyone, This is Shelley Diaz. I edit primarily YA reviews. Feel free to say hi, introduce yourself, and tell us where you’re from.

Editor Kiera P: I erased the chat from last month. But if you want to read it, click on Shelley’s link above.

Erin: ah gotcha, okay thanks.

Editor Kiera P: This way, we will have a fresh new chat screen

Editor Mahnaz:

Jenna Friebel: Hi! I’m Jenna, reviewer of YA, from Chicago.

Hilary: Hello from Lexington, KY.

Erin: I’m Erin, Teen Librarian nar Nashville, TN

Erin: YA reviewer as well

Erin: *near*

Karen A: Hi – snow day in Michigan – expecting 12 inches them sending it east

Editor Luann: Hi Everyone. What a get day for a chat! I assign picture books, but LOVE to read and review YA.

Allison: Hi, I’m generally a middle fiction reviewer, from Santa Barbara

Editor Shelley: whoa! that’s a lot of snow

Editor Mahnaz: And I assign professional reading and graphic novels in addition to other reviews related duties.

Karen A: I review mostly teen fiction and work as a HS librarian

Editor Kiera P: I’m the editor who assigns the middle grade fiction. And if I owe you an email about the Be Tween newsletter (Amanda!), don’t worry–I’m getting to it.

Editor Shelley: Alright! Welcome everyone. Thank you so much for coming to this chat. Today’s topic is “Middle School vs. High School.” Today, we have a bunch of SLJ editors at our chat, and we are here to answer your reviewing questions about this topic—at least as many as we can in under an hour.

Briana Moore, SLJ: Howdy! I am the editorial assistant for SLJ, I love to read all material but YA has to be my top favorite

Erin: Kiera, are we able to review multiple grade levels like mg and ya?

Sharon Rawlins: YA fantasy and SF reviewer from NY

Editor Kiera P: Erin: Yes, definitely. Just shoot me or Shelley an email with your preferences and we’ll update your record.

Sharon Rawlins: NJ, not NY, oops!!!

Editor Shelley: This is an open forum for SLJ reviewers to ask about what makes a YA book appropriate for high school readers and not middle schoolers. And vice versa.

Erin: ok thx!

Editor Shelley: Kiera recently did a nice roundup of our reviews for upcoming YA books that would be appropriate for middle schoolers: http://www.slj.com/2016/02/reviews/books…

Editor Kiera P:

Erin: how do we determine what is Gr 9-up vs gr 10-up?

Editor Luann: What is an authentic teen voice?

Editor Shelley: Great, question, Erin!

Erin: or some I feel like should be only 11-12 graders or some JUST 12 graders

Sharon Rawlins: I’d say it was more explicitly depicted sex and violence, although violence seems to be more okay with middle readers

Editor Shelley: Well, we tend to stay away from 11 up

Editor Shelley: because at that point, the book is probably more of an adult book

Erin: and 18 is considered adult in our world?

Erin: b/c my teen dept serves ages 12-18

Editor Kiera P: True–just because a book is marketed at YA, it may not actually be a YA book. If you’re thinking that it’s grades 12 and up only, chances are it’s an adult book in YA clothing.

Erin: i’m thinking specifically of ALL THE RAGE

Erin: which IMHO is WAY up there w/ the content

Editor Shelley: Here’s an example of a recent Gr 10 Up review: http://www.slj.com/2016/02/reviews/books…

Erin: gotcha

Editor Shelley: We gace that a 10up and our grade levels are not always “one size fits all”

Editor Shelley: gave*

Sharon Rawlins: so it’s because of the drug use, sexual abuse that it’s Gr. 10 & up?

Karen A: Should we consider the age of the characters just as much as we consider explicit content?

Editor Shelley: Here’s a link to our “Determining Grade Level” resource: https://contributors.slj.com/2015/04/dete…

Editor Luann: Everyone knows what flies in their schools or communities. Reviews should be clear about the content and let people decide if it’s appropriate for their readers.

Editor Kiera P: I’d say in general determining grade level ranges is more art than science. “Content” and what is “appropriate” for different ages is so subjective–and varies from region to region.

Erin: :pens all the tabs::

Erin: and from reviewer to reviewer as well

Erin: do the editors have the final say (i’m thinking yes), based on what the reviewer writes and the synopsis of the book?

Editor Shelley: Yes, so what may be a gr10 up in NYC, wouldn’t be the same for a community somewhere else

Editor Mahnaz: I think character age can be tricky, because sometimes a book can be about a younger student but be very adult.

Editor Kiera P: absolutely. Like Luann says, our main objective should be to describe as much as we can so that librarians/readers can make up their own minds about what works in their library/community

Amanda Foulk: Luann, is there’s quite a bit of content that might be considered inappropriate, would you recommend trying to include as much of it as possible?

Editor Kiera P: Our grade ranges are a suggestion. Not a prescription.

Amanda Buschmann: Sorry I’m late to actually join; Amanda from TX here. Thanks for the links, Shelley

Editor Shelley: We expect that our reviewers take all of those things into account when determining the grade level

Editor Mahnaz: Like the recent book GOLDEN BOYS by Sonia Hartnett focuses on 10 and 12 year olds but we gave it a high school designation.

Hilary: Is there a threshold on language, either the amount of ‘saucy’ language or specific words, that make it for older?

Editor Luann: I think the more info we give people the better, short of siting chapter and verse.

Sharon Rawlins: I usually mention there’s explicit language if there’s a lot of it

Amanda Buschmann: Hilary, I think it sometimes depends on your community. A more conservative community will have more stringent guidelines on this. My school and parents are fairly lenient, but other schools do not have the leeway I do when determining books for middle school.

Erin: yeah i was particularly curious about the cursing that i’ve read in some recent books, particularly the F word

Editor Shelley: Yes, and how it’s used, also is important. Is it organic to the story? Is it realisitically teen?

Erin: mostly it is VERY realistic to the overall teen voice

Erin: i haven’t (yet) read one where it’s just thrown around casually

Editor Kiera P: Hilary: That’s a tough one. No–we don’t have a saucy/mature language count or quota or anything like that. But I see what you mean. I’d say it is usually fair to mention “mature language” if a work contains the BIG bad words (sh#t, the F bomb, and the usual baddies.)

Editor Shelley: Plus, if you’re not sure, you can add your additional notes on “content”, language, etc. in the handy dandy notes field

Editor Kiera P: I would just say “contains mature language” rather than actually spell them out in a review

Editor Shelley: Or send your editor an email. We can work something out.

Erin: that’s what I tend to do (write a novella in the notes section ) – poor Shelley

Editor Mahnaz: Yes, those notes fields are so useful!

Editor Luann: I also think it’s tricky to say when something (such as profanity) is appropriate given what is happening or grauitious.

Editor Shelley: Leigh Collazo reviewed Finding Hope by Colleen Nelson and it received a Gr 10Up. http://www.slj.com/2016/02/reviews/books… Here’s some of the language that she used:

Karen A: That’s good advice – never considered putting it in the notes section

Editor Kiera P: True, Luann. Sometimes the F Bomb is NOT gratuitious. It’s warranted and completely appropriate to the situation or the character development.

Editor Shelley: “Told in alternating viewpoints, this realistic novel explores serious themes such as drug abuse, sexual abuse, and extreme bullying.”

Editor Shelley: Plus, the verdict provided a readalike that made the audience for this title even more clear: “VERDICT Both heartbreaking and hopeful, this will be a popular choice among mature readers of realistic fiction, particularly fans of Ellen Hopkins’s “Crank” series (S. & S.).”

Erin: what about sex scenes (of various, um, levels)? all appropriate to the story but THERE

Editor Kiera P: Sidenote–there is a middle grade Polly Horvath book with the F bomb in it. crazy but true!

Editor Mahnaz: Wow!

Erin: oooh I get it, okay, that makes a lot of sense Shelley, that book comparison can be a huge dealbreaker for some

Editor Shelley: I think readalikes are key for letting readers know what kind of book this is without going into too much detail on the content/curse word count

Hilary: Thanks for the comments and the reminder about using the notes fields. That helps.

Editor Kiera P: YES! Comparing to similar books–esp where content is a factor–is a huge help. It can be that “ooooh!” moment.

Editor Luann: Also there is often graphic talk about sex, which is not the same thing as graphic sex, I think.

Editor Shelley: Instead of detailing the amount of kissing, sexual encounters, etc., focus on how it works within the text, whether it was organic to the story, and if it was tastefully done

Editor Shelley: And if scenes are graphic, don’t be afraid of saying so

Erin: yeah i’ve come across some def graphic scenes

Editor Shelley: you can mention in the notes how many times, and even page numbers, which will help us figure out the best way to present it

Erin: oh that’s helpful too

Karen A: More good advice – thanks

Erin: do you all have a copy of each book that gets sent to us reviewers?

Erin R-S: I really like the idea of considering how potentially concerning content fits within the overall story

Erin: to reference when we turn in our reviews if need be?

Editor Mahnaz: yes, Erin, we do!

Elizabeth Kahn: Do you mean to enter in the notes on the website where we submit the review or in the checklist that we submit as attachment?

Jenna Friebel: When a book feels young (theme, characterization, overall appeal..) but includes “mature” content like language or sexual situations that seem more suited to a HS group rather than middle school, what would you do with the age range? broader to fit both, younger because that’s the appeal, or older because the content?

Editor Mahnaz: We have two copies of each book, and we editors have one at hand when we edit a review

Editor Mahnaz: (That is, we obtain two copies: one that goes to the reviewer and one that we keep in house)

Erin: oh Jenna, that’s a FABULOUS question!

Editor Kiera P: Elizabeth: We mean the little field marked “Notes” that’s underneath the field where you submit your review online. We used to send a checklist as an attachment, but we’ve mostly done away with those b/c they were a bit clunky to download and upload.

Erin: okay, good to know, thanks Mahnaz!!!

Editor Shelley: Good question, Jenna. I would use a higher grade level, but mention to your editor (via email or notes field) your concerns

Elizabeth Kahn: Can I stop using the checklist? I find it so awkward.

Editor Mahnaz: It might even be that the book has an “audience problem” and that can be worth noting in the review itself!

Editor Shelley: You can certainly add a line in the review that says: Though the themes may feel young, etc….

Editor Luann: I think that people in middle schools feel burned if the books are too much for their collections and they have to hand it over to the high school.

Editor Shelley: Overall, when writing reviews, it’s important to think about your audience—the librarians reading your reviews and the middle schoolers and high schoolers who will be reading these titles—and the diversity of communities these titles will be shelved

Editor Kiera P: Elizabeth: YES! Please do. Sorry–we should have made that more clear. No one needs to keep doing the checklist–unless you find it helpful. Instead, use the Notes field. or, if the Notes field is too small, email us. We love to talk with our reviewers.

Jennie: Jenna– I once mentioned it in the review itself, because I couldn’t figure out who would want to read the book. So much of the super-tidy overly-nice ending, general structure and the story screamed middle grade, and an older YA wouldn’t stand for it, but the child prostitution and some of the other elements were for an older audience

Jenna Friebel: Thanks! That’s all very helpful.

Editor Shelley: Sensitive topics that might warrant trigger warnings are also things we look out for

Editor Kiera P: That audience question is important. It might actually mean the book is not working–regardless of the level of content.

Editor Shelley: check out our review for The Way I Used to Be by Amber Smith. http://www.slj.com/2016/01/reviews/books…

Editor Shelley: “This is a poignant book that realistically looks at the lasting effects of trauma on love, relationships, and life. While the rape is discussed, it is not graphic, allowing for a wider readership. Teens will be reminded of Laurie Halse Anderson’s Speak.”

Erin: oh wow, that’s AWESOME! (verbage)

Sharon Rawlins: Nice review!

Erin: (I woudl also love to read that book) lol

Amanda Buschmann: So many talented reviewers at SLJ

Jenna Friebel: (goes to put that book on hold…)

Editor Shelley: We really appreciate when reviewers call out tough Themes and topics that librarians should be certainly aware of when purchasing YA titles

Erin: random question: how long does it take you guys to edit our reviews, particularly those with questioning parts / themes?

Editor Luann: We LOVE our reviewers and count on them to know which books are going to resonate with their teens.

Editor Shelley: And we can’t always rely on the publisher’s suggested grade levels

Erin: oh yeah those are bogus half the time (pub suggested levels)

Editor Kiera P: Rape, sexual abuse, mental health issues, eating disorders. These are just a few of the issues that should usually be made clear are part of a work.

Erin: i try to not even look at that part, or anything about the book aside from the synopsis until my review is written and sumbmitted

Sharon Rawlins: Yes, sometimes I really shake my head at the publishers’ suggested grade levels

Editor Shelley: Even the book covers sometimes are deceitful. We have certainly been surprised a couple times with a “middle grade” looking title that has mature content

Editor Mahnaz: One thing I was wondering if you guys had feelings about: can we ever go TOO Far in giving information? For instance, if a book for middle school readers has a gay character in it, we might not mention that in a review, but there are (more conservative) libraries who would feel that would be important info.

Editor Mahnaz: When is it overkill to provide potentially sensitive info?

Amanda Buschmann: ^^I noticed Kirkus changed their reviews to include ethnicities, and sometimes it is does in a clunky manner (i.e., throwing in “Character is white” at the end of the review). I think mentioning the sensitive info should be done in an organic manner.

Erin: I feel like if there was any “questionable” characters (that sounds horrible), but that should be noted in the review since some communites are more sensitive to those sorts of things

Editor Kiera P: Great question, Mahnaz. As I’m often fond of saying, we are NOT Common Sense Media. We aren’t in the business of cataloguing each and every potentially controversial element in a book or flagging content for potential censorship.

Amanda Buschmann: *done*

Sharon Rawlins: I guess I am now questioning whether I need to point out what ethnicity everyone is since diversity is such a big topic now

Erin: hm good point Kiera

Editor Mahnaz: That’s a good point, Sharon. I think a lot of us are grappling with that now.

Erin: but then would the ethnicity like “rule” the review?

Editor Shelley: Yes, Amanda, that’s certainly clunky, and there are definitely ways to include info like that (when it’s pertinent), in a more elegant way

Editor Kiera P: If it makes sense to mention in terms of evaluating the book, then it should be described. But if a secondary or background character happens to be gay, that doesn’t strike me as controversial content. It strikes me as a realistic depiction of life.

Amanda Buschmann: I question that too, Sharon. I can see how it is good to help increase number of diverse titles, but then, sometimes it just does not matter to the narrative.

Erin: yeah i think it being pertinent is the key

Editor Kiera P: So yeah…it’s a case by case basis.

Editor Shelley: We’re hoping to hone in on that in a future chat/workshop for reviewers

Editor Shelley: Most likely in the summer. But if you’re ever not sure, you can always reach out to your editor.

Erin: like will grayson will grayson, then it would be okay to point out right?

Sharon Rawlins: Good! Thanks.

Editor Kiera P: Yes–the whole “when do I mention the race/ethnicity of a character” is very tricky. We are Definitely devoting a portion of the upcoming course on that topic.

Editor Kiera P: Erin: Yes–in that case it’s integral to the plot and the characters. Totally makes sense to mention when describing.

Sarah: On the other hand, I’d be MORE likely to purchase an otherwise-ho-hum middle school book if I knew it had a gay character in it because the review said so. So sometimes including that info really helps a book!

Editor Kiera P: But mentioning that there was a gay character in The Marvels? I don’t think that’s necessary.

Erin: that’s another good point sarah

Erin: right, i gotcha Kiera, cool

Editor Shelley: I would love to hear some of the strategies you as reviewers use to determine whether something works better for a middle school collection vs. high school collection

Editor Kiera P: Good point, Sarah. That’s one of the “pro” arguments for naming diversity. So these are the things we are constantly trying to balance.

Editor Mahnaz: well said, sarah, that’s a good pt, too!

Erin: I look a lot at the content, the language, the sexuality, the graphic-ness of it all, the age of the characters, the various situations they are in

Elizabeth Kahn: You just can’t fit everything going on in a book into a review. I try to decide what is most important to the person who is going to buy the book for their library.

Editor Mahnaz: yes, only 250 words. it’s tough

Editor Shelley: Are there any specific “markers” that you look out for or that scream “Middle School!”

Erin: but then again I only review YA titles so when it’s assigned, I kinda assume it suites high schoolers, or at least I’ve not come across one yet that I think would better be middle grade

Karen A: I second what Erin said

Erin: 250, all this time i’ve been thinking it’s 175-200 WUT lol

Sharon Rawlins: I think of cliques and issues with being friends as more of a middle grade topic, versus dating relationships in HS

Editor Kiera P: For me, if a YA novel has a character engaging in sexual situations–not just kissing–it usually makes me think it’s a High School rather than Middle School pick.

Elizabeth Kahn: I work with 6th-12th. So when I read reviews, I look for appropriate books for both age ranges. I can tell you though, many 6th grade girls want to read very mature themed books.

Elizabeth Kahn: I work with 6th-12th. So when I read reviews, I look for appropriate books for both age ranges. I can tell you though, many 6th grade girls want to read very mature themed books.

Amanda Buschmann: Middle school aged characters scream MS, but only because I have noticed kids would prefer to read about children their age or older than them. MS level books also focus more on superficial drama.

Editor Kiera P: Am I wrong?

Erin: yes, that, Kiera

Sharon Rawlins: Agreed, Kiera

Jennie: For me, if it’s an unrealistically happy ending (instead of a hopeful, but still grim, or bittersweet, or just depressing finish) it skews the book younger

Jenna Friebel: I look a lot at themes and characterization to help with age ranges in addition to evaluating mature content

Editor Shelley: Depth/maturity of the topics (first boyfriend vs. first sexual experience) and (freshman year of HS vs. applying for college or summer before college) also are considerations

Sharon Rawlins: LOL. Yes, Jennie, me too.

Editor Kiera P: Sharon, I don’t envy you that task. To build and manage a collection across that age range is SO challenging. Such vast differences between a 6th and 12th grader.

Elizabeth Kahn: I agree with you Shelley.

Erin: note to self: read more MG novels lol

Allison left the chat 20 days ago

Erin: I have trouble w/ kids (or their moms) coming in saying their child is in 5th grade but reads at an 11th grade level


Erin: all of my content for my dept is age 12-18 and is more dark than something a 5th grader should read (contentwise)

Erin: that’s an ongoing battle for me this age vs reading level , does anyone else experience that?

Jennie: Erin– I often explain that there isn’t a huge difference in reading comprehension level, but that the main difference is content and themes

Briana Moore, SLJ: Erin-remember receiving those reference questions as well! I always mentioned to the parent about the content in YA material

Editor Kiera P: Erin: I got that a lot at my old library, too. Every other kid was gifted. Supposedly. But I would always tell parents that decoding skills are different than comprehension skills. And comprehension extends to emotional comprehension, too.

Erin: yea that’s what I say, focusing on the content rather than the reading level

Amanda Buschmann: It really depends on the kid. I have 6th graders who are extremely mature readers. When recommending a book to them, I am very honest about the mature situations in the books and leave the decision to them.

Editor Shelley: That’s certainly a challenge. This piece on “conservative YA fiction” might help. http://www.slj.com/2015/03/feature-artic…

Erin: b/c if you really look at the reading level for YA books it is mainly skewed younger. like isn’t norah roberts like a 3rd grade reading level or sometthing?

Editor Luann: There are plenty of books that would challenge a precious 5th grade readers without rocking their world.

Elizabeth Kahn: Amanda, I do the same with my students.

Erin: hm maybe i need to make a list of high reading level, lower grade level or something then

Editor Kiera P: Totally, Erin. Lots of very mature adult erotica could probably be “read” by a fifth grader.

Erin: Luann, which dept would those books be found in though? children’s? / Teens?

Editor Shelley: It’s not always necessarily conservative readers in that case, but this list has a lot of titles for strong readers who are not necessarily ready for the content

Erin: thanks Shelley, I have all these tabs open to copy / paste so I can go back and read them

Editor Shelley: Classics might also be a good choice for those readers too

Editor Mahnaz: good idea, shelley!

Erin: what’s the MG equivalent to YA contemporary / realistic fiction / adult women’s fiction?

Erin: oh yes, classics, my partner in crime is a HUGE fan of classics, they really bring out good themes for our younger readers

Sharon Rawlins: Good conservative YA fiction list. I can use it for a middle grade ELLreader who wants YA books

Erin: (what’s ELL reader)?

Editor Shelley: And we certainly run into the same questions when discussing nonfiction, DVDs, and graphic novels, especially because of the visual aspect

Editor Kiera P: There are list like this one (from my old library!) that help identify books for older kids who aren’t quite ready for mature YA just yet: http://www.darienlibrary.org/kids/childr…

Editor Mahnaz: english language learner

Sharon Rawlins: English language learner

Erin: oh yeah graphic novels is a whole other can of worms over here

Editor Shelley: Here are some thoughts our nonfiction editor, Della, shared with me earlier today:

Erin: lots of debate over the art appropriateness / related to content

Editor Kiera P: I used to keep a list like that handy for those kids wanting to read WAY up

Editor Shelley: “The main thing that I wanted to address was in relation to nonfiction titles on sex/puberty/gender. I think issues regarding mature content can sometimes be approached by focusing on the tone or language that the author is using to determine if this is for a conservative or a more progressive audience. Having the reviewer put aside their own personal beliefs to ask, who is writing (or publishing) this work, who is this work intended for, how does this fit in ideologically with x or y group. Knowing that a title comes from a regular publisher of Evangelical Christian lit makes a big difference in how the text should be encountered.”

Sharon Rawlins: Good advice.

Editor Shelley: So any other burning questions?

Sharon Rawlins: Sorry but I have to go. Thanks for the great chat!

Editor Mahnaz: We had a recent book that we reviewed called SEX IS A FUNNY WORD, which was for about grades 4 to 6. Though it was frank, it was very tasteful and appropriate for kids, though I’m sure there are librarians who would balk at it, esp b/c of the title.

Editor Shelley: Thanks, Sharon!

Erin: oh, ‘saucy’ lanugage, is that code for cuss words?

Editor Mahnaz: bye sharon

Editor Kiera P: What about NON-content issues? That is, themes that are just way above the mental or emotional maturity or experience of middle graders. So no sex, no violence, but a plotline or characters that act more like older teens, with concerns that are not authentic to a middle school experience?

Editor Shelley: Yes, I’ve seen “saucy,” “profanity”, realistic teen raunchy dialogue

Karen A: Kiera – the book George comes to mind for me

Erin: so Kiera, just so I’m clear (and I feel like an idiot asking this on a public forum), but content would = plot, what the story is about, and Theme = what the overall feeling of the book is / content is dealing with … right? (please don’t tell me i’m an idiot) lol

Editor Kiera P: So I’ve seen some works, marketed to middle grade or middle school that are very nostalgic or philosophical. In ways that don’t ring true to the lives and concerns of actual middle schoolers. Like an existential exploration or self. or a very sarcastic or irony-driven narrative.

Erin: Kiera, can we classify those Non-Content issue books that deal w/ older things into YA then?

Editor Kiera P: Erin: Yes–exactly so.

Editor Shelley: Those are certainly tough- I’m thinking specifically of The MARTians and Autobiography of a Book

Erin: I’d be tempted to put those in the YA category esp if the content / theme isn’t pertinent to a middle schooler

Editor Shelley: titles that deal with very “heady” philosophical ideas, and though there’s no sexual/violence, a middle schooler wouldn’t enjoy it in the same way

Editor Kiera P: Erin: I think it depends. Often, yes. Because I can’t see a middle school audience ever actually picking those books up. But sometimes you run into the problem of the work *appearing* very young–so real teens don’t want to touch it.

Erin: (but again I don’t have a TON of experience mreading MG books)

Editor Kiera P: I suppose those are problematic no matter which way you slice it!

Erin: Kiera, what’s an example of a book that appears young but would be more appealing to teens (if they could get past the cover, whatever is holding them back)?

Editor Mahnaz: And I think a lot of it depends on what the “gatekeepers” think–I know a lot of adults thought THE NEST was way too scary for a middle grade audience.

Editor Shelley: And in case you need some vocab on how to phrase things, “mature teens/readers”, or “Not appropriate for sensitive readers” often works

Editor Luann: Have you ever ordered a book based on a review and been surprised (either positively or negatively) when you readit.

Erin: ooh nice Shelley, thanks for the tip

Editor Kiera P: There was a recent title called Book: An Autobiography–or something like that. Very hard to place.

Erin: Luann, I’ve read books that I’ve heard a TON of hype over and then been disappointed when I didn’t like it, not necessarily b/c of the age appropriatness but more the story and the characters

Editor Shelley: Readalikes are ALWAYS helpful. Our audience will certainly understand where to shelve something that “will be popular for fans of Ellen Hopkins’s books”

Erin: and i’ve read books where i’ve felt t hat the author has been pressed for a deadline and hurried to finish the book which to me makes it less genuine

Editor Kiera P: Here it is: http://www.amazon.com/Book-John-Agard/dp…

Erin: particularly books involving love interests where the relationships just go TOO FAST to even feel genuine so you’re left feeling rushed and empty and saddened by the ending

Editor Shelley: And please, if you’re not sure how to phrase something or how much detail is too much, feel free to use the notes field

Erin: thanks Kiera

Editor Shelley: including page #s are extremely helpful

Editor Luann: No one is going to like every recommended book, but they should never be surprised by the content.

Editor Kiera P: It’s better to err on the side of giving your editor more information than less. We can always trim a review or delete unnecessary details. But if we don’t know about it, we are flying a bit blind when editing.

Erin: oh like in distinguishing btwn MG and YA you mean Shelley?

Editor Mahnaz: Yes, specifics are awesome!

Editor Mahnaz: page #s and examples…FOR THE WIN!

Erin: oh wait, you mean when describing specific parts in the review, reference pg numbers when neccessary

Editor Shelley: Erin, I mean if you’re not sure how much detail about the sexual content or mature topics should be included in the review, you could always go into more detail in the notes field

Editor Mahnaz: Yes, that’s really helpful.

Erin: ooh okay, got it.

Editor Mahnaz: We may not always include every example, but it’s good to have it in mind when we’re editing

Erin: (i think i do that…maybe)

Editor Shelley: Yup, Erin. You’re great about that ;0)

Erin: (hence my novellas) you’re a sant Shelley

Erin: *saint*

Erin: okay guys, it’s been wonderful chatting and as always I have learned a TON and will go back and review the links! time to hit the teen desk! y’all are awesome!

Editor Shelley: Well, if there are any other questions, I think we’ll wrap up

Editor Mahnaz: thanks for coming, Erin!

Editor Shelley: Look out for news about our next reviewer chat, soon!

Editor Shelley: Thanks everyone, for joining!!

Editor Kiera P: And feel free to email us, too. I love hearing from you lovely folks!

Editor Kiera P: See you next time.

Editor Luann: Have a great rest of your week everyone.

Editor Mahnaz: hasta la vista, kids

Jenna Friebel: Thanks!

Sarah: Thank you, everyone! So helpful to hear all your perspectives.

Hilary: Thank you all! I learn something everytime.

Karen A: Thanks!

Sarah: And editors – know that there are lurkers reading and finding this helpful as we furiously edit copy for summer reading stuff – thank you!