by Keri Collins Lewis
If you’re like me before I began regularly reviewing children’s books, your vision of what a book reviewer does is very simple: a person receives FREE BOOKS and then shares one’s opinion. In my dream world, I’d get paid to share my opinion, one formed over years of reading High Quality Children’s Literature. A job reading children’s books, that was my dream.
Then along came the world of blogging. A friend of mine suggested, “Instead of waiting for a job that pays you to review books, why don’t you start a blog and see if you actually enjoy it?” Oblivious to the numerous blogs already doing a fine job of covering the kidlitosphere, some of which had authors with Sterling Credentials and vast numbers of devotees (such as A Fuse #8 Production), I launched “Keri Recommends.” Far be it from me to simply review books and let people make their own judgments! I would write up only those books I would recommend to my friends, for their own pleasure or for their children.
Translation: only my friends were likely to read the blog and value my opinion.
What I didn’t realize at the time was that this trial run on my blog set me up for a delightful serendipity. One day while researching Ph.D. programs in Children’s Literature, I ran across www.childrenslit.com, with a tiny boxed notice advertising for book reviewers. I promptly sent my resume and some sample book reviews, and within a short time, my “real” life as a book reviewer began.
Want to be a reviewer? If you're interested in reviewing children's and young adult books, then send a resume and writing sample to firstname.lastname@example.org.