Thursday, March 24, 2011

More on Books and Clean Reads

We had lots of great discussion with my post about books and ratings. Thanks for all the comments!

As I mentioned, I'm all for sites that provide guidelines to books. They give us a heads-up on the actual content rather than slapping a one-size-fits-all rating. I'm not for ratings themselves because they're too subjective too be truly helpful.

Since that post, a few sites like that have come to my attention. I'm sure there are others, but here's a few to start out with:

Good Clean Reads
A great site mentioned in the comments by its creator, Kim, is Good Clean Reads. She's developed her own system to "rate" books. I put that in quotes, because it's not so much a rating system as it is a way to clue in readers on content. (This brings me all kinds of joy. It's just what we need!)

Each "rating" consists of three numbers, from 1-5. The numbers represent sexual content, violence, and profanity. Put the numbers together, and a rating could look like this: 2.1.3.

Kim herself is careful to point out that even this system is subjective, but her system is just about as good as it gets.

Rated Reads
This site uses a simpler rating system (very easy, but probably not quite as effective as Kim's), that rates the level of content from "None" to "Dirt." I didn't know until I found Rated Reads and poked around that my good friend Heather Moore is one of their reviewers. One thing they have going for them is that they have a pretty decent-sized archive.

Parental Book Reviews
This site falls between the other two on how complex their rating system is. Parental Book Reviews uses a 7-level scale from "none" to "extreme," giving a rating on four content areas each: sexual content, profanity, violence, and "other notables," which I appreciated, and which includes things like underage drinking or other elements not covered in the other categories.

Reading Teen
This is a sister site to Parental Book Reviews, and it's aimed specifically at young adults. Fellow writer Braden Bell pointed me toward a brave and insightful post there, written by a mom, about sex in youth fiction.

It's long, but worth the read. Read it and discuss it with your teens.


TisforTonya said...

when I started posting content reviews a few years ago I had no idea it was such a popular book blogger niche :)

and now... now I wish I'd just hooked up with other reviewers to begin with because there is no WAY I can read as much as those teams do :)

Rebecca Blevins said...

This post has been bookmarked! Thanks for sharing your findings!

Susan Anderson said...

I'm bookmarking, too, and will definitely check these out. Thanks for doing the research!


Krista said...

Thanks, Annette! Now I can add more books to the towering TO READ pile. I have to hesitate so often!

Kimberly Vanderhorst said...

I don't have teens yet but I'm preparing now. I plan to have a home library filled to bursting with good clean reads, and a list of the ones that wouldn't fit on our bookshelves as well. I always want to have an answer to the question I someday dream of being asked by my daughters, ''Mom, what should I read?''

Kim said...

Thanks so much for posting about my blog!

Jessica G. said...

Brilliant! I just hate hearing all the hype about a book only to find the pages filled with smut. Thanks for the hot tip, Annette!

Lisa Loo said...

Thank you so much for taking the time to share these with us-I appreciate all you do........

Anonymous said...

I heart you. Seriously, thank you for this!

Author Joshua Hoyt said...

Thanks for the great information.


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