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RE 3240, RE 3902, and RE 5140 Evaluating Literature for Children: Overview

What's in this guide


This guide is designed to help educators identify, evaluate, and select appropriate, high-quality works of children's literature across the genres of children's literature.

Each of the tabs above provides information about the genres of children's literature and how to evaluate books within those genres.

Elements of good literature vary widely according to the genre of the book. For example, while a quality non-fiction or reference book requires an author's absolute adherence to accepted scientific discoveries and laws, a quality work of fantasy does not.

"One does not write for children. One writes so that children can understand. Which means writing as clearly, vividly, and truthfully as possible. Adults might put up with possible lapses, children are less tolerant."- Leon Garfield




Questions to Ask When Evaluating All Literary Works for Children

There are a number of questions relevant to the evaluation of all literary genres. In evaluating a particular work, readers should ask themselves:

- Does the author approach this book in a style appropriate to its genre or subject?

- Does the author write in a clear, original voice that is both engaging and consistent?

- Does the author succeed in creating a story or idea which stays with the reader long after the book is closed?

IMC Librarian

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Margaret Gregor