This third edition of Susan Moore’s guide to literature for children ages 5-15 contains a wealth of information about a wide variety of books for young people. In her preface, Moore explains not only the organization of her book, but also delineates recent trends in this area. Her analysis of prevalent themes in children’s literature can help parents and educators think more deeply about the implications of many modern popular books. Moore’s professional background also enables her to evaluate the literary style of current authors.
Moore discusses primarily two categories of literature: realism and fantasy in this “user-friendly” reference. In a single paragraph, she summarizes the plot, gives a brief character analysis, describes the author’s writing style and raises any concerns about the book’s contents. I have not read all of the books Moore includes and did see some titles that I personally would not be comfortable recommending (e.g., The Midwife’s Apprentice, Shiloh). That said, busy parents may find her practical reviews a good starting point when looking for books that will interest children and can obtain the book from Five Senses Education.
Jennifer Minicus is a wife, mother and teacher living in Ridgewood, NJ.