Rating Books

The Times reports that British publishers are going to start putting age guides on children’s books.  Sigh.  Librarians have a love-hate relationship with age guidelines already.  Yes, they make it easier for patrons to find appropriate films, but they are also so very arbitrary and often strange.  Video games especially are oddly rated and because the ratings range so widely from one title to the next they are less than helpful. 

I worry that book ratings will be even more difficult to pinpoint.  The age range for books has very little to do with reading level, unless you are looking at the levels of beginning readers and any person who has tried to use numerical levels from one series to the next knows that there is no standard there either.  But what do they do with teen novels purposely written at lower reading levels.  There will be teen content but their ratings seem to have more to do with reading level than content, making it a completely different type of rating than anything else parents have dealt with. 

How about you?  Do you see book ratings as a positive move?

Holiday Reads

The Los Angeles Times has a list of new holiday titles to try.  The list has my two favorites of the year that I hope to review next week: 

The Latke Who Couldn’t Stop Screaming by Lemony Snicket and The All-I’ll-Ever-Want Christmas Doll by Patricia McKissack. 

Two very different but equally wonderful books.