Home Info Overall Awesomeness Score: How We Analyze & Review Books

Overall Awesomeness Score: How We Analyze & Review Books

via Ashia
Overall Awesomeness Score: How We Analyze & Review Books

Sharing this post on social media? Use this image description to make it accessible. [Image description: Example book rating for ‘Baby Feminists’ post, featuring a four-bar scoring chart from 1-10 and overall awesomeness score based on the average.]


What I look for in kid-friendly, kyriarchy-smashing resources

Version 1.0

Currently in use for posts from 2014 through the present.

Each category is worth a max of 10 points. I analyze each category with five questions, each worth two points. This gives us some wiggle room later, in case we need to add a question and split the points up a bit.

Issues: Unfortunately, when I try to put a ‘0’ for any category, it doesn’t count in the overall average, so the lowest possible score is 5 out of 50. We’ll call that 10% brownie points for trying, I guess.

Courage

(10 points total, 2 points for each item)

Does this resource…

  • Name oppression that other kid-focused resources tip-toe around?
  • Refuse to cater to fragility?
  • Refuse to cater to childism (ex: white innocence)?
  • Refuse to use stereotypes and lazy shortcuts?
  • Tell the truth?

Brilliance

Does this resource…

  • Treat the audience as competent equals, rather than ignorant masses who need to be told what to think?
  • Use literary devices that jibe with the concept?
  • Create a unique way of interacting with this subject?
  • Create scaffolding for deeper conversations?
  • Motivate the audience to take action?

Representation

Does this resource…

  • Include characters traditionally invisible in kidlit?
  • Center characters with targeted identities?
    • Are these characters competent, with agency to solve their own problems? (Non-saviorism)
    • Are these characters without being erased or tokenized?
  • Break stereotypes, assumptions, and monolithic myths about identity groups?

Engagement

Did the Earthquakes…

  • Become so riveted by the experience they didn’t wander off?
  • Love it so much, they asked to experience it more than twice?
  • Ask questions about the concepts?
  • Bring up concepts in the resource in the days or weeks after experiencing it?
  • Ask for more resources by this maker?

Wildcard!

This category highlights what makes this resource unique. I use it to weigh the rating a bit to cover aspects we might otherwise miss.

For example, most books don’t have flaps, but those that do have thick pages and durable flaps to help kids with fine motor challenges get brownie points. Some resources offer us rare perks, and they deserve extra credit for that.


Find more details on the Raising Luminaries Mission & Objectives, which lives in our Accountability Statement & Guidelines.

I’ve screened and analyzed tens of thousands of children’s books and finessed this scoring system for over 5 years. If you find my articles (and this system) helpful, join our community and support this work Patreon.
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