Book Reviewers

We’re looking for teen book reviewers!  Please apply by submitting a sample review. Follow the directions below and then email Jane Gov at and indicate that you’re interested in becoming a book reviewer and that you’ve submitted a sample.

Ms. Jane will assign book reviewers new or not yet released books based on reviewer’s interests. If selected, your reviews will be published on our Teen Zine, blog and website.



About 200-400 words.

Read the entire book.  You can’t give a fair review without reading the whole book.  Sometimes, it helps to also read prefaces and the author notes (usually following the end of the book).

Your opinion is more important than the summary of the book.  Your critical assessment is good, but there’s no need to write a book report.  The review could involve your reaction, your engagement to the text, and/or your opinions about the characters or plot.  You could also suggest whether or not other teens would like the book.

Reviews published on another review blog/website or magazine will not be accepted; cross-posting on Goodreads or on your own blog is okay.

1. Check our catalog for your book title. Make sure that there is at least one copy of the book at a Pasadena library (Location code: PAS…)

2. Check if the book is shelved in our Young Adult or Junior High sections

3. Please do not review books that have already been reviewed on this blog.

4. Write the review and submit it using this form:



First paragraph: short summary of the book, with no obvious spoilers.

Second paragraph: your opinion.

Your star rating out of 5 stars.


Your reviews will be credited accordingly.


Reviewer Responsibility

It is your responsibility to notify me if you have a reading restriction. Unfortunately, I can only promise that the book is marked appropriate for ages 12 (or sometimes 14) and up; age appropriateness is based on the book’s publisher, author, and professional book reviewers. If you have other restrictions beyond age appropriateness (such as certain subjects or issues), you have the right to refuse to review the book, but it is your decision only. I will not be checking whether a book falls within your specifications.

If you are claiming service hours for book reviews, you may not “double claim” the hours–meaning, you may not submit the review to another library and get service hours there as well for the same review.


Tips for writing

Have a set of sticky notes ready to tag quotes or passages that stand out to you.

After reading the book, jot down quick notes about what stood out to you.  Was the ending weak?  Did the characters develop?  Was the plot believable?  Did the writing capture you?

Leave some time between your initial and final review.  Write a draft of your review, and then finish it the next day.  You might change your mind about a certain phrase or opinion you wrote.

Use your words wisely.  Short reviews can be really strong if you’re using the right words, but also don’t forget to give examples or details when the point needs it.

The best way to be a better writer is to read… so read lots and lots of other people’s reviews.


Read some samples:

By Hadley, teen reviewer:

By Hadley and Kara, teen reviewers:



Teen Advisory Board members Hadley Willman and Kara Eng are currently teen reviewers for Voice of Youth Advocates (VOYA), a professional review journal. How did this happen? A combination of demonstrated responsiveness and dependability, a series of well-written reviews, and general book geekiness make them a great fit for this role.

Continue reviewing for our library, and you may be the next chosen VOYA reviewer!


Current teen book reviewers:

Alaina Joby

Hadley Willman

Kara Eng

Kristina Yin

Updated 2/21/2017 -Jane Gov


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