Website review by
Polly Conway, Common Sense Media
Goodreads Website Poster Image
Mostly safe spot for teens to share their love of books.

Parents say

age 12+
Based on 2 reviews

Kids say

age 13+
Based on 7 reviews

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this website.

Educational Value

Kids can learn how to create an online library and discuss books with a community of readers. To review a book, teens have to think critically about their opinions and find the best way to share their feelings in writing. Teens can learn how to deal with differences of opinion while discussing books in a forum setting. Using Goodreads can enhance teens' reading experience and help them become thoughtful, enthusiastic readers.

Positive Messages

Goodreads promotes a love of books for readers of all ages, which is great for kids to see. Sending a message that reading is fun, important, and worth talking about, the site really celebrates literature and all its benefits.


Kids may come across reviews or book descriptions that feature violent acts while browsing Goodreads.


Sometimes the sidebar ads (all for books) can be a bit racy both visually and textually, and they can pop up no matter which Goodreads section you're viewing. Also, kids can find groups like "Kindle Smut," "Erotic Enchants," and "BSDM Before Bedtime" where facets of sexuality are primarily discussed in a literary context, but still may be quite alluring to curious kids.


Goodreads is an online community that anyone can contribute to, both kids and adults; because of strong opinions as well as varying book content, profanity is definitely in the mix here.


All books reviewed on Goodreads have a link to purchase from Barnes & Noble or other online retailers. Additionally, there are sidebar ads on each page advertising books of all genres.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Depending on the book's content, kids may come across reviews that discuss drinking, drugs, or smoking as related to classics like On the Road or newer YA content. There are only a few groups dedicated to drug-related lit; for example, "The Psychedelic Reading Group" is mostly scientific but does promote drug culture.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Goodreads is an excellent place for teens to discuss their favorite books with fellow readers online. The site is geared primarily toward adult users with no special "kid section," so your teens may be connecting with readers of all ages. Teens should be cautious about what they share and use privacy settings to minimize contact with strangers. However, Goodreads is very focused on literature and the bulk of communication occurs within reviews, not private discussion or email. Under the CCPA law you have the right to protect your personal information. Make a Do Not Sell request to goodreads.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Parent Written byGuliGirl13 April 10, 2018

A bibliophile's paradise!

If you and/or your children love reading, this website is for you! You can interact with other book nerds, post reviews about your favorite or least favorite bo... Continue reading
Adult Written bymissedutton October 2, 2015

Foster a Culture of Reading with GoodReads

I love using GoodReads as an individual - I am able to track the books I read, find out what my friends are reading, take part in challenges and quizzes, read b... Continue reading
Teen, 16 years old Written byrebma97 September 20, 2013

A Great Site For Bookworms

This is a really cool website. I found it via Facebook and just joined to check it out. It's the perfect place for bookworms to show off their love of book... Continue reading
Teen, 13 years old Written byEm9045 September 29, 2020

Perfect for MATURE/TRUSTED Teens

It all depends how you use Goodreads. It's a great way to get book recommendations and keep track of books you read/want to read. In fact, you don't e... Continue reading

What's it about?

Goodreads is a website for book lovers to review books, share recommendations, and track reading history and goals. It's also a social network where kids can see what their friends are reading and can join discussion groups for their favorite books. The bulk of the site is review-based, but there are also quizzes, quotes, and biographical author information to delve into.

Is it any good?

Goodreads is the largest and most popular site of this type online, and it shows. It's a well-designed outlet for book lovers to share their likes and dislikes, and the recommendation system is spot-on, spurring kids to read even more books. Young bookworms will love the related activities, including quizzes like "The Ultimate Percy Jackson Quiz" and "Awesome Harry Potter Quotes," and can join groups to discuss every detail of The Hunger Games.  Every book imaginable is reviewed here, and kids can explore their favorite genres with ease.

Which brings us to the trouble with Goodreads and kids: there's no real filter between kid and adult content. While 13 is the recommended age for signing up, there's nothing stopping a teen from joining the "Fifty Shades of Grey Support Group." It's surprising that they haven't come up with a more kid-focused sister site. But as long as parents help teens establish responsible social networking habits, Goodreads can be a fun and safe place for teens to share their love of books.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about what information it's OK to share online. Why should you be cautious about what you share in online social networks? Check out our Social Networking Tips for more discussion ideas.

  • Take your kids to a book signing at the local bookstore; they'll love to see and hear their favorite authors in person.

  • Share the books you loved as a child with your kids, then have a family discussion or read-aloud evening. Getting kids to talk comfortably about books will help them with the in-depth analysis they'll have to do in school.

Website details

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