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Mostly safe spot for teens to share their love of books.

What parents need to know

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.

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.

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.

Families can talk 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

Subjects:Language & Reading: discussion, forming arguments, reading, text analysis
Social Studies: cultural understanding
Skills:Thinking & Reasoning: applying information, decision-making, making conclusions, thinking critically
Communication: conveying messages effectively, friendship building
Responsibility & Ethics: following codes of conduct, honoring the community, respect for others
Tech Skills: social media
Collaboration: respecting other viewpoints
Genre:Social Networking
Pricing structure:Free

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The age displayed for each title is the minimum one for which it's developmentally appropriate. We recently updated all of our reviews to show only this age, rather than the multi-color "slider." Get more information about our ratings.

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What parents and kids say

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A safe community is important to us. Please observe our guidelines

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 books; you can review titles you've read, mark ones you want to read, and rate them. There's even a forum where you can discuss certain novels. As far as content goes, this site is probably not best for anyone under 13. It seems that you can check out any book, and of course you can get into inappropriate titles. A good thing to keep in mind is that people on Facebook and Twitter can join; that means you should probably be at least 13 before getting onto the website
What other families should know
Great messages
Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Too much consumerism
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Teen, 14 years old Written bymcashd55 December 16, 2013

Good is Goodreads?

Goodreads is okay. People can interact with one another while having fun. You can role play, play games, rate books, check on your favorite authors, create your own group and send messages to both friends and authors. Goodreads gives you a chance to make your own groups. While it is fun to have our own groups, it is also unfun. You have to deal with people who aren't active even though they joined your group. For the most part Goodreads is an okay website for teens and adults. There is a little language and explicit contents.
What other families should know
Too much swearing
Too much consumerism
Safety and privacy concerns
Educator 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 blog posts by authors and more! I first used this an individual, but in the last few years have started using it with schools! As you can create groups - you can add students to a Book Club, English Class or Home Room Class. Here students can discuss what they have been reading, take part in debates about books and show off their library (a bookshelf full of all the books they have read). If you use this in class you will find that students not only do the tasks you set, but they really engage with the website.


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