LitPick

 

Learning(i)

Tween critics review YA picks in safe online book nook.

What parents need to know

Positive messages

By being asked to write their own reviews on books aimed toward young adults, kids get the message that their opinions matter.

Violence
Not applicable
Sex

Some of the YA books being reviewed on the site may contain sexual content, but that information would only be mentioned in a review.

Language
Not applicable
Consumerism

At the bottom of each page, there are links to purchase the reviewed books through Amazon.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable
Privacy & safety

Each kid who signs up for LitPick must be sponsored by either a parent or a teacher; the site offers a printable consent form for teachers to get parental permission. Users don't give their real names; kids are known only by handles such as "Dancergirl14."

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that LitPick is a website that features reviews by young adults of young adult literature. Kids from all over the world review books there; your kids will appreciate the accessibility of kid opinions as opposed to Amazon or other sites with mixed-age audiences. Kids sign up with an adult sponsor and can then request a book, which will be sent to them as a hard copy (for a small fee) or as an ebook. It's a nice resource, and if your kid is a real bookworm, sign up and let them become a critic!

What kids can learn

Subjects

Language & Reading

  • discussion
  • forming arguments
  • reading
  • text analysis
  • writing

Skills

Thinking & Reasoning

  • asking questions
  • making conclusions
  • thinking critically

Creativity

  • combining knowledge
  • imagination
  • producing new content

Emotional Development

  • labeling feelings
  • perspective taking

Communication

  • conveying messages effectively

Collaboration

  • respecting other viewpoints

Tech Skills

  • using and applying technology

Engagement, Approach, Support

Engagement

Reviews are fun to read, and kids who already enjoy YA literature will love browsing through them. Design is bold, colorful, and kid-friendly, although finding content could be a bit more intuitive.

Learning Approach

Kids get to choose the books they review. Although they'll be reading the books for pleasure, they'll also be thinking critically. It's incredibly useful to learn to form opinions and to express them on the page.

Support

There's plenty of guidance for kids and teachers. An FAQ list answers most questions, and the site has a blog and Facebook and Twitter profiles where it regularly posts review excerpts and updates.

What kids can learn

Subjects

Language & Reading

  • discussion
  • forming arguments
  • reading
  • text analysis
  • writing

Skills

Thinking & Reasoning

  • asking questions
  • making conclusions
  • thinking critically

Creativity

  • combining knowledge
  • imagination
  • producing new content

Emotional Development

  • labeling feelings
  • perspective taking

Communication

  • conveying messages effectively

Collaboration

  • respecting other viewpoints

Tech Skills

  • using and applying technology

Kids can learn the language of criticism; they'll learn how to talk about what they like and don't like and why. They'll learn to think critically while reading books for fun and to put their opinions into words. With content directed toward other kids, they don't have to worry too much about using perfect spelling or grammar; it's more about sharing their ideas. LitPick is a safe, fun environment in which YA lovers can read their favorite books while learning how to discuss literature.

This Learning Rating review was written by Polly Conway

User reviews

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What's it about?

LITPICK is a worldwide network of tween book reviewers that offers reviews on YA literature. Kids sign up with an adult sponsor and can then request a book, which will be sent to them as a hard copy (for a small fee) or as an ebook. After reading and deciding how they feel about the book, they can write a review using LitPick's online form. They'll be asked to enter the review, some keywords that other kids can use to search, and a content rating that will help define the appropriate audience.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

This site is really cool -- especially the ebook option, which sends you a book for free. Kids will feel important and recognized when their reviews are published online, and they'll enjoy getting books that they already wanted to read for free. Writing the review helps kids process what they've read, and they'll learn a lot as they formulate opinions. Book choices are limited to those on the LitPick list, but a lot of quality options are available, including many ultrapopular titles. There are some missed opportunities for communication: the forum, which could be a hotbed of conversation and debate, is pretty quiet, and there's no place to comment on individual reviews.

Families can talk about...

  • Talk to your kids about how people choose what they decide to read. Show them the New York Times book review or even the many reviews on Amazon; there's a lot of opinions out there about different books!

  • What makes a book "good," according to your kid? Is it a wild plot with twists and turns, or is it a character with whom they relate?

Website details

Genre:Educational
Price:Free
Pricing structure:Free

This review of LitPick was written by

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are conducted by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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