A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this website.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Scholastic's You Are What You Read encourages kids to create and share a favorite books list and learn what other people are reading around them and in faraway places in a new, fun way. Celebrities that kids will recognize also share their lists here, making reading not only a fun, global experience but cool, too. Scholastic continues to set the bar high on personal privacy and online safety for kids. Note: A kid registering a profile for You Are What You Read is also registering for The Stacks and other Scholastic sites.
What's it about?
You Are What You Read is a part of The Stacks, Scholastic’s tween site created to promote its books. Kids can register as a member by creating a username and password that is generated from the site. Kids are then asked to make a Bookprint from a database of popular books: \"What five books mean the most to you (and why)?” After the Bookprint is completed, kids immediately see their connection to other members who have listed the same favorites. Social media features include the option to \"like\" a book and pass it on to others. Note that once users click on other sections such as games and blogs, they enter The Stacks site.
Is it any good?
Anytime reading can be encouraged in a hip, kid-friendly way it's a good thing. The site takes the information that kids and celebrities input and uses it in interesting ways through maps, lists, and numerical counters to show kids geographic reading trends and how many people like what they do. And it offers some book recommendations they might like based on their already known interests -- all the while keeping safety and privacy paramount. It would be nice to see a few more features like video interviews with the celebs, games, or other interactive activities kids like added to this site. Overall, a dynamic way to encourage kids to read.
Online interaction: Lots of safety guidelines and built-in methods to help kids stay on meaningful topic make this site extraordinarily conducive to positive, constructive, and managed online interaction for kids.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about why reading actual books of any length is still worthwhile and important in today's world of tiny texts and tweets. Read Common Sense Media's interview with a reading expert on How to Get Your Kids Reading.
As ways of advertising grow less obvious with each passing generation, kids need to think about how they may be marketed to in different ways. Ask your kids why they think a publishing company like Scholastic would spend the time and money creating a high-quality site like this without overt advertising or a bookstore component on the site itself.