I am personally, a HUGE advocate of Goodreads. I use it almost daily, looking up recommendations and opinions about books on all sorts of topics. I love that Goodreads will recommend books based off of things that you've read, and I've found a tremendous number of new materials based off of those recommendations. I would say that perhaps the one negative is that it is a community where people are free to post whatever they wish, so there are occasions where you see some language or personal opinions that can get a bit jarring. However, I believe that its benefits GREATLY outweigh any negatives. And as a classroom tool, the students seem to enjoy it as well, as they can read real life reviews of potential books and resources. We are living in the Amazon age, where people base much of their shopping off of the reviews of others. Goodreads is no different in now that we can base our reading resources off of the review of a community of like minded readers. And what's also great about it, is once you set up an account, there are means of keeping track of what you've read and what you've reviewed. It's really just a great resource. I love Goodreads and it gets my highest recommendation!!!
It was not everything I hoped and dreamed it would be, unfortunately. The kids loved looking through the books and adding them to their shelves. It was just very difficult to manage as a teacher. Ideally, teachers could create classes and students could join those classes (like Google Classroom). That would allow for easier monitoring of book choices, as well as students' posts. There is not enough teacher control in regards to privacy and accessibility to the public. I can't believe Goodreads hasn't created an educator platform yet. I have found I have been able to have the kids do on paper everything I wanted them to do on the site.
For independent use, this would work much better for older grades. I also think though, that this source can be great for teachers to experience new books, find titles they have never heard of, check the reviews, and decide if this is a book that they want to bring into the classroom. If you have a student that is reluctant to read but you know of a title that they really love, then this website could give you options based off that title. I would use this website more in the way of accessing new titles and information, as much as I try to read, I am not going to know every book available but I need to know of an array of books that individually meet all my students interests. I believe that this is a great tool to help you do that!