Website review by Polly Conway, Common Sense Education | Updated April 2013


Lively community for bookworms to share their love of lit

Learning rating
Community rating
Based on 33 reviews
Privacy rating
55%| Warning Expert evaluation by Common Sense
Subjects & Skills
English Language Arts, Critical Thinking
Great for

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Pros: Goodreads is a wealth of literary information and enthusiasm that teens can really sink their teeth into.

Cons: Teens and adults mixing in the forums could be problematic.

Bottom Line: Using Goodreads can enhance teens' reading experience and help them become thoughtful, enthusiastic readers.

Teachers need to know that Goodreads is an excellent place for older kids and teens to discuss their favorite books with fellow readers online. However, the site is geared primarily toward adult users with no special "kid section," so teens may be connecting with readers of all ages. With that in mind, Goodreads is generally very focused on literature and the bulk of communication occurs within reviews, not private discussions or email.

While Goodreads isn't set up for classroom use, there are a few ways teachers can integrate it into curriculum. Recommended for high school-age students, Goodreads offers another way for kids to communicate about books, which is always a good thing. It's easy to set up a classroom group within the site where students can talk about the current class reading selection. Teachers can post questions and assignments. They can also create quizzes based on classroom material or even come up with contests: Having students review extracurricular reads sounds much more fun than an old-fashioned book report.

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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 teens can see what their friends are reading and can join discussion groups for their favorite books. Users of Goodreads create an account and then use the search function to create an online library, book by book. Users can also add books that they want to read in the future, marking them "to-read," or note a book as "currently reading." It's then possible to share the library with friends invited to Goodreads through email or Facebook. The bulk of the site is review-based, but there are also quizzes, quotes, and biographical author information to delve into.

Teens learn by reading books, then forming and sharing opinions in an online setting. By engaging in friendly discourse about books, they'll learn communication skills. They'll be proud to add newly ready books to their own online library and talk about their favorites with peers. To review a book, teens will have to think critically about their opinions and find the best way to share their feelings in writing.

Goodreads is the largest and most popular site of this type online, and it shows. It's a great 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." Every book imaginable is reviewed here, and kids can explore their favorite genres with ease.

Overall Rating


With heated conversations going on in every corner, teens can tap into their passion for favorites like Harry Potter with a group of equally invested readers. They'll also get excited about adding books to their growing library.


Teens can have in-depth discussions about character and theme. (They can also just chat about vampires.) They'll be able to transfer the skills they develop using Goodreads to write persuasive essays later on.


When you first log in, the site walks you through how to create a library and rate books. The FAQ is extensive and organized, and the home page features boxes with tips on how best to use the site.

Common Sense reviewer
Polly Conway Common Sense

Community Rating

(See all 33 reviews) (33 reviews) Write a review
Featured review by
Linda O. , Classroom teacher
Classroom teacher
Rundlett Middle School
Concord, United States
Not as great as I thought it would be
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 ...
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Data Safety
How safe is this product?
Users can interact with trusted users.
Users can interact with untrusted users, including strangers and/or adults.
Profile information must be shared for social interactions.
Data Rights
What rights do I have to the data?
Users can create or upload content.
Unclear whether users retain ownership of their data.
Processes to access or review user data are available.
Ads & Tracking
Are there advertisements or tracking?
Unclear whether personal information are shared for third-party marketing.
Traditional or contextual advertisements are displayed.
Personalised advertising is displayed.

Continue reading about this tool's privacy practices, including data collection, sharing, and security.

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