Review by Polly Conway, Common Sense Education | Updated September 2013


Tweens' reviews of YA literature great for classroom use

Subjects & skills
  • English Language Arts

  • Communication & Collaboration
  • Creativity
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Pros: The site's relaxed feel makes reviewing fun; students learn all kinds of skills at the same time.

Cons: Navigation can be tricky, and there's a limited number of books to choose from.

Bottom Line: LitPick is a safe, fun environment for YA lovers to read their favorite books while learning how to discuss literature.

A great Educator Teaching Guide, available as a PDF, can help you get started using LitPick in the classroom. Some students in your class may not be interested in books or may be intimidated by assigned reading; LitPick could be an option to gently engage them in reading. As with any other genre, YA books vary in quality, but there are some excellent books to choose from. You could create contests revolving around reviews or conduct in-class discussions based on a students' reviews.

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LitPick is a worldwide network of tween book reviewers that offers reviews on YA literature. Students 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.

This site is really cool -- especially the ebook option, where you get a book sent to you for free. Students 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 ultra-popular 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.

Students 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. 

Overall Rating

Engagement Is the product stimulating, entertaining, and engrossing? Will kids want to return?

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.

Pedagogy Is learning content seamlessly baked-in, and do kids build conceptual understanding? Is the product adaptable and empowering? Will skills transfer?

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 Does the product take into account learners of varying abilities, skill levels, and learning styles? Does it address both struggling and advanced students?

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.

Common Sense Reviewer
Polly Conway Classroom teacher

Teacher Reviews

(See all 4 reviews) (4 reviews) Write a review
Featured review by
Crystal E. , Classroom teacher
Classroom teacher
Centennial Public School
Utica, United States
Excellent Option for Student Book Choice and Reviews!
I love the option of LitPick as a way to have students discover books that they wouldn't have normally read. The delivery time between books allowed my students to then read a more popular book or series in between. Also, the review process was great as a teacher and allowed me to give informal feedback to my students about writing and grammar.
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