Thoughts On Learning That Reading My Book Review is a Class Assignment

By , June 11, 2011

I just learned that last January (2010), one of my book reviews was included as assigned reading in an AP English class (taught by Ms. Tsuruda at Mililani HS in Hawaii).

It seems like a reasonable assignment, extending from the common practice of asking students to respond to a book’s cover or “jacket blurb” before starting to read the book.

I’m flattered, of course, not just because the teacher required students to read my review before reading the book, but also because some students praised my writing:

When I mentioned this discovery to my wife, her first question was, “Was this a good review, or a mean one?” Yes, indeed — I’ve written some mean reviews, including some of the book reviews on my web site.  But this was probably the most positive, glowing review I’ve ever written (indeed, I credit this particular book for inspiring me to explore teaching as a career).

Something else just occurred to me: I spend much more time writing a negative review than a positive one, in part because I always spend much more time re-evaluating and fact-checking.  But although I’m proud of some of my “negative” reviews, I’m more proud when I can praise and recommend a book.

(I’ve written only about a dozen book reviews, none for professional publication, but I’ve written at least 200 reviews of computer software and technology products for magazines and newspapers.)

Disclaimer: The book links to Amazon.com are affiliate links (paid advertising).

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