… is tricky, possibly second only to dictionaries in being difficult to write about.
You can of course list their component bits (CD, exercises at the back, glossary, illustrations, list of characters) and judgements on them, but the main things are of course shared by every reader in history- simplified stories. As we are not likely to be able to judge that level better than the people at Penguin etc, it’s quite tricky to find much to say. Here is a random list of things I have written in my graded reader reviews or spring to mind now:
– Which of a range of titles was most popular with your students (or yourself) and why
– Childish or content that is too adult for some readers
– Quotes from reviews from your students
– Did or did not persuade your students to buy or borrow more?
– Unexpected plot twists
– Comparisons to film versions
– Voices on CD
– Online resources
– Some blurb from the back of the book, website or catalogue and how true it is
– Some theory behind the books from those places with comments
Here are some examples:
A selection of CUP graded readers (Was I really writing reviews eight years ago?? Really must get a hobby soon!)
Historical graded readers (also me)
New Penguin Readers (by Dave Allen on TEFL.net)
New Scholastic Readers (ditto)
National Geographic Footprint reading library (by Kaithe Greene on TEFL.net)
There are also a few survey reviews on ELTJ if you have paper copies or an online subscription.
Any other suggestions of things to include or links to reviews? Anyone else want a stack of free readers or other books by reviewing for TEFL.net? Comments below or email through “Contact me” please.