StorySnoops.com features a wide variety of books from new releases to award winners and everything in between. The Snoops read every book cover to cover. Reviews include important details on things parents care about such as mild and graphic language and other information parents might find helpful in assessing the right fit for their children.
I had a chance to interview the Snoops to find out more.
1) What was the inspiration behind creating StorySnoops?
A few years ago, some of us were volunteering at the book fair at our kids’ school and we noticed that a lot of parents would ask us (the cashiers) whether the books they were buying were right for their child. Around that same time, there was another “aha!” moment when one of our fourth grade daughters was reading the Twilight series and finished the whole thing before her mom figured out that the fourth book was way racier than all of the others. Yikes! We began to realize that there really was no resource where parents could get an opinion about a book from another parent’s perspective. That’s how StorySnoops was born.
2) Who does the reviews, and does it also include evaluation from kids?
All four of the StorySnoops founders review the books on our site, but the reviews we write are not typical literary reviews. Instead, we include the type of information that another parent, teacher or librarian would want to know when selecting books for kids and teens. Our reviews provide important book details that are usually hard to find all in one place, such as main character gender, book awards, publisher’s recommended age, and series information. We write about noteworthy themes, interesting points for discussion, what type of reader the book might appeal to, and give a heads up on language and other important plot items. For example, we always mention if a pet dies, in case the book winds up in the hands of a sensitive animal lover. We also note if a particular series is best read in order, or whether a book would be a good choice for a classroom or family read aloud. Our goal is to give you all the information you need to put the right book in your young reader’s hands to ensure the best reading experience possible.
The reviews that we write don’t include kids’ opinions, but we encourage all of our users (kids and adults) to post their own reviews on each of the book pages. We definitely want to know what a kid thinks about a book because no matter how well written it might be, if it doesn’t appeal to its intended audience, that is a problem! Our blog is another place where we can engage in some discussion with kids, and our own children’s opinions about books are featured frequently.
3) How do parents submit stories to be reviewed?
All of our users are welcome to request reviews of books that are not already on the site. They can click on the Contact Us link at the bottom of any page and send an email request using the StorySnoops Suggestion Box. We are always happy to hear about great books that we haven't read!
4) How can parents use the site to find good ideas for literature for their kids?
One thing we really love about StorySnoops is that unlike other book review sites, you don’t have to have a specific book in mind when you arrive. We spend a lot of time placing the books we read on our Suggested Reading Lists--where for example you can find books for reluctant readers, or books with happy endings, or books about kids who like to cook. There are dozens of lists for both teens and tweens, and they cover a huge variety of interests and experiences. This is definitely a feature you will not find anywhere else.
We also have some great search tools that can help you browse particular authors, award winners, or popular series. We have over 1600 books in our database, so there is definitely something for every kind of reader on our site, and we want to make it as easy as possible for you to find it.