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14 Questions to Ask Yourself when Judging a Book

As a parent, teacher and even a librarian, it’s important to know what questions to ask oneself when deciding what books to expose (our) children to.

The list below was written by Donna E Norton, an expert in children’s literature and author of “Through the Eyes of a Child: An Introduction to Children's Literature”.

1. Is this a good story?

2. Is the story about something that I think could really happen? Is the story believable?

3. Did the main character overcome the problem, but not too easily?

4. Did the climax seem natural?

5. Did the characters seem real? Did I understand the character’s personalities and the reasons for their actions?

6. Did the characters in the story grow?

7. Did I find out about more than 1 side of the characters? Did the characters have both strengths and weaknesses?

8. Did the setting resent what is actually known about the time or place?

9. Did the characters fin into the setting?

10. Did I feel like I was really in that time or place?

11. What did the author want to tell me in the story?

12. Was the theme worthwhile?

13. When I read the book out loud, did the characters sound like real people actually talking?

14. Did the rest of the language sound natural?

[Donna E. Norton, 1993]

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