This past weekend, I finished reading Chess Rumble by G. Neri, illustrated by Jesse Joshua Watson. I plan to post a review on Wednesday at The Brown Bookshelf.
I really enjoyed Chess Rumble. It's well written; the author created an authentic voice. The review will be a friendly endorsement. But I started wondering how I should approach other reviews, books I don't particularly like. Should I be honest and write a negative review? Do I dare question an author's character development, plot, voice? Hm.
I'm not a review journal; I'm an illustrator, so I won't do any of that. The Brown Bookshelf launched in November and has received much attention (Publisher's Weekly, School Library Journal, many, many, many blogs). Hopefully, before our 28-Days campaign in February, it will receive even more attention. I think it would be totally wrong of me to offer unsolicited negative critique of an authors work in such a public way (though I may occasionally do that here on my personal blog), so I won't even go there.
If I like a book, I'll discuss it. If I don't like a book, I'll shut up. I hate it when reviewers write mean things about my work, strangers out of punching range. I won't do the same to others.