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The Prank List (The Dirt Diary) By Anna Staniszewski

The Art of Recommending Books

Anna StaniszewskThe Children’s Book Review | July 23, 2014

Because I’m an author as well as a writing instructor and a reader, I’m often asked for book recommendations. Sometimes I’m asked to suggest books that are like my books, while other times I might need to think of titles that are good for a certain age range or in a specific genre.

Recommending books isn’t as easy as it might seem. First you have to figure out what the person is looking for and NOT looking for. For example, I’ve had many people tell me that their kids don’t like fantasy but they love Harry Potter. To me, this often means that they like fantasy that’s rooted in the real world but they don’t enjoy fantasy that takes place in a secondary world.

Or people might ask me for a funny book. Since “funny” is a pretty broad term, I try to figure out what kind of humor appeals to them. Do they like wacky adventures? Subtle sarcasm? Offbeat physical comedy? I might ask them to give me a TV or movie example so I can get a better sense of what they’re looking for.

Finally, I try to keep in mind that I don’t have to necessarily like a book in order to recommend it to someone else. This might sound strange. Why would I recommend books that I personally didn’t enjoy? Well, not every book is for every reader. I generally don’t read a lot of mysteries, for example, so a mystery might not work well for me, but I might be able to imagine what kind of reader the book would be good for.

So when it comes to recommending books, I think it comes down to three factors:

  1. Figuring out the person’s specific tastes.
  2. Understanding what doesn’t work for him/her.
  3. Thinking outside of your own personal preferences. And voila! You’re ready to recommend books!

Now, who’s looking for a good book to read?

About the Author
Anna Staniszewski

Anna Staniszewski

Born in Poland and raised in the United States, Anna Staniszewski grew up loving stories in both Polish and English. Currently, she lives outside Boston with her husband and their crazy dog. When she’s not writing, Anna spends her time reading, daydreaming, and challenging unicorns to games of hopscotch. She is the author of the My Very UnFairy Tale Life series and the Dirt Diary series. Her newest book, The Prank List, released on July 1st from Sourcebooks. You can visitAnna at www.annastan.com.

About The Prank List

The Prank List (The Dirt Diary) By Anna StaniszewskiRachel Lee never thought she’d fight for the right to clean toilets. But when a rival cleaning business starts stealing her mom’s clients, Rachel will do whatever it takes to save herself the horror of moving to Connecticut—which would mean giving up her almost, sort of boyfriend, her fantastic new pastry classes, and her best friend Marisol.

Operation Save Mom’s Cleaning Business is a go!

But when the series of pranks Rachel and her BFF cook up to take down the competition totally backfires, Rachel worries that her recipe for success is a dud. You know what they say—if you can’t stand the heat, stay out of the kitchen…

Add this book to your collection: The Prank List

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Bianca Schulze is the founder of The Children’s Book Review. She is a reader, reviewer, mother and children’s book lover. She also has a decade’s worth of experience working with children in the great outdoors. Combined with her love of books and experience as a children’s specialist bookseller, the goal is to share her passion for children’s literature to grow readers. Born and raised in Sydney, Australia, she now lives with her husband and three children near Boulder, Colorado.

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