Common Sense Media Reviews

If you’re following the YALSA blog you would have seen the entry regarding the Common Sense Media reviews and Sarah Dessen’s Along for the Ride.  If you link out to Sarah Dessen’s blog – she is asking for people’s opinions on the Common Sense ratings listed for her new book.  Reading over some of the comments already posted – I think the general consensus is the ratings do not take the entire book/story into account – they’ve really torn it apart to highlight any perceived negative or questionable content.

As a parent – I read through the ratings available on the Barnes&Noble website – and I think I may have avoided this book based on the information provided.  But….  I’m listening to this book right now – and it’s awesome!  Yes – there is swearing and stuff – but the way the review is written – many aspects of the book are taken out of context!

I am struggling at the moment with this system.  Here is the link to the definition of their ratings –http://www.commonsensemedia.org/about-us/our-mission/about-our-ratings – when you think about it – are they really any different from what we do with our blogs?  We each pick our own reviewing system and share our thoughts with the world – so why am I struggling?  Maybe because these ratings are in a place where the general public sees, respects and believes.  Should I worry?  Should the authors be concerned?  Or do we continue to believe that readers will form their own opinion despite these types of ratings out there?

I really don’t know – as a parent who doesn’t read the material available to my kids – I may just rely on these ratings – but as a parent who reads as much if not more than my girls – I won’t let them sway my decision to purchase or not.

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One thought on “Common Sense Media Reviews

  1. I think your perspective is pretty much the consensus. There are good parts to it (and apparently on the actual Common Sense site the reviews are more thorough), but the inaccuracy and harshness of the ratings concerns me. Just because a book has drinking/partying/whatever in it, it doesn’t mean that the author is presenting it in a positive light.

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