To spare you the suspense, I ended up sending him one of my favorites from childhood: From the Mixed-up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler, and some of my husband’s: The Hardy Boys Starter Set. I also looked at The Bad Beginning (A Series of Unfortunate Events Book 1), but decided to save that for next year. I mention it here because that one had some of the best reviews, many by school-aged children who obviously had some sort of assignment to read the book, write a review on Amazon.com, then comment on each other’s reviews.
I love this idea. I also love that I can read these reviews and so clearly hear the voice of an earnest middle-schooler using his or her best descriptive skills and rigid paragraph format. Or reviews like this one, written about From the Mixed-up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler:
This is the worst book i have ever read. Just keep in mind that everything i say is true… in my perspective. I don’t like this book mainly for two reasons… one is that i read this for school and we had to do a lot of comprehension questions with it… so that just ruined the future of me having feelings for this book. The second reason i hated this book is because it included tooooo much information. On every single topic/thing in the muesuem, the author included information about it… this book got tiring to read at times. But, that’s just what i think, so i would recommend this book to anyone who likes reading flat-out information.
Excellent. All the information! And the explaining! How terrible that this kid’s potential future feelings for this book were ruined by a school assignment.
Of course, there are plenty of other Amazon.com listings that have notable reviews, like The Three Wolf Moon Short Sleeve Tee, the Tuscan Whole Milk: 1 Gallon, and the Playmobil Security Checkpoint. There is just something really great about the reviews written by kids that brings me right back to being that age and having similar assignments. I highly recommend taking a few minutes to read through some of these the next time you are stuck at your desk on a boring call.
So, Fabulous Thing #75: Kid’s reviews on Amazon.com.