Book reviews for children, by children

Book reviews for children, by children

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A self-confessed bibliophile, Atharv Patil noticed how most people purchased books after reading the brief information available on its back cover, which he says is written with a purpose of marketing, or just flipping through its pages. Unable to find good book reviews of children’s book, the ninth grader, during a dinner table conversation, asked his father where he could read authentic reviews.

“My father suggested me to have a look at few book review sites including Goodreads. However, I found very few reviews written by children. I thought why not have a website where children’s books are reviewed only by children. My parents encouraged me to work on the concept and fully supported me. It is their way of giving back to the society as they believe that a well read child will be a better citizen in the future,” says Patil, who went on to create ihavereadthebook.com, a platform to encourage children to read books and share their reading experiences with other children.

Aimed to be a “one stop source” for parents and children to help decide which books to read, the book review site was launched in April 2015 after a seven-month long vigorous research and data compilation.

“It is a free book review portal for children and young adults. It encourages children to read unique books and share their reviews for the benefit of other students. Only registered students can write reviews about the books they have read or liked,” Patil tells Metrolife, adding that presently the website has students from 371 schools registered and have written reviews of 543 books.

He, however, adds that only children between the age group of nine to 16 years can join the club. “The membership is absolutely free. We want to restrict the membership to this age bracket as we want the book reviews written by the children in this age group,” he says.

Apart from being a book review site, ihavereadthebook.com also conducts various competitions for school children. Patil shares that from their first story writing competition they compiled 22 stories and published the first e-book, Adventure Stories #1, which is available to registered students for free reading.

“In near future, we will publish few more books and keep it for free reading. If some new authors are willing to give their book for free (suitable for children and young adults) we will keep it on our website,” says Patil, who loves reading adventure and fiction stories, and names Rashmi Bansal, Robin Sharma, Shobha Bondre and Stephen Hawking as his favourite authors.

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