What do kids want to read? That’s the question every publisher, every author, every bookseller, every librarian wants to know. Well, Emmie Enchanted is happy to answer that question. Emmie (not her real name) is a ten-year-old ravenous reader who reviews books on her blog, www.fantasticbooksandwheretofindthem.org.
You’ll love her system for ranking books. For the scariness factor, it goes from one ghost that’s not scary at all to five ghosts that means run and get mom! For Yucky-lovey stuff (romance), she indicates that with hearts. Since she loves magic so much, her favorite books earn five wands. She’s not only helping other kids choose books, she’s guiding the parents too.
Middle Grade Mojo wanted to know more about this remarkable reader and reviewer so we asked her a few questions.
Middle Grade Mojo: When did you start your website/blog?
Emmie Enchanted: I started my website in 2017 when I had just finished 2nd grade. My parents let me start the website as a reward for reaching 800 Accelerated Reader points that school year.
MGM: How many books do you read a week or month?
EE: That’s hard to say. It varies. It all depends on my schedule. I’ve probably read 15-20 over the last month.
MGM: How do you choose which book to read? Cover illustration? The blurb on the cover? Other reviews? Or something else?
EE:I normally decide by the blurb on the cover. It gives a little summary of the book, and you can usually tell whether you’ll like the book or not in that paragraph. It also ends on a cliffhanger, so it makes me want to read more. Even when someone else recommends the book to me, I always read the blurb first to make sure I like it.
MGM: From reading some of your reviews, you seem to like magic a lot. Who are some of your favorite authors? (I know you can’t just pick one, that would be too hard.)
EE: Lisa McMann (I’m reading her series The Unwanteds right now), J.K. Rowling (of course!), Chris Colfer, Rick Riordan, Shannon Messenger, Melissa Roske, Corabel Shofner… this is just to name a few.
MGM: What other genres/subjects do you like? Are there any genres/subjects that you just can’t get into at all?
EE: I’ve always had a taste for magic and fantasy and fiction and I love poems, too. And non-fiction is good, but it’s not as good as everything else. However, I really don’t like horror or scary books. They make me feel creepy, I like reading right before going to bed, that would be something hard to sleep on!
MGM: Do you ever start a book, but not finish it? If so, why?
EE: I try to finish every book, even ones that I start out not liking. However, if I’m really disinterested in a book, then I’ll stop after 100 pages. But my rule is that I have to read 100 pages of a book before I can give up on it.
MGM: You already love to read, but not all kids do. Authors, media specialists, and teachers are dying to know how to get reluctant readers to read more. Can you tell us a couple of things that makes a great book, one that even reluctant readers will want to read?
EE:This question is hard! I’ve heard a lot of authors say that kids should read what interests them. And so, even though that’s not one specific thing, I’d say to find out what a kid is interested in and find a book about that. Personally, I love books that are magical and suspenseful.
MGM: What other goals do you have? For example, would you like to be an author? An editor?
EE: I don’t have any specific long-term goals right now. I do love to write. Sometimes, I’ll just get a sudden flash of ideas, and then I’m running back to my room to try to find a notebook and a pen. I did have a chance to write a book when I was in 3rd grade and that was a really cool experience! I even got to have a book signing at my local bookstore. I just take each day as it comes.
MGM: Will you be our guest book reviewer occasionally? We’d love to have you join our crew at Middle Grade Mojo.
EE: Of course I will! Thanks for inviting me. I love the theme for your website and how it helps others.