Book Reviews and Reading Favorites

What better way to celebrate World Book Day on Thursday than to try out some new books that others have found wonderful? With thousands of books in print and new ones coming every day, a well-written book review can give you a small taste of a story without spoiling your appetite for the rest of the plot. So feed your mind and satisfy your hunger for new books to read by checking out the suggested books on the Times Launch Point Web site:

Level 1

Los Angeles Public Library: Recommended Reading: Get a head start on finding good books to read through this site that offers special sections organized by age and grade level, genre and theme, award-winning books and favorites, and a special section where you can find out what books other kids recommend.


Scholastic Kids Book Central: Whether you are an animal lover, a mystery buff or a sports fan, find out about books that fit your interests as well as try some great book-related activities, including a Harry Potter “discussion chamber” and a section where you can submit your own book reviews.

Book Hive: Find out the latest buzz on books through this well-organized collection of book reviews, ranging from adventures and award-winning books to science fiction and sports tales. Try such fun activities as a beginning (and an advanced!) Harry Potter trivia quiz.


Level 2

Books That Change Lives: Oprah Winfrey was inspired by Betty Smith’s book, “A Tree Grows in Brooklyn”; Ralph Nader by Sinclair Lewis’ “The Jungle”; and paleontologist Stephen Jay Gould by “The Little Engine That Could.” Find out about influential books in the lives of great achievers through this series of recommended books.

Historical Fiction Resources: Place literary works within their historical context through this site that offers resources and organizes literary works by period, beginning with the Middle Ages on up to the Vietnam War.


World of Reading: Find book reviews written by kids for kids, organized by categories such as arts and artists, adventure, holidays, multicultural literature, suspense, humor and growing up.

Level 3


The WebSmart Teen Page: What Should I Read Next? Learn about the civil-rights movement through such literary works as “Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry.” Get acquainted with some of the authors and choose from works recommended by teens and a librarian.

BookSpot: Explore the world of books and the authors who write them through this site’s many resources, which also include resources for writers.


Internet Public Library: What to Read (Teens): Whether you are interested in classics or bestsellers or just something new, this site offers illustrated reviews of books, suggested book lists and reviews by other teens (including you, if you wish!).


The answer to this Internet quiz can be found in the sites at right.


What book did historian Stephen E. Ambrose recommend for learning to be a good storyteller?

CLUE: See Books That Change Lives

Find What You Need to Know: Have a project on California history? Need help doing a math problem? Launch Point covers more than 150 topics for getting your schoolwork done. Go to for the full list of subjects and direct links to the best Internet sites.

Answer to last week’s Quest: An ancient Babylonian hour was 1 hour x 60 minutes/hour x 60 seconds/minute = 3,600 seconds.


Launch Point is produced by the UC Irvine department of education, which reviews each site for appropriateness and quality. Even so, parents should supervise their children’s use of the Internet. This column was designed by Bob Parr, Carolyn Prough, Myranda Bailey and Anna Manring.