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Young Reviewers Program

Bookshop Santa Cruz has partnered with many local schools and students to create reviews of Middle Grade and YA books, written by student readers themselves! You can find their reviews on the shelves of Bookshop Santa Cruz, as well as throughout our website. 

SC Young Reviewers has reviews of books, written by students for students. The students have access to advance copies of books not yet published, to review and promote those titles.

Interested in joining our team of readers? Join here!

Ready to submit your online review? Submit it here!


Q. What is a Young Reviewer?
A.  A Young Reviewer is a student in grades 4-8 who loves to read books and share them with other students. They are given advance copies of books by Bookshop Santa Cruz and then write reviews for the store.

Q. How do I get a book?
A. Come into Bookshop Santa Cruz anytime and ask a staff member to look through our available advance copies. You may have up to 2 books at once. Please make sure you pick up a yellow Young Reviewer Shelf Talker for your reviews.

Q. What do I do with the book after I write the review?
A. You can keep the book after the review!

Q. What does Bookshop do with my Shelf Talker review?
A. Bookshop will use the review as a shelf talker. The shelf talker is placed on the shelf next to the book here in the store. The review will help kids who come to the store choose a book they might enjoy. Bookshop may also use the review in some of our publications.

Q. What does Bookshop do with my Online review?
A. Bookshop will post your full review on our website under the book title. Bookshop may also use the review in some of our publications.

Q. How long should the review be?
A. The Shelf Talker review should be three sentences. The first two should be what you liked about the book. The third sentence should be who you would recommend the book to. (For anyone who loves a good mystery, People who love dogs would love this book.)

A. The Online review should be a few paragraphs (which can be short). All of the reviews should have an introduction with the title of the book and name of the author. Then a brief summary of the book, things like what is the story about or major conflicts or interesting characters. Your review should also include a critique and analysis: Was the story good or bad, what worked or what didn’t. Consider story elements like plot, character, dialogue, description, tone or style. You can also share how the story or language made you feel. The final paragraph should be a conclusion where you wrap up the review and state if you would recommend the book and if so why and to whom?

Q. Should I print the review?
A. The reviews should be in your own handwriting and put on the yellow Young Reviewer Shelf Talker that will come with each book. You can either write directly on the card or on another piece of paper that you glue to the card.

Q. Who do I give the review to when I am done?
A. Turn in the review to the information desk at Bookshop Santa Cruz.

Q. What should I do if I do not like the book?
A. Everyone has different book tastes, so it is OK not to like every book. If you do not like the book you should not write a review. Simply return the book to the information desk at Bookshop and we will let another reviewer see if they like it. We will get a different book to you as they become available.