Libres Book Review

​​​​Welcome to Libres!

We're always happy to welcome new members!

Who We Are:  We are a group of Oakland, Wayne, Macomb County school librarians and educators who are passionate about children's and young adult literature.
What We Do:  We receive books from publishing companies to read and provide them with educator reviews. These books are kept at the Oakland Schools Information Center for our group members to access and check out at any time. Once a group member has read a book, he or she submits a review of it. (Find complete review details below.) Once a review has been submitted, the book is yours to keep to add to your school collection for students to enjoy. This is a great way to add the latest literature to your library shelves!
When We Meet:  We meet quarterly during the school year to discuss and share the books we've each reviewed. Meetings are generally held at Oakland Schools at 4:00 p.m.
To Join:  email Judy Sima (  and provide school and home contact information.
For Questions:  For more information contact, Judy Sima or Karen Becknell (, or Joanne Steckling ( will be happy to answer your questions.

To Look Up Book Titles to Review: 

To view book titles that are either available or currently checked out for review, go to the Libres Master List of Book Titles. A total number of 25 books may be checked out at any one time. Reviews are due within 6 months after the sign-out date.

To Submit a Review:

The Libres book review form is online at Please fill out the form completely, then click SUBMIT.

Book Review Format Content & Guidelines: 

Listed below is the information required on the online form. Please note: Only electronic format will be accepted. Do not send Word documents. If you have a review in Word or other document format, please paste it into the form.


Reviewer's Name:


School District:

Email address:

Author (Last name first):

Title of the Book:

Publisher:         Date of Publication:                  ISBN#

Price:                  Grade Level:            Number of pages:

VOYA Rating: 1-5 Quality 1-5 Popularity (e.g. 3Q4P)

Highly Recommended - Recommended - Additional Selection - Not Recommended

 Please adhere to these guidelines: 

  • Review should be approximately 300 words or more
  • Include a brief synopsis of the plot (3-4 sentences)
  • We are most interested in your point of view. Write what you think about the book and how it agrees or differs from review sources. Is there anything noteworthy we should be aware of – sex, drugs, point of view, inaccuracies, etc. (It's OK to disagree with other review sources. It's OK to write a negative review)
  • How can this book be used with students or parents? (This is important, Publishers want to know)
  • Be honest. Negative reviews are OK!
  • Include one or two reviews from professional review sources – such as Titlewave, Book List, VOYA, School Library Journal, NoveList and others. (Be sure to include review source and date)
Sharing reviews on line:
Sharing reviews at meetings:

Bring a copy of the book to the meeting. Please be prepared to share your three most important reviews. By "important" we mean, writing style, impact, popularity, or other issues such as why you do not recommend a book for purchase, etc. The meetings are a time for honest discussion. Once everyone attending has shared and if there is additional time, other books may be discussed.

VOYA Book Review Codes:

5Q    Hard to imagine it being better written
4Q    Better than most, marred by occasional lapses
3Q    Readable, without serious defects 
2Q    Better editing or work by author might have warranted a 3Q
1Q    Hard to understand how it got published, except in relation to its P rating (and not even then sometimes) 


5P     Everyone was dying to read it yesterday. 
4P     Broad general or genre appeal.
3P     Will appeal with pushing.
2P     For the reader with special interest in the subject.
1P     No one will read unless forced to for assignments.

Grade level interest

Primary (PreK-K)​
Lower El (Grades 1-2)
Upper El (Grades 3-5)
M Middle School (Grades 6-8)
J Junior High (Grades 7-9)
S Senior High (Grades 10-12)
A/YA Adult-marketed book recommended for teens