The Teen Book Review Project will give local teenagers the chance to read and review advanced reading copies of unpublished books.

The Teen Book Review Project will give local teenagers the chance to read and review advanced reading copies of unpublished books.

Teen book review project launches in January

Local teenagers to review advanced copies of books for Cloverdale and Fleetwood libraries.

The Teen Book Review Project, a flexible new program for teens, launches at Cloverdale and Fleetwood Libraries in January.

Teens will be able to register at the library and pick up a new teen novel, read it at home on their own schedule and write a short and simple review. The library will then upload the review to its library catalogue, send the review to the publisher and log the volunteer hours for the teen reader.

Many of the titles are advanced reading copies from publishers, therefore not yet published.

“Publishers are always looking for reviews, and the library wants to populate its Bibliocommons catalogue with reader reviews as well, especially reviews by teens for teens,” said Youth Services Librarian Carmen Merrells.

“Combine that with teens’ need for volunteer hours for school requirements and the need for flexible library programming that recognizes teens’ busy schedules, and I think we have a win-win plan,” she said.

There are no deadlines, and volunteer hours are based on the length of the book teens choose to read.

“We’ve already had lots of interest, even from teens who don’t need volunteer hours. They just want to get their hands on new, possibly as-yet-unpublished teen novels and have their reviews publicly posted,” Merrells added.

She said that the program came with the added bonuses of encouraging teens to read more and to read books they might not otherwise have picked up. The program will also encourage the development of creative writing skills as teens write reviews, she said.

“After all, we’re all about literacy at the library,” said Merrells.

Teens interested in participating in the program can contact Carmen Merrells at Cloverdale Library (cmerrells@surrey.ca; 604-598-7447) or Claire Badali at Fleetwood Library (claire.badli@surrey.ca; 604-598-7346).