How to be a children’s book reviewer for the School Reading List

New children's and YA / teen book reviewers

New children’s book reviewer & resource writer guide

We’re always on the lookout for enthusiastic and experienced teachers, ex-teachers, home educators, librarians, professionally accredited education academics, children’s authors and education industry writers and consultants to join our merry band of book and resource reviewers.

Reviewing children’s and YA books – what we can offer you

  • A platform for your writing and professional evidence that you can share with your PLN or use as evidence for your CPD or UPS.
  • A by-line and bio, including a link to your Linkedin, Twitter, or other professional education-related social media.
  • A mention of your professional background in education and “Expertise, Authority and Trust”, including, if relevant, a link to your workplace or company website.
  • A professional writer will edit and proofread your copy prior to publication.
  • Free exposure on our social media channels.
  • A testimonial for your website, Linkedin or professional record.
  • We pay for the postage to send you the book.
  • You are welcome to keep the review copy of books or educational resources. You might want to use these in your school or with your children. All we ask is that if there are any restrictions or requirements (for example an embargo) stipulated by the book publisher, please ensure these are adhered to.
  • Copyright for your book review remains with you, but please don’t duplicate your article on another website due to Google guidelines, SEO and our Copyscape protection account. When writing for us you agree to give us an exclusive worldwide licence to use your review on the or websites. This is to allow us to deal with internet bad actors that scrape, copy or spam our website content.

What we can’t offer you

  • Search engines, especially Google, have strict rules about paid or reciprocal linking. Therefore, we do not offer advertorials, paid links, ‘link outreach’ or commercial guest posts etc.
  • We are not able to offer payment for your reviews or articles. Sorry! As a small, web-based operation, we’re not yet able to pay writers.

Children’s book reviewers – what we’d love from you

  • Independent, enthusiastic, authoritative and expert reviews of children’s and YA books, or third-party educational products. (400-1000 words)
  • Professional thought-leader articles and ‘think-pieces’. (500-1000 words)
  • News, and features on recent developments in pedagogy, initiatives and new thinking – especially regarding literacy, reading, writing, phonics, and assessment of English. (400-800 words)

Children’s book reviews – our website style guide

  • Quotes are great, but please don’t quote more than two sentences at a time. If the book is an ARC (advanced reviews copy) or a “proof”, please follow any instructions or limitations relating to quotes. (These will be detailed in the book).
  • Try not the use the same adjective or verb or expression twice.
  • Please vary the lengths of your sentences.
  • Do use subheadings to indicate the start of a new section.
  • Finish key paragraphs with a zinger!
  • Please see the format and structure of our website reviews here and here.
  • Original content only: content must be 100% yours and pass Copyscape. (Don’t worry we have an account and we can check text for you.)
  • We’re a book recommendation site, rather than a review site. For that reason, we only publish positive reviews about books we really like. So, if you receive a book for review that you really cannot be enthusiastic about – that’s fine – there’s no obligation to review it.

I’m interested in writing children’s and teen book reviews – what next?

  • Please get in touch with us using the contact form below and let us know more about you and what kind of books you would be interested in reviewing, and also which kinds of books don’t interest you.
  • Please give us an idea of how many books you would like to review each month.
  • Please email us a photo and any text and social media links for a bio that you would like us to use with your reviews. Here’s an example.
  • Please email us a physical UK residential address so we can forward review copies to you. School addresses can be used, but we can only send books to schools during term time. Any personal address and email details submitted by you will be held securely by us, and will only be held while you are reviewing books for us; after which point this personal data will be deleted.

A little more about the School Reading List

  • We recommend children’s books to parents, teachers and schools.
  • The School Reading List was established in 2011.
  • We average over 10,000 page views per day and over 150,000 unique visitors per month. (July 2020)
  • Over 50,000 engaged users follow us on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest and Instagram. (July 2020)
  • We are featured on over 18,000 school websites in the UK. (July 2020)
  • We also operate a US K-12 website:
  • For more details about us, please see our FAQ and About Us pages

Sign up to become a children’s books reviewer for the School Reading List

If you would like us to include a photo of you with your review bylines and bio – here’s an example – please send your headshot photo to [email protected]

We will aim to get back to you within 7 days if your application to become a reviewer is successful. Please note that we are not able to accept all new reviewer applications.

About Tom Tolkien

Photo of author
Tom Tolkien is an experienced teacher and educational consultant who taught for 20 years in primary and secondary schools, including Woodleigh School in North Yorkshire, where he was Head of English and ran a 4000 book prep school library for pupils aged 3-13. He now reviews books for children and teens. Social profiles: Twitter | Linkedin