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“I love that it is about chocolate!” Unedited book reviews by kids for kids

Children reading
Reuters/Andres Stapff
The industry’s harshest critics.
By Thu-Huong Ha
Published Last updated This article is more than 2 years old.

“DO NOT READ THIS BOOK IF YOU HATE DESPAIR AND UNHAPPINESS AND DEATH AND FEAR,” writes a book critic about John Boyne’s The Boy at the Top of the Mountain, about a young boy sent to live in Hitler’s mountain house.

Fair enough. The reviewer is “Banana Girl,” a kid critic who wrote about the book when she was 10. She and around 50 other kids are honing their analytical voices on a blog called Mango Bubbles Books.

The blog’s founder is 11-year-old Ruben Joseph, aka Mango Bubbles Boy, from Hertfordshire, England (and his mother, Louise). They launched the site two years ago, and have collected around 200 reviews, all unedited and submitted by reviewers who are ostensibly under 18.

Their youngest reviewer, six-year-old Martha, had a few choice words for Madeleine Goes to the Moon. (Among them: “I thought the book was funny and fantastic.”)

See some of the site’s other judgements below.

The Diary of Anne Frank

, by Anne Frank

She often used her diary as a way of escape from the boring and annoying life in the attic. I would have just gone hyper, because I would have no other way to spend my energy. This diary gives you a detailed insight to the world of someone in hiding, and what thoughts go through people’s heads whilst at a frightening time. I really enjoyed this diary, although it is very upsetting at the end.

Banana Girl, at age 11

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

, by Roald Dahl

I love this Roald Dahl book, because all Roald Dahl books are great! But in this one, I love that it is about chocolate! I love chocolate! The description of everything is awesome! The sweets, the chocolate, the factory, and the characters. I love the characters in most books, but this one really stands out, the crazy Wonka, the subtle Charlie, the stupid ticket finders!

Mango Bubbles Boy, at age nine


, by Stephenie Meyer

I’d recommend this book to teenage girls who like romance and tense situations.

Stripey-socks, at age 13

Jurassic Park

, by Michael Crichton

This book is about an island that has some incredible animals on it. 4 people must have a tour before the park opens to the public. But after a storm brings down the security program, dinosaurs are let loose…I like it because it is not too hard to read. There is lots of action and suspense. I recommend it for older kids and upwards.

DJGJ, at age 12

The Hunger Games

, by Suzanne Collins

It tells us how the world has changed and much it could still change. It also shows that human beings are no natural independent creatures, that the we rely on team work to survive. The potential flaw in this is in the book, one gets too strong, and dominates, but still needs the weaker ones to lean on. ( For example, the Capitol relies on the districts for resources, like food, coal, metal and cloth. )If just one of these crumble then they all crumble, DUN DUN DUUUUUUUUUUUN!

Banana Girl, at age 10

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