I met Glenn Haggerty several years ago when I became active in an online critique group run by ACFW (American Christian Fiction Writers). We exchanged stories for critique, and I recognized his talent for writing, especially for middle grade students, the age group I was writing for. Since then, Glenn has developed a website where he reviews books published in the Christian market for tweens and teens. With Christmas soon upon us, I thought you might appreciate this resource if books are on your list of gift-giving ideas.
But first, let’s talk with Glenn.
Tell us about your website.
Christian Books for Tweens and Teens (CBTT) helps kids and parents find Great Christian fiction. It’s got an easy-to-use search engine to find books based upon reading age, type of fiction you like, author, and other factors. There are currently 54 reviews representing nearly 300 books in their series. Each book is clearly rated using the typical one to five stars.
When you review a book, you pay attention to three aspects—spirituality, violence and romance. Explain your ratings for those categories.
Even in Christian fiction, many people want an idea of a particular book’s level of spirituality, violence and romance. To keep it simple, I assign 3 possible levels for each category. For example for spirituality I assign either:
Basic = A Christian worldview is assumed (even in a fantasy world, example Lord of the Rings) but God and the Bible are not specifically mentioned and there is no evangelical imperative (the idea that people need to be converted).
Moderate = God and/or the Bible and/or Christianity/principles are specifically mentioned. Characters in relationship or needing relationship to God are favorably included.
High = God and/or the Bible and/or Christianity are specifically mentioned (including in allegory form example, Chronicles of Narnia). Christians in relationship to God are presented favorably and the evangelical imperative is explicit or implied.
Ratings for Violence are: Minor, Some, or Moderate.
And Ratings for Romance are: None, Some, or Dating.
Each of these values are defined on the website, and readers can also search for books based upon these preferences.
How often do you post new reviews?
Two to four reviews are added each month, so usually twice monthly—don’t want to overly clutter your email inbox
What motivates you to write and promote books for tweens and teens?
I want to encourage kids to read the great Christian fiction available which gives hope that they too can not only make it, but thrive through this difficult period of life.
How can readers make the best use of your website?
Use the search engine, play around with it and see which books come up in various combinations of age, author, genre (type of fiction) etc to find a book you want for yourself, or someone else. In addition, if readers sign up for the newsletter, they will receive 2-4 new reviews per month.
Each review also has a “Leave a Comment” User Rating at the bottom, If they’ve read a book and like it, or not, leaving a rating will help other readers find the books they want. 🙂
Be sure to check out Glenn’s site. You might even find something that interests you, as well!