Our Rating Scale (and Searching Tips)

Searching for good books, even in dedicated book lists, is laborious. That’s why I’m here . . . to guide you to books without the arduous combing involved in most indexes.

 

      Searching Tips

Let’s suppose you’re looking for books set around 70 AD involving Romans in everyday life. You know that if you go to your local library’s catalogue, you’ll have to type in something about “Romans 70 AD”. Then some vaguely categorized books will come up, and you may or may not find what you’re looking for—and even if you do, you’ll probably spend half an hour learning how the catalogue works in the first place, and you still won’t know when you’re done if the books will even be what you want.

On Learning Resource Directory, the looking is already done for you. All you have to do is type in a search query, narrow it down by category, and click on the covers that appeal to you. Or, you can simply click on a category that appeals to you and go with that. (HINT: if you want to look at multiple books at once, hold down “Ctrl” while you click on the cover, and it will open in a new tab.) No sifting, no sorting, all you have to do is click on the cover and read about the book—much more than a short synopsis. Everything you need to know about the book is there, ready for you to read in your time. It might take as long as a library catalogue, but when you’re done you’ll know that the books you get are the books you can use.

 

     Warnings and Rating Scale

I believe one of the—if not the most important feature of this website are the warnings with each review. Besides giving you a feel for what the book will contain (in the main review), I aim to give you an idea of the things you’ll be facing in a particular work, that you may or may not be comfortable with. Whenever I write the reviews and warnings, I always imagine myself as one of your close friends, recommending one of my favorite books to you over a cup of coffee—or tea, your preference. Just as your friends have a duty to tell you about the things they notice that you might want to watch out for, so I try to step in and be that friend. So here, in no particular order, are the things I try to remember to mention:

  • Language. Any unnecessary language (for a definition, see Matthew 12:36) that could be done without. For example, the words d–n, h–k, etc.
  • Lying.
  • Bad Attitudes/Behavior. Especially from children. If it’s very blatant, I try to mention it. (For example, when Suzie is talking about her parents in a very disrespectful way.)
  • Dying/Killing. Whenever it mentions someone killed someone else, or when someone dies especially if it’s graphic. If it’s just an old man dying quietly, I may not mention it, but I definitely will if it’s graphic.
  • Violence/Fighting. Any form, whether bullying or something more.
  • Romance. I will do my best to mention romance of any form. But for clarity’s sake, here is my definition of “clean romance” (the kind I personally am okay with): No kissing or hugging, possibly holding hands depending on the situation, definitely no bedroom-related scenes, and if there are only slight mentions to feelings/related things like that, I’m able to get along with it. Anything more than that (such as dialogue) and I will definitely warn about it.
  • Rape/Related Subjects. Anything related is a big no-no in my opinion, and I will definitely warn about it. I also warn about anything relating to descriptions of someone’s body, as well.
  • Intense Scenes. Especially in books written for younger readers/listeners (most of the time, it’s nothing more than a fight or something similar). These would only be a problem for very sensitive children, but I do try to note it down.
  • Superstition/Spiritual Things. No matter how big or small, I try to mention it. Omens, future foretelling, charms—anything related will be noted if at all possible.
  • Drugs/Smoking/Drinking. Or related things. I try to remember to mention anything like that.
This may not be a complete list, but hopefully you can get a feel for what levels I critique a book at. I try to catch everything, but we all have different levels of what’s okay and what isn’t, and you may be stricter than I am. I hope you’ll be able to understand the books better with what I have found, at least. And please remember—for most books I review, there are only hints. So while it may look like a lot in any particular warning, most books are not chock-full of problems, and most mentions I make can either be skipped (in reading aloud), or changed. Or, it can be a wonderful place to start a discussion on a particular subject.

Have fun searching and learning! And if you have any questions, do not hesitate to contact me. I’ll reply as soon as I can.