The saying goes, “No one likes a critic.” A group of book reviewers in northwest Denver might be the exception to that rule.
They are appreciated. They are liked. And they are cute.
“It’s so adorable most of the time,” said Abbey Paxton, book manager at Denver’s BookBar, 04280 Tennyson St.
Paxton is talking about the monthly BookWorm meetings. The BookWorms are a group of kids who review advance reader’s copies of books that have yet to hit the shelves. They read the books, and help the BookBar buyers decide what to sell, while honing their writing skills. The reviews end up on BookBar’s website and also in short write-ups scattered throughout the store’s shelves.
“We get so many, and we’re all adults working here, so we were thinking that we need to get some kid input on this,” Paxton said. “Anytime we send reviews [to the publishers] not coming from us, but from kids themselves, it’s even better in a lot of ways because that’s the market that they’re trying to hit.”
BookWorms are split into two age groups—ages 8-10, and 11 and up.
“These are the kids that just really, really love to read, it’s what they live and breathe, so hearing what they tell each other about what they’re reading--there’s fewer great things,” Paxton said.
Maya Goldberg, 9, is one of those book lovers. The fourth grader said she loves reading books others have not had the opportunity to read.
“Children see things and read things and interpret things a lot different than adults do,” Goldberg said.
One of the older BookWorms, 14-year-old Emma Davis, said she also sees the benefits of having kids review books written for a young audience.
“It’s really important to get kids involved it the community, the book community, and it’s a good opportunity for kids to get to practice writing,” Davis said.
The social aspects are pretty fun too, 13-year-old Lillian Lemme said.
“Basically we’re all just a bunch of nerds and we laugh and have a good time,” Lemme said.
BookWorms meet the second Sunday of every month—the younger group meeting from 3:30 to 4:30, and the older group meeting from 4:30 to 5:30. For more information on BookBar and BookWorms, go to their website.