BiblioNasium Wants to Turn Kids Into Book Reviewers

In News by Dennis Abrams

By Dennis Abrams

logo biblionasiumIt has been described as the site “Where a school library, home library and social network connect.”

BiblioNasium, the fast growing digital social network that supports and promotes the independent reading activities of young readers has announced the launch of advanced book review features. Children using the platform to catalog, track and record their reading can now add their own voice in writing independent book reviews that can be shared with their community.

BiblioNasium’s upgrade is in direct response to requests from its community of librarians, teachers and students. The new features allow children to practice writing book reviews and recommendations, while providing their educators with valuable data as well as the ability to moderate and publish the book reviews. The new open book reviews supplement the existing review and recommendation features, which were done through preselected and screened comments.

“Educators and parents write us regularly to reinforce how the social and gaming aspects of our platform are fun for kids and are encouraging and exciting children to read more,” said Founder, Marjan Ghara. “In adding the functionality of open book reviews, we are engaging children on a new level, giving them a new voice and a structure to think more creatively about what they are reading and recommending. Children also respond more eagerly to book recommendations and reviews from their friends.”

Designed for children (K-8th grade) BiblioNasium, the recent winner of EdTech Digest’s 2014 Cool Tools Awards, has over 100,000 registered users and is adding over 1,000 new users a week. Its mission is to help close the literacy gap for young children by using the power of technology, social networking, gaming and strong data collection to encourage, engage, and excite them to become regular readers.

Among the features of the platform are:

  • Virtual bookshelves where children catalogue and track what they have read and what they want to read, wish lists of books, and even record the books they own.
  • The ability to share and exchange book recommendations and book reviews with their community.
  • Access for parents and students to their Teachers/Librarians Recommended & Favorite Reading Lists
  • FTC/COPPA compliance – Safe & Secure
  • An Integrated Virtual Reward System to motivate children.
  • Digital Reading Logs/Reading Records to provide structure, discipline and reports
  • Lexile integration providing guidance and information on the reading level difficulty of over 100,000 children’s titles.
  • Tracking and monitoring students’ reading progress for online and real time reports to teachers and schools.

Adele Schwartz, Ed.D. BiblioNasium’s Chief Education Advocate said, “Our goal is to instill the habit of reading and to raise a generation of passionate readers. Many have labeled us the ‘Goodreads for kids,’ but we go beyond the social, cataloging and recommendation aspects of Goodreads. We have added reading challenges, virtual rewards, online reading love, integration with Lexile to help select books at the right reading level, and also provide invaluable data and reports to educators and parents to support the children’s reading. And it is all done in a safe and private digital space.”

Founder and CEO Marjan Ghara added, “Our mission is to encourage, excite and engage this generation of digital natives to become regular passionate readers. WE do that by reaching out to children in multiple ways. We provide the support of a community they know, a steady supply of book recommendations from friends, educators and parents, virtual and real rewards for completing reading challenges, and now access to book reviews written by kids for kids.”

“We want to give children a voice in expressing their thoughts about the stories and characters they read about.”

Find out more about the people behind BiblioNasium here.

Check out their website here.

And ehcek out what award-winning Edublogger Erin Klein said about BiblioNasium here.

About the Author

Dennis Abrams

Dennis Abrams is a contributing editor for Publishing Perspectives, responsible for news, children's publishing and media. He's also a restaurant critic, literary blogger, and the author of "The Play's The Thing," a complete YA guide to the plays of William Shakespeare published by Pentian, as well as more than 30 YA biographies and histories for Chelsea House publishers.