Troy students review newly released books for new online program

Biblionasium extended the information to Plainfield teacher Beth Kowalczyk

Biblionasium, which describes itself as “the largest social book club for kids” and a “safe alternative to Goodreads for kids,” invited a select group of Troy students to submit book reviews to its platform.

According to a news release from Troy Community Consolidated School District 30-C, Biblionasium reached out to Beth Kowalczyk, who teaches English language arts at William B. Orenic Intermediate School in Plainfield. Biblionasium wanted to invite Kowalczyk’s class to participate in a new kids’ online book review program the platform is rolling out this year.

Biblionasium sends new books or not-yet-released books to the class. Students volunteer to read and review them, with a focus on these points: their favorite characters, how the books made them feel and which readers might enjoy them.

Since the students already use the site – Kowalczyk’s students already have read and logged more than 1,000 books this school year – Kowalczyk said in the release that this expanded program intrigued her and the students.

Here are a few of the books Kowalczyk’s students have read and reviewed through the new program.

Mayah Tyler read the book “Kid Innovators: True Tales of Childhood from Inventors and Trailblazers” by Robin Stevenson and Allison Steinfeld. Mayah said the book was “beautifully written” and that she “learned a lot” about Elon Musk, Alan Turing, Steve Jobs, the Wright brothers, Jonas Salk and Jacques Cousteau. But her favorite innovator, she said, was Madam C.J. Walker, the African American entrepreneur and first female self-made millionaire in the U.S.

Lucas Houlihan read “96 Miles” by J.L. Esplin, a book about two young brothers who, in order to find help after a massive blackout, walked 96 miles in the desert. The friends who rescued them impacted Lucas the most. He particular liked a character named Noah because “he was always making the big decisions.”

“He refused to drink so he could save water for the others,” Lucas said in the news release.

For information, visit biblionasium.com.


Denise M. Baran-Unland

Denise M. Baran-Unland is the features editor for The Herald-News in Joliet. She covers a variety of human interest stories. She also writes the long-time weekly tribute feature “An Extraordinary Life about local people who have died. She studied journalism at the College of St. Francis in Joliet, now the University of St. Francis.