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Official Review: Baby Love by Latiera N. James

Please use this sub-forum to discuss any young adult books.

Official Review: Baby Love by Latiera N. James

Post Number:#1 by CataclysmicKnight
» 16 Apr 2017, 01:13

[Following is an official review of "Baby Love" by Latiera N. James.]

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2 out of 4 stars
Review by CataclysmicKnight
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I've always thought that bullying was one of the worst problems the world faces. Sure, problems like people starving or dying from the elements are worse, but think about how much hatred would disappear if no one ever bullied one another. Baby Love, a very young adult book by Latiera N. James, is a unique look into the pain of bullying. Love is an elementary school student who doesn't wear stylish clothes and is overweight. After sprinting into class and arriving just in time she's quickly mocked for how out of breath she is, and all of the students either join in or laugh. To teach her students the importance of kindness, Mrs. Trotter has all of the students publicly state one thing they like about the student next to them.

Once class is over, Love heads home, but home life isn't much better with a couple mean siblings and a mom that merely explains all of it away as people saying things they don't mean. Eventually Love has enough and explodes in anger, leading to her mom coming up with an exercise to bring the family together. This bonding helps show everyone the power of their words, especially mean ones, and things take a much better turn.

I was very surprised overall by Baby Love. Between how incredibly short the book is (12 pages!) and that there's an illustrator listed on Amazon, I'd assumed at first this was a very brief picture book. However, only the cover is illustrated, the rest is entirely text. Also, despite how short the book is, Latiera squeezed quite a bit of content into the pages. Themes of bullying (both at home and at school) and the pain of parents splitting up are both covered rather well. The exercises that Mrs. Trotter and Love's mom come up with are great ways of allowing people to connect, and by the end I was really happy to see Love doing so much better in life. Like many others, I was bullied quite a lot in school and I know the pain it causes. To see it happen to such a sweet girl like Love was really rough, even without connecting to her character beforehand.

The book could use some editing though. There are numerous paragraphs that are far too long including one that's an entire 2-3 page chapter (there are only 4 chapters in total!). There were also a couple punctuation errors and tenses changed randomly throughout the book. Finally, there were numerous times when actions are written in parenthesis if there's a conversation going on. These issues wouldn't be such a big deal if it was a longer book and wasn't written for kids, but Latiera states that the book is for kids 10-16, and it's especially important kids read books with proper grammar so they don't emulate the errors it and write incorrectly themselves.

While I enjoyed the book, it's hard to say who should read it. 12 pages is incredibly short for a book without pictures, and with it being entirely text it makes it too long to read to a child for bedtime. I can certainly agree with the suggested age range that Latiera gives (particularly the lower half) and perhaps even a little younger. Kids on the lower end of the spectrum may even feel proud that they finished a whole book on their own! It also ends with "To be continued.....", which feels odd to me - if this is going to be a series, I really feel like it should have all been included in a single book. I would have rated Baby Love 3 stars if it was perfectly edited, but in its current state I'm officially rating it 2 out of 4 stars. Parents of bullied kids, or kids who are bullies, may want to read this one with their children though and even do the exercises with their family. The book is even more highly recommended to those whose kids are without their second parent, especially if they're apart due to divorce or separation.

Baby Love
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Re: Official Review: Baby Love by Latiera N. James

Post Number:#2 by Amagine
» 16 Apr 2017, 05:06

I love how the book tackles the issue of bullying because bullying is a reality for so many children and parents. I'm disappointed at the length though. I agree the book should either be a chapter book for older ages or it should add more pictures and become a picture book for younger ages. Once other revisions are done as well, I think this book has some potential to be great.

Great Review! :D
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Re: Official Review: Baby Love by Latiera N. James

Post Number:#3 by Shreyoshi Sen
» 16 Apr 2017, 06:48

Awesome review. But to be honest, writing a long review for such a short book is really appreciable. I liked the theme and I strongly feel, it should be read by the children as well as the parents.
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Re: Official Review: Baby Love by Latiera N. James

Post Number:#4 by kandscreeley
» 16 Apr 2017, 06:50

This sounds like a good idea for a book. Unfortunately it sounds like the author was a little confused about who they were writing for. Thanks for the review.
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