Graduate Research Papers


Open Access Graduate Research Paper


Because media specialists cannot possibly read all of the high interest-low reading level (high-low) titles considered for purchase, the use of book reviews to guide choices is practical. Media specialists need book reviews which give specific information about the strengths and weaknesses of books being considered for purchase. Thus the problem statements emerged for this research paper. What information was given in reviews of high-low books that revealed their strengths and weaknesses? Did reviews identify the characteristics of a high-low book which were desirable for reluctant or disabled readers? Do reviews found in two reputable review sources, Booklist and SLJ/School Library Journal (SLJ), reveal these characteristics?

Content analysis was used in the examination of book reviews to determine the presence or absence of characteristics desirable for high-low materials. Using these characteristics, a checklist of criteria was prepared for the analysis. A book review analysis form was completed for each of thirty-seven pairs of reviews showing the presence, implication, or absence of the established criteria. Using a weighted scale, composite scores for each of the three parts of the book review analysis form, physical characteristics, reading level, and style and approach, were determined for each review analyzed.

On the basis of the data results, it may be inferred that the reviews of high-low books found in the two most popular review sources·, Booklist and SLJ, are not providing enough information about the presence or absence of desirable characteristics of these books. The results of this study seem to indicate that media specialists may need to look beyond the traditional, general selection tools for guidance when purchasing high-low books.

Year of Submission


Degree Name

Master of Arts


Department of Library Science

First Advisor

Elizabeth Martin


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Date Original


Object Description

1 PDF file (iii, 88 pages)