What does a third grader think about YA books?

We all know YA books are awesome. We also know that many adults view them to be pointless. But what do children think of YA books?

I asked my little brother, who’s currently a third grader, to listen to the synopsis of four popular YA books and tell me 1) what he understood the book to be about and 2) if it sounds like a good book to read. His responses and mentality were actually quite interesting…

Sara: You ready? I’m going to read the synopsis of a popular YA book. A YA book is a book for people my age.

JD: You’re a young adult? Whaaaat?

Sara: Yes… I’m a teenager… Young adult means teenager.

JD: Hmm, I didn’t know that…

Sara: Now you know. So, I’m going to read you a summary and you tell me 1) what you understood the book is about and 2) if you think it would be a good book to read or not. Got it?

JD: Yes, ma’am.

Sara: The first one is Cinder.

Cinder, a gifted mechanic, is a cyborg. She’s a second-class citizen, along with androids, with a mysterious past, reviled by her stepmother and blamed for her stepsister’s illness. But when her life becomes intertwined with the handsome Prince Kai’s, she suddenly finds herself at the center of an intergalactic struggle, and a forbidden attraction.

What was that about?

JD: Eh… it’s about androids.

Sara: That’s all you got from it?

JD: …and that there is a mechanic that’s a cyborg… that’s all.

Sara: Okay… do you think it’s a good book or a bad book?

JD: A good book because it sounds cool. Androids and cyborgs are cool.

Sara: So what if I told you that there’s romance in the book?

JD: It’d still be cool but I wouldn’t read the romance parts because yuck.

Sara: Next is The Hunger Games.

The creation of an annual televised event known as the Hunger Games. In punishment, and as a reminder of the power and grace of the Capitol, each district must yield one boy and one girl between the ages of 12 and 18 through a lottery system to participate in the games. The ‘tributes’ are chosen during the annual Reaping and are forced to fight to the death, leaving only one survivor to claim victory.

JD: It’s about the Hunger Games!!! I watched the movies with you, remember? It’s about death; one survives and one doesn’t.. maybe… I don’t know… It’s a good book but I wouldn’t read it because it’s kind of scary.

Sara: Understandable. Are you going to watch the last movie with me?

JD: Yes, of course!

Sara: Up next is a very emotional book. The Fault in Our Stars.

Hazel and Augustus are two teenagers who share an acerbic wit, a disdain for the conventional, and a love that sweeps them on a journey. Their relationship is all the more miraculous, given that Hazel’s other constant companion is an oxygen tank, Gus jokes about his prosthetic leg, and they meet and fall in love at a cancer support group.

JD: Um… it’s about two sick people who love each other.

Sara: What do you think is going to happen to them?

JD: Their cancer might get worse and it’ll be painful. It’ll be the end of the world for them.

Sara: How?

JD: By dying! The end.

Sara: Oh gosh, you hit home. So, do you think it’ll be a good book to read?

JD: Hmm, kind of. I’ll give it a 5 out of 10 because it’s romance and I don’t like romance… and that’s sad romance.

Sara: Ok, this book is the first of a classic series. Bad Beginning. Ready?

It tells an unhappy tale about three very unlucky children. Even though they are charming and clever, the Baudelaire siblings lead lives filled with misery and woe. From the very first page of this book when the children are at the beach and receive terrible news, continuing on through the entire story, disaster lurks at their heels. One might say they are magnets for misfortune.

JD: Umm… it’s about three clever siblings who meet a villain and are very unhappy.

Sara: So? What do you think?

JD: I’d rate it 1 out of 10 because I didn’t understand the summary so I wouldn’t understand the book.

Sara: Oh, brother.

Sara: Last but not least, The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe.

When Peter, Susan, Edmund and Lucy took their first steps into the world behind the magic wardrobe, little do they realise what adventures are about to unfold. And as the story of Narnia begins to unfold.

JD: It’s about three kids in a world in a wardrobe and… that’s all.

Sara: What do you think is going to happen to them?

JD: They will never get out. I rate it an 8 out of 10 because it sounds cool. Four children just travel through a wardrobe, that’s so cool.

Sara: Out of all the books we’ve talked about, which one would you like to be a part of?

JD: The one about the wardrobe because I want to travel to another world with lions.

Sara: I agree. Thank you for your input. You’re awesome, bro.

JD: No problem!

So there you have it, folks. The third grader had no idea what was going on half the time. But you gotta admit, the head of an 8 year old is pretty interesting.


Do you have any siblings? Do they read YA?

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About Sara

I’m Sara, a Colombian teenager with a never-ending enjoyment for reading. I’m a Netflix and Disney enthusiast and my monumental obsession is coffee.

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53 thoughts on “A Third Grader Attempts to *Review* YA Books

  1. “It’d still be cool but I wouldn’t read the romance parts because yuck.” YOUR LITTLE BROTHER IS ADORABLE!
    “I’d rate it 1 out of 10 because I didn’t understand the summary so I wouldn’t understand the book.” Seriously, can I take him home? We seem to share the same sentiments. xD

    Thanks for the awesome post, lovely! I have an 11 year old brother, and if I asked him this stuff I’m sure his answer would be, “I don’t know,” like, 90% of the time. xD I’d totally like to experiment this on him, though!


  2. This is so funny! I have a 7 year old sister who’s hilarious. I don’t know what she’d think of my books. She loves calvin and hobbes though, even though the jokes make way more sense when you’re older. I also have a 13 year old brother who’s recovering from romance aversion… I really like the idea and the writing in this post!


    1. The jokes definitely make much more sense when you’re older. Oh, the romance aversion stage… I remember going through that. Try it out, you’ll have tons of fun!


  3. Your little brother is the best! He hit the nail on quite a few of those :) glad you did that post! It was awesome!
    I don’t have any young siblings or other relatives :/ otherwise I’d totally do a similar post.


      1. Thank you! He was really happy to do it since he didn’t even know I posted at a blog. Now he won’t stop bugging me because he wants to make his own Minecraft blog x)


  4. This is such a fun and adorable post. Your little brother really hit the nail on the head with The Fault in Our Stars. His aversion to romance is hilarious. :)


  5. This is a really great idea! I wish I had a sibling who was a lot younger than me so I could do this post. He sounds adorable, and I agree with the comments above that I’ll take him home, too :)
    Aubrey Joy


  6. Your brother is so cute! And I love all his comments. Romance yuck. 😂 I have three siblings, actually, and they’re all younger than me. The youngest one is probably around your brother’s age and he says similar things. They don’t read books, sadly. Great post!


  7. I was GONNA say your brother is adorable but then he rated Bad Beginning 1 and just NO NO NO NO. *stamps foot* Forbid him cake for a week. But on a more serious note, this was a glorious look at how kids see YA! (Kids … I sound like a seventy year old granny.) I don’t have any siblings myself, so I wouldn’t know :P


    1. Hahaha, I LOVE BAD BEGINNING, but I’ll admit, the wording is tricky, mainly to a kid who doesn’t like to read x) I’ll definitely forbid him cake… but for a YEAR. Thank you! You are prob a granny haha


    1. He hit the bullseye with most answers. And yeah, it’s tough and less adequate for a third grader. Besides, my brother is a math geek, definitely not a book nerd.


  8. Heh, my sister is way past the “young adult” stage in life, but she loves the book I recommend to her. There are times when she doesn’t like my recommendations (Anna Dressed in Blood and Midwinterblood for example) but I do have to really push for her to read it. I also have my mother, who is in the middle of a reading kick, I have to look really hard for books for her to read. Sadly, nothing gltb, but she does love reading a lot of the horror novels I send over.

    Also, i think it is interesting that your brother would see The Hunger Games as a movie, but wouldn’t read the book because it sounded scary. I would really love for this logic to be explored.


    1. I also have to push my other siblings to read!! They hate it. But I find it admirable that you’re encouraging them too :)

      He thinks the book would be much more descriptive and he doesn’t like reading so he’d rather go through the torture of watching the movie than reading the book.


  9. I LOVE this!! Your brother is too funny! He’s pretty spot on about most of them too bwahha. I do have a sibling, a younger brother also. But he’s 29 and works on the railroad, and I don’t think he goes home and reads much YA :D FABULOUS post, so fun! Tell your brother he did an awesome joB!


  10. Your little brother is so adorable! Can I squeeze him? Pretty please?

    Anyway, you’re right. The things he says are too entertaining and spot on. I kinda want to live in his mind. He’s so innocent, it’s so cute. I wish my own brothers like to read as much as I do.

    Also, “It’d still be cool but I wouldn’t read the romance parts because yuck.”, “A good book because it sounds cool. Androids and cyborgs are cool.”, and, “They will never get out. I rate it an 8 out of 10 because it sounds cool. Four children just travel through a wardrobe, that’s so cool.”

    Kids. Everything robots and fierce lions is cool to them. Romance is a no-no because YUCK!


    1. You are welcome to squeeze him any time!

      Haha, yeah. He actually has a strict policy that no one should be in a relationship until they turn 18. Although he doesn’t like to read, he’s very supportive of me reading.

      Haha, EXACTLY! But in their defense, robots and fierce lions ARE cool. x)

      Liked by 1 person

  11. THIS IS THE CUTEST POST THAT I HAVE EVER REAAAAD. *squishes your brother*

    HAHAH I definitely love how he categorizes every romance as YUCK. So cute. Remember those moments when romance seemed like a disease to us too? HEHE. Ah, yes, my brother would definitely love Cinder because of the ROBOTS.


  12. Awwww this post is super cute! I love your brother’s insight into what the book is about, he pretty much nailed all of them on the head! Yay for the Lion Witch and the Wardrobe, maybe you can introduce him to reading through that? ;)


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