Who are the editorial experts for Lovereading4kids?
Lovereading4kids is different from many online book sites as it offers real book recommendation with children's book experts selecting and reviewing the books. These are backed up with children’s reviews from our passionate kids reader review panel (kids from toddlers to young adults who are passionate about reading). Here at Lovereading4kids we passionately believe that our superb ‘expert voices’ are invaluable in helping parents discover the best books for their children. Find out more about them below.
Julia Eccleshare M.B.E
Julia Eccleshare has spent her working life to date within children’s books as a critic, an editor, an author and a commentator. Apart from her current role as Editorial contributor and advisor to Lovereading4kids, she is the children’s editor of the Guardian, Head of Policy and Advocacy at the Public Lending Right and most recently she has added the role of Children's Director of the Hay Festival.
She selected and wrote children's book reviews for the Good Book Guide for a number of years, she has co-edited and is the author of a number of books including the Rough Guide to Teenage Literature, the fascinating and insightful Beatrix Potter to Harry Potter: Portraits of Children’s Writers, which is a celebration of a century of children’s literature, as well as Treasure Islands: the Woman’s Hour Guide to Children’s Books. She also spent some considerable time as a children’s fiction editor in UK publishing. She has been a selector to the Children’s Books of the Year, a guide to the best books published annually, a member of the advisory board of a children’s book club and for some while was children’s books editor of The Bookseller. She regularly appears as a judge or Chair of judges on some of the major children’s book prizes including the Whitbread (now called the Costa) and the Nestle among others.
Andrea Reece has spent all her working life in children’s books. Her first job was at Transworld Publishers back in the 1980s where, amongst other things, she ran the fan club for readers of the smash hit teen series Sweet Dreams.
She went on to work for other children’s publishers, large and small, and with authors including David Almond, Nick Butterworth, Mick Inkpen and Michael Morpurgo. In 2005 she set up children’s independent Catnip Publishing Ltd., publishing Richard and Judy favourite Scaredy Squirrel in the process, and went on to run Books for Keeps, the children’s books journal.
She is very used to odd looks from people on trains and buses who see her reading children’s books, and is still as excited as ever to discover a new children’s author. Apart from being one of the Lovereading4kids editorial experts alongside Julia Eccleshare she is also director of the children’s and young people’s programme of the FT Weekend Oxford Literary Festival.
Joanne Owen’s lifelong love of reading and writing began when she was growing up in Pembrokeshire, and very much wished that witches (and Mrs Pepperpot) were real. An early passion for culture, story and folklore led Joanne to read archeology and anthropology at St John’s, Cambridge, after which she worked as a bookseller, and led the UK children’s book buying team for a major international retailer. During this time, Joanne also wrote children’s book previews and features for The Bookseller, covering everything from the value of translated fiction, to the contemporary YA market. Joanne later joined Bloomsbury’s marketing department, where she had the pleasure of working on epic Harry Potter launches at Edinburgh Castle and the Natural History Museum, and launching Neil Gaiman’s The Graveyard Book. After enjoyable spells as Marketing Director for Macmillan Children’s Books and Consumer Marketing Manager for Walker Books, Joanne went freelance, primarily working for multi-award-winning independent children’s publisher, Nosy Crow.
Alongside her publishing career, Joanne has written several books for children/young adults. She’s now a fulltime reviewer, workshop presenter and writer, working on YA novels with a strong basis in diverse folklore from around the world, as well as fiction for younger readers (in which witches are very much real).
Liz’s love of science fiction and fantasy began at a very young age when her Mum introduced her to Edward Lear and C. S. Lewis, she shook their hands and still tiptoes off to escape reality by exploring magical new worlds. The Warlord Chronicles by Bernard Cornwell opened the door to Historical Fiction and she has walked through time ever since.
Liz worked as a Police Civilian for twenty years (in order as a Comms Officer, Criminal Intelligence Analyst, Briefing Officer and Crime Reduction Advisor), she therefore counts herself as a somewhat expert armchair detective and derives much pleasure in popping the villain behind bars, even if she finds she has to release them soon after. She loves to scare herself silly with psychological thrillers and horror and swing into action and adventure tales. Liz started writing expert reviews for Lovereading in February 2014 and while she (quite literally sometimes) gobbles up books of any genre, has added the exciting new world of Young Adult fiction to her top reads.
People have been known to be extremely envious when they hear that Liz reads for a living, if she were in their shoes, she would be too!
I can still remember visiting the local library as a child. The children’s area was in a round building attached to the main library by a Short corridor. At the end of that corridor I could disappear into books and become The Naughtiest Girl in the School, Pippi Longstocking or travel up into the distant lands of The Faraway Tree. And so a passion for reading began. I now read anything from classics to science fiction and everything in between.
In 2016 I graduated with First Class Honours in English Literature with the Open University. This qualification is a culmination of my many years of reading together with further studies of literature in its many forms from classics such as Shakespeare, Chekhov, and the Bronte Sisters to the modernism of Joyce, Du Maurier, Mansfield and Virginia Woolf and on to other twentieth century greats such as Philip K. Dick, Beckett, Heaney and Pat Barker. My journey so far has opened my eyes to many wonderful stories in all manners of genre and form and I look forward to bringing this insight and experience to Lovereading and Lovereading4kids to help others on their journey of discovery.
The Good Book Guide
The Good Book Guide has, for over forty years, been one of the most valued places to get honest, expert book reviews. Sadly, in 2015 The Good Book Guide closed its doors but an agreement with Lovereading was reached to acquire its impressive back catalogue of reviews from the last decade and these have now been integrated into the website. Many well known reviewers and globally renowned authors have reviewed for The Good Book Guide over the years including Barry Forshaw, Fiona Lafferty, Antonia Fraser, Salman Rushdie, Beryl Bainbridge and Will Self to name just a few.
Lovereading and The Good Book Guide shared the same ethos - to keep readers regularly informed of the most outstanding new books across a range of genres through expert review recommendation. Here at Lovereading, we are therefore thrilled to be able to continue the Good Book Guide’s legacy through our various media channels and to continue to serve some of the passionate book readers who have been so loyal to the Good Book Guide over the years.
Fiona Lafferty, GBG’s former editor, has joined Lovereading’s Expert Review panel and said, “My association with the Good Book Guide has been a long and very happy one, so I am delighted that a home has at last been found for it at Lovereading. I know that Lovereading shares the Good Book Guide’s commitment to informing readers about the very best books available, and I am confident that, even though the Guide will not continue in printed form, that its philosophy and heritage will be upheld.”
Bing Taylor, Founding Editor of the Good Book Guide said, “I am absolutely delighted the Guide lives on under the umbrella of Lovereading. The ethos of the GBG was to provide regular, unbiased, independent guidance on books currently available and selected by knowledgeable reviewers who love reading. So what could be more appropriate than to join forces with a thriving company sharing the same ethos but adapted for the 21st century.”