Starred Reviews

The Starred Reviews spreadsheet collates the stars from six different journals: Booklist, the Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books, Horn Book, Kirkus, School Library Journal, and Publishers Weekly. I started this spreadsheet in 2011 and continue to update it monthly.

For each year, there is a page with the starred titles listed and a page listing the journal issues for the year. After I enter the stars from a journal issue, I highlight the cell for that issue in blue on the journal page.  I don’t always have the chance to update the spreadsheets right away at the beginning of the month so if you think a star is missing, please check to make sure I’ve already covered the journal where it appears.

On the title pages the different colors indicate how many stars a title has because that helps me to visually sort titles. Here’s the key:

  • 6 stars=Orange
  • 5 stars=Purple
  • 4 stars=Green
  • 3 stars=Blue
  • 2 stars=Peach
  • 1 star=no fill

In the top row to the far right is the count of how many 3, 4, 5, and 6 star books there are for the year. Beginning with 2016 I’ve also noted the quantity of 1 and 2 star books. For each title that receives a star, I note the following: Journal, Issue Date, Title, Author, Illustrator, Age, Format, and Genre. Starting in 2015 based on reader suggestions, I added columns with Release Date and Number of Stars. Starting in 2016, I added columns for Publisher and Imprint, but since my knowledge of the complex, ever-changing, ever-merging publishing world is most definitely imperfect I’m still working on recording this in a consistent manner. The first four categories are pretty basic, but here’s a few notes on the other columns:

  • Illustrator: If this cell is blank it means that either there is no illustrator or the author is the illustrator.
  • Publisher and Imprint: I added these two columns because I became interested in how small presses fared against some of the larger companies, but it can be very tricky to figure out which bits are owned by which others and the biggest companies can have several layers. Every year I learn a little bit more and get these sorted slightly better.
  • Age: Taken from the review – you’ll notice that journals often do not agree on the age range for titles.
  • Format: I choose what goes in this column depending on what makes sense to me, but sometimes it’s a toss-up. Is that a longer picture book that has non-fiction content or is it non-fiction? I take my best guess.
  • Genre: Some of the journals will designate a genre on their reviews. Others don’t. If I think I know the genre, I’ll list it here. Sometimes I leave this blank if it doesn’t seem obvious or if it’s something that hits several genres and I’m not sure which is dominant. This is the most subjective column.
  • Release Date: Again – some of the journals contain the precise date (thanks Kirkus and PW!), others just contain a month, others a year. If all I have is the year I don’t put anything. Sometimes when I’m not too busy (so….not very often), I’ll go back and look up release dates in Ingram.
  • Number of Stars: Makes it easier to sort the spreadsheet.

You’ll occasionally see other data to the right of these columns depending on what I was interested in each year.

You’re welcome to use the data on this spreadsheet for personal projects or collection development. The spreadsheet is set to view only, but if you would like to add your own additional data or manipulate it you can create a copy and edit that. Please attribute me as the source of your data if you use it for school projects or anything you publish online or in print. Happy reading!