Way, way back, when I was editor of a base newspaper for an agency of the US Department of Defense, we used a reading standard for the articles.  Most of our base employees were factory workers, and it was part of my job to make sure the newspaper articles were based on a 10th grade reading level.  (Both of the previous sentences break the rules.  They are both too long.)

RobotSantaSince ROBOT SANTA is about a ten-year-old girl, I wonder if the author used any kind of reading guide while writing it.  In the US, I guess that would be roughly fourth grade.

There are some tests like this on the Internet, but Steve Cochran II probably didn’t use them.

For example, I wonder if a fourth grader knows what a GPS is?  (The initials stand for Global Positioning System.)

How about Cambodia?  Mocha-skinned?  Spiraling?

(By the way, “Bloody brilliant” is blasphemous.)

Okay, it has been 59 years since I was 10, so I don’t really know the answers to these questions – just wondering.

What I DO know is my copy had some typos and some editing mistakes.  I think I received an advance reading copy, so hopefully corrections will be made later.  Perhaps a pronoun could be used in this one paragraph:  “Around the corner waddled the brown-and-white beagle.  ‘Oh, hi there, Milo,’ Santa said.  The portly brown-and-white beagle padded his way over . . . .”  Ahem, “Beagle” should be capitalized.

Cochran writes this is the first in a possible series.  It seems all the rage today to write ten or so related books.  I guess you could say that idea goes all the way back to the Sherlock Holmes stories.  Or, maybe even to the insides of the pyramids!

It may be nuts for a 69-year-old grandfather to critique a book for ten-year old children, but I was thinking about this for some grandchildren.

They will probably love it.



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