Teen Book Review Submissions

Calling all teens, ages 13-18, we are offering volunteer hours for book reviews! 

Have you recently read a book you couldn't put down? Is there a book you read months ago, but you can’t stop thinking about it? How about a book that you felt could have been better, and you have been wanting to get those thoughts off of your chest? Write it up in a book review using the form below, and we will feature it on the library website and Instagram!

To ensure you are eligible for volunteer hours, please review the following guidelines: 
  • You must be between the ages of 13-18 
  • The book being reviewed must be available through the Palo Alto City Library
  • Reviews must be at least two paragraphs, and a MAX of 300 words
  • No spoilers! 
  • Be engaging and have FUN – write what you would want to read! 
  • Follow the basic template found in the article How To Write a Book Review by Joanna Cutrara 
  • If you are feeling creative, please submit an original photo of the book you are reviewing to be featured in the library's Instagram Stories


  • You may submit up to 2 book reviews per week
  • Limit to 1 book in Middle Grade series if reviewing a MG series. You can identify if a book is MG as it will be designated by call number: J FIC AUTHORS LAST NAME (example: J FIC Riordan).
  • No picture books

After you submit your review using the form below, it will be reviewed by a librarian. Please allow 7-10 business days for a confirmation email. If your review follows the guidelines listed above, it will be posted to the library website under the pacl_teens account, and will list your first name, last initial, and grade at the end of the review. 

Once the review is approved and posted, you will be eligible for 1 hour of volunteering per review.

Please contact LibraryTeens@CityofPaloAlto.org in order to validate volunteer hours through your school or service organization.

Please see the following example of an ideal book review written by a local teen: 

Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard (book 1) is the perfect blend of fantasy and dystopian. The novel follows the story of Mare Barrow, a young woman in a world divided by blood. There are commoners who are red blooded, and rulers who are silver blooded and have superpowers. Seventeen-year-old Mare is a red blood from the poverty stricken stilts. Suddenly, Mare finds herself working in the Silver palace as a servant. Despite her red blood, Mare soon discovers that she possesses a deadly power of her own. When the silver rulers find out, they hide her in plain-view, claiming that she is a long-lost Silver Princess in order to maintain power. As a Silver Princess, Mare becomes engaged and begins her training to control her powers. But Mare soon learns that this is more than a world of blood. It is a world of betrayal, of lies, and of heartache.

I wholeheartedly love this series (especially the first book) so much. I love the constant question of who is good and who is evil as well as how Mare makes it her mission to save people like herself in later books. I also love the plot twists that seem to come out of nowhere. However, book one is definitely the best book in the four-part series. The rest of the books go downhill from there, and books three and four could have easily been combined.

Overall, I would recommend this book to anyone who loves dystopian and has enjoyed The Hunger Games and Divergent. - Rachel, Grade 10

Questions? Contact LibraryTeens@CityofPaloAlto.org

Teen Book Review

Tell us about a book you read and enjoyed and we'll feature it on our website.

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Upload a photo of the book you reviewed to be used on our social media! Photo must be an original, with good lighting and an interesting background. For examples, please see our Instagram page @paloaltolibrary, particularly the Teen Reviews highlight. An excerpt of your review will be added to the photo later.
Accepted file types: jpg, gif, png, Max. file size: 10 MB.
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