Sometimes it is hard for me to respond to a book as a reviewer. Some books hook me just the same way a book would have hooked me when I was ten years old, and I am in, along for the ride, imagining myself sleeping in Anne Boleyn's bed at the Met, or confronting an evil horseman in a snowy lane in Wales.
I think that's why I do this.
And do you know how kids recommend books to each other? Have you heard them try? It's no use trying to teach them to sketch the main character and then set up the situation - they're going to either tell the entire plot in minute detail or they're going to reproduce a run of dialogue, bafflingly out of context and unintelligible due to their uncontrollable excitement.
Possibly they're going to try to relate the mood of the book to an experience they've had - my friend Rabbit, who is thirteen, does this all the time, and I love it. I can never follow his parallels: "You know how like you could be in the desert, but it's cold, except it doesn't look like it could be cold? This book is exactly like that," but I could listen to him all day.