Review Guidelines


Thank you for agreeing to review a book for Africa Access Review.

Please notify us when you receive the book.

Your review is due one month after you receive the book. If you cannot meet this deadline, identity the date that is best for you.

Sample reviews are online at Africa Access Review.

The Fiction Organizer and Subject Organizer are often useful when analyzing titles.

Your review should be a summary of the information you glean from your analysis of the book. Please limit your discussion of the book’s contents or plot. Write concisely (300 – 1000 words).

Completed reviews in Microsoft Word format (pasted in the email and sent as an attachment) should be e-mailed to

Reviews are read by librarians, publishers, educators, authors, and the general public. It is a good idea to begin and end your review with sentences that indicate your overall assessment of the work. Some people skim the opening and closing sentences of a review, looking for information that indicates whether they should purchase the title for their collections.

Keep these points in mind when writing your review

  1. Very briefly summarize the contents.
  2. Focus most of your attention on themes/topics, strengths and weaknesses. When discussing weaknesses try to suggest ways the text could be improved.
  3. Be concise (300 – 1000 words).
  4. Be courteous and professional.
  5. If possible, compare the book to related titles.
  6. Describe the author – previous books written, their academic background or other credentials.
  7. Use stars to rate the book.


★★★★★ (5 stars): Highly Recommended — excellent title, accurate, balanced, outstanding scholarship.
★★★★ (4 stars): Recommended — very good title, accurate, balanced, no significant problems.
★★★ (3 stars): Recommended — good title, largely accurate but some caveats.
★★ (2 stars): Advisory — significant problems, should be used with caution.
★ (1 star): Marginal/Not Recommended — mediocre title, contributes little understanding or insight.