Book (Resource) Reviews

If you are reading an important book, following a helpful blog, or listening to podcasts you believe other JACL readers should know about, please submit a review of these for JACL to consider for publication. You can share your discoveries in one of three formats:

Review essays: This longer review allows deeper analysis of larger book or more complex or controversial material. It can be an essay even comparing two books on the same topic or a series of material related to an important leadership topic drawn from a combination of material (books, articles, podcasts, blogs, research websites, etc‚Ķ) Review essays are usually 1000-2000 words long.  

Book reviews: These reviews are more like traditional book review that carefully introduces the reader to the purpose of the book, the author‚Äôs development of the theme, the different parts, evaluating the main ideas, noticing special features, and ending with a recommendation how the book could be used or benefit Christian leaders. 250-900 words. 

Brief notes: A short note about a book or blog or podcast that you found useful that you believe other JACL readers should be aware of. 100-200 words

Select recent books (less than three years old) so that reviews are of fairly new material.   

In what kinds of books or material are we interested? In short, any appropriate book or substantive resource that might be of interest to Christian leaders. It may be published by a religious or secular publisher and treat a religious or nonreligious topic. It does not necessarily have to address a spiritual agenda to be useful to our readers. However, it should be based on substantial scholarship, experience, research or data.

If you are interested in reviewing books or related material for the journal, contact the Book Review Editor, Duane Covrig,

As you prepare the review please keep these guidelines in mind:

  • Give a full APA 7th¬†Edition reference for the book or resource.
    • Book Title, Author/Editor Name, Publisher, Year of Publication, ISBN: 000-0-00-000000-0, Number of Pages, Price.
      • Example: Leadership in organizations. By Yukl, G. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall, 2008* (7th ed.). ISBN: 978-0-13-242431-8, xix, 628 pp., hardback [or paper], $144.00. Reviewed by Henry Goodson. (*Note: Please be careful to give the publication date indicated by the Library of Congress rather than the author‚Äôs copyright date.)
  • A book review should start with an objective review of its content followed by a a balanced critique of the book, based on evidence and examples and not on subjective likes or dislikes of the reviewer. Providing the strengths and weaknesses of the book lets readers determine if they want to follow up by securing the resource.
  • Reviewers should also indicate the intended audience for the book and why Christian leaders would find it useful. Other aspects that may be part of a review are:
    • The main ideas and objectives of the book
    • How well these objectives have been accomplished
    • The context of thought or events that prompted the book
    • The author‚Äôs expertise and position
    • The soundness of methods and information sources used
    • The style of the author
    • How the book relates to the larger field of leadership or a specific leadership issue (give references of authors indicated)
    • Value of a reprinting/new edition
  • Details of a series the book is a part of or of the conference to which the book is related,
  • When referring to a particular page in the book indicate the page number in parenthesis, (p. 51). If the book is a collection of articles or papers written by different authors, do not get lost in detailing each author and chapter. Instead evaluate the main themes of the book and the unifying or diverging perspectives present.
  • Double space your writing, using Times New Romans, 12 point font, and a 1-inch margin all around the page. Use italics instead of bold or underline, especially in bibliographic references. Electronic submission in Word format is preferred. Following the book review, please include a brief biographical note that indicates your full name, title, position, institution, organization, or school (with location) where you are serving, and any information about previous experience and/or nationality if pertinent to the review. Please include this reference even if you are a frequent reviewer writing for the journal.

You will receive an electronic copy of the issue in which your review is published. Thank you for your contribution.

Duane Covrig, Book Review Editor