November 21, 2017

The Advocate's Toolbox

New Angles on Nonfiction | Editorial Series Made Simple

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Mahnaz Dar

As SLJ’s new nonfiction reviews editor, I see a diverse range of informational books for children and teens. From picture book biographies to weighty scientific tomes, it all crosses my desk at some point. Diving into the wild and winsome world of Series Made Simple, however, reinforced how varied the subjects are even as it illustrated just how intriguing the presentations can be.

These books take new approaches to familiar and beloved topics. Jennifer Prince’s “History Comes Alive” and Mary Mueller’s “History Everywhere” explore titles that make creative use of primary sources. Capstone’s “Captured World History” has me dazzled because of its original and thought-provoking way of using iconic images as a springboard to explore historical events. Paula Willey’s “From Beadmaking to Beekeeping”  will bolster any collection’s well-worn crafts section with novel ideas for fun and frugal DIY projects—composting and raising chickens, anyone?

Spicing up the same old subjects can be hard, but these series make for some great new options—your readers will be informed, entertained, and, perhaps best of all, intrigued. Read on!


Mahnaz Dar (,
Editor of Series Made Simple
Associate Editor for School Library Journal
Twitter @DibblyFresh.

This article was published in School Library Journal's April 2014 issue. Subscribe today and save up to 35% off the regular subscription rate.

Mahnaz Dar About Mahnaz Dar

Mahnaz Dar ( is Assistant Managing Editor for Library Journal and School Library Journal and can be found on Twitter @DibblyFresh.

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