April 20, 2018

The Advocate's Toolbox

Archives for October 2010

Ebooks: A New Generation | Series Made Simple Fall 2010

Ebooks are not new to libraries. For many years our library offered a handful of them, but they lacked many amenities offered by the current generation of ebooks; there was little “value added” over their printed companions other than off-site and multi-user access. A new generation of ebooks and readers offers advantages not previously available-the ability to vary font size and hear the book read aloud, and use hyperlinks and multimedia, for ex-ample-making the state of the art a far […]

Our Heroes: Biography | Series Made Simple Fall 2010

This season sees no shortage of celebrity biographies, but no one can accuse the publishers of frivolity. Most of these series place heavy emphasis on the necessary ingredients for basic biography report writing. And, for those seeking more serious topics, there are updates on well-known figures like Cotton Mather and John Smith and a clever look at overlooked yet fascinating princesses of the world.

Preschool – Grade 4

BRIDGES, Shirin Yim. Artemisia of Caria. map. ISBN 978-0-9845098-1-2. LC 2010903614.
————. […]

Centuries of Struggle: World History – 900 | Series Made Simple Fall 2010

World history is not necessarily a hot topic for many young readers, so when writers and publishers hit upon a riveting combination of information and presentation of such subject matter, it’s noteworthy. Some of these series find that magic mix of enlightenment and enjoyment that attracts a youthful audience. Covering from Victorian England to video games, most of these volumes are a ticket to ride on the journey through the fascinating history of humankind.

Preschool – Grade 4


Blasts from the Past: Ancient History – 900 | Series Made Simple Fall 2010

Learning about the past is vital, but there’s no reason why it can’t be fun, too, as the most appealing of this year’s selective crop of introductions to ancient and early modern cultures amply demonstrates. But several of these series prove that intriguing facts; carefully selected primary-source excerpts; insights presented in organized, easily digestible ways; and illustrations that further enable understanding can bring the past to life just as well.

Preschool – Grade 4

GUILLAIN, Charlotte. Aztec Warriors. map. ISBN 978-1-4109-3767-4; […]

Everyday People: American History – 900 | Series Made Simple Fall 2010

For far too long, students learned about the deeds of “great men,” almost all of whom were white, or about “important events,” which focused on those same men’s exploits and achievements. As women and minorities gained political and academic power in the second half of the 20th century, new scholarship emerged that explores their contributions and those of the everyday folk whose collective attitudes, beliefs, and efforts contributed much to the country and exerted a huge influence on all the […]

Fanged and Furry: Vampires and Other Myths | Series Made Simple Fall 2010

Supernatural beings have acquired a pleasantly edgy, pop-culture status. Ideas that once inspired genuine fear are now, by and large, associated more with fictional adventure, romance, and a little danger. The series here incorporate modern-day monster fantasies into the bigger picture of world folklore and documented history. These series are strewn with enough spookiness to keep fans of monsters reading for a long time to come.

Preschool – Grade 4

COLICH, Abby. Unicorns. ISBN 978-1-4109-3800-8; ISBN 978-1-4109-3807-7. LC 2009052411.
GUILLAIN, Charlotte. Dragons. […]

Being Your Best: Sports – 700 | Series Made Simple Fall 2010

Many of the sports series published this season do not break new ground, but will be useful for updating older titles or building a core collection for a new library. A number of them feature appealing design that will generate reader interest, and the two hunting series will fill a gap in communities where this activity is popular.

Preschool – Grade 4

ADAMSON, Thomas K. Deer Hunting. ISBN 978-1-4296-4807-3. LC 2009053412.
————. Bowhunting. ISBN 978-1-4296-4808-0. LC 2009053410.
————. Duck Hunting. ISBN 978-1-4296-4809-7. LC […]

Tricks and Treats: Arts & Crafts – 700 | Series Made Simple Fall 2010

Some of the standards created by the National Art Education Association (NAEA) for a visual-arts curriculum involve not only gaining knowledge and developing technical skills but also understanding art in relation to history and culture. Whether the focus is on music, magic, or cooking, the following series have objectives similar to those standards. Adults shaping lesson plans or trying to find a much-needed activity for a rainy day will find plenty here to ignite children’s creative spark.

Preschool – Grade […]

Bigger! Faster! Noisier!: Machines – 600 | Series Made Simple Fall 2010

Covering from sky cranes to the evocatively named “Titan megamanipulator,” these picture-filled portrayals offer stimulating tributes—both of the intellectual and the adrenalin-fueled sort—to the wonders of technology. Visuals take pride of place; with rare exceptions the photographs and graphic images range from merely exciting to eye-poppingly awesome, and the narrative texts play supporting roles even when adding well-chosen facts or pointing out details that shouldn’t be missed. Resource lists and other study aids usually take back seats too—not that most […]

Materials and Motion: Physical Science – 500 | Series Made Simple Fall 2010

Don’t look for extreme presentations or unusual information in this fall’s physical science line-up. A few of the series have a contemporary look but others are more dated, and they run the gamut from clear to confusing. Finding an attractive and accurate combination was this season’s challenge. There isn’t much overlap in topics and most of the series are designed for younger learners so your task will be finding what works best in your collection.

Preschool–Grade 4

BOOTHROYD, Jennifer. Attract and […]

Growth and Gross Stuff: Life Science – 500 | Series Made Simple Fall 2010

The following series address a broad range of topics while keeping a close eye on typical curriculum needs. The indexes and other back matter—particularly in the series for younger readers—are seldom better than perfunctory, but the illustrations and informational content that (with some exceptions) ranges from systematic once-overs to detailed and engaging surveys are accurately gauged to satisfy intended audiences and inform study units.

Preschool – Grade 4

BEKKERING, Annalise. Frogs. ISBN 978-1-60596-925-1; ISBN 978-1-60596-926-8. LC 2009050954.
DIEMER, Lauren. Cows. ISBN 978-1-60596-919-0; […]

Be Well: Health – 500 | Series Made Simple Fall 2010

Today’s plugged-in youth are bombarded from all angles with the latest health stories. Communicable diseases, from avian flu to HIV, make for shocking headlines; teens may try a crash diet or drugs to attain the looks of the hottest celebrities, and will almost certainly encounter peer pressure to try illicit substances. At the same time, they may ignore the studies proving that diabetes and heart disease are running rampant due to poor diet and lack of exercise, and not understand […]

Atoms to Earthquakes: General Science – 500 | Series Made Simple Fall 2010

The quality books reviewed here will do more than inform, they will inspire kids to pursue knowledge and perhaps even develop a life-long interest in science. Many hot-button topics are covered, mostly with perfect balance and a level head. Not only is this a good time to be a scientist, but it is a good time to be a kid reading a carefully selected science book.

Preschool – Grade 4

LAPPI, Megan. Fossils. map. ISBN 978-1-60596-973-2; ISBN 978-1-60596-974-9. LC 2009050237.

Killer Beasts: Dangerous Animals – 500 | Series Made Simple Fall 2010

The many big and (otherwise) realistic illustrations of toothy sharks, brightly patterned dinosaurs, and other predators in these series provide dramatic (and, on occasion, melodramatic) visual highlights aplenty for browsers averse to splatters of gore. In general the texts provide at least moderate factual nourishment for enquiring young minds.

Preschool – Grade 4

CLARK, Willow. Black Widow Spider! ISBN 978-1-60754-959-8. LC 2010004427.
————. Crocodile! ISBN 978-1-60754-956-7. LC 2010004430.
————. Gila Monster! ISBN 978-1-60754-960-4. LC 2010004428.
————. Poison Dart Frog! ISBN 978-1-60754-961-1. LC 2010004426.
————. Rattlesnake! […]

Feathers and Fur: Animals – 500 | Series Made Simple Fall 2010

This season’s crop of animal-related series offers a variety of approaches—plus the occasional gimmick, such as texts punctuated with rebuses, or cleverly Photoshopped pictures—along with consistently high production values, to make introductions to either particular wild creatures or types of habitat memorable. Designed to address curriculum needs as well as to draw the eye with colorful graphics and high-quality photographs, the series below commonly slip in mention of the importance of environmental preservation and conservation along with the basic facts […]

Earth Matters: Environment – 300 | Series Made Simple Fall 2010

Earth, our one world, is facing critical issues, and children are inundated with news of oil spills, global warming, and melting polar ice. They see their favorite celebrities going “green,” and speaking out on “making a difference.” The growing concerns about the environment have led to a wealth of books focusing on green living. While predictions for the Earth’s future remain dire, on the whole, the books in these series maintain a hopeful, empowering attitude that we can make it […]

At Your Service: Careers | Series Made Simple Fall 2010

Young people today need access to up-to-date information, as well as opportunities to explore a much broader range of careers than in the past in order to make wise choices. These series will help with decision making and feature traditional jobs, newer technical positions, and modern variations of jobs that have evolved through technological advances and because of environmental concerns. Titles include information that will help students to understand the value of work, the importance of setting goals and of […]

The Kids are Waiting | Series Made Simple Fall 2010

These days the library community is abuzz about ebooks. How they’re starting to outsell print titles on Amazon; how they will save or ruin reading, depending on whom you listen to; and, of course, who’s selling them.

In our recent online summit, “Ebooks: Libraries at the Tipping Point” (available on www.slj.com under the “Technology” drop-down menu), Warren Buckleitner of the New York Times described children’s ebooks as occupying “a messy continuum between less and more interactive,” and impressed upon the audience […]

SLJ Leadership Summit 2010: Donald Leu on Embracing New Literacies

The Internet is this generation’s defining technology for reading, but not one state in this country measures students’ ability to read search engine results or to critically evaluate information found online.

Don Leu

And this missed opportunity is where librarians can play a crucial role, says Donald Leu, director of the New Literacies Research Lab at the University of Connecticut and a guest speaker Friday afternoon in Chicago at School Library Journal‘s Leadership Summit 2010: The Future of Reading.

In his presentation, […]

New Hampshire Parent Challenges ‘The Hunger Games’

A New Hampshire parent has asked the Goffstown School Board to remove Suzanne Collins’s The Hunger Games (Scholastic, 2008) from her daughter’s class, claiming that it gave her 11-year-old nightmares and could numb other students to the effects of violence.

Although Tracy LaSalle has yet to read the bestseller herself, on September 20 she requested the removal of the book from her daughter’s seventh-grade class at Mountain View Middle School due to its violent subject matter. The book is being read […]