PROFESSIONAL READING

Create Your School Library Writing Center: Grades K-6

165p. bibliog. index. Libraries Unlimited/Teacher Ideas. Oct. 2017. Tr $45. ISBN 9781440835254.
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Horan follows up Create Your School Library Writing Center: Grades 7–12 with a guide geared toward creating a dedicated writing space in elementary school libraries. The author skimps on the specifics, explaining that "every situation in every school is different." Consequently, the concept becomes somewhat muddy as he presents a series of writing assignments, anchored in Common Core writing standards, accompanied by rudimentary worksheets. The assignments build on one another and cover a variety of disciplines. In sections devoted to the intermediate grades especially, the activities often overlap with research skills, and for fifth and sixth graders, Horan provides particularly detailed outlines for several different types of essays. It's unclear how much time educators will need to complete the projects, although the author advises working with a classroom teacher and encourages the use of technology (notably Story Maker, Story Bird, and Google Drive). Horan is eager to empower students to become stronger writers. His own prose, however, leaves something to be desired. The text is rife with parenthetical remarks and the tone overly conversational—at times almost sentimental. The writing is oddly self-congratulatory, with frequent affirmations that both librarians and kids "will love" the suggested activities.
VERDICT Not a first purchase, but perhaps useful for librarians looking to better familiarize themselves with Common Core writing standards. It may also be helpful to librarians or classroom teachers seeking to collaborate or expand on writing/research projects.

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