May 26, 2018

The Advocate's Toolbox

Series Made Simple

Welcome to School Library Journal’s Series Made Simple. Published in April and November, it features articles comparing that season’s series nonfiction, subject by subject. SLJ’s reviewers examine each set for currency, relevance, comprehensiveness, accuracy, adherence to education standards, and, of course, appeal, and provide a comparison among the series as well as a “bottom line” on which to buy. We hope that Series Made Simple will make your life easier. Please share your thoughts and suggestions with us.


Simple? Said Who (editorial); Budding Minds: Early Learning; Informing the Future: Social Science; A Patchwork of Professions: Careers & Skills; The Power of Language: Spanish Language; Assassin Bugs to Zebras: Animals; Guiding Through Inspiration: Biography; Algorithms to Yellowstone: General Science; Future Earth: Life Science; Wave of the Future: Arts & Activities; There’s No “I” in “Team”: Sports; It’s a STEM World: U.S. & World History


FALL 2017
Steps in the Right Direction (editorial); Proof Positive: Mythology; Little Hands, Big Brains: Early Learning; Being a Person Is Hard Sometimes: Social Science; Technology Forward: Careers & Skills; Animals, and Famous Figures en español: Spanish Language; Kittens and Deathstalker Scorpions: Animals; The Lives of Others: Biography; Leaping and Learning: General Science; Illuminate and Inform: Life Science; Hands-On Literacy: Arts & Activities; We Are the Champions: Sports; Conflicts and Beloved Institutions: U.S. History; Many Roads: World History; Follow Me: Geography

Fostering Sustainability (editorial); Whistling in the Graveyard: Mythology171; Connecting with One Another: Social Science; Future Problem-Solvers: Careers & Skills; Helpers and Hunters: Animals; Classing and Trending: Biography; Technology, Pure and Simple: General Science; Natural Wonders: Life Science; Make It!: Arts & Activities; The Name of the Game: Sports; Piecing Together Our Past: U.S. History; Visions, Past and Present: World History; All Work—and Play!: Geography

FALL 2016
Young People First (editorial); The Limits of Nonfiction (The Last Word); Eye of Hansel and Toe of Bigfoot: Mythology; Global Citizens: Social Science; Apply Today!: Careers & Skills; Orders, Species, and Breeds: Animals; Creatures Large and Small, Far and Near: Animals; Fascinating Past (and Present) Lives: Biography; Science Is Everywhere: General Science; Innovation on the Move: Science & Technology; Wide, Wide World: Life Science; Learn by Doing: Arts & Activities; Game On!: Sports; Presidents, Outlaws, and Icons: U.S. History; Ever-Changing Forces: World History; It’s a Big Place: Geography

The Whole Story (editorial); Helping and Healing: Social Science; Calling All Heroes!: Careers & Skills; Bug Burgers to Black Holes: General Science; All Natural: Life Science; Into the Wild: Animals; Creatures Near and Far: Animals; Make Me!: Arts & Activities; For the Win: Sports; Ever-Changing History: World History; Our Land U.S.: History; Drop-in Visits: Geography; Their Lives Are an Open Book: Biographies

FALL 2015
Any Questions? (editorial); The Whole Truth (The Last Word); From Dracula to the Tooth Fairy: Mythology; Making Sense of the World: Social Sciences; Meaningful Pursuits: Careers & Skills; Hunters, Helpers, Engineers, & Invaders: Animals; A Bevy of Pet Choices & More: Animals; Lifestyles of the Classic & Contemporary: Biography; Think Like a Scientist: General Science; Pumpkins, Pyramids, & Pixels: Science and Technology; Devastation, Disaster, & Hope: Life Science; It’s Not a Hobby, It’s a Postapocalyptic Life Skill: Arts & Activities; Catching on to Culture: Arts, Language, & Media; Athletic Pursuits, New & Old: Sports; A Different Perspective: U.S. History; Going Beneath the Surface: World History; A Good Look Around: Geography

Keeping Current (editorial); Unlocking History Q & A with Lorenzo Pace (Q&A); Legends Meet History & Science: Mythology; Navigating the World Through Books: Social Science; Rich with Possibilities: Careers & Skills; Past, Present, & Future: General Science; Pollution, Pollination, Plague: Science & Natural History; A Fresh Look at the Familiar: Animals; From Hunters to Helpers, from Amazing to Endangered: Animals; Game On: Sports; Make Some Art—or Make Some Lunch: Arts & Activities; Truth & Beauty: Arts & Media; America the Beautiful: U.S. History; Origins: World History; Seeing the World: Geography; Timely Titles: Biographies

FALL 2014
Outside Our Comfort Zones (editorial); Presenting the Past: The authors of Capstone’s noteworthy “Captured History” series share their insights (Q&A); We Need Diverse Series: Nonfiction Librarians, authors, and publishers weigh in on the inclusivity issue; Symbols & Sites, Monuments & Movements: U.S. History; Perfect Pets & More: Domestic Animals; Trash Eaters, Shark Divers, & Other Wonders: Wild Animals; Beyond Pinterest: Arts & Activities; Jobs, STEAM-style: Careers & Skills; Tell Me a (Life) Story: Biographies; Engage & Immerse: General Science; Flora, Fauna, & Food Chain: Life Science; Of Machines & Mathematics: STEM; Go, Kid, Go!: Health & Wellness; Keeping It Current: Social Sciences; Tall Tales & Scary Monsters: Mythology; Beyond the All-American Athlete: Sports; A World of Conflict: World History; But I Have GPS!: Geography

New Angles on Nonfiction (editorial); History Comes Alive: American History; From Teacup Pigs to Flying Dragons: Animals; Friendly & Fearsome: Animals; From Beadmaking to Beekeeping: Arts & Crafts; Life’s Work: Biographies and Careers; The World Around Us: Life Science; High-Tech Highlights: STEM; Greeks, Ghosts, & Gremlins: Mythology; Forces of Nature: Science; Explore Your World: Social Sciences; Bats, Balls, Bikes…and Bruises?: Sports; History Everywhere: World History

FALL 2013
Don’t Forget the Arts (editorial); Dancing About Geometry: Bringing the Arts into STEM (back page); Uncommon Vocations: Careers; Navigating Our Neighborhoods: Social Science; Finding Strength & Feeling Good: Health; Otherworldly Imagination: Mythology & the Supernatural; Fur, Scales, Feathers, & Tails: Animals; Hooves, Fins, Fangs, & Snouts: Animals; Frontier of Discovery: Science; Observation & Exploration: Life Sciences; Banking on Arithmetic: Mathematics; Full STEM Ahead: STEM; DIY Bonanza: Arts & Activities; Daredevil Reading: Sports; Wordy Ambitions: Language & Literacy; Uniting the States: American History; Culture Accomplishments: World History; Newsmakers, Leaders, & Stars! Oh My!: Biography

Dig In! (editorial); Professional Pursuits: Careers; Around the Globe, Around the Corner: Social Science; Doing and Feeling Good: Social Science; Creatures of the Night: Mythology, the Supernatural, & Folklore; From Pet Cats to Saber Tooths: Animals; From Army Ants to Vampire Bats: Animals; Out-of-This-World Knowledge: General Science; Natural Curiosity: Life Science; It Adds Up: Mathematics; Hi-Tech Action: Engineering, Machines, & Technology; Recipes for Fun: Arts & Activities; Keep It Moving: Sports; Building a Nation: American History; Power, Fortune, and Fame: World History; Pivotal People: Biography

FALL 2012
Common Core and Common Sense (editorial); Nonfiction Series and the Common Core State Standards (back page); Occupational Success: Careers; Public and Private Lives: Social Science; Urban Legends and Ancient Tales: Mythology, Folktales, & the Supernatural; Packs, Pods, and Prides: Animals; Creature Magnetism: Animals; Endless Discoveries: General Science; The World Inside and Around You: Life Science; Numbers Everywhere: Mathematics; Great Gadgets: Machines, Tools, & Technology; Make It, Do It, and Read All About It: Arts & Activities; Exploration & Recreation: Sports; Writing, Words, and Wondering: Language & Literacy; From Sea to Shining Sea: American History; All the World’s a Stage: World History; Larger Than Life: Biography; For the Fun of It: Mixed Categories

Let the Fun Begin! (editorial); Community Awareness: Social Science; Gods & Monsters: Myths; Wild & Domestic: Animals; Rare, Strange, & Scary: Animals; Questions & Answers: General Science; Wild Weather & Living Things: Life Science; Numbers All Around: Math; Things That Go: Machines & Technology; Menu for Well-Being: Health; Making Movies, Music, & Magic: Arts & Activities; For the Love of the Game: Sports; From Learning Letters to Online Literacy: Language & Literature; United States Magnified: American History; Past to Present: World History; When I Grow Up: Biography & Careers; Across the Dewey Verse: Mixed Categories

FALL 2011
A Lesson in Everything (editorial); There’s Always Room for More: Suggestions for Series Nonfiction (back page); Working on the Edge: Careers; Society, Safety, and the Changing Times: Social Science; Monster Mash: Mythology, Folktales, and the Supernatural; Critters in the Neighborhood: Animals; Strange, Enormous, and Extraordinary: Animals; Beyond Living Green: Environment; From Kitchens to Crime Scenes: General Science; What’s the Matter?: Physical Science; Crunching Numbers: Mathematics; Spacing Out: Astronomy; Keeping the Doctor Away: Health; Hands-On Reading: Arts and Crafts; Olympic Ambitions: Sports; Poetic Gestures: Language and Literature; Who We Were: American History; From the Ancient World to the Moon: World History; Fascinating Folks: Biography

A Star is Born! (editorial); Pick Me! Pick Me!: It’s not easy to choose a series nonfiction ebook platform (e-book review); The Big Picture: American History; Fur, Fins, and Feathers: Animals; Win, Lose, and Draw: Arts and Crafts; Pioneers and Pop Stars: Biography; Home Sweet Home: Earth; Exciting Explorations: General Science; Ways with Words: Language Arts; What’s Inside: Life Science; Under the Hood: Machines; From Aliens to Zombies: The Mysterious; Friends Indeed: Pets and Working Animals; Simplifying Matter: Physical Science; Fun and Fitness: Sports; What Happened?: World History; Spiny, Scaly, and Scary: Extreme Animals

FALL 2010
The Kids are Waiting (editorial); At Your Service: Careers; Earth Matters: Environment; Feathers and Fur: Animals; Killer Beasts: Dangerous Animals; Atoms to Earthquakes: General Science; Be Well: Health; Growth and Gross Stuff: Life Science; Materials and Motion: Physical Science; Bigger! Faster! Noisier!: Machines; Tricks and Treats: Arts & Crafts; Being Your Best: Sports; Fanged and Furry: Vampires and Other Myths; Everyday People: American History; Blasts from the Past: Ancient History; Centuries of Struggle: World History; Our Heroes: Biography; Ebooks: A New Generation (what’s next)