For the Daring, Dangerous, Creative, and Curious | Jobs & Careers Series Nonfiction

This season’s books about jobs and careers help readers at all levels make connections between their interests and the things they love to do with real-world job and career opportunities.

This season’s books about jobs and careers help readers at all levels make connections between their interests and the things they love to do with real-world job and career opportunities. In a variety of formats and presentation styles, these series explore lots of different options in comprehensive detail and include inspiring visuals and suggested activities that readers can use to learn more about their educational ambitions and career goals. This season, there’s no shortage of options for libraries to add depth and nuance to their collections with these well-organized, up-to-date, and practical books.



Bolte, Mari. Important Jobs at Airports. ISBN 9780756572082.
––––. Important Jobs at Hospitals. ISBN 9780756572327.
––––. Important Jobs at Zoos. ISBN 9780756572167.
––––. Important Jobs on Movie Sets. ISBN 9780756572242.
ea vol: 32p. (Wonderful Workplaces). Capstone/Pebble. Jan. 2023. Tr. $29.32.
Gr 1-3 –A variety of important careers are organized into four different workplaces, including airports, zoos, movie sets, and hospitals. Each volume presents 10 to 12 unique roles, each requiring different skills, attributes, and interests. Basic information about each job is included in short chapters, which also identify new vocabulary and provide full-color photographs correlating with the text. These books adeptly highlight why all jobs in these settings—from custodians to air traffic controllers to doctors—make a positive impact on different industries and the people served by them. VERDICT Although this series provides basic introductory information, it serves as a great starter series for curious-minded beginning readers.

Cella, Clara. Fighter Pilots. ISBN 9781728475530.
––––. Ice Road Truckers. ISBN 9781728475547.
––––. Race Car Drivers. ISBN 9781728475554.
––––. Smoke Jumpers. ISBN 9781728475561.
––––. Stunt Performers. ISBN 9781728475578.
––––. Underwater Construction Workers. ISBN 9781728475585.
ea vol: 24p. (Dangerous Jobs). Lerner/UpDog Bks. Jan. 2023. Tr. $29.32.
Gr 1-3 –Some of the world’s most dangerous jobs, and the brave people who do them, are highlighted in this hi-lo series. Readers will marvel at the action-packed visuals which showcase the thrilling daily lives of smoke jumpers, fighter pilots, ice road truckers, race car drivers, stunt performers, and underwater construction workers. Notable about this series is that it profiles real people working in each job and the challenges and opportunities they face, helping readers put what they learn into context. These books do a great job of integrating relevant details about each career, such as how climate change impacts ice road truckers or why there will be fewer stunt performers in the future because of advances in computer technology and special effects, allowing readers to better understand not only these careers but the world around them. VERDICT A ­versatile hi-lo series that will excite and ­entertain beginning and early readers.

Murray, Laura K. Bus Drivers. ISBN 9781640264069.
––––. Coaches. ISBN 9781640264076.
––––. Doctors. ISBN 9781640264083.
––––. Engineers. ISBN 9781640264090.
––––. Firefighters. ISBN 9781640264106.
––––. Garbage Collectors. ISBN 9781640264113.
––––. Librarians. ISBN 9781640264120.
––––. Mail Carriers. ISBN 9781640264137.
––––. Mechanics. ISBN 9781640264144.
––––. Police Officers. ISBN 9781640264151.
ea vol: 24p. (Seedlings). Creative Education. Jan. 2023. Tr. $34.25.
PreS-Gr 1 –In a continuation of their previous series, these books provide basic information about 10 common careers: engineer, mail carrier, librarian, mechanic, police officer, bus driver, coach, firefighter, doctor, and garbage collector. Each book is divided into chapters that don’t exceed four pages, with one or two simple sentences bordered by full-color photographs that complement the text. Each entry includes a visual glossary of common tools utilized in each career (hardhats and computers for engineers; scanners, carts, and desks for librarians). VERDICT A solid addition to early learning libraries and small- to medium-sized public library collections.

Rathburn, Betsy. Electrical Engineer. ISBN 9798886871364.
––––. Environmental Engineer. ISBN 9798886871371.
––––. Video Game Developer. ISBN 9798886871388.
––––. Zoologist. ISBN 9798886871395.
ea vol: 24p. (Careers in STEM). Bellwether Media/Blastoff! Readers. Jan. 2023. Tr. $26.95.
Gr 1-3 –In four volumes, this series focuses on four STEM careers (zoologist, electrical engineer, environmental engineer, video game developer) and some of the basic requirements, challenges, and opportunities of each. These books, while still serving the needs of early readers, feature slightly more complex sentences, longer chapters, and more advanced concepts than their “Blastoff Beginner” series counterparts. With no more than five or six sentences on each page, they remain accessible enough for those who are working to read independently, build fluency, learn new words, and practice critical thinking skills. VERDICT This series imparts rich information while being accessible to early readers; educators and caregivers may appreciate the activity prompts and resources for further learning included in each book.


Upper Elementary to Middle School

Reeves, Diane Lindsey. Do You Like Building Things? ISBN 9781668919439.
––––. Do You Like Cooking? ISBN 9781668919446.
––––. Do You Like Experimenting with STEM? ISBN 9781668919453.
––––. Do You Like Getting Creative? ISBN 9781668919460.
––––. Do You Like Keeping Up with Fashion? ISBN 9781668919477.
––––. Do You Like Playing Sports? ISBN 9781668919484.
––––. Do You Like Saving Planet Earth? ISBN 9781668919491.
––––. Do You Like Taking Care of Animals? ISBN 9781668919507.
ea vol: 32p. (Career Clues for Kids). Cherry Lake. Jan. 2023. Tr. $32.07.
Gr 4-7 –This series introduces a variety of popular career options through the lens of favorite activities like cooking, doing science experiments, taking care of animals, building things, keeping up with fashion trends, playing sports, being creative, and researching ways to mitigate the climate crisis. These books invite readers to be curious about different jobs using a “Clues and Investigation” format, where the clues are interests, abilities, and curiosities that are unique to each job and the investigation is a prompt to explore further (learn to sew, take animal training classes, try baking a cake on your own). Covering jobs like pet groomer, urban planner, solar photovoltaic installer, merchandiser, webmaster, chef, geologist, and recreation director, this series knocks it out of the park on multiple fronts. Not only are these books filled with useful information about lots of career choices but they are also filled with images that feature rich intersectional identities and expressions, including ability diversity. VERDICT This standout series is an all-around strong purchase for virtually any collection, but would especially benefit larger public library collections and elementary school libraries.


Upper Middle School to High School

Small, Cathleen. How to Choose Your Perfect Business Career. ISBN 9781914383854.
––––. How to Choose Your Perfect Computer Science Career. ISBN 9781914383830.
––––. How to Choose Your Perfect Engineering Career. ISBN 9781914383823.
––––. How to Choose Your Perfect Healthcare Career. ISBN 9781914383878.
––––. How to Choose Your Perfect Math Career. ISBN 9781914383861.
––––. How to Choose Your Perfect Science ­Career. ISBN 9781914383847.
ea vol: 64p. (STEM Career Choices). Cheriton. Jan. 2023. Tr. $34.65.
Gr 6 Up –This series is packed with ­up-to-date and relevant information in a variety of traditional and outside-the-box STEM fields. In five different volumes, covering business, computer science, engineering, healthcare, math, and science, myriad career paths are presented to readers using a balanced combination of color photos, diagrams, fast facts, inspirational quotes, and more. The volume about STEM careers in business presents nonprofit directors, business professors, and social and community managers as potential careers, offering a unique perspective not seen in other recent series, making these books a well-rounded investment that serves readers’ diverse and nuanced interests. Attention is brought to aspects of certain careers that some might overlook; for example, the book about careers in math points out that there are plenty of opportunities in freelance work for those who want flexible schedules, and the book about business STEM careers calls attention to the daily schedule challenges of a nonprofit director. VERDICT This series is richly detailed and chock-full of great information about common and lesser-known STEM careers; an ideal addition to large public library collections and STEM school libraries.


While all of these books would make excellent additions to library collections, “Career Clue for Kids” (Cherry Lake) is a standout series this season for its creative, inquisitive presentation of different career choices based on a combination of skills, interests, and attributes. “STEM ­Career Choices” (Cheriton) is an ideal choice for more advanced readers who are curious about different STEM careers and how science, mathematics, and technology intersect with careers in business, the arts, and social and behavioral healthcare fields.

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