New Books in a New Year
New Reading Resources
One of my favorite things about being the Lower School Librarian is to see kids fall in love with reading. By exposing students to all types of books, children will develop a sense of what genre they enjoy most and will develop a love of reading. Sometimes that comes easily.... "Mrs. Word, where are the mysteries?" These kids know what they like and devour every book in that genre. Others have a more difficult time.... "Mrs. Word, I want a book about time travel but without any fairies or weird characters!" These kids have an idea of what they like (science fiction), but need book suggestions from me or help narrowing down exactly what they want. And then there are these.... "I don't like reading... it's boring." These are the kids (and some adults, too) that have never found the "just right" book. They have either been told they have to read certain books (and didn't like them), or have just never discovered the magic of getting lost in a book. I LOVE helping these kids discover a book that truly makes them WANT to read. There is a quote on the wall of Pollard Library that reads, "I disappear into books. What's your superpower?" (By the way, my family will all tell you that I have this superpower, as I tend to ignore EVERYTHING around me while reading.) I hope that this new year there will be many, many students at Episcopal that will discover how to disappear.... In my efforts to help our students I have discovered some wonderful reading resources that might help everyone in their reading journey- whether just beginning to recognize sounds and words to falling in love with a good book. I hope you find them helpful!
Lower School Librarian
EPIC! is an ebook app designed for kids 12 and under that provides access to thousands of popular children's books. It costs $4.99 in the app store, but is well worth the cost... Kids can search books by topic, genre, age level, and eventually the app will recommend books based on what has previously been read. It also will keep track of the number of books read, hours spent reading, and allows kids to set preferences based on their age and things they like. For younger kids, there is a set of "Read to Me" books that give an audio version. If you are an educator, the app is free!
Is this book appropriate?
"Have you read every book in the library?" Crazy enough, I have had many kids ask me this question! There is no possible way for me to read every book- I have to rely on book reviews and websites to decide what to order for our library. As children get older and can read longer chapter books, the question I hear from parents is different: " Is this age appropriate?" The AR (Accelerated Reader) level is often confused with content level- just because a book has an AR level of 4.4 does not mean that the book was written for a 4th grade audience. It only means that the average 4th grader has the ability to read the words in the book without trouble. Every parent has a different idea of what they think is appropriate for their child to read. Story Snoops offers children's book reviews from a parent's perspective for readers ages 9-18. One of the goals is to offer unbiased summaries that will give you insight into the underlying themes and messages. I love the quote on their webpage: "Judge a book by more than its cover." http://www.storysnoops.com/
Kids ask me everyday, "What should I read next?" My follow up question is always, "What have you read lately that you really enjoyed?" Book Seer is a website that follows the same method. Kids enter a title and author and the the Book Seer will give them a list of suggested books. This is a great resource for adults as well! http://bookseer.com/