How Do I Choose
Afterschool program libraries that want to add to their nonfiction collection have a variety of resources they can call on. This month, Iíll point you to some websites that feature recommended books in various categories, and provide a checklist to help you decide which books to purchase
Award-winning books could be a good start for your nonfiction collection. The Boston Globe-Horn Book Awards, which include a nonfiction category, have been given annually since 1967. You might start with the winners for 2003 and then work backward to the award-winning nonfiction for 2000 - 2002. Also, this monthís Bookshelf reviews books that won the Orbis Pictus awards for 2004.
Other reliable websites also recommend good nonfiction books to add to your collection. The Free Library of Philadelphia provides a great list of nonfiction for children grades 3-6, or check out the comprehensive list, categorized by subject, from Powellís independent bookstore in Chicago.
Kids love to find information in dictionaries, atlases, and almanacs. These kinds of books donít have to be expensive. The Guinness Book of World Records is always popular with kids who want to find quick facts. Amazon offers Guinness and recommendations of similar "fun fact" books for children.
The Dorling Kindersley (DK) Eyewitness Books series includes books on subjects from art to zoology. With their fascinating photographs, illustrations, and diagrams, this series will appeal to children of almost any ageand most adults, too!
Kids enjoy reading about famous people, whether they are sports figures, presidents, entertainers, or inventors. The Young Patriots series features biographies of historical figures for younger elementary kids. The Career Kids Career Biography series includes 20 titles, for older children, about famous business people. You may also want to check out Roz Levineís Amazon Listmania "Terrific Introductory Biographies for Kids" or the extensive list of sport biographies from Powellís bookstore.
Kids love to draw. They can stay busy for hours with a few simple materialspaper, crayons, colored pencils, markers. Ed Emberley and Lee J. Ames both have series of drawing books that show kids how to break images down into simple step-by-step drawings. Once kids learn the basics, they can use their imaginations to draw in their own personal style.
Jokes and Riddles
Checklist: How to Select Quality Nonfiction
When choosing nonfiction materials for your collection, ask yourself these questions:
If you use these resources and guidelines to develop your programís nonfiction book collection, youíll open up fascinating new worlds for your kids.