New Books: An Annotated Guide
A nearing-the-end-of-the-school-year book order just came in to the 5th and 6th grade school where I work. Here’s a peek at the goods, and a few words:
(click the images to enlarge)
- Book I can’t believe I didn’t pick up before: The Lexicon. This guide to the Harry Potter world was once at the center of a major copyright lawsuit, but changes were made and it’s been available to buy for a while now. It is unbelievably thorough. I can see Potter fans digging into this for a while.
- Nonfiction that nicely fills a need: Should I Play the…. 5th grade is often when kids begin band, so this series from Heinemann seems like a nice way to help pick an instrument. This is probably better than just telling everyone to follow in my footsteps and set their sights on last chair alto saxophone, right?
- Purchase that proves I don’t just buy books I like: Hannah Montana: In the Loop. Part of being a librarian is staying open-minded about the likes and needs of patrons. No further comment.
- Author that my 5th and 6th grade students love: Mary Downing Hahn. Her spooky stories continue to circulate like mad.
- High interest book everyone should probably buy: The Complete Dog Book for Kids. You know what kids like? Dog/cat/horse books that show color photos of every breed. For some reason, these are kind of hard to find. Two years ago I had to hit the Amazon used book section to pick up the sadly out-of-print DK Smithsonian Handbook: Dogs. This title fills the same role and is bound to be a fan favorite.
- Book that blew me away, first place: Whaling Season. An entry into Houghton Mifflin’sÂ Scientists in the Field series that didn’t get quite as much attention as the book directly below it on my shelf, Kakapo Rescue. It is another stellar entry.
- Book that blew me away, honorable mention: Anne Frank: Her Life in Words and Pictures. The amount of photos contained within is amazing. And the variety is impressive, covering not just Anne but her entire family. A nice addition to the biography section.
- Series that is amazingly popular from 2nd to 5th grade: Captain Underpants. These were student requests, and the ones on the shelf get checked out all the time.
- Books that needed replacing: Artemis Fowl series. Our copies were looking worse for wear, so the update was needed. That actually goes for a number of books in this order, including Brisingr, books in the Pendragon series, and Firewing.
Thanks for taking a look.
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About Travis Jonker
Travis Jonker is an elementary school librarian in Michigan. He writes reviews (and the occasional article or two) for School Library Journal and is a member of the 2014 Caldecott committee. You can email Travis at email@example.com, or follow him on Twitter: @100scopenotes.
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