Friday, September 12, 2014

TBR List (To Be Read)

Many voracious readers keep a TBR list; we never have enough time to read all the books that we want. Whether we keep a list on book-oriented social media sites, in a composition notebook, in a computer file, or by creating lists in our online library accounts, readers tend to accumulate many titles fairly quickly. And with September being a blockbuster month for new releases, my TBR list has recently grown by leaps and bounds!  Here are some September releases that I can't wait to read. They all happen to be adult nonfiction (I have many children's and YA books, as well as adult fiction, that are on my TBR list, but I decided on a change of pace for this week):




I "discovered" Lucy Knisley when Relish: My Life in the Kitchen appeared on several Best of 2013 book lists. My favorite type of graphic novels are graphic memoirs (Persepolis, March: Book One) or realistic stories like The Plain Janes or Smile, so I immediately added her to my "automatic must reads" list of authors. Armchair travelers and gourmands should definitely check this one out; Knisley is a foodie, so her graphic memoirs includes lots and lots of drawings and descriptions of delectable foods. An Age of License covers her travels throughout Europe while attending a Norwegian comics festival.




Cosby: His Life and Times has already received several strong reviews and blurbs from fellow comedians, including Jerry Seinfeld, so I think this will get a lot of attention when it is finally released in a few days, just in time for the 30th anniversary of The Cosby Show.  As beloved as Bill Cosby is by many, he has garnered quite a bit of controversy for revelations about his personal life and for his bluntly presented views on societal issues, so I'm quite interested in how Mark Whitaker deals with those particular areas. (Also really interested in reading perspectives from the former child actors on the show; I think all but Lisa Bonet are still on good terms with him). I grew up watching his version of Picture Pages (Picture pages, picture pages, time to get your picture pages, time to get your crayons and your pencils!) and The Cosby Show, so I'm eager to read this ASAP!





I don't use my Amazon Wish List the way Jeff Bezos probably wants me to use it; I put books on my list and wait to see if they are ordered by our collection development librarian (they usually are; sorry, Amazon). Death of a King: The Real Story of Dr. Martin Luther King's Final Year has been on my list for some time, with publication dates changing often; I was thrilled when it popped up on Wowbrary recently. You may know Tavis Smiley as a former NPR and current PRI/BET talk show host (and apparently, a contestant on the upcoming Dancing With the Stars season--that was an unexpected find) who usually comments on issues affecting African-American communities. Smiley focuses on Martin Luther King's volatile final year, which was marked with depression over the escalation of the Vietnam War, multiple riots in American cities, and issues with alcohol and marital problems. His increasing involvement with the pro-labor movement and the anti-war movement alienated him from some civil rights leaders, who felt that he should only focus on race-specific issues. We pick certain people to lionize in our society, and King is one of them; in doing so, we forget that they had real problems, real personal struggles, and characteristics that make us uncomfortable, just like every other person. Smiley is, according to the reviews, frank yet not destructive (if anything, a little too informal at times and assumes that he knows what King was thinking at the time). I can't wait to read this.




I'm fascinated by consumer issues (part of my undergraduate degree was focused on consumer issues, but not from a marketing perspective), so any new consumer issues book with a foreward by Paco Underhill, the author of the classic Why We Buy, immediately gets my attention. Underhill's books are still definitely worth reading, but his books were researched and written right before online shopping and online media became a standard part of our lives. I'm intrigued to learn more about Kit Yarrow's research into how we connect with brands and how we shop (in a world in which we are so pressed for time and have advertisements bombarding us online as well as on television and in print media) has changed over the last decade.




SQUEEEEEEE!!!!

Sorry, just had a nerd moment. Star Wars geeks, pay attention! (They're my people, so I can call them that.)  A history of the Star Wars franchise! I haven't dorked out over an upcoming book like this since Jim Henson: The Biography was released last year (and while we're on the subject--Brian Jay Jones is currently working on a biography of George Lucas! He is the IDEAL author for that!) Some reviews say that Chris Taylor includes too much info (NOT POSSIBLE), but praise the writing for being smart and fun. Taylor not only gives the lowdown on the creation of the series, but also chronicles its international success, his experiences visiting the world's largest Star Wars museum, watching one of the movies with a Navajo community (dubbed in Navajo), and the major influence LucasFilms has had on the special effects business. How Star Wars Conquered the Universe seems like a must read for Star Wars fans or those interested film history.




I love everything published by National Geographic, so National Geographic Illustrated Guide to Wildlife  is absolutely on my radar. Last year's Illustrated Guide to Nature is a gorgeous field guide to flowers, rocks, trees, and the weather, so I'm confident that the wildlife edition will be just as amazing.



I also love everything published by DK (both children and adult nonfiction). I am impatiently awaiting Photography: The Definitive Visual History; this collection of famous and/or striking photographs throughout the years (accompanied by essays) will be a browser's delight. Timelines on war photography, fashion photography, and advertising photography are also highlights.



Sorry, but I can't help it:

SQUEEE!

Oh, my goodness! I don't know if I could ever really live in a tiny house, but I am enthralled by them. I'm not the only one, because this has had a long holds list ever since we received our copies. Tiny House Living: Ideas for Building and Living Well in Less Than 400 Square Feet definitely includes many photographs of this phenomenal movement, but also explains why the movement has caught fire and how to embrace the tiny house living lifestyle, even if you don't plan to actually build and live in a tiny house. Very cool. Now I want a book on tiny libraries. (Awww. I want a tiny library.)

Still need more reading ideas? Look through our most recent editions of Wowbrary.

Jennifer Schultz, Youth Services Librarian, Fauquier County Public Library


To learn more about Fauquier County Public Library's collectionevents, and programs, visit us on FacebookTwitter (Kiddosphere's feed is here), or on our website.





Friday, September 05, 2014

Are You Ready for Some Football?

Fall is my favorite season. I can't get enough of fall.  Fauquier County and the surrounding areas are lovely year round, but it's fantastic in the fall! Apple orchards, fall festivals, Shenandoah Park/Skyline Drive when the leaves change, cooler weather, Halloween, Thanksgiving....I love it all. (Hint: One of the BEST places to visit in Fauquier County is Sky Meadows State Park; it's wonderful year round, but it's gorgeous in the fall.)

Two more reasons why I love fall:
  • Baseball season starts to get super real.
  • FOOTBALL
Let's talk about football books. There's too many awesome books about both baseball and football to fit into one post, so I'll concentrate on football for today's post. (Baseball books will be covered in October, hopefully during a very special super-awesome playoff season.)  This Sunday is the first Sunday for NFL football, so football frenzy will be in full force this weekend. Are you ready for some football? If you are, check out these books (fun for reading during the commercials!):




Want to explain the rules of football to children, but don't want to overwhelm them with the finer points? Starting out with some basic books will help, such as this neat little guide to the rules of the game and important dates and people in the sport. Of course, if you need a refresher on the difference between a complete pass and a forward pass, there's always Football for Dummies. (Don't laugh--those Dummies books are great!)




Recently, there's been some important studies and findings about the impact of concussions suffered by football players. Fourth Down and Inches: Concussions and Football's Make-or-Break Moment's comprehensive, preteen/teen reader-friendly, and honest account is a must read for fans and players alike. League of Denial: The NFL, Concussions, And the Battle for Truth is an eye-opening study by ESPN investigative reporters. Any Given Monday: Sports Injuries and How to Prevent Them for Athletes, Parents, And Coaches is also a great guide for further information (and not just for football players).




This 2013 biography of the famed Redskins quarterback is ideal for young fans. For an overview of the team, check out The Story of the Washington Redskins, also published in 2013. For older fans (teen and up), there's RG3: The Promise (published in 2013).





The Ultimate Guide to Pro Football Teams is a must for fans of multiple teams, or for those who want to learn more about their team's main rivals.

In the mood for football fiction? Or sports fiction in general? You need to get familiar with authors Mike Lupica, Tim Green (he also writes fiction for adults), and John Feinstein (his young adult sports books are also mysteries). Gordon Korman's No More Dead Dogs is a funny and touching novel about a young football player whose detention sentence consists of attending rehearsals for the school play.

If your looking for more football-related literature, check out the book display at the Warrenton library coming next week - or watch for Book Notes, another Fauquier County Public Library blog with highlights on books, movies and more. The next installment of Book Notes will feature football-related titles great for adults! 

Here's to a great season!

Jennifer Schultz, Youth Services Librarian, Fauquier County Public Library


To learn more about Fauquier County Public Library's collectionevents, and programs, visit us on FacebookTwitter (Kiddosphere's feed is here), or on our website.

































Friday, August 29, 2014

August Reads

It's the end of the month, so time for my monthly wrap-up of reads. August was a fabulous month! Here's what I read:



All the Light We Cannot See is one of the hottest titles circulating in Fauquier County; no surprise there, as author Anthony Doerr has received incredible reviews for his exquisitely told historical novel of two young people coming of age in Germany and France during World War II. The terror of French citizens during occupation and the manipulation of German youth (to the point that minors are forced to lie about their age in order to fight for a rapidly deteriorating Germany) is depicted through the perspectives of a blind French preteen and a German orphaned teenage boy. This is historical fiction at its best. Definitely one of my favorite reads of the year. Unforgettable.  (Adult historical fiction)



Claudia Mills's Franklin School Friends is a precious, funny, and realistic series ideal for young elementary school students. Each title focuses on the strengths of a Franklin School Friend; Annika Riz, Math Whiz follows Annika as she prepares for a sudoku contest at the library (in between trying to convince her friends that math is fun, and getting ready for and attending the school's carnival).  ADORABLE. We have excellent books about kids that love to read (such as Annika's friend, Kelsey Green, Reading Queen) and kids that love science (Franny K. Stein series), but not so much math lovers. Although Annika Riz is the second title in the Franklin School Friends series, you do not need to read Kelsey Green, Reading Queen first. The third title will feature Franklin School Friend Izzy and her love of track and field (out in Spring 2015).



YES! Science fiction that's not a 400+ doorstopper! Plenty of young readers would love to read stories about aliens and space travel, but too many are either too long or too mature for their level. After reading Blast Off!, I have high hopes for Nate Ball's Alien In My Pocket series. When a small alien crashes into fourth grader Zack McGee's bedroom, he causes a ton of mischief and aggravation for poor Zack. Not only is it super funny (there's some gross-out humor, but it's very mild), there are also scientific explanations tucked into the story (a science experiment that illustrates a key component in the action is also included)!



What comes to mind when you think of China? Probably Beijing and people that belong to the Han ethnic majority. In fact, China is bordered by 14 countries and includes 55 ethnic groups that speak 292 languages, ranging from ethnic Koreans near the North Korea border, Muslims in the Xinjiang province, to Russians living near the Russian border. David Eimer traveled to areas that are rarely visited by Westerners (including disputed borderlands), and chronicled his travels in his revealing account, The Emperor Far Away: Travels at the Edge of China.  Although the entire book is fascinating, I found the descriptions of Tibet, the expatriate North Korean community, and the underground Christian community most unforgettable. I love in-depth accounts of countries and cultures; this one is exceptional. (Adult nonfiction)




I have put off reading Enchantress From the Stars for some time, because I really wasn't in the mood for literary science fiction. However, I want to get back to my Newbery reading project, and it was next on my list (it received a Newbery Honor in 1971).  To my surprise, I was engrossed in this science fiction/fairy tale/Romeo & Juliet story of sorts.  Will definitely keep this in mind for science fiction recommendations!



As I mentioned in a recent blog, I've read enough books about the Romanovs that any new book has to have something unique about it in order for me to want to read it. The assassination of reform-minded Alexander II, the ascension of his revenge-minded son, Alexander III, the ineffectual and wholly unprepared Nicholas II, the immediate hatred of Tsarina Alexandra, the exponentially rising despair over the birth of four daughters, the hemophiliac heir, Rasputin, riots, war, exile, execution, and trading the misery of life under imperialism with the misery of life under communism....it's all too depressingly familiar. I'll read anything by Candace Fleming, so I automatically got on the wait list for this book.  If you're familiar with Candace Fleming, especially if you've read her biography of Amelia Earhart or her biography of Abraham and Mary Todd Lincoln, you know that she presents history in a revealing, singular, and thought-provoking way. She has OUTDONE  herself with The Family Romanov: Murder, Rebellion, & the Fall of Imperial Russia, and as extraordinary as I thought Amelia Lost was, this is even more so.  Although most books about the Romanovs do touch upon the extremely difficult lives of ordinary Russian subjects at the time, Fleming fully shows the desperation, extreme poverty, and lack of civil rights endured by both peasants and urban workers through diary accounts, letters, and other first-hand accounts, often including those from young children and teens. The (extremely) close-knit nature of Nicholas II's family is strongly depicted (although Tsarina Alexandra's chronic illnesses, isolation, and growing paranoia caused strong conflict at times with her daughters). The extreme and immediate dislike of Alexandra by the Russian elite is notable. Although there was growing disappointment and despair with the birth of each daughter, the pride and love for each infant daughter (expressed in their parents' diaries and letters) is very sweet. The aftermath of the executions and the DNA testing of the family's remains during the 1990s and early 2000s (and the controversial sainthood of the family and their servants by the Russian Orthodox Church Abroad) is also discussed. Don't be fooled by the fact that this is written for young people; this is an involved, difficult, and very sad read at times. But an amazing read.




If you want something much brighter, you must read Half a Chance. I adore it and have it on my Newbery list (as much as I love it, I do think there is a part of the story that might cause some debate).  As can expected from Cynthia Lord,  important lessons about family, friendship, and self-discovery are learned and conveyed in authentic and endearing situations. Lucy and her family have recently moved to a quiet lake community in Maine; luckily, she soon makes friends with a boy who shares her interest in photography. Entering a photography contest judged by her noted photographer father brings a multitude of ethical concerns; I have mixed feelings on the conclusion of the story, so I'm eager to learn what the readers of School Library Journal's Heavy Medal blog will have to say about it when the blog is revived in September! A subplot about early dementia is accurately and heartbreakingly portrayed. This is another winner from Cynthia Lord (and will make you want to book next year's summer vacation in Maine).



Henry Winkler is famous for his "Fonz" character from the 1970s sitcom Happy Days, but he's made a fine second career as a children's author. I recommend his Hank Zipzer series to reluctant and avid readers alike, as many children can relate to Hank, regardless of their academic success. Winkler conveys the frustrations of a child's academic struggles accurately because he knows it first-hand; he has been open about his unhappy childhood due to undiagnosed dyslexia during his school years (he was diagnosed with it after his stepson was diagnosed).  I'm thrilled that Winkler and longtime Hank Zipzer collaborator Lin Oliver have started a chapter book series about a young Hank Zipzer (the original series features Hank in middle school).  Hank deeply wants to be a part of the big school play, but he is overcome with stage fright during his audition. His understanding teacher creates a new role for him; good thing, because the star of the play (and a mean bully) has to be saved during the performance by Hank! This is funny, touching, and authentic--just like the first Hank Zipzer series.  Here's Hank: Bookmarks Are People Too!  is printed in a special font called Dyslexie, which was created by Dutch graphic designer Christian Boer specifically to help readers with dyslexia.




Ophelia and the Marvelous Boy has been bestowed with FIVE starred reviews, which is incredible. (Don't include this in your Newbery predictions, as Karen Foxlee lives in Australia; only authors currently living or maintaining a residence in the United States are eligible for the Newbery)  As you can guess, I'm not a huge fan of fantasy stories; I tend to go for realistic stories, but the impressive reviews require that I not neglect it. Happily, it's deliciously creepy and immeasurably readable. PLUS....it's under 250 pages, which is unusual for a fantasy novel. (Could the fat novel fad for children's fantasy novels be dying down? Please say yes.) Ophelia is strictly scientifically-minded and has no time for anything hinting at magic or fantasy; while exploring the museum at which her father works, she meets a boy who is locked in the museum and finds that she will play a key role in his release (and in fulfilling an ancient mission). Fans of fairy tale-like stories (an evil queen plays a big role, and Ophelia, like many fairy tale heroines, is mourning her deceased mother) will love this.



Steve Sheinkin's nonfiction is often centered on events that had major social changes or implications. The Port Chicago 50: Disaster, Mutiny, And the Fight for Civil Rights focuses on a little-known event in American civil rights history.  As in all wartime conflicts in American history, African-American men were eager to serve their country in World War II; due to discrimination, many were relegated to segregated conditions that were unfair and even dangerous. Unsafe conditions at the Port Chicago in California lead to a massive explosion that killed more than 300 servicemen, of which many were African-American. After the explosion, 244 African-American servicemen refused to return to the port until the harmful and discriminatory conditions were addressed; they were charged with mutiny, jail time, and even execution. While some supporters have attempted to have their names cleared by presidential pardon, many survivors rejected that, as they felt that being pardoned reaffirmed their guilty sentences. It is so vital to have books about black history that teach history outside the slavery era and the 1960s/70s civil rights era; researching, reading, and learning about those two specific eras will never not be important, but books that highlight other important times in American history are very much needed.  This is published for the YA market (what a great year already for YA nonfiction!), but older history buffs will definitely want to read this.



Battle of the Books readers who were moved by Shooting Kabul will be happy to know that Saving Kabul Corner is a worthy companion novel to N.H. Senzai's first book. (You do not need to read Shooting Kabul before reading Saving Kabul Corner.)  Ariana and Laila are cousins, but they do not get along at all; Ariana is all-American, while Laila, recently arrived from Afghanistan, is more like the traditional Afghani girl that Ariana's relatives would like her to be. Laila cooks Puktun food expertly, sews, and can recite classic Puktun poetry beautifully; more than that, she forms a close bond with Ariana's best friend, Mariam, who can relate to the Puktun culture and the upheaval in Afghanistan, unlike Ariana.  Ariana's family owns and operates an Afghani grocery store; like many ethnic grocery stores, it is the heart of the Fremont Afghani community, where customers linger to chat about current events and loved ones left behind....until a rival Afghani grocery store opens in the same shopping center.  Age-old rivalries that were thought to be left behind in Afghanistan erupt, with disastrous results. Ariana, Laila, and their friends take it upon themselves to find the culprit behind the ongoing circulating falsehoods and destruction of property that threaten their family's livelihood.  The "kids save the day" element does strain credulity, but this is such a rich story of family, friendship, and the immigrant experience (not to mention such likable kids) that the overall charm and mystery makes that minor point immediately believable in this story. (And children understandably love "kids save the day" stories.)   Afghani-American culture is lovingly depicted, and the pride that Ariana's family takes in family and work is admirable and realistic. One of my favorite 2014 reads.



Another short science fiction chapter book series! Yes!  Archie Takes Flight is the inaugural entry in the Space Taxi series; Archie knows that his dad is a taxi driver, but what he doesn't know (until "Take Your Kid to Work Day!") is that his dad drives a space taxi for aliens. How cool is that?! As Archie accompanies his dad on a late night shift, they encounter all sorts of aliens, a weird cat, and a mastermind determined to ruin everything.  This is great fun.



Oh, wow. Can you say MIND BENDING? Because that's what We Were Liars definitely is. Cadence and her cousins have spent every summer at their family's exclusive island near Martha's Vineyard; lazy days on the beach, shopping in the Vineyard's quaint downtowns, and luxurious dinners fill the endless days of summer.  Cadence suffers a life-changing brain injury when she is fifteen; the extent and the reason behind her amnesia and crippling headaches is slowly revealed in flashbacks and hints scattered throughout the story. (Can't say much without ruining the story.)  Make sure you have time set aside to delve into the story; this YA novel will grip you until the very last page.  This has received five starred reviews, which is quite an achievement. Definitely putting this on my Printz 2015 short list.

Hispanic Heritage Month is celebrated September 15-October 15. I recently blogged about some of my favorite picture books that highlight Latino culture on the ALSC blog (the Association for Library Services to Children is the professional organization for children's librarians; they are the ones that bestow the Newbery, Caldecott, and other great book awards).

Get ready; September and October are strong months for releases of new books. (Last chance to be noticed by the awards committees and the "Best Of" lists!) Make sure you are subscribed to Wowbrary to be among the first to know what titles have been ordered. We just ordered a bunch of awesome books (children's, teen, AND fiction/nonfiction for adults), so get ready!

Jennifer Schultz, Youth Services Librarian, Fauquier County Public Library


To learn more about Fauquier County Public Library's collectionevents, and programs, visit us on FacebookTwitter (Kiddosphere's feed is here), or on our website.




Friday, August 22, 2014

Amazing Astronomy

The waning days of summer and the early days of fall are perfect for attending star parties and astronomy events. If your weekend plans involve star gazing at Sky Meadows State Park or another regional venue, you should definitely check out our excellent children's and adult nonfiction astronomy collection:



Kenneth C. Davis's Don't Know Much About series has been a longtime popular choice for armchair historians and curiosity-seekers in general, but did you know that he also has a similar series for children? Don't Know Much About the Solar System  follows Davis's standard question-and-answer format, covering information about how the moon, planets, stars, and so forth.


Although the National Audubon Society's First Field Guide: Night Sky was written for a young audience, beginner amateur astronomers will find this handy guidebook immensely helpful. Basics of astronomy, such as star formations, eclipses, and constellations are explored in detail, in addition to features on the sun, moon,  Earth, and planets.  Viewing tips for each planet and constellation maps are included.  Its compact size makes it perfect for carrying in a purse or travel bag!



The Scholastic Atlas of Space is beautifully designed; text, graphics, and pictures are matched perfectly without overwhelming the reader.  Facts about planets, stars, space exploration, and star charts are plentiful but not overbearing.




Although the other titles in this post are fine books, Starwatch stands out because it includes star charts and information for every month, so that young astronomers will know exactly what to look for in any given month! This is valuable information for stargazers of all ages.

Hope the skies are clear whenever you go stargazing!

Jennifer Schultz, Youth Services Librarian, Fauquier County Public Library


To learn more about Fauquier County Public Library's collectionevents, and programs, visit us on FacebookTwitter (Kiddosphere's feed is here), or on our website.







Friday, August 15, 2014

Buzzing About National Honey Bee Day

Beekeeping has enjoyed a renaissance of sorts, due in part to rising awareness of the plight of honey bees and the popularity of homesteading skills in general. Since 2009, National Honey Bee Day has been observed to bring attention to the importance of honey bees and the worldwide plight of bee colonies. If you'd like to introduce your children to the fascinating world of honey bees, check out these books:



Megan McDonald is probably best known for her Judy Moody series, but her Ant and Honey Bee series is just as cute.  Ant and Honey Bee have a number of adventures, from preparing to a costume party, to dressing up for Halloween, and braving the cold for a fun visit.




If you're in search of a sweet cooperation story, Bear and Bee should definitely be on your list. If you were a bear and had just awakened from hibernation, would you be in the mood for honey? This bear certainly is! The only trouble is that the nearest beehive is being guarded by a buzzing honey bee.  Looks like bear is out of luck--or is he?



Jam & Honey  strikes a similar "cooperation" theme, this time involving a young girl and a bee. A little girl gathers berries while a bee gathers pollen; although both are initially wary of each other, they manage to go about their business in a respectful and calm manner.  This is a gentle nod to the importance of respecting nature; it would make an excellent addition to an Earth Day story time.


These Bees Count! follows a class on a field trip to a honey and bee farm.  While observing and counting the various crops and animals on the farm, the students also learn about the intriguing and important work of bees.

If you're in the mood for nonfiction:


The Scientists in the Field series has to be at the top of every fan of children's nonfiction lists (the official website is quite cool as well).  I have not read one book in that series that failed to impress, engage, and enlighten me. It's always a good day when a new entry is published (they're currently researching crows in New Caledonia!) The Hive Detectives: Chronicles of a Honey Bee Catastrophe features the quest to discover why Dave Hackenberg's bee colonies have vanished, and what bee scientists and beekeepers are doing to save honey bees.




Younger readers can be directed to Anne Rockwell's Honey in a Hive and Gail Gibbons's The Honey Makers, which present information about bee culture in simple yet fact-filled nonfiction picture books.

We have many resources for adults interested in bees and beekeeping.

Laline Paull's The Bees has been on my to-be-read adult fiction list ever since I heard it described as "The Hunger Games, but with bees."

If you're a Fauquier County Public Library patron (or staff member!) and you haven't subscribed to Wowbrary yet, you are missing out! I will send my September order in the upcoming last weeks of August (how did THAT happen?), and it is FILLED with amazing-sounding titles. I am having a tough time deciding what I need to order now, and what can wait (in addition to ordering fall-themed books and refreshing the board books collection! Eeek!). Wowbrary also includes the latest adult fiction and nonfiction on order, as well as recently ordered DVDs, CDs, and ebook/eaudio additions.

Jennifer Schultz, Youth Services Librarian, Fauquier County Public Library


To learn more about Fauquier County Public Library's collectionevents, and programs, visit us on FacebookTwitter (Kiddosphere's feed is here), or on our website.





Friday, August 08, 2014

What to Read, What to Read....

With the overwhelming number of children's titles published every year, it's easy to get intimidated by the vast amount of choices available. Of course, lazily browsing the shelves is fun and often leads to new discoveries, but having some sort of guide is extremely helpful. If you're in need of great lists of children's literature, then this post is for you!

Public libraries often curate lists of gems in their collections, and Fauquier County is no exception!  While we do have print booklists available at all locations, we also have a variety of themed booklists for children, including readalikes for popular series such as Diary of a Wimpy Kid, age-appropriate biographies, and lists on popular subjects such as horses and princesses.

The New York Public Library has a number of excellent booklists, including 100 Great Children's Books and an extensive bibliography of the year's most distinguished children's and YA books, grouped by genre or format.

The Association for Library Services to Children publishes an annual list highlighting the publishing year's best books (as chosen by its committee).  Unlike the Newbery and Caldecott committees, the Notable committees's proceedings are open to the public. Their discussion list for their 2015 list is already available online!

The Cooperative Children's Book Center (affiliated with the University of Wisconsin-Madison's School of Education) has a number of unique booklists, with an eye toward books that represented the diversity of this country.

If you'd prefer more extensive lists and information on children's books, I recommend the following:




If you ever need a gift for an expectant parent that will (hopefully) have a lasting impact, you can't get much better than Jim Trelease's The Read Aloud Handbook. The title is slightly misleading, for it's not just a "how to read aloud" book, but it's also a "WHY to read aloud" guidebook, complete with an extensive and annotated list of children's books.



As a fan of lists, one of my favorite series is the "1001 Things to Do Before You Die" series. The 1001 Children's Books to Read Before You Grow Up has an international flair, which may make tracking down several titles tricky.  It's still a fun read for children's literature fans!




Nancy Pearl's Book Crush is also a terrific guide; long enough to be extensive, but short enough to not be very overwhelming.




For a compact guide, Anita Silvey's 100 Best Books for Children is a must read for those interested in the history of classic children's literature.


Happy reading!


Jennifer Schultz, Youth Services Librarian, Fauquier County Public Library


To learn more about Fauquier County Public Library's collectionevents, and programs, visit us on FacebookTwitter (Kiddosphere's feed is here), or on our website.



Friday, August 01, 2014

It's Time to Think Back to School!

Did this summer fly by for you? It definitely did for me! Summer is winding down, and soon everyone will be back in the school routine.  School stories are a perennial favorite topic for authors of children's literature; every year brings fantastic additions to our collection.  I haven't seen our latest ones because they are either constantly checked out, or they haven't arrived on our shelves yet.  I'm anxious to read them!




Neil Gaiman and Adam Rex's adorable panda returns in Chu's First Day of School.  This little panda is quite nervous, as many children are about the first day of school.  Luckily, he finds that his worries about his classmates, his teacher, and the daily routine are unfounded.





What's the best part of the school day? Many would say that it's recess.  Comics Squad: Recess! features comics about recess from outstanding children's authors and illustrators.  Modern graphic novel favorites characters such as Babymouse and Lunch Lady make appearances, along with original characters not seen before this collection. Cannot wait!





Dinosaur has battled (or attempted to battle) potty training, bedtime, Santa Claus, and the library, but this little dinosaur may have met his match in Dinosaur vs. School.  As you can imagine, pasting, meeting new friends, and playing musical instruments is initially a challenge for this new preschooler, but Dinosaur learns the fun of school and making friends.





The Little School Bus  stars Driver Bob and a very happy school bus as they pick up students, drop them off at school, and take care of minor repairs.  Riding the school bus is an exciting yet intimidating experience for many young children, so I'm excited to find another fun read aloud about school buses.

Parents of kindergarten students! We have a special story time for rising kindergarten students on August 14 at all branches (10:30 a.m.).

Want to know about our latest additions to our catalog? You should subscribe to Wowbrary!

I recently blabbered on about summer reading lists at the ALSC blog


Jennifer Schultz, Youth Services Librarian, Fauquier County Public Library


To learn more about Fauquier County Public Library's collectionevents, and programs, visit us on FacebookTwitter (Kiddosphere's feed is here), or on our website.