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.

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