Monday, June 7, 2010

Do you have a book to sell? Part 5. After time out for Memorial Day, here is the last in this series on selecting books for my library collection.

How do I whittle down my list to the Must-Haves? In part 4, I discussed the fiction collection. Now it's time to give non-fiction equal attention. My goals are similar.
  • Engage all the students as readers. In this case, I'm going to need books across the K-6 reading levels to introduce topics and provide in-depth information for research, and report writing.
  • Develop appreciation for the ways in which information can be organized. I'm still looking for exemplary writing, but in non-fiction I want students to see organization, clarity, and careful research modeled in the books they utilize.
  • Support the curriculum: I want titles that support the instructional standards and content for grades K-6.
Once again I will turn to reviews to help me sort out my preferences from among the dozens of books that exist on each topic. How well does the book attain its stated goals and work for its intended audience?
  • I'm watching for key words and phrases such as: well-researched, thoughtfully structured, evenhanded, comprehensive, current, uncluttered, easy to read, and yes, entertaining.
  • Along with the quality of the writing, I'm looking at the organization of the book as a whole: table of contents, index, illustrations, quotes, primary source material, timelines, tables, charts, grafts, maps, glossaries, bibliographies, and related websites (where appropriate to the subject) can provide added value.
How does your book measure up?

Here is the answer to Friday's Famous First: "The trouble with running away is you know what you're leaving behind, but not what's waiting up ahead,," from the Coretta Scott King Honor Book, The Road to Paris by Nikki Grimes.

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