Friday, December 4, 2009

Finding Great Books on a Favorite Subject

Before I became a mother, I worked in couple of libraries. So, I thought I would pass along my list of ways to find great books to feed your child's interest or supplement their curriculum:
  • Find a book about books - There are lots of books that contain book lists and how to get you child to love to read, check your parent's help section in your library (this may be located in the children's section). Honey for a Child's Heart and How to Get Your Child to Love Reading are two examples. My library has a reference book titled A to Zoo by Carolyn W. Lima and John A. Lima, which divides children's picture books by subject. I have more titles if you need them, I must admit I sort of collect them.
  • Find one at the library and you should find more in the same area (non-fiction ). Quick Catherine, what is the Dewey Decimal number for orca whales? Every subject has it's own number. Ask the librarian, she probably has it memorized.
  • Use Amazon or Barnes and Noble's website. Besides subject, you can narrow it down by age group as well. Then you cut and paste the ISBN # from store to the library's website. This is also very helpful to find what is available in audio books and for music (esp. when studying music of a historical period). Not to mention, when you search a subject, the most popular books come up at the top of the list. Usually, not always, a popular children's book is a good book.
  • PBS Kids has some great websites - Reading Rainbow has a great book list. For example, my son was interested in bats. I knew about the book Stellaluna, thought they probably did an episode on the book and I was right. Reading Rainbow has a book list for each episode and their books are high quality.
  • Your library's search engine should be able to do a search in a specific area of the library, like easy reader non- fiction and easy reader fiction for picture books (including non-fiction videos). It is probably under an advanced search option. If you cannot find that as an option, ask the librarian at the Reference Desk. They love to help you, I know because I have worked at the Reference Desk. We love to help the sane people:)
Please add to the list if you have some more ways to find books by subject.

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