Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Book recommendations

"What should I read next?" is one of a librarian's favorite questions. But it's also one of the most daunting because a) each reader is unique, b) there are SO MANY good books to read and c) disappointed readers are the stuff of librarians' nightmares.

Thankfully, there are many places from which to get excellent book recommendations, read reviews, and browse "read-alikes" (books that have similar characters, themes, or other traits similar to beloved titles). Of course, people are the best recommenders. Your friends, teachers, local librarians, parents, and other loving adults are all great sources for book recommendations. Below, you'll find web resources that may also aid you in your quest to find the perfect book. This list is not exhaustive and I will continue to update it as I find new resources for the SK library community.

The Ann Arbor District Library has dozens of recommended book lists by grade level and interests.

The American Library Association also has excellent lists of award-winning books.

What should I read next? is a book recommendation generator that uses an algorithm to recommend books based on the title of a book you've already read. Keep in mind that the recommendations are generated by a computer (based on the likes and recommendations of other readers) and that the list of recommendations it generates may or may not suit you.

Biblionasium is an online community where kids read and share reviews. Anyone may use the site for reviews but, before joining (to post or share), children must obtain parental permission.

Scholastic's Teacher Book Wizard is a tool designed to help teachers find appropriate grade-level or reading-level books. My thoughts on "leveling books" aside (I am, for the most part, opposed to this practice), this may be a useful tool for readers (or their teachers or parents). You can also search by keyword, which is a nice feature.

Guys Read is a literacy organization dedicated to encouraging boys to read. It is the brainchild of the First National Ambassador for Young People's Literature, Jon Sczieska. The website includes book lists by topic, genre, and "best book" lists created by beloved authors (such as Gordan Korman and Daniel Handler, for example). I'm hesitant to label books by gender but I do appreciate all efforts to encourage young people (guy or otherwise) to read more books.

A Book and a Hug is a place to browse for books, read reviews, and watch interviews with favorite authors and illustrators (such as Patricia Polacco, Kadir Nelson, and Genifer Choldenko, for example).

NoveList is a database of reviews and recommendations that is accessible through the Michigan eLibrary. To get to NoveList, go to the Michigan eLibrary, select "databases," and scroll down to "NoveList." This database is freely available to Michigan residents thanks to the Michigan eLibrary.

If you have other great places to find book reviews and recommendations, please send them my way.




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