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Encyclopedias

School is in session and that inevitably means homework. Last year, my first grader came home from school and informed me that he had a report due in a few days, and that he needed to research an animal of his choice and use reputable sources for his information. When I was his age, I would pull an encyclopedia off our bookshelves, but these days physical sets of encyclopedias are expensive, quickly outdated, and almost obsolete. Before I panicked, I remembered that with my Provo City Library card, I have access to World Book Encyclopedia online (http://www.provolibrary.com/a-z-resources-list/list/alpha/w).

As my son and I researched his report, I realized that we have access to five different versions of World Book! Here is a little summary of each:

World Book Online

This option gives you access to all the other versions as well as Timelines and eBooks.

World Book Kids

This was the obvious choice for my little guy. This version is filled with fun graphics, easy to understand articles, and even games and interactive maps.

World Book Student

This version is geared toward elementary and middle school students. The information is a bit more detailed than the kids’ version, and it comes with neat tools like an option to sign in and save your research, as well as a citation builder that helps students create MLA, APA, and Harvard citations.

World Book Advanced

Here we have the graduated, grownup version of the encyclopedia. This no-frills edition has a more advanced search tool, and links to primary and secondary sources.

World Book Spanish

As expected, this version is in Spanish and is geared toward Spanish speaking students. The interface targets young kids and has activities and games as well.

Wikipedia is awesome, but sometimes you need resources that are a little more curated and that is where World Book steps in to help!  Each of these portals provides quality information that is easily referenced and designed for its specific audience. 

Sometimes, I’m a little nostalgic for that physical encyclopedia set of my childhood, but hopefully my son will build memories too as he discovers the wonders of information in a format made for his generation.

 Halloween Costumes

I love children’s books and dressing up, so what could be more fun than dressing up as a character from a book? 

Every year when I went to the store to pick out a costume for Halloween I was always disappointed. I never liked the choices that I found.  I also didn’t like seeing my costume again and again on everyone else. I love having a costume that is unique to me and my personality. But I also didn’t want to spend a bunch of money on something I was only going to wear one day out of the year. Another frustration in picking a costume was what to be and what person to dress up as.

Then one year I discovered literary characters. I love books so why not choose my favorite book character and dress up as that particular character! For the last 5 years or so I have had some really fun costumes and most of the time people know who I am. I get lots of comments like, “That is one of my favorite books”, which makes me happy.           

Usually a book character costume doesn’t require much. I was surprised at how many things I had at home to use for my costume. Sometimes I would have to hunt for an accessory that I needed or make an item or two for my costume but usually it was just hanging in my closet waiting to be put together. I have over the years added to my wig collection but that is something that can be used again and again. I also bought a latex witch nose and I have used that many times to change the look of my face.   

This year because I have so many ideas and options to choose from my struggle is deciding which character I want to be. I thought it would be fun to share five of my favorite literary costumes and hopefully inspire you to also dress up as a literary character.

10.15 Fancy NancyFANCY NANCY: FANCIEST DOLL IN THE UNIVERSE
By Jane O’Conner
Illustrated by Robin Preiss Glasser
(2013)

 

Fancy Nancy

 

10.15 Amelia BedeliaAMELIA BEDELIA
By Peggy Parish
(1963)

 

Amelia

 

10.15 Miss Nelson is MissingMISS NELSON IS MISSING!
By Harry Allard and James Marshall
(1977)

 

Viola Swamp

 

10.15 Lillys Purple Plastic PurseLILLY'S PURPLE PLASTIC PURSE
By Kevin Henkes
(1996)

 

Lilly

 

10.15 The WitchesTHE WITCHES
By Roald Dahl
(1983)

 

Witch

 

 Judging a Book By Its Cover 628

A while back, I shared one of my favorite librarian hobbies – spotting copycat book covers. Since then, I’ve kept an eagle eye out for more, and I’ve discovered a surprising and strangely specific trend in 2017 and 2018 cover art: the shiny bug.

This past publishing year has produced a handful of gorgeous covers featuring intricate, stylized, metallic insects. It’s an unlikely trend, but a beautiful one.

10.12 Dreadful Young LadiesDREADFUL YOUNG LADIES: AND OTHER STORIES
By Kelly Barnhill
(2018)

 

10.12 Strange the DreamerSTRANGE THE DREAMER
By Laini Taylor
(2017) 

 

10.12 Bruja BornBRUJA BORN
By Zoraida Cordova
(2018)

 

10.12 The Moth PresentsTHE MOTH PRESENTS ALL THESE WONDERS
By Catherine Burns
(2017)

 

Like just about everything, book cover art follows trends (we’re capitalists, y’all). In the 80s and 90s, chick lit, with its pastel illustrations, dominated YA.  During my teen years in the early 2000s, it was all about bright, solid colors, à la THE PRINCESS DIARIES and SISTERHOOD OF THE TRAVELING PANTS (tangent, but Rachel Hawkins recent book ROYALS seems to harken back to that style). More recently, books like THE LUXE and THE SELECTION spawned a seemingly endless parade of ball gown-centric cover art.

So where’d all these glittery bugs come from? I see it as part of a larger trend that I’m pretty jazzed about:  a move away from depicting characters and towards gorgeous lettering. I’ve written about a few of my favorite covers in this style before, and I plan to share more soon.

So, what are some of your favorite book covers? Have you noticed any recent trends in cover art?

Teen Self Help

The start of school is a new beginning, a great time to evaluate goals and start good habits. Maybe you want to be better at planning homework time, or are interested in building your resume. Maybe you just want to feel more comfortable in your own skin. A new school year is a great time to work on yourself and your future. If you are looking for some great ways to improve your school year, our nonfiction collection is a great place to start. 

10.10 Seven HabitsSEVEN HABITS OF HIGHLY EFFECTIVE TEENS
by Sean Covey
(2014)

This is a classic when it comes to setting goals and making decisions. Covey builds off the original 7 Habits to help you work on different aspects of your life, from friendships to school, to getting along with your parents to dating. It also has great sections on how to create good social media habits, resist negative peer pressure, and find direction in life and school.  

 

10.10 Ignite Your SparkIGNITE YOUR SPARK: DISCOVERING WHO YOU ARE FROM THE INSIDE OUT
by Patricia Wooster
(2017)

What do you love? What makes you excited about life? These are some of the key questions asked by this book. Through interactive quizzes and activities it will help you find things that motivate you to be your best and most creative self. Learn how to make failure into success, build your determination, and build the future that you really want.   

 

10.10 The Self Esteem HabitTHE SELF-ESTEEM HABIT FOR TEENS: 50 SIMPLE WAYS TO BUILD YOUR CONFIDENCE EVERY DAY  
by Lisa Schab
(2017)

It’s hard not compare yourself to others, especially in high school. With social media creating unattainable standards, it is difficult not to be hard on ourselves. What happens when these feelings of comparison become insecurities? Using these simple habits of mind, you can build your confidence and self-esteem.

 

10.10 Getting Stuff DoneA TEEN’S GUIDE TO GETTING STUFF DONE
by Jennifer Shannon
(2017)

Do you struggle with procrastination? There are actually different types of procrastinators. Are you a warrior? A pleaser? A perfectionist? Or are you a rebel? Each type has different strengths and weaknesses and different reasons for procrastinating. Learn to understand your motivation or lack of motivation with this interesting and insightful discussion of why you may be leaving things until the last minute.   

 

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