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Easy Readers 2

One of my favorite things I get to do at work is ordering the Easy Reader Nonfiction books (JENF for short). These books are nestled in with the Easy Reader and Very Easy Reader section, but I think they are extra special. These books are a great way for curious minds to learn about all the things they might be interested in – in a language they can read for themselves. 

Our JENF books are in the red Easy Reader corner of the Children’s Department and are eager to be discovered. Here are some great new JENF series to go hunting for: 

ROOKIE NATIONAL PARKS

9.6 Rookie National ParksZION NATIONAL PARK
By Jodie Shepherd
(2018)

Rookie is a series of books from Scholastic, and within the Rookie series there are a lot of series on all kinds of topics – and I don’t think that they are all good, but the National Parks series (new this year!) is definitely worth reading. Each book in this series has facts about the flora and fauna of the National Park in question, the geographical formation, and must-sees within the parks – all on pages full of stunning photographs from inside the national parks. If you have young explorers, definitely bring these books home. 

 

FLY GUY PRESENTS

9.6 Fly GuyFLY GUY PRESENTS: CASTLES
By Tedd Arnold
(2017)

Sometimes informational books with popular characters thrown in can seem a little gimmicky, but the Fly Guy Presents series has none of that. These informational books on a variety of topics (everything from Sharks to the White House) have all the fun of Fly Guy stories but with a ton of great facts as well. I love these books, which follow Fly Guy and Buzz on various field trips and are filled with Tedd Arnold’s signature funny illustrations and cool photographs throughout.     

 

TRANSFORMERS RESCUE BOTS TRAINING ACADEMY

9.6 FirefightersTRAINING ACADEMY: FIREFIGHTERS!
By Trey King
(2016)

I have to confess that I am not a big Transformers fan so I cannot personally speak to how cool these books are, but my elementary school aged cousins tell me that these books are cool and I’ll take their word for it. From a librarian perspective, this series is great because even though it is fairly new it is already covering a good range of topics (firefighters, monster trucks, under the sea). The pages are a good mix of photographs and illustrations and these books are full of good information. 

 

RANGER RICK ... I WISH

9.6 I wish I was a GorillaI WISH I WAS A GORILLA
By Jennifer Bove
(2018)

I grew up reading Ranger Rick magazines and this new series of Easy Readers carries all the same good parts of Ranger Rick magazines, but in a compact, focused design focused on beginning readers. This series of books includes volumes focused on other animals like orcas and lions and all are really well done. This book is filled with a ton of information about gorillas – where they live, what they look like, what they eat, and how they care for their families. Plus there are incredible photos courtesy of the National Wildlife Federation.  

 

YOU SHOULD MEET...

9.6 Jesse OwensJESSE OWENS
By Laurie Calkhoven
(2017)

If your little readers are curious about real people and the interesting lives they lived, this series is one of my favorites. These books tend to focus on figures that young readers may not have learned about yet (i.e. not another Thomas Edison or Abraham Lincoln bio). This book, about Jesse Owens the African American runner who caused a sensation at the 1936 Berlin Olympics is well written with little readers in mind. Other books to look out for include Mae Jemison and a group biography Women in Science. 

 

Did we miss any of your favorite Easy Reader Non Fiction sections? Tell us in the comments!

video games pop culture 01

Find them in the Catalog:

READY PLAYER ONE

WARCROSS

THE CURE FOR THE COMMON UNIVERSE

Read to Travel

Last time I talked about the good ol’ literary home of Tom Sawyer on the Mississippi. My number five pick for literary vacations takes us abroad…to Italy! And really, I could have included the WHOLE COUNTRY on this literary smorgasbord. But I was good and I narrowed it down to one city—Rome!

5. Rome, Italy

This location is one hotbed of history—and thus literature! Think about it, how many times do people reference JULIUS CAESAR? Or Roman Mythology? Or parts of the Bible that took place in Rome? There was so much that happened here. “Et tu, Brute?” 

colosseum1

When I visited Rome, one of my favorite things was going to the Roman Forum. There I saw where Julius Caesar and Mark Antony delivered their famous speeches. I don’t think I would have appreciated this attraction as much if I hadn’t read the great Shakespeare classic Julius Caesar or studied various Roman Mythology in middle school. (Plus there are a plethora of other books like Rick Riordan’s THE MARK OF ATHENA or Jennifer Nielsen’s MARK OF THE THIEF—both of which I better understood because I had traveled to this ancient land and saw the Roman Forum.) 

For those who are really into art, history, and mysteries, touring around the various churches in Italy brought to mind Dan Brown’s book ANGELS AND DEMONS. I mean, if you are enjoying art work by some of the world’s masters—you might as well think of a suspenseful mystery book… right? 

For those moments when I wondered about the various people that lived in Roman history—including children—I thought of THE THIEVES OF OSTIA (a kid’s mystery book that takes place in ancient Rome)—because walking on all the cobblestone streets reminded me of passages in the book where kids have to go from place to place to figure out a mystery.   

Basically, there are a bunch of books that have portions of history that take place in ancient Rome. And having traveled there I feel like I understand the literature just a little bit more. Not to mention there is the famous Colosseum across the street, the great Spanish Steps, and the Pantheon that all have a lot of history—and make their way into various books and movies that take place in Rome. I know it isn’t literature, but I couldn’t help myself—when visiting the Colosseum I pictured all that happened there in BEN HUR. And I smiled at the memories of watching ROMAN HOLIDAY when going to the Trevi Fountain, Spanish Steps, and Pantheon. 

colosseum2

Thankfully I also had my RICK STEVES’ ITALY tour book so not only could I think of great literary masterpieces as I toured around Rome, I could also find the best place to eat gelato and create my own Roman memories! 

So there you have it, my #5 literary destination pick (a city with a zillion book and movie references). Keep an eye out for my next pick for a literary destination vacation.  

Keep an eye out in the coming weeks for other literary vacation destinations that I have loved!   

read a romance 1

Sometimes Romance ends up being unfairly stereotyped - there's more to it than bodice rippers and covers with glistening pectorals (though those have their place). Romance as a genre is far-reaching, so in honor of Read a Romance Month, we're sharing a few of our favorite subcategories of Romance.

Be sure to check out our early posts on Romantic Classics, Proper Romance, and Historical Romance.

Fantastic Romance

Don’t forget all the great love stories that may be hiding in our Science Fiction/Fantasy section.  These will usually have a good helping of adventure along with their romance, so hold on tight and enjoy!

8.29 How to Stop TimeHOW TO STOP TIME
By Matt Haig
(2018)

Even though there is something extraordinary about Tom Hazard and his aging process the problems and insights he experiences as he goes through life, are universal. Love, memory, and time play tricks on us all as this novel illustrates so exquisitely.

 

8.29 The Night CircusTHE NIGHT CIRCUS
By Erin Morgenstern
(2011)

A fierce competition is underway, a contest between two young magicians, Celia and Marco, who have been trained since childhood to compete in "a game," in which each must use their powers of illusion to best the other. Unbeknownst to them, this game is a duel to the death, and the circus is but the stage for a remarkable battle of imagination and will.

 

8.29 The Golem and the JinniTHE GOLEM AND THE JINNI
By Helene Wecker
(2013)

Chava, a golem brought to life by a disgraced rabbi, and Ahmad, a jinni made of fire, form an unlikely friendship on the streets of New York until a fateful choice changes everything.

 

Romantic Humor

And don’t forget the funny side of romance with these witty novels that mix romance and humor in brilliant and entertaining ways. 

8.29 Eleanor OliphantELEANOR OLIPHANT IS COMPLETELY FINE
By Gail Honeyman
(2017)

Eleanor Oliphant -- despite her social isolation and the rules she sets to survive weekends -- insists that she is just fine. But is she really? The gentle overtures of a coworker who accepts her as she is gets things rolling and gives her the emotional support she needs when a horrific (and embarrassing) event forces her to reevaluate her life.

 

8.29 Can You Keep a SecretCAN YOU KEEP A SECRET?
By Sophie Kinsella
(2004)

This is my favorite of Kinsella’s standalone romantic comedies.  After the worst day of her life, Emma Corrigan spills her darkest secrets to a stranger on an airplane, but when he re-emerges in her life, she will have to face the things she said to him, and her growing feelings for him.

 

8.29 The Rosie ProjectTHE ROSIE PROJECT
By Graeme Simsion
(2013)

Don Tillman, a brilliant geneticist, thinks that having women fill out a six-page, double-sided questionnaire before a date is logical and reasonable. Rosie Jarman, an impetuous barmaid, thinks Don should loosen up and learn to live a little. Follow the unlikely pair in this laugh-out-loud, feel-good story of unexpected joys, discovery and love.

 

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