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Content Spotlight: July

Post by NoveList
Posted July 08, 2013 in NoveList Plus, NoveList Select, Readers' Advisory News

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Looking for book display ideas or book discussion inspiration? Want to know what’s new in NoveList this month? This column gives you a sneak peek into the NoveList resources that will make your job easier. This month, we’re celebrating American history.

Libraries and Living History

It’s no surprise to us that, once again, a library is making history by presenting a piece of living history to the American public. Just in time for Independence Day, the New York Public Library offered a free exhibit called “Foundations of Freedom,” which included original, handwritten copies of the Bill of Rights and a draft of the Declaration of Independence, penned by Thomas Jefferson himself.

As NYPL Director Tony Marx stated, “Libraries are the true foundation of our democracy of informed citizens.” Well, we couldn’t agree more, which is why we’re featuring content related to American history this month.

Brush up on your American history or get the scoop on some of the most well-known and influential figures of the American canon with these Recommended Reads lists:

  • U.S. Presidential History (Adult Nonfiction)
    Follow the campaign trail with winners and losers of historic U.S. elections. If you think the 2000 Bush-Gore race was controversial, check out the disputed election of 1876!
  • American Military (Adult Nonfiction)
    Boots on the ground -- we're all familiar with that term as a result of the Iraq war. Learn more about U.S. armed forces on land, at sea, and in the air as revealed in these studies of life in America's modern military.
  • American Revolution (Teen Nonfiction)So much more than the midnight ride of Paul Revere and the dumping of tea in Boston Harbor, discover the layered history of the American rebellion against British rule.
  • Revolutionary War (Teen Historical Fiction)
    Slaves fighting for freedom and patriots questioning their loyalty are only some of the characters in these books about the years leading up to the Revolutionary War as well as the war itself.

Looking West

If you’re looking West to the frontier in your study of American history, hold onto your Stetsons and look no further than NoveList’s Feature Articles on Westerns:

  • The Many Sides of Western Romances
    When a reader picks up a western romance novel, they have certain expectations about the characters and plot lines within. Are they looking for the gun-toting hero to wear spurs and a white hat? Should the heroine be plucky and determined to save the family ranch she just inherited?
  • Spurred to Greatness: The Evolution of the Literary Western
    The western has long been both loved and loathed. The genre is loved for its life affirming qualities of independence, strength, loyalty, and industry while it is equally loathed for its cartoonish and simple-minded endorsement of violence.
  • Wanted, Dead or Alive: The Weird Wild West
    The Weird Western is a compelling combination of the classic western genre plus elements from the science fiction, fantasy, and horror genres.
  • Who Says Westerns Are Dead?
    Perhaps you’ve noticed that a Louis L’Amour book isn’t as popular a checkout item as it once was. While it is true that novels falling into the strictly “western” category may not be flying off the shelves, aspects of the western are popping up in a variety of other genres.

Extend a Love of History with Picture Book Extenders

Do you have a young American history enthusiast in your life? Help expand their interest and feed an inquisitive mind with our Picture Book Extenders. They are a great tool for enriching the time spent with a favorite picture book and setting the stage for developing critical thinking skills. These PBEs will be sure to delight your favorite young history buff:

  • Child of the Civil Rights Movement
    Paula Young Shelton, the daughter of a civil rights activist, recounts childhood memories of her parents working alongside Martin Luther King.
  • Papa and the Pioneer Quilt
    Using fabric gathered along the way, Rebecca creates a quilt to mark her family's journey to Oregon. Extender activities are included as a follow-up to reading the book aloud.
  • Tricking the Tallyman (download the FREE pdf!)
    In 1790, the citizens of Turnbridge, Vermont trick the tallyman twice but he tricks them in return until finally they understand that it is to their best advantage to provide an accurate count of their citizens.