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NextReads Newsletter Profile: Kids’ Books

Post by Rebecca Honeycutt
Posted April 17, 2014 in Kids & Book News, NextReads

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Ah, the peaceful life of a children's librarian. Nothing but leisurely days spent in a quiet, tidy library, leafing through book review journals and browsing new books alongside quiet, tidy children…what? That doesn't sound realistic? Didn't think so. For busy librarians, it can be challenging to stay on top of what's new for young readers. That's where the Kids' Books newsletter comes in.

Unlike our adult newsletters, which recommend books by genre or by subject, NextReads newsletters for youth recommend books by age group. Now, "kids" is an extremely broad term (depending on who you are it could refer to anyone from babies to college students), so let's clarify: Kids' Books focuses on pleasure reading for kids aged 9-11, aka "middle grade" readers. And since the skills and interests of middle grade readers are incredibly diverse, so are the selections for Kids' Books. From reluctant readers who are still building confidence to voracious young bibliophiles, we strive to meet the reading needs of all kinds of kids.

Each monthly Kids' Books newsletter features an annotated list of five recently released books, as well as a themed list of five older books. The themes are wide-ranging and might include genres (Mystery, Adventure), subjects (Hands-On Science, Creature Feature -- view this sample newsletter from March), or events (holidays, popular movie releases). The annotations are geared specifically towards sparking an interest in middle grade readers. For instance, in Kids' Books (as opposed to, say, Business & Personal Finance) you're less likely to find adult-level vocabulary words and more likely to find exclamation points! 

When it comes to choosing titles for Kids' Books, we'll often bypass the bestsellers, because as much as we love Percy Jackson and Greg Heffley, we know that kids are already reading those books. Instead, we look for fresh titles with maximum kid appeal.  Sometimes this means choosing books by well-known or award-winning authors, and sometimes it means taking a chance on a promising debut.  As for genre, anything goes: realistic, fantasy, adventure, humor, mystery, science fiction, historical fiction, graphic novels, and narrative nonfiction all make appearances.

You can sign up kids and parents to receive Kids' Books directly via email; or, if the kids in your library don't use email, you can use one of LibraryAware's other options for sharing or printing NextReads recommendations. Oh, and keep in mind that older middle grade readers may also be interested in our Tween Reads (ages 11-14) newsletter. However you use Kids' Books, you can rest assured that our goal at NextReads is the same as yours: to get great books into the hands of the readers who will enjoy them most.

The Kids' Books Newsletter is one of 20+ NextReads Newsletters available from local libraries who subscribe to LibraryAware. 

Rebecca Honeycutt is a Bibliographer at NoveList.