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Books Galore

How do we choose?

The bibliographies and book collections in this section contain books chosen from among the thousands of books published annually for children. How do we determine which books we will include on our lists? In making our decisions we do, of course, have some criteria in mind:

Does the book have an attractive format, cover, and design? Is the writing engaging? Are the photographs or illustrations inviting, and do they add to the text? Is the information in the book clear, accurate, and up-to-date? Does the book address an intriguing or unusual topic or take an interesting perspective on a topic? Is the book equitable and diverse? Does the book inspire critical or creative thinking?

Our lists will include some of the books and authors that you have come to love and depend on. But the lists also include some of the newer voices in the field of children’s science trade books. Occasionally, we will select a particular unit or theme, and will choose to include only newer publications, as is the case with our thematic look at the seasons. Sometimes, as was the case with our rocks unit of study list, we have tried to include the best books, regardless of their publication date. But in all instances, we try to include only those books which are still either in-print or available from local lending libraries. We also try to approach each unit of study or theme from as many angles as possible, so that these lists might serve a number of varied needs for as many classrooms as possible.

Our lists are not exhaustive ones. You may, in fact, read our suggestions and wonder why a favorite book is missing from a particular bibliography. You might also have a suggestion for a unit of study, an author, or a theme. If so, send an email to esip@umbc.edu.

Units of Study
In the Units of Study section, we focus on areas that many teachers teach:
     Life Cycles
     Buildings and Structures
     Rocks and Minerals
The Themes section is intended to be a broader look at various topics.
     The Seasons
In the Authors section, we highlight some of the most highly regarded writers of science related books for young readers.
     Jim Arnosky
     Jean Craighead George
     Gail Gibbons
     Seymour Simon