Library Assignment

For this assignment you will engage in extensive research of children’s books and create a library of  10 titles that offers a superb, well-balanced, culturally diverse selection that meets the wide-ranging needs and interests of children in one of the intermediate or upper elementary grades.  In a well-thought-out paper, you will explain the rationale for the library’s composition/your selection criteria, referencing course readings to support your vision, and you will give a brief overview of each book title, why you selected it, and how it satisfies the criteria

Begin by considering the multiple criteria that are important for an optimal class library where children will go to select books for independent reading.  In establishing the criteria you will use, reflect on our class discussions and course readings about the necessity for including a range of reading levels and text genres, and for focusing on book quality and readers’ tastes as well.  Consider what other criteria are important to you also (e.g., picture books with outstanding illustrations, books by culturally diverse authors, books with social justice themes, etc.). Then, choose one grade to focus on:  grade 4 OR grade 5 OR grade 6.  Begin your research for titles that meet your criteria, using the following resources to help you:

  • American Library Association Services for Children Book and Media Awards (descriptions of awards)
  • American Library Association – Coretta Scott King Book Awards
  • American Library Association Services for Children Book and Media Awards (search engine)
  • National Council of Teachers of English – Children’s Book and Poetry Awards
  • Children’s Book Council
  • Your Fountas & Pinnell text (levelled book list in back)
  • Barnes and
  • Other reputable sites you may discover during your search
  • Your own knowledge and experience

At least half of your books should be recent publications; that is, they should have an original copyright date of 2010 or later. Look for this information on the verso page.

You will not be able to do this assignment successfully if you rely on just one source.  Instead, use different sources for your selections, and don’t be hesitant to check across sources for each selection as well.

In a well-organized paper, introduce the task briefly and how you went about it.  Explain the rationale for your library’s composition/selection criteria and why you focused on these criteria specifically; refer to course readings to support your vision (use a reader-friendly format: author’s name and page number only).  Then, for each of the 10 books you select for your library, give the book’s title, a brief overview/summary, and the rationale for why you chose it (i.e., what did your research tell you about it that made you decide on this particular book), and how it satisfies the criteria.   For the sake of consistency, please use this format for each book:

Author Last Name, Author First Name.  (Year).  Book title in italics.  City:  Publisher.

Please use this modified APA citation format, including proper punctuation.

Genre:  Specify the genre    Pages:  Indicate the number of pages

Summary/Overview: you may copy or otherwise use the publisher’s summary, that which appears on the verso page of the book, or any internet or other sources of summary or evaluation, but you must cite your source (a reference/link to the specific page is sufficient).

Rationale for Book Choice/Criteria Satisfaction:

Briefly describe how you decided this was a book you wanted in your library (i.e., what did your research/sources tell you about it) and tell how it satisfies your criteria.  Note that many of your book choices will fulfill multiple criteria, so please do not confine yourself to a one-dimensional discussion.

After you have discussed each of the books, look back over what you have done.  In a detailed analysis, discuss the strengths of your library and any weaknesses.  Consider the following, as you analyze the task you just completed:  Did you meet the goals/criteria you established? Is the library well-balanced?  Are there gaps/holes in it? Are there additional criteria you might want to consider going forward?  What would your next steps be in adding to the collection?    What were the shortcomings of the process you used and what else might you do, in terms of improving the research/decision-making process in the future?  Be thoughtful and comprehensive in your discussion.  Then, please conclude your paper by discussing what you learned from this exercise and how it will influence your future actions and decisions as a classroom teacher.

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