Every quarter we write a column for YAACING, a youth services newsletter published by the Young Adult and Children’s Services (YAACS) arm of the British Columbia Library Association. This fall our column is all about our favourite spots to learn about new books, but make sure to check out the entire Fall 2015 issue! If you’d like to catch up on our past columns you can find them here:
- Summer 2015: Summer Reading Club Ideas
- Spring 2015: STEAM Resources
- Winter 2015: New Youth Services Blogs
- Fall 2014
- Summer 2014
- Spring 2014
- Winter 2014
- Fall 2013
One of our favourite parts of the fall season is learning about all the new books that are soon to hit the shelves. If you’re like us and work in a large system with centralized purchasing, you have to make a concerted effort to stay on top of new releases. Have no fear! In this issue we’re sharing ten of our favourite websites to keep up-to-date on children’s and young adult books, apps, and audio visual materials.
Step Up Readers: The fabulous Storytime Katie has started a second blog and it’s all about those beginning readers your 5-7-year-olds gobble up. This part of our collection can be hard to stay on top of, but Katie comes to the rescue with overviews of series, publishing information, and new releases. She often includes her personal review of the quality and the level of difficulty.
CanLit for Little Canadians: We love promoting Canadian authors and illustrators and this website is a goldmine. Helen Kubiw, a teacher librarian, maintains the site, creating fabulous booklists and making sure we’re all aware of upcoming publications by Canadian creators.
The Nonfiction Detectives: Run by a school librarian and youth service manager duo, this website is paramount for learning about exciting new information books. It’s the place where Lindsey learned about the new biography of her all time favourite poet that came out April 7, 2015!
Forever Young Adult: If you’ve ever found reading reviews to be boring, you must visit this site! This group of ladies review teen fiction with pizzazz and humor. Not only that, they also recap popular teen TV shows and movies so you can still be hooked into teen culture. Before you start reading, check out their explanation of their book report grading.
Literary Hoots: Emily is one of my favourite children’s librarian bloggers hands down. She posts very succinct and helpful reviews of picture books through YA, but in addition to that she also shares super cool reader’s advisory stuff like this super awesome flowchart for middle-graders. And if you read her blog regularly, you’ll get to see all her storytime and program ideas!
Sense and Sensibility and Stories: If Canadian children’s literature had celebs, we think Rob Bittner would own the red carpet! His blog offers short, honest and extremely succinct reviews of new picture books right up to teen novels, with a focus on both diverse and Canadian materials.
AudioFile: When we asked a colleague where-oh-where we could find reviews of children’s audiobooks she pointed us to AudioFile and we have never looked back. Using the “children” filter for new reviews you can browse what’s new and great or under Features check out AudioRex for children’s audiobook reviews by age category.
Digital Storytime: This is THE authoritative review site for picture books apps. Started by Carisa Kluver in 2010 because she couldn’t locate credible ebook reviews when deciding what to buy for her family Digital Storytime has grown to a robust site searchable by category, age, price and device.
School Library Journal: We know that you know about School Library journal. But, did you know they now host some of your favourite book bloggers like Betsy Bird, Teen Librarian Toolbox, and Travis Jonker? They can be counted on for solid content like Librarian Previews and Reviews (including apps!) but also much richer content like cool author interviews on Fuse #8 TV, The Yarn podcast (which is like Serial but for Children’s Librarians) and super hip Friday Finds.
We Need Diverse Books: This is a hugely important resource for ensuring that we continue to build truly diverse collections and is the flagship of the current movement in children’s literature. Check out the Where to Find Diverse Books section for awards and review sites and the Summer Reading Series (we hope there’s a Fall one!) for great readalike ideas for popular titles and series.
Do you have a favourite website for collection development ideas that we missed? We’d love to hear about it, give us a shout at firstname.lastname@example.org.