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How to Navigate the World of Books for Children and Young Adults

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How to Navigate the World of Books for Children and Young Adults

A key to children’s reading success is making their reading experience entertaining, relaxing and enjoyable. Allowing children to choose their own reading materials while at the same time assisting them in finding books that pique their interest is the role of the children’s librarian. Evaluating the content of each book in order to assess its appropriateness for a particular child is the role of the parent. Bearing that in mind, there are different areas in the Stowe Free Library Children’s and Young Adult Room.

  1. Picture Books and Easy Readers
    These books feature a wide array of books for both children being read to and children beginning to read on their own. Some picture books are written for babies and toddlers, some for 3-5 year olds, and some for more sophisticated readers up through early elementary school. The Red Clover Picture Book Award program, offered at most Vermont elementary schools, was designed to educate kids about the wide range of picture books and to help them become critical evaluators of both written and illustrated content. Yes, it is okay for a 3rd grader to enjoy reading picture books! 
  2. Easy Readers
    These books are designed with the new reader in mind. Each publishing company has its own leveling system. The very early levels may have only a few words per page. As the child becomes more proficient at reading, more words are added. The highest level Easy Readers have small chapters and a much more extensive vocabulary. 
  3. Juvenile Fiction (JF)
    This area covers a wide range of reading and interest levels, generally 1st grade through 5th grade. Anything marked JF is usually a chapter book or “novel” for children. Due to varying content and reading levels, there are more sophisticated classics such as The Secret Garden and Tom Sawyer, as well as very beginning chapter books such as the Horrible Harry series or the Junie B. Jones books. 
  4. Young Adult (YA)/Teen
    This section is for readers ranging in age from 5th-12th grade. Reading levels are higher and content may be more sophisticated. Adolescent concerns such as sexuality, fitting in, drugs and alcohol, school violence, eating disorders, etc. are now in a separate Teen section. Books in YA have a higher reading level than most JF books and may cover topics such as death, divorce, or war. At least half of the books on the DCF (Dorothy Canfield Fisher) list are considered young adult. 
  5. Nonfiction
    These areas are comprised of books that are factual. They are organized by the Dewey Decimal Subject Classification system. The YA nonfiction area contains books that were written with the teenager in mind. Topics may include questions about religion, sexuality, drugs and alcohol, eating disorders, astrology, fashion, etc. 

Librarians are happy to assist children, young adults, teachers and parents who may need help navigating the childrens and young adult area. Please do not hesitate to ask.

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I like stories well told. That is the reason I am sometimes forced to tell them myself.Mark Twain