Friday, August 31, 2012

Helpful Tip for Screening Books for Kids

I am a very slow reader. My girls both read MUCH faster than I do (which isn't saying much). When they were younger, I could keep up with them and pre-read books to make sure they were appropriate. Those days are long gone.

If you have pre-teen or teenaged readers, you are well aware of the problem of finding good fiction books at the library that aren't insultingly simple to read or saturated with romantic or inappropriate themes. I just shudder every time I have to approach the YA (Young Adult) section!

Recently, though, one of our librarians shared with me a neat tool that is now in most books. It's in the front of the book, on the copyright page. If you look at the bottom of that page, there is a section with CIP (Cataloging-in-Publication) data in it like this example:

Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data

Bronkhorst, Johannes, 1946-
[Langage et réalité. English]
Language and reality : on an episode in Indian thought / by Johannes Bronkhorst ; translated from the French by Michael S. Allen and Rajam Raghunathan. -- Rev. and with a new appendix.
p. cm. --  (Brill's Indological library ; v. 36)
Rev. and updated English ed. of: Langage et réalité : sur un épisode de la pensée indienne.
Includes bibliographical references and index.
ISBN 978-90-04-20435-5 (hardback : alk. paper)
1.  Philosophy, Indic--History. 2.  Language and languages--Philosophy--History. 3.  Reference (Philosophy)--History. 4.  Reality--History.  I. Title.
B132.S4B7613 2011

The most helpful part of this is the part I highlighted in bold red above. It tells you some of the main themes or topics discussed in the book. That includes controversial subjects that you might want to avoid. I found this very helpful in quickly sorting through a bunch of books in the YA section for my girls. If you're looking for historical fiction from a particular time period, this could also be helpful in finding books related to that time period.

So try checking out the copyright page the next time you're at the library. It might just save you some time.

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