Here’s the scene: Kid comes into library and is told to look for a book. Only, said kid has zero clue what to read or where to start. Makes sense, right? We’ve all been there, or know somebody that has.
So, where do we look when there are so many books on the shelves? How do we narrow down what’s “good.” For some of us, we don’t question why we like something — we just do. It’s the same with books. Identifying what we like about a book and then finding something that meets our expectations can be tricky. To start looking for that one gem, let’s take the thinking part out of the equation for a minute. Begin by cruising through the stacks and just look around. For a second consider that it’s okay to judge a book by it’s cover…and then do it! Do you actually like the cover? What seems appealing about it? Could the story possibly be of interest based on what you see? Ask some questions, grab a stack, and check ’em out. If it’s not of interest, pitch it. Find another. Eventually the right one will show up given time.
Here are 5 children’s books I’ve found to be pretty excellent…just by judging the cover:
The Accidental Afterlife of Thomas Marsden
At age twelve, grave robber Thomas Marsden discovers a boy who looks just like him in an unmarked grave and begins a journey of discovery as he learns of faeries trapped in London and their hope that he can return them to their realm.
Follows a fourteen-year-old American girl whose life unexpectedly transforms when she moves to London in 1952 and gets swept up in a race to save the world from nuclear war.
The War That Saved My Life
Kimberly Brubaker Bradley
A young disabled girl and her brother are evacuated from London to the English countryside during World War II, where they find life to be much sweeter away from their abusive mother.
When her baby brother is kidnapped by crows, seventh-grader Prue McKeel ventures into the forbidden Impassable Wilderness–a dangerous and magical forest in the middle of Portland, Oregon–and soon finds herself involved in a war among the various inhabitants.
Celebrated author Kenneth Oppel creates an eerie masterpiece in this compelling story that explores disability and diversity, fears and dreams, and what ultimately makes a family. Includes illustrations from celebrated artist Jon Klassen.