March 31, 2017

Summer reading searches, or, don’t fear the advanced search page! 

Adults vary when it comes to reading choices and kids are no different. In fact, kids looking for summer reading can pose a particularly thorny challenge as you might not know if the kid is excited to pick out beach trip books or angry at their dad for saying they had to read “one book this summer.” But no matter who walks into your library, NoveList has the tools for you.

For kids, tune into the child’s interest -- especially if their interests don’t involve reading. You’ll find suggestions for this in our webcast on using popular culture for reader’s advisory. If pop culture isn’t their thing, NoveList has recommended reading lists that make great conversation starters to keep them in control of picking their personal reading.

Since we’re talking summer reading, try typing “summer reading” into the search bar (without the quotation marks). This yields some lists and articles to get you started, but more targeted searching allows you to customize your search for the kid who needs assistance. Here are a few suggestions:

Under the main search box at the top of most NoveList screens, find and click on “Advanced Search.”

Don’t let this screen scare you. Yes, there is a lot there, but you don’t have to use all the options available. Still, the more you click on, the more you can tailor the right list for the right kid. Tune into something the student has said, put a search term into the box at the top. Choosing the right reading level (Teen, Ages 9-12 or Ages 0-8) and picking fiction or nonfiction (if you are in NoveList Plus or K-8 Plus) will give you a manageable list of titles. A search for “summer reading” while:

  • Clicking the box for fiction
  • Clicking the box for Ages 9-12

Gave me a list of 254 books -- a great starting point.

Explore the Advanced Search page further by searching for “summer reading” within a review. From the Advanced Search page:

  • Type “summer reading” into the search bar (use the quotes this time!)
  • Select “RV Review” from the Select a Field menu. (NoveList experts may already know some field code shortcuts for this search -- which you can learn, too!)
  • Click on the boxes for fiction and Ages 9-12 (or whichever reading level you want) for the audience.
  • Click Search

Our list of 254 books is now 31. Browsable! Click on some books, read the reviews, and you’ll get even more ideas for using the power of the review search.

Then, try something a tad more complicated.  For a teen who likes to read realistic genres:

  • Type “summer reading” (again with quotes) into the search box at the Advanced Search page. Use the drop-down menu to choose “RV Review.”
  • Type “Realistic fiction” in the next box down. Choose “GN Genre” from the drop-down menu.
  • Check “Fiction” and the “Teen” audience.
  • Click on the Search button and you get five titles, some brand new and a few older ones as well.

Have a kid who spends the summer dreaming about winter?  Throw in a subject search for “Winter” (using SU Subject in the drop-down). Have a kid who wants to spend the summer reading about China? We’ve got strategies for searching for books by culture and location, too, as well as options on the Advanced Search page. Keep scrolling down that page and you’ll find ways to search by Lexile range, Accelerated Reader Level, and grade level.

Between our search strategies, tutorials geared specifically to K-12 needs, and all the possibilities on the Advanced Search page, finding the perfect summer reading book has never looked so easy.

Lisa Chandek-Stark is a Metadata Librarian at NoveList.


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