Librarian Prep Post for April

By Tom Czech

April is an interesting time. On one hand, it’s a breath of fresh air; the birds are chirping again, the temperature is creeping back up the thermometer, and the infamous and imminent Spring blizzard is well out of our minds (can’t wait for that big surprise!)

Yet, on the other hand, we’re still a ways away from normalcy, the school year is approaching its final push, and the stresses of day-to-day life continue to weigh heavily.

To bridge this gap between both the fun and the anxiety of the changing seasons, we’ve put together our reader’s advisory and booklists for April! Again focused on bringing you as many solutions as possible to the dilemma of providing online book displays for your children, we hope that you can find something that inspires you to inspire them!

Military Child Booklist

A niche but important topic, a display about this micro-celebration will not only speak to the children who deal with having deployed parents, but it will speak to any child from a varied household situation.

This booklist includes informational titles about what it means to have a parent in the military, long-form experiential narrative, and general books about families and their diversity.

♦️ For librarians and teachers with an older audience, check out our eBook set for the series Support and Defend, which focuses on teens from diverse backgrounds with a parent or guardian formerly deployed in the military, highlighting common struggles and challenges that US military families face.

Money Smart Booklist

This is a topic that seems to come up in one way or another every month or two, but it’s important to continue discussing it. As deep a hole as money may burn in our pockets, it’s integral to teach our youth the necessity of being “money smart.”

These titles are fairly diverse and offer a wide range of basic financial information from what you can spend money on, to how you earn it, to how not to lose it. This list should make for a good beginner board/display.

♦️ To further education on this topic and provide students with online resources that may make your display more accessible, take a look at our five free downloadable reading guides for the four-title series First Step Nonfiction – Money.

April Fool’s Booklist

No books for this display. Sorry.

April Fool’s! Of course we have books for this wacky holiday! In fact, this list of titles might have more substance than you might think. Some titles are silly, like 101 Ways to Gross Out Your Friends, but some are serious and take a different perspective on pranks and bullying more generally. What can go wrong when you cross the line?

♦️ We don’t have a ton of eSource or online material for our April Fool’s titles, so I found this fun little YouTube video, from creator Homeschool Pop, about the history and fun facts of this infamous day of debauchery. Share this along with your April Fool’s display!

Autism Awareness Booklist

Growing up is extremely difficult for everyone; puberty stinks, school only gets harder, and relationships face constant challenge. However, growing up with autism is a completely different ballgame; it’s best for everyone if we all know as much as possible about it so we can learn to empathize and give autistic students the tools and support they need to succeed!

This list includes scientific information, poetic perspective, and narrative fiction that will give students a wide frame of reference for understanding and learning about autism.

♦️ A few days ago, we posted Resource Roundup for award-winning title The Secret Life of Kitty Granger. Check it out for a plethora of activities and reading guides to pair with and supplement your display!

♦️ We also have six free online content downloads available from USA TODAY Health Reports, the source behind title Autism Spectrum Disorders, along with content for innumerable other topics! Strengthen your display with these materials.

A.I.D.S. Day Booklist

Currently, 37.9 million people still suffer from the life-changing, debilitating disease of HIV/AIDS. A far more widespread epidemic than the lay person may realize, we believe that it is important to acknowledge and support those who struggle with it and read up on how it affects the lives of not only those with it, but those around it.

To do this, we’ve provided scientific titles as well as narrative titles, much like we did for Autism Awareness Month. The breadth of this topic is wide, and we aim to encompass that in our display!

♦️ eSource material for Race to Discover the AIDS Virus provides a free download with a list of informational websites regarding AIDS that you can share with your children, a nice addition to any display or lesson.

♦️ And once again, USE TODAY Health Reports provides five great supplementary downloads about AIDS!

Siblings Day Booklist

Sibling relationships can be difficult to navigate, and everyone’s situation is different. Some of us are the eldest, some are middle children, and some are the youngest; heck, some of us don’t even have siblings!

For National Siblings Day, we hope to bring you all the necessary titles you need to bring the reality of having a sibling to your students and create a wide-ranged display.

♦️ Check out our blog post “A Little Sibling Love” from Sarah Olmanson for a fun write-up about contemporary, famous siblings in popular culture to help modernize your knowledge and display.

Pet Day Booklist

As kids, I’m sure we all dreamt about having fun, exotic pets; I know I always envisioned a giraffe eating leaves from the giant oak tree in my backyard. Maybe you thought about dinosaurs, elephants, or dragons! However, I never thought about how I would ever begin to care for a giraffe . . .

Whatever your animal of choice, this booklist and display offers a wide variety of titles on the responsibility it takes to own a pet, rhinos and dinos alike.

♦️ Check out our retrospective post “Pets in Books” for more insight on how animals enhance literature and how you can use pet books in your display and curriculum.

Haiku Poetry Booklist

Despite it being a lesser known micro-holiday, we have no shortage of haiku poetry books! Not only does the list for this display offer a number of inspiring titles, both fiction and nonfiction, it also offers poetry guides for aspiring young writers and goofy stories for children.

Get everything you need for Haiku Poetry Day with this simple but effective collection of titles!

♦️ Feel free to read a free excerpt from Lion of the Sky to students to get them engaged with this micro-holiday and subsequent book display!

Earth Day Booklist

Earth Day is a popular one, and it raises one of the most important issues facing our world today. Earth Day isn’t just for learning about the Earth itself, though that is certainly part of it, but it is also for learning about the action steps we can (and need) to take to protect it.

With informational titles and action books that should inspire students to make subtle changes in their lives for the better, this booklist is all-encompassing and should provide librarians and teachers with meaningful displays and lesson content.

♦️ Earth Friendly Waste Management provides a wonderful reading guide that could pair with a book display to help students being thinking critically and practically about how to better treat our world.

Book Day Booklist

What a day for librarians, teachers, and publishers eh?! Because this is such a wide-ranging topic, and a really fun one at that, there aren’t any specific theme books to present so I feel it’s a good time to share some of our best titles.

This list includes recently awarded or starred titles: high quality stories for your children that should keep them invested in reading well beyond World Book Day. There is a title for everyone, and you’re bound to find a tale that will inspire or teach you in ways you might not have imagined!

♦️ Here is our complete list of recently recognized / acclaimed titles!

Jazz Day Booklist

A staple of American history, the jazz genre and its famed contributors not only shaped the historical music scene, but their influence has inspired numerous sub-genres and cultures that are evolving and popularizing even in today’s contemporary American music culture. Come learn about the depth and the power of jazz music with us!

With bios about the greats, fictional stories about how jazz can embolden you, and general information regarding the genre and its place in the world, this list will surely attract the attention of more musically-minded students (and those with inquisitive minds alike.)

♦️ Share this fun BrainPOP video on the history of jazz with your students to get them invested in this fun micro-holiday!

As always, thank you so much for reading! We wish you all the best with booklists, displays, and beyond.

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