Lately I’ve been spending more and more time wander the shelves of our Juvenile Fiction collection pulling out books that look interesting. Some of the books are ones I read as a child, or fit into the bibliographies I’m working on for one of my classes, but recently I’ve found a bunch with unusual and surprising formats.
The first one was brought to my attention by a girl who was looking for a later book in the series, she said the first one was hilarious. is told through letters, diagrams, and other bits of ephemera. It has a number of sequels in the same format. Unfortunately, I didn’t get to read it all, because no sooner had I started looking through it then another girl came and asked for a book fitting its description!
I found the next on our new book cart–it is unusual not so much in its format, as in its genre bending. This book is a chapter book mystery, in which a boy is given the type of assignment familiar to many teachers, librarians, and students. He is asked to research a boring inventor that he has never even heard of, but in his research he uncovers some unexpected information on-line which he then has to determine its accuracy. This book is thus a cross over between a non-fiction book about research, the twentieth century, and determining accuracy, but also a mystery told in chapter book format.
Another series that I found like that is like this is the Wonder-Wits series, which is even more non-fiction, though within a story and somewhat of a chapter book. Wonder Wits There are actually a number of these in the series, with very colorful images, short text, and crafts and games children can complete following reading the book.
I found this picture book/chapter book cross when looking for books for reluctant boy readers. It has way more pictures then the usual chapter book, and while it is in black and white, it is much more a picture storybook.
The Last one I’d heard of before, but found when I was helping transfer our Juvenile Graphic novels out of the general collection and into their own area. Owly is a graphic novel with a twist–there are no words. While wordless, it is not really aimed towards pre-readers, and would be suitable for grade 4 and up. I particularly liked the sensitivity and emotions of these wordless characters.