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02-15: World Geography for Children and Teens

World Geography for Children and Teens

Possibly topping the list of collections most in need of weeding are "country books" for children and teens. We hang onto older titles in the mistaken belief that at least they are useful from an historical perspective. Today's students completing social studies assignments need contemporary information, not yesterday's outdated books, which were never intended as history.

Common Core standards emphasize a greater balance between literary and informational content, increasing the demand for nonfiction in the children's collection. A current and vigorous selection of countries and cultures is more important than ever in our diverse communities and global society.

Use this handy rule 5/3/MUSTIE to spot titles that need to be weeded. According to the CREW method, geography titles more than five years old are likely to be misleading and should be pulled from the collection. If a country book has not circulated in the last three years, it is a candidate for removal. And a title should always be removed if the information is inaccurate or misleading, no matter the condition of the book.

Pay special attention to countries where rapid changes are occurring as a result of political or climatic events. Check for revised editions of the same title or geography series.


Suggestions for Weeding


Suggestions for Purchase

For Upper Elementary Grades through High School:

For Early Elementary Grades:

  • ABDO's Big Buddy Books Explore the Countries, and Scholastic's True Books Countries of the World collections provide clear and simple information in an attractive, interesting format. Update individual countries as needed and available.
  • Brazil by Sarah Tiek, 2014 (9781617838057)
  • China by Julie Murray, 2014 (9781617838071)
  • Egypt by Julie Murray, 2013 (9781617838095)
  • Mexico by Sarah Tiek, 2014 (9781617838163)
  • Russia by Julie Murray, 2014 (9781617838170)

If your library's budget allows, this is one area where it makes sense to have a standing order for the series collections you want to use, such as Enchantment of the World or Explore the Countries. If you have a very tight budget, then at the very least try to have the latest edition of the Worldmark Encyclopedia of the Nations , World Book Encyclopedia of People and Places, or even a current general World Book Encyclopedia, which is very good for individual countries, and has the virtue of being updated yearly. 

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