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New Books for Tweens & Teens

Written by: Jennifer Schorr

My son isn’t what I’d call an avid reader, but when he finds a topic or type of book he likes, he tends to stick with them. The Who Was, What Was and I Survived book series are ones that he has enjoyed for several years and continues to seek out.

I don’t point out to him that he is learning when he reads these books, because I’m afraid I’d scare him off… a 12-year old learning, on purpose? The horror! But, the fact is that these books are written about places, people, and events that have occurred, and they are written in such a way that young readers can comprehend even complex events and people from history.

These are also a fantastic resource if you are planning to travel and want to give your child a frame of reference about where you are going. Going to Washington DC and plan to visit the Holocaust Museum, consider the titles What was the Holocaust? and Who was Anne Frank? A trip to New York City could be prefaced by reading What is the Statue of Liberty?, What was Ellis Island?, and I Survived the Attacks of September 11.

These books are not just historic in nature. Many also highlight people and places that are of interest to your son or daughter, such as sports figures, musicians, and TV and movie stars.

Our library has recently added many new titles from these series to their collection for you to borrow:

Who Is/Was…

  • Louis Armstrong
  • Dr. Seuss
  • Abraham Lincoln
  • Ben Franklin
  • Thomas Jefferson
  • George Washington
  • Magellan
  • Thomas Alva Edison
  • Marco Polo
  • William Shakespeare
  • John F. Kennedy

What Is/Was…

  • The Battle of Gettysburg
  • The Holocaust
  • The Civil Rights Movement
  • The Story of Scooby-Doo
  • The March on Washington

Where Is/Was/Were…

  • The Great Barrier Reef
  • The Seven Wonders of the Ancient World
  • Area 51

I Survived…

  • The Destruction of Pompeii, 79 A.D
  • The Hindenburg Disaster, 1937

I love that my son has found these book series on his own (or recommended by teachers at school) and they help him continue to want to read. I encourage you to bring your children to the library to discover one or two of these books to try. Let us know which ones they chose!

Does your son or daughter already like these book series? Let us know which are their favorites in the comments below.

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