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Find more Twenty Best Reference Bets for Student Researchers, 2012
As the new school year gets under way, our annual “Best Bets” list features titles we reviewed in the reference section of Booklist over the last 12 months that we recommend for students.
The Kingfisher Children’s Encyclopedia. 3d ed. 2012. 480p. illus. Kingfisher, $29.99 (9780753468142). Gr. 3–6.
Comprehensive, yet manageably sized, this revised third edition of The Kingfisher Children’s Encyclopedia will meet the basic research needs of the older elementary set as well as fuel intellects of all ages. Useful in classrooms and for libraries serving ages 8–12.
The Kingfisher Geography Encyclopedia. 2d ed. 2011. 488p. illus. Kingfisher, $39.99 (9780753465752). Gr. 4–7.
The book opens with a chapter highlighting various aspects of the earth and closes with a “Ready Reference” chapter on miscellaneous topics of interest to earth’s occupants, such as population, religion, trade, and energy. Although geared to upper-elementary and middle-school users, this will appeal to others as well.
The Kingfisher Science Encyclopedia. 3d ed. Ed. by Charles Taylor. 2011. 496p. illus. Kingfisher, $34.99 (9780753466889). Gr. 5–9.
This eye-catching volume would be a welcome addition to elementary- and middle-school libraries and public libraries and will replace the previous edition.
PowerKnowledge Earth & Space Science. 2012. Rosen [www.pkearthandspace.com]. Gr. 3–6.
This database provides accessible earth- and space-science information, including earth cycles, energy and matter, landforms, maps, natural disasters, the scientific method, space, and water. Science-fair projects and experiments are available as well.
African American Almanac: 400 Years of Triumph, Courage, and Excellence. By Lean’tin Bracks. 2012. 560p. illus. Visible Ink, paper, $22.95 (9781578593231). Gr. 9–12.
In this affordable and concise resource, Bracks chronicles the African American experience from the arrival of the first Africans in North America in the early 1600s to the present day. Accessible and interesting information for student reports and for general interest.
African Americans in Science, Math, and Invention. Rev. ed. By Ray Spangenburg and Kit Moser. 2011. 254p. illus. Facts On File, $49.50 (9780816083312). Gr. 9–12.
Included here are entries on more than 160 individuals, such as National Science Foundation award winners, patent holders, and African Americans who were first in a field. With huge numbers of students looking for solid information on African American scientists, this should be a staple in every school and public library.
American Centuries: The Ideas, Issues, and Values That Shaped U.S. History. 5v. Ed. by Karen Ordahl Kupperman and others. 2011. 1,592p. illus. Facts On File, $495 (9780816075188). Gr. 9–12.
Rather than highlighting specific dates and people, this ambitious work aims “to allow researchers a clear focus on and a broad understanding of the key themes that drove American political, cultural, and social development.” With specific entries for people, places, and events, this set offers a unique approach to history and has value as a supplement to more conventional resources.
Daily Life through History. 2012. ABC-CLIO [http://dailylife.abc-clio.com]. Gr. 9–12.
This easily searchable compilation of more than 75 Greenwood reference works offers a wide range of historical information. Tied closely to national curricula and standards, the database is a good choice for high-school libraries.
Encyclopedia of Biodiversity. By Stanley A. Rice. 2012. 598p. illus. Facts On File, $95 (9780816077267). Gr. 9–12.
This single-volume resource is a thorough and informative work whose purpose is to provide accessible information to students and nonscientists about habitats and the importance of biodiversity as well as threats to our environment.
Encyclopedia of School Crime and Violence. 2v. Ed. by Laura L. Finley. 2011. 692p. illus. ABC-CLIO, $173 (9780313362385). Gr. 9–12.
This overview of school and college violence on campuses around the world provides timely information for high-school researchers.
Feminist Writings from Ancient Times to the Modern World: A Global Sourcebook and History. 2v. Ed. by Tiffany K. Wayne. 2011. 718p. Greenwood, $189 (9780313345807). Gr. 9–12.
This valuable set—featuring writers from Europe, Asia, the Middle East, and Latin America—includes a wide range of well- and lesser-known feminist writers. The analysis of each excerpt is concise and clear and will be easily understood by high-school students.
Guns in American Society: An Encyclopedia of History, Politics, Culture, and the Law. 3v. 2d ed. Ed. by Gregg Lee Carter. 2012. 1,096p. illus. ABC-CLIO, $294 (9780313386701). Gr. 9–12.
A combination of solid scholarship, relevant subject matter, and efficient cross-referencing makes this set a must-have for public and high-school libraries supporting this perennial research topic.
The New Atlas of World History: Global Events at a Glance. By John Haywood. 2011. 252p. illus. Princeton, $49.50 (9780691152691). Gr. 6–12.
This richly illustrated atlas, designed to provide users with a general overview of world history focusing on a “universal” view of mankind’s movement from hunter-gatherer societies to the present age, is a great choice for middle-school and high-school libraries.
Opposing Viewpoints in Context. 2012. Gale [www.gale.cengage.com/InContext/viewpoints.htm]. Gr. 9–12.
Content includes full-text titles from many of Gale’s popular series—Opposing Viewpoints, At Issue, Current Controversies, and Information Plus—plus print news articles, primary sources, academic journals, multimedia, and website links. With a wealth of information not found elsewhere, this is highly recommended for high-school libraries.
World and Its Peoples: Sub-Saharan Africa, Australasia, and the Pacific. 11v. 2011. 1,584p. illus. Marshall Cavendish, $714.21 (9780761479123). Gr. 9–12.
The most recent (and final) addition to the World and Its Peoples series treats 74 countries and political regions. This visually appealing and easy-to-navigate set would be a valuable addition to school and public libraries.
The American Mosaic Collection. Gr. 9–12. The American Mosaic: The African American Experience. 2012. ABC-CLIO [http://africanamerican.abc-clio.com].The American Mosaic: The American Indian Experience. 2012. ABC-CLIO [http://americanindian.abc-clio.com].The American Mosaic: The Latino American Experience. 2012. ABC-CLIO [http://latinoamerican.abc-clio.com].
These history databases will be of interest to public and school libraries and can be used as both research and teaching tools. They offer accessible, relevant, and engaging information that will appeal to students.
Daily Life through American History in Primary Documents. 4v. Ed. by Randall M. Miller and others. 2011. 1,099p. illus. Greenwood, $399 (9781610690324). Gr. 9–12.
A good choice for high-school students needing primary source materials as well as a fascinating way to view America’s history, these four volumes are organized chronologically and then thematically and present the “many small things that made up Americans’ daily life.”
Sharpe Online Reference. 2012. Sharpe [www.sharpe-online.com]. Gr. 9–12. The current version of SOLR contains 25 cross-searchable encyclopedias and is a solid source of U.S. history material for high-school students.
U.S. Health Policy and Politics: A Documentary History. By Kevin Hillstrom. 2011. 800p. CQ, $185 (9781608710263). Gr. 9–12. This timely documentary history on health policy and politics in the U.S. features 150 primary source documents spanning health-care policies and politics for the past 400 years. Excellent for high-school reports.
World Religions: Belief, Culture, and Controversy. 2012. ABC-CLIO [http://religion.abc-clio.com]. Gr. 9–12. The school edition of this database does double duty as a research resource and a teaching tool. The database provides in-depth profiles of more than 50 of the world’s major religions and sects, while additional teacher-friendly features broaden its appeal.
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