Archive for the ‘School & Libraries’ Category

Fresh ideas for class reads

Monday, September 12th, 2011

At the start of each new school year, we traditionally ask our specialist buyers from the fiction and children’s departments to compile a list of books suitable for use in the middle and high school classroom. This year we gave them three criteria: pick books that are were published fairly recently; choose titles that are interesting enough to make students unable to resist reading them, but well-written enough to deserve  a place on the syllabus. Here are ABC’s picks for the 2011/2012 academic year.

Previous lists can be found here, here and here. Or click on the “schools & libraries” category to the right to see all our lists, including ideas for younger readers.

As a teacher you’ll get 10% off everything you buy at ABC, but if you’re buying a book for your whole class, you’ll get even more discount – up to 25%!  Click on the green “Large Quantity Discount” button lql.jpg on each book’s information page to see how much it costs per book when you order more more than ten copies.

Some of this year’s titles have only recently been published, and therefore still in hardcover. They’ll be published in cheaper paperback editions later in 2011, or early 2012.We’ve listed the cheapest available editions as of today –  to check for cheaper editions later in the school year, or to check the price and availability of books from previous lists, you can type the title and author into our advanced book search.

Young Adult Fiction

Adult Fiction and Non-Fiction

Hot and Heavy fiction picks for your students

Thursday, September 24th, 2009

At the start of each new school year, one of our Juvenile Ficition buyers traditionally compiles a list of recent books suitable for use in the middle and high school classroom. We give them only two instructions: Make them HOT enough to grab the students attention, and HEAVY enough to earn a place on the syllabus.

This year Tiemen compiled our list, paying particular attention to books that will appeal to boys. Here are fifteen great books,  full of ‘ what ifs’….

You can click on the green “Large Quantity Discount” button lql.jpg on each book’s information page to see how much it costs per copy when you order more more than ten copies.  And before you order 30 copies of a book for your class, get a copy for yourself to make sure it’s suitable – teachers and librarians get 10% off at The American Book Center!

The Absolutely True Diary of a Part -Time Indian – Sherman Alexie 1 sherman alexie

In his first book for young adults, bestselling author Sherman Alexie tells the story of Junior, a budding cartoonist growing up on the Spokane Indian Reservation.

Determined to take his future into his own hands, Junior leaves his troubled school on the rez to attend an all-white farm town high school where the only other Indian is the school mascot. Heartbreaking, funny, and beautifully written, The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, which is based on the author’s own experiences, coupled with poignant drawings by acclaimed artist Ellen Forney, that reflect the character’s art, chronicles the contemporary adolescence of one Native American boy as he attempts to break away from the life he was destined to live.

Thirteen Reasons Why – Jay Asher

1 ja asherClay Jensen returns home from school to find a mysterious box with his name on it lying on his porch. Inside he discovers cassette tapes recorded by Hannah Baker–his classmate and crush–who committed suicide two weeks earlier. On tape, Hannah explains that there are thirteen reasons why she decided to end her life. Clay is one of them. If he listens, he’ll find out how he made the list.

Through Hannah and Clay’s dual narratives, debut author Jay Asher weaves an intricate and heartrending story of confusion and desperation that will deeply affect teen readers.

Boy in the Striped Pyamas – Boyne

1 john boyneWhen Bruno returns home from school one day, he discovers that his belongings are being packed in crates. His father has received a promotion and the family must move from their home to a new house far far away, where there is no one to play with and nothing to do.

A tall fence running alongside stretches as far as the eye can see and cuts him off from the strange people he can see in the distance. But, Bruno longs to be an explorer and decides that there must be more to this desolate new place than what meets the eye. While exploring his new environment, he meets another boy whose life and circumstances are very different to his own, and their meeting results in a friendship that has devastating consequences. (more…)

ABC’s Complete List of The Best Picture Books

Sunday, August 23rd, 2009

All of us (I hope)  have memories of reading a favorite book on a warm lap or at bedtime. Mine is of The Very Hungry Caterpillar, a book with yummy things to eat, and a comforting sense of order, and, quite amazingly in the 1970’s, holes! In the book! Such anarchy!

I’ve been the buyer for the picture books at ABC Amsterdam for ten years –  almost as long as I’ve worked here. I’ve read hundred of them as a parent, student teacher and as a child myself and I’ve learned what works for both audiences: the very best picture books are the ones that neither grown-up or child ever gets tired reading, even after a hundred renditions. Some of my favorites, like Mo Willems’ Knuffle Bunny and Ian Falconer’s Olivia have plenty to make parents chuckle but still satisfy 5 year olds, every time. Great picture books have humor, or rhythm, or eye-catching pictures or a great story, and sometimes, like Joseph Had A Little Overcoat, or Bark, George, they have all of these and that’s why they win awards and stay at the top of bestseller lists.

This list covers old and new classics from both the UK and USA. It’s a list of my own personal favorites, ABC bestsellers and the most-agreed upon classics that will appeal to children up to about five years old. Most of these titles have the added advantage of being great for use in the (ESL) classroom: they have lots of repetition, annd present key concepts and vocabulary in fun ways. I’ve used quite a few of these books in math, science and art lessons too!

Of course it’s hard to be objective when it comes to picture books. If your favorite picture book isn’t on this list, it probably didn’t mean my abitrary and biased criteria, but feel free to champion it in the comments list. I might even add it. :-)

Books Every Child Should Be Given Upon Birth

Absolutely Essential Books to Grow On

Books with a Dutch Theme


Books With Bite: perfect titles for your students

Monday, July 21st, 2008

At this time of year, teachers often ask us to find ‘good’ books for their students. Something with a little ‘bite’.

Books with ‘bite’ – vampire stories  – are hugely popular now, and books from autuhors like Stephenie Meyer and Darren Shan are fantastic fun for teens. But if you’re looking for books with literary bite, substantial titles to engage your more able or older students, it can be hard to find the right ones. You need stories that students will enjoy, with quality writing and accessible language. We asked Hester, one of our Amsterdam Fiction buyers,  put together a list of some her favorites. If you’re having trouble coming up with texts for your classes, give her a call!



Teenage Picks

Tuesday, April 29th, 2008

teenpicks2.jpgGreat ideas to make you really love your Summer Reading assignment!

We’re often asked to suggest books for teens whose first language is not English. It’s a tricky question: Not only do we have to take into account the fact that teens have widely varying tastes, but teachers and students also often have very different ideas on what makes a book worth reading!

Sometimes we’re asked to suggest a list of books complied not with the aim of introducing teens to the very best of English Literature, but just to give them a book they’ll enjoy so much that they’ll forge through the language barrier to finish it. Those lists are much more fun! Our latest request asked for quick, interesting, appealing reads for smart Dutch 15-19 year olds, with the emphasis on the fun rather than edification. Here’s what we came up with. (more…)