Often during the year, I hear from parents who are puzzled about the book
choices their children make in our library, or who need help as they
assist their child on a school assignment. Common questions, along with
my answers, are below. If you have any questions I can answer, please
email them to me by clicking on the mailbox icon at the top right corner
of my homepage.
- WHY DID MY CHILD CHOOSE THIS BOOK? WE HAVE IT AT HOME!
- MY CHILD KEEPS BRINGING HOME THE SAME BOOK! WHY?
- MY CHILD BRINGS HOME BOOKS TOO DIFFICULT FOR HIM/HER TO READ. WHY?
- WHAT IS THE FIVE-FINGER TEST?
- MY CHILD HAS A REPORT/RESEARCH PAPER TO DO? WHERE CAN WE FIND SOME HELP?
- I'VE HEARD MY CHILD SAY "LIFT, SLIDE, TURN." WHAT DOES THIS MEAN?
- MY 4TH/5TH GRADER WANTS ME TO SIGN A "YA" SLIP. WHAT IS THIS?
WHY DID MY CHILD CHOOSE THIS BOOK? WE HAVE IT AT HOME!
Children, particularly young ones, love the familiar. They may
be intrigued by a different cover illustration, or just want to
compare. Be patient!
MY CHILD KEEPS BRINGING HOME THE SAME BOOK! WHY?
Again, young children love finding something familiar in our
library. It's not at all unusual to have your young reader
hooked on dragons or snakes or princess stories. Because we're a
small library, however, we may only have 3, 4, or 5 books about
your child's favorite subject. That may explain why you see the
same one(s) over and over. We make every effort to keep this
selection behavior to a minimum, and to guide chidren's choices
elsewhere. Please remember that it's difficult to help each of
20 children make individual book choices in just 20 minutes. We
do our best, and can always use more adult help during our
library class times, particularly in the lower grades - join us!
MY CHILD BRINGS HOME BOOKS TOO DIFFICULT FOR HIM/HER TO READ. WHY?
I believe students should be free to select books that are of
interest to them. Whenever possible, children are encouraged to
choose books that they can read independently.
When a student asks for help finding a Non-Fiction book
about a particular subject, I do my best to guide him/her to a
book on an appropriate reading level. This is not always
possible, and I usually will not withhold a book from a child
because the reading level is too high for him/her to read
independently. Hopefully, an adult or older sibling at home will
share the chosen books, reading text or captions, and allow our
budding geologists, herpetologists, or paleontologists to enjoy
the pictures and learn more about the subjects which fascinate
Fiction selections, especially for Accelerated Reader, are
always made with your child's appropriate reading level in mind.
Remember, though, that children's book choices in our library can
be influenced by a great many things: recent movie adaptations,
what older siblings are reading/have read, what their friends are
reading, etc. If I think that a child has chosen a book which is
going to be too difficult to read, s/he will be asked to "do
the five finger test"
WHAT IS THE FIVE-FINGER TEST?
This is what the children are taught to do in our library, to
judge for themselves whether books are written at their reading
1. Open to a full page of text anywhere in the book.
2. Read the page, either silently or aloud.
3. Put one finger up each time you come to a word you don't know.
4. If you have 5 fingers up before reaching the bottom of the
page, the book is too difficult for you to read independently.
5. If you have 0 fingers up, but are reading slowly and having to
decode (sound out) too many words, this means you are working too
hard to enjoy the book.
MY CHILD HAS A REPORT/RESEARCH PAPER TO DO? WHERE CAN WE FIND SOME HELP?
Information about specific projects and reports for each grade
level begins with your child's classroom teacher. On the
Wildwood Library Website, I place more help and links for you and
your child to use. Start by clicking on the icons for
"Projects" or "Research Links". More specific
information, as reports and projects are assigned during the
year, can be found by clicking on the "Library Research
Links" icon for your child's grade level. These grade-level
icons are the little pictures of laptop computers located on the
Wildwood Libary Homepage.
I'VE HEARD MY CHILD SAY "LIFT, SLIDE, TURN." WHAT DOES THIS MEAN?
To insure that all of our books stay in wonderful condition for
as long as possible, I teach children how to turn pages
properly. Students are shown examples of the damage done to
pages if they leaf through a book by pushing them, or by "picking
and flicking" - that is, grabbing a page in the bottom
center, bending it up, then flipping it over. The correct way to
turn pages in a book, which inflicts little, if any, damage to
the paper, is to:
1. Place your right thumb near the top right-hand corner
of the page, then use your forefinger to gently lift the upper
right hand corner.
2. Slide your four fingers under the page, and then slide
them down towards the bottom until your fingers and part of your
palm are under the lower right-hand corner of the page.
3. Gently lift the whole page up and move it to
MY 4TH/5TH GRADER WANTS ME TO SIGN A "YA" SLIP. WHAT IS THIS?
Because Wildwood used to have a 6th grade, some of the books in
our library collection are by authors who write for Middle School
readers. These books may deal with more mature themes, such as
death or neglect.
Years ago, we created a "Young Adult" section in our library.
All of the books in this section are frequently recommended,
requested, and used by 6th to 8th grade teachers. Most of the
titles on these shelves in our library have been recognized as
exceptional books for young people by winning major children's
All of our Young Adult book selections have a bright yellow and
red "YA" sticker on their spines, identifying them as from our
Young Adult section.
4th and 5th grade students are unable to check out YA books
unless they have signed parental permission to do so. When I
receive your signed permission slip, I will put a YA sticker on
your child's library card. This sticker will enable your child
to make book selections from our YA shelves.
If you'd like to peruse our YA collection prior to signing the
permission slip, please call or email me to set up a time to do