Art by Belle Wuthrich
While walking up and down the aisles at my local library branch recently (a cooling center for a hot day), I mused that I should just grab a book from each shelf and see how many I could read this summer. It became sort of a Summer Reading Challenge, but a poorly planned one. For one thing, I originally considered the fiction shelves: grab a mystery, science fiction, historical, young adult, graphic novel/manga, etc. Then I thought about the shelves lining the walls, with numbers corresponding with the Dewey Decimal system. I could try to read on from each leading digit. Now there's the rub. First, I'm not big on non-fiction, and second, a lot of the material was reference-oriented. Also, many of the books were quite large and would likely be pretty dense reading.
And there's the other thing about wanting to enjoy what I'm reading and read some of the things that I've been waiting to get to.
So, yes, I cheated a bit and scanned for some shorter books. And that also meant grabbing some Young Adult material just to increase my chances of getting through the books.
The first book was from the 300s, which is the Social Sciences. I took a picture of some of the options. I settled on Eyes & Spies. I liked the title and I was curious what it had to say.
Since it's non-fiction, there isn't much to review or comment on. I liked some of the historical context it gave, including some information I hadn't known. It didn't say a lot about the state of computers now that I wasn't familiar with, but it's a good primer for middle school students. I don't remember if it had an index or bibliography/list of sources/suggested reading, and I wish I'd made a note of it. (I read this a couple weeks back, and I've already returned it.)
It's definitely more information than you would find in one place on any site on the Internet and it reads quick. You could research this on your own, but you don't have to. That said, you probably should use this book as the beginning not the ending. There are a lot of eyes out there and the technology is constantly changing.
I'd recommend this for any middle schooler who used the Internet a lot -- that is, all of them.
Library reading challenge. Catalogue number YA 323.448K. Young adult.
Some of the choices I had in the 300 series (and a couple of misplaced 400s):