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Usborne Books for Older Children Presented by Carol Cooper


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									Usborne Books for Older Children
Presented by

Carol Cooper

USBORNE BOOKS AT HOME NATIONAL CONVENTION 2002 Vancouver British Columbia, January 24 – 26th 2002

Usborne Books for Older Children
The first problem I faced in putting this presentation together was deciding on the definition of ‘older children’ – after taking a quick poll of other consultants I decided that we’re probably talking about age 10 and upwards. So many consultants have very young children, and have commented that they just don’t have a feel for which books really work for older kids - I feel qualified to talk about this area because my own children are now 17 and 15 and have grown up with Usborne books. I’ve had new recruits ask if they can customise their kit to contain only books for young children, as they and their friends all have preschoolers. I am swift to point out the many reasons why it’s essential not only to carry the full age range in your kit, but also to promote these books in your party talk. - For some reason, people tend to assume that we only do books for young children, and I know that on some occasions they turn down invitations to parties because they think we don’t have anything for their 8 or 10 year olds. We need to spread the word that we have something for everyone – a favourite phrase of mine to use on flyers and notices is ‘Books for toddlers to teens’. - Even if everyone at a given party has toddlers, you want to make sure they know that we’ll still have books to interest them in 10 years time. - They may well have older nieces, nephews or young friends to buy gifts for – some of my best customers are doting aunties! I’m frequently asked for recommendations for teens, who are often difficult to buy for. - If you want to get into school book fairs or exhibits, you need those books for older children! I have put together a list of some of my favourite books for older age groups, but it’s not a complete listing – you can do that yourself by simply browsing the catalogue! In my presentation I aim to give you an overview of the types of books which work for this age group, but also some detailed reviews which you can use in your party talk. I’m not going to include the reviews in this document – you will find many of my reviews already up on the website (you didn’t know there were reviews on the website? Aha!!) and I’m going to continue to add to them. ‘Topic Books’ These are an important group of books to look at. These are the factual information books, including Science, History, Biography and Social Studies topics. One of the ‘hits’ I always make during party talks is the bit about ‘The Teachable Moment’. Although I usually talk about this in the context of younger children who are at that delightfully irritating ‘Why?’ stage of their development, the idea applies equally to older children. This developed from a comment by a party guest who announced that the books were obviously excellent, but that she didn’t need reference books because she had the Internet and they used the library a lot. Although my gut reaction was that she was dead wrong, I didn’t manage to formulate a good reply until about 2a.m. when I was lying awake thinking irritably about the situation.

Usborne Books at Home National Convention 2002 Workshop Presentation: “Books for Older Children” by Carol Cooper

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The answer is, of course, the ‘teachable moment’. When your child comes to you asking ‘Where does the sun go at night?’ or ‘Why doesn’t that spider stick to its own web, Mummy?’ or whichever of thy myriad questions they come up with, if you wait until next time you’re at the library to look it up in a book the likelihood is that your child will have lost interest and will be wanting the latest ‘Blue’s clues’, Harry Potter or whatever. Similarly, you may have a very tough time finding age-appropriate information on the subject on the Internet (although not if you have some of Usborne’s excellent Internet-linked reference books!). You need to answer your child’s question right away, whilst the spark of interest is there – you need to seize the teachable moment! That’s why all homes need good information books, and Usborne publishes some of the very best information books around. As children grow older their need for good reference books increases as their homework load increases. I think all parents are familiar with the scenario when a child suddenly announces that a project is due tomorrow and they need books on a particular subject for research. It’s not always possible to instantly dash off to the library, and having good reference books in the house is a real life-saver. Crossover Books Many of our books are what I call ‘crossover’ books – books intended for older children but which appeal to and are often bought for adults. My favourite book of all time fits into this category – ‘Tales of Real Adventure’ Real life adventures appeal to nearly all kids, but can be particularly useful for boys at the age where they’ve lost interest (hopefully temporarily) in fiction – often at about age 12 or so. However, people have often bought this book as a gift for a husband or father. The same could be said for our biography books in the Famous Lives series. Other crossover books are the computer titles. These are great examples of the 80/20 rule – you can do 80% of the things you need to do in any given application by using just 20% of the menu commands – all the rest of those little pull-down menus are the icing on the cake. These books concentrate on teaching you that 20% that you really need to know to do your everyday wordprocessing and so on. They’re perfect for adults and children alike. Puzzles The toughest puzzles we do are those from the ‘Superpuzzles’ series – take their age recommendation of 11+ seriously! I think they’d be challenging for adults, too. Next would be the Puzzle Adventures, which were favourites of my children for years. Not only do you really need to think to do these puzzles, but you also need to efficiently extract information from what you read – excellent for reading comprehension! Leisure Look at my list of favourites for further examples of music, sports, arts and crafts, hobbies, languages and retelling of classic stories. If you’d like to see detailed reviews of some books for older children, you will find reviews by me and by other contributors under the ‘Water Cooler’ section of the UBAH website at– http://www.usborne.ca/private

Usborne Books at Home National Convention 2002 Workshop Presentation: “Books for Older Children” by Carol Cooper

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Science Internet-Linked Science Encyclopedia * Encyclopedia of Planet Earth Facts of life* Science and Experiments Planet Earth Weather and climate Ecology World of the Microscope Rocks and Fossils Understanding Geography World Farming* Seas and Oceans Earthquakes and Volcanoes Storms and Hurricanes Understanding Science Astronomy Electricity and Magnetism Atoms and Molecules Machines Complete Book of the Microscope* Astronomy and Space Understanding Your Body History Internet-Linked History Encyclopedia Visitor’s Guide to Ancient Egypt Visitor’s Guide to Ancient Rome Timelines of World History Greeks Romans Viking World Atlas of 20th Century Atlas of World History Encyclopedia of Ancient Greece Newspaper Histories

Language Arts Better English Illustrated Thesaurus ‘Real Stories’ and Social Studies Famous Lives* Treasure Hunting Tales of Real Adventure* World Religions* Intro to Politics and Government Puzzles Superpuzzles series Puzzle Adventures Solve it yourself Fantasy Quests Puzzle Adventure Kits Spy’s Guidebook Arts and Crafts Understanding Modern Art Art Ideas Drawing Faces Complete Book of Drawing ‘How to Make’ Series Cut-Out Models Languages ‘Essential’ Guides ‘Learn French’ etc ‘Spanish For Beginners’ etc And don’t forget ‘Better English’ – need to know what pronouns etc are!! Computers Internet 2001 Spreadsheets Word Processing

Music and Theatre Internet Intro to Music Understanding Music Learn to Play Music Theory for Beginners World of Shakespeare* Acting and Theatre Leisure Cooking for Beginners Children’s World Cookbook World of Ballet Playing Chess Dictionary of Horses and Ponies Complete Riding School Riding and Pony Care* Complete Soccer School* Magic Tricks Ghosts and Hauntings Paranormal Classics Tales of Robin Hood Tales of King Arthur and his Knights Ulysses and the Trojan War Dracula Frankenstein Tales of Mystery and Imagination Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde Victorian Horror Stories*

Books with asterisks * are already reviewed on the website. Titles in italics are personal favourites or bestsellers (usually the same thing!)

Usborne Books at Home National Convention 2002 Workshop Presentation: “Books for Older Children” by Carol Cooper

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