Wednesday, March 24, 2021

Eyewitness Books for High School Readers by Margaret Altman

During a recent conversation on Facebook, school librarian Margaret Altman shared some of the great ways she uses the Eyewitness Books in her high school collection. I was so impressed, that I asked her if she'd write a blog post with some of her ideas, and I'm delighted that she agreed.


I'm a big fan of the Eyewitness Book series, published by Dorling Kindersley, and recommend these titles for browsing and informational research at all grade levels. They aren’t just for elementary students. The two-page-spread format is student friendly, the text is clear and direct, and the illustration can aid understanding tremendously.

I currently Another work at as a librarian/media specialist and book club advisor at Hammonton High School in Hammonton, New Jersey, and have many Eyewitness Books in my collection. Students appreciate the text features, such as the table of contents and headings, that help them locate the exact information they’re looking. They also value the photos and illustrations, which can help them visualize objects and ideas that are unfamiliar. And because information is presented on two-page spreads, it doesn’t intimate students. 

During a recent senior honors English research project, I offered many students Eyewitness Books to help them fill specific gaps in their research. For a student focusing on foods in ancient Egypt, the Eyewitness Book Ancient Egypt was a huge help. I showed her how to use the detailed table of contents to find the pages about food, and she was thrilled. It’s so much easier than wading through other kinds of books for bits of information.

Another High student found a treasure trove of information for her project in the Eyewitness Book Pyramids. I helped her see that it was okay to use just the parts of the book related to her thesis statement. It’s so important for students find ways to research more efficiently and effectively, and these books make it easy to model that.

High school students also enjoy browsing through Eyewitness Books to satisfy their own curiosity about a range of topics. The books are easy to spot on library shelves thanks to their large trim size and distinctive spine, and they contain just the right amount of detail in words and images. There are so many benefits to this series that I think Eyewitness Books should be in all school and public libraries and used at all age levels.

1 comment:

  1. I LOVE this. I saw the discussion question on Facebook and recalled how popular the series was when I worked in a school setting. A great browseable nonfiction choice. Thanks for sharing how you use it with HS!

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