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Minnesota, United States

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Online practice tests (GED, SAT, etc.)

One question I frequently get is "Do you have books with practice tests for the GED/SAT/GRE/etc.?" Besides books there are also free online options for patrons. Some libraries, including Hennepin County Library subscribe to Learning Express Library. This is an excellent online resource which offers a variety of practice tests including: GED, SAT, ACT, GRE, TOEFL, adult basic skills, civil service, law enforcement, military, EMS, postal services, firefighter, and U.S. citizenship.

My library also subscribes to Brainfuse, which is an online homework help resource. The Adult Learning Center component of Brainfuse provides free practice tests for the GED and the US Citizenship exam.

If your library doesn't subscribe to these or related resources, there are still numerous online resources not requiring a subscription that are free to the general public. Some of these include Test Prep Review, Study Guide Zone, and GED Online Course.

So consider these online resources, especially if there is a wait for the book and/or if the patron is comfortable with computers and the Internet.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Fun alphabet books for children

Here's an annotated booklist I created on fun alphabet books for children. I chose these for their creativity and photographic appeal. You can also view the list here, with pictures of the book covers: http://www.hclib.org/pub/bookspace/Profile.cfm?DisplayName=Laura%20Miller

The Z was zapped : a play in twenty-six acts
by Van Allsburg, Chris.
Each letter goes on stage and dramatic things happen to each one, from A being in an avalanche to the Z being zapped.

Tomorrow's alphabet
by Shannon, George.
This book emphasizes thinking ahead skills as the reader guesses what the object will become using the key letter. A is for seed which is tomorrow's apple; B is for eggs, which is tomorrow's bird, etc.

The alphabet from A to Y with bonus letter, Z!
by Martin, Steve, 1945-
Presents a rhyming couplet featuring each letter of the alphabet, with such characters as David the dog-faced boy, who dons a derby despite being dirty, and Victor, whose frequent victories have made him vainglorious.

Chicka chicka boom boom
by Martin, Bill, 1916-2004.
An alphabet rhyme/chant that relates what happens when the whole alphabet tries to climb a coconut tree.

Alphabatics
by MacDonald, Suse.
The letters of the alphabet are transformed and incoporated into twenty-six illustrations, so that the hole in "b" becomes a balloon and "y" turns into the head of a yak.

Alphabet city
by Johnson, Stephen, 1964-
Hidden letters are found in objects located in the city. For example, a G is hidden in the curve of a lamppost.

Eating the alphabet : fruits and vegetables from A to Z
by Ehlert, Lois.
Colorful illustrations of everyday (e.g. apple, banana) and less common (e.g. quince, star fruit) fruits and vegetables by letter of the alphabet. There is a section in the back to learn more about each featured fruit or vegetable.

Old black fly
by Aylesworth, Jim.
Rhyming text and illustrations follow a mischievous old black fly through the alphabet and he has a very busy, bad day landing where he shouldn't be.

Read anything good lately?
by Allen, Susan, 1951-
An alphabetical look at some different places and things to read, from an atlas at the airport to a zodiac at the zoo.