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Books to Build On: A Grade-by-Grade Resource Guide for Parents and Teachers (Core Knowledge Series) Paperback – October 1, 1996


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Frequently Bought Together

Books to Build On: A Grade-by-Grade Resource Guide for Parents and Teachers (Core Knowledge Series) + What Your Second Grader Needs to Know: Fundamentals of a Good Second-Grade Education Revised (Core Knowledge Series) + What Your Fourth Grader Needs to Know: Fundamentals of A Good Fourth-Grade Education (Core Knowledge Series)
Price for all three: $43.95

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Delta; First Edition edition (October 1, 1996)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0385316402
  • ISBN-13: 978-0385316408
  • Product Dimensions: 9.4 x 7.5 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #66,140 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

Although this work is designed as a supplement to the Core Knowledge series (What Your Kindergartener Should Know, etc.), it could serve as a useful, accessible annotated bibliography for both parents and teachers. Hirsch is the author of Cultural Literacy: What Every American Needs to Know, which was the impetus for the Core Knowledge movement.

The arrangement is simple. There are seven main curricular areas: Language Arts, World History and Geography, American History and Geography, Visual Arts, Music, Science, and Math. Each of these areas is divided by grade levels (K^-6) and then by other topical subdivisions, under which are annotated 5 to 10 books and other media, such as software or recordings. The topics do not remain constant across all the grade levels, so it could not be used to find books at all grade levels on dinosaurs or Roman history. Each entry notes the publisher and date of publication. There is no indication of ISBN, binding, or whether the item is available in another format or medium. The reading level is not indicated for any of the titles. Items that the authors "admire most" are designated "CC," or Core Collection.

The book begins with an essay by Hirsch and Holdren that details their philosophy and rationale. Each of the seven main subject areas begins with an introduction that lays a curricular foundation and sketches the scope and sequence for the subject. These introductory essays also contain information about the philosophy of Core Knowledge schools that would be helpful to people who are interested in school reform and the elementary canon. The book has a single subject, title, author, and illustrator index. The addresses of some special vendors are included in appropriate annotations.

Like The New York Times Parent's Guide to the Best Books for Children, this is a popular rather than a professional tool, but libraries that serve Core Knowledge communities or schools of education will find it useful.


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Customer Reviews

This is a great compliment to the Core Knowledge Sequence system.
Mitchell Mertes
This is an excellent book for those wishing to ensure that their child's school or home school curriculum is meeting a proper criteria for each grade level.
Donald R. Shrader
It is also crosses the genres and genders by providing a variety of fiction, nonfiction, collections,series, multi-cultural and multidisciplined books.
Marianna Randazzo

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

146 of 148 people found the following review helpful By Volkert Volkersz on April 26, 2001
Format: Paperback
As an elementary school librarian, there are a handful of review sources I turn to first when a teacher asks me to recommend a book, or when I'm looking to add quality titles to our collection. I just picked up a copy of "Books to Build On," to assist me in selecting some classic titles for our library, as well as to suggest for our school district core literature list.
I can tell you that I'm impressed with the selections recommended in "Books to Build On," based on the titles I'm already familiar with. And based on Hirsch's reputation in the field of cultural literacy, I can place a great deal of confidence in the titles that I'm currently unfamiliar with.
This will sit on my personal shelf for quick reference, right beside my other favorites: "The Read-Aloud Handbook," by Jim Trelease, "The New York Times Parent's Guide to the Best Books for Children," "Eyeopeners II," by Beverly Kobrin (a great guide for nonfiction books) and "Books That Build Character," by William Kilpatrick and Gregory and Suzanne M. Wolfe.
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42 of 43 people found the following review helpful By Marianna Randazzo on April 5, 2000
Format: Paperback
As a Reading Teacher, Books to Build On is an excellent resource to assist in finding and assessing quality books. It is broken into curriculum areas including Visual Arts and Mathematics whichare oftentime overlooked in bok reviews. It includes a wealth of information about books for children from grades Kindergarten to the sixth grade. It is also crosses the genres and genders by providing a variety of fiction, nonfiction, collections,series, multi-cultural and multidisciplined books. I have shared the information in this books with colleagues and parents. It was also instrumental in selecting materials for my own students and children.
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25 of 25 people found the following review helpful By Jennifer Godwin on September 14, 2007
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I've been on a children's book and/or education kick, which has meant discovering for the first time the world of book guides for children. My intention is to only *buy* books of lasting home-library value; everything else, and there must be so much, can come from the public library. This book has exceeded all others in advising on what references, storybooks and educational resources belong in the home of a child who loves learning.

I recommend the NYTimes Books for Children and the The Read-Aloud Handbook book as well, but it's the Hirsch book, specifically the "Core Collection" recommendations, that has led me to the most interesting learning materials!

I also love that he's not afraid to refer to or at least mention quality out-of-print materials. What good is the Internet's vast book culture if not to find out-of-print materials that are wasting away on a back shelf in some store across the country? For example, he mentions a history series by Olive Beaupre Miller. I found a woman in Texas who was selling her set, they came yesterday, and man am I ever jealous! How come I didn't get to read those when *I* was younger? Another example of why I think OOP book should not be ignored in these kind of guides is a treasure I stumbled upon in a used bookstore the other day. "A Classical Storybook" by Morris Bishop is a treasure trove of Greek and Roman stories from the histories and poetry of the era. Enchanting!
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35 of 37 people found the following review helpful By "reviewer1" on June 6, 2000
Format: Paperback
This book presents a bibliography of classical children's books, catalogued by subject and grade. It gives information about the content of each book, where to obtain the book, and how the book might be used.
I love this collection. It is so inspiring I want to go out and by the books described. I do know of other books that I think are wonderful and that would fit the categories that are not listed, so I'm not sure I would say this is comprehensive, but it is helpful and inspiring in leading a parent or teacher to some wonderful books for our children.
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16 of 18 people found the following review helpful By palmetto state bibliophile on March 5, 2006
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book is a must-have for teachers, librarians, and parents who want a culturally literate child. As a teacher, I like the Core Knowledge Series by the same author. This book is a comprehensive listing of resources for every age and every subject. As parents, we can't rely on any school to teach our child all they need to know and we are ultimately responsible for their education. Schools are sometimes overly focused on politically correct topics at the expense of the many great lessons in history. This could be used to find appropriate books for home schooling or to help parents supplement their child's education. You may want to get the "What your K/1st/2nd...6th grader Needs to Know" books, too. You will be amazed at how much these books enrich your child's education, and ultimately their life.
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17 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Mom and Teacher on March 31, 2005
Format: Paperback
This book is very nice to have if you homeschool. It is very easy to use and a great resource. It is broken into curriculum areas including Visual Arts, which has really helped since I did not know much about the subject.
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