Tuesday, April 29, 2008

"I'm Looking for a History Book..."

It's that time of the year when you, Schenley High School students, are asked to read a book featuring American history. You can read fiction or non-fiction, and you can read about any aspect of American history you choose. There are just two considerations to make when choosing your book:
  1. it has to be 150 pages

  2. ideally, it's going to be about something you're interested in!

Sound like a difficult assignment? When hundreds of your classmates are all searching for the same thing, it definitely can be. Thankfully, we offer a few ways to uncover the books that will be fun and informative.


You can find many books on history through our LibraryThing catalog, where we've been inputting new books for the last year and a half (please make sure you click on the link to our suggested style). Through a few searches, you'll get a good feel for what we have available. Searches such as American history, United States history, and US History will give you a good idea of what's available, though if you don't find exactly what you're looking for, try a search for just plain history, where you might find a book that's slipped through the cracks (you might also want to take a look at often-overlooked memoirs). If you find a book you like, click on the link that says, "Find this in the catalog!" That will tell you what libraries have it, and whether you should expect to see it on the shelves.

If you're looking to expand your selection, you can browse around our catalog for all subjects starting with United States -- History. This will connect you to the whole gamut of literature the library has to offer (from the most academic to the very basic) and help you focus on a specific time period.


Searching our LibraryThing catalog for historical will show you the latest fiction taking place in history (though keep in mind they aren't limited to America). We also offer a service called Novelist, which is one of the best tools available for you to search out fiction.

Browsing through historical fiction is as easy as checking the box marked "Teens" and searching for "historical fiction."

Finding Historical Fiction in Novelist

Since that includes historical fiction from all over the world, you might want to try a couple of other searches, including "historical fiction and america" or "historical fiction and united states." However, to get the full range of what Novelist offers, try searching for historical fiction and a specific event.

Finding (More Specific) Historical Fiction in Novelist

Other libraries may have already done the work for you, including great suggestions from the Plymouth District Library, the Beaverton City Library, and the Madison Public Library.

All that's left is going back to our catalog and making sure we have the book you're looking for.

150 Pages?

When you are looking at an item in the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh's online catalog, pay careful attention. You'll be able to see how many pages the book contains, so that you don't waste time searching for anything less than your minimum. For example, the record for Fallen Angels, by Walter Dean Myers, you'll notice that's 309 pages full of Vietnam War fiction.

Item Record

When you're searching Novelist, you can use the "Advanced Search" link to only search for books that will meet your requirements.

Searching by Page Length in Novelist

Good luck, Schenley, and happy searching. Remember, you can always stop by the library and get help from any of our librarians.

Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh, Main - Teen

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