SLJ Review of In the News: Need to Know
Ripped from the headlines, these books tackle important subjects in the news ranging from vaccines to the filibuster to cryptocurrencies. These titles are brimming with information across eight short chapters.
Each book takes these contemporary issues and grounds them in historical context while explaining why they are important today. While these are decidedly complicated topics, the series effectively breaks the information down for readers at a second grade level.
In addition to readable text, the books also feature a dyslexia-friendly font and a clear, uncluttered design. Contemporary and historical photographs are included throughout. The end of each book includes quotes from famous people relevant to the topic, as well as a list of key terms, comprehension questions, and prompts for further thinking. A link to Bearport’s “Factsurfer” website is also included, which provides additional online resources.
VERDICT: Complex news stories are distilled down to their most important elements in an accessible, easy-to-understand way; a recommended purchase.