Elementary Library Sure Bets

Let’s be real here……I am a K-12 librarian with 2 schools to purchase for and manage. I have one assistant in one building and NO assistant in my elementary. And I teach 30 library classes a week. And I do ALL of the purchasing. For everyone. Including professional development titles.

That means I need a LOT of time to pore over catalogs, read reviews and “best of” lists, and analyze books. And I don’t actually usually GET that time, which is an endless source of professional anxiety. What am I missing? Did I buy the absolute BEST dinosaur series? Did I spend my district’s Common School Fund allocation in the best way possible? What did I miss?

One thing that REALLY helps me is having my go-to series, publishers and imprints that I can count on to be top quality in both content and production. Of course I am always open to finding new series and publishers, but when I’m short on time and a teacher tells me he would really love a new sports/animal/plant/biography title, it is SO helpful to know right away which publisher to look at first based on my past experiences.

So, here are some examples of, and a list of, just some of my favorites! There are many more, but remember – NO TIME! Also, no time to write long descriptions!

Note: I do not buy directly from any of these companies – I typically purchase through Follett Titlewave, Amazon, my local Barnes and Noble or Scholastic Reading Clubs. And, as usual, no affiliate links.

Thanks to Blue Slip Media and Media Masters for sending me review copies of several of these titles from SI Kids, Animal Planet, and National Geo Kids. I would have purchased them anyway, though, and already own numerous other titles from these companies/series!

Capstone (especially the PebbleGo imprint)


Animal Planet 


National Geographic Kids


BlastOff Readers from Bellweather


Sports Illustrated Kids (fiction AND nonfiction)



American Girl


Scholastic Branches


Bloomsbury Read & Bloom


If you are a librarian or kid lit aficionado, I would LOVE to hear your favorite series/imprints as well!

2 thoughts on “Elementary Library Sure Bets

  1. All great series! My favorites are Sports Illustrated for Kids. Both boys and girls love these titles! Also you can’t beat Capstone for so many great series. The ones you’ve shown are so good, and Katie Woo is wonderful for fiction and I love their early biographies, too. What is your go to series for boys after they’ve finished Sports Illustrated? A friend (a librarian almost as rushed as you!) was just asking, and I’d like to offer her some suggestions.


    • Hmmmm….well, for fiction I love Matt Christopher, Mike Lupica, Tim Green for my sports fans – my MS and HS kids usually end up like actual SI magazine and the sports section of the newspaper too! I’ll have to work on a sports round up post!


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