At the end of the year, it is normal to take stock of the year before looking forward to what lies ahead in the coming year. As a reader, I have my personal reading preferences, yet as an advocate in the book culture, I watch for authors and artists who create books that I can recommend as worth reading, especially to someone who is not an avid reader.

I believe if someone finds a book about a subject of interest written to spark curiosity and imagination, reading becomes fun, learning is enjoyable, and a growing sense of the world is a result.

I am pleased that quality is still found at the public library. The Stewart C. Meyer Harker Heights Public Library has award-winning books in its catalog, including these three 2016 winners:

“Enchanted Air: Two Cultures, Two Wings: A Memoir,” written by Margarita Engle is the 2016 Belpré Author Award Winner;

“Finding Winnie: The True Story of the World’s Most Famous Bear,” illustrated by Sophie Blackall and written by Lindsay Mattick is the 2016 Caldecott Medal Winner;

“Funny Bones: Posada and His Day of the Dead Calaveras,” illustrated and written by Duncan Tonatiuh, is the 2016 Sibert Informational Book Medal Winner and a 2016 Belpré Illustrator Honor book.

Reference books can seem dull and dry until something catches your interest, and then suddenly you have a new hobby to pursue.

“The World Book Encyclopedia 2017,” has 22 illustrated volumes to surprise and inspire young readers, especially when a report for a class assignment is due. Located in juvenile reference, this is a good place to begin looking for a subject, or to find facts.

“Animals By The Numbers: A Book of Infographics,” illustrated and written by Steve Jenkins is another nonfiction book that can be used as reference material.

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