The William P.J. McCarthy Library

Books. Views. Tea.


Book Reviews

Accelerated Reader

  1. Who participates in Accelerated Reader?

    All Notre Dame students must participate in Accelerated Reader as part of their English curriculum. The points they collect through the program constitute 8% of their year-end English mark.

  2. Why does the school use the Accelerated Reader Program?

    Notre Dame chose to implement Accelerated Reader in 2005 in response to the need to strengthen students' literacy skills. AR offers students a tremendous range of choice in what they read, while providing teachers with comprehensive data on how their students are progressing.

Back to top

Novel Selection

  1. How does the Library choose novels?

    Most of our novels are selected from the annual American Library Association Best Books for Young Adults lists. We also regularly consult lists for Canadian young adult fiction. We try to read trade journal reviews to assess the age level, genre, and special themes of every book.

  2. What range of novels does the Library buy?

    We aim to have a broad representation in all genres and at different reading levels. We fully understand that some students read only reluctantly, so we purchase shorter novels, novels with lower difficulty levels, and graphic novels. Most of our recent purchases were specifically written for students in grades 8-12. Our collection also includes a selection of longer, more difficult works that are suitable for advanced or ambitious readers.

  3. Do you buy books with sexual content or violence?

    Yes. Again, we judge each book by the reviews it receives in journals such as Booklist, Publisher’s Weekly, and School Library Journal. If the reviewers consider the book to have literary merit and to be appropriate for high school readers, then some sexual content and/or violence is acceptable. Books with gratuitous sex or violence are not considered for purchase. Please note that one role of the school’s Christian Education Department is to address issues such those found in many novels.

  4. Will the library buy a book if I request it?

    Yes. We welcome suggestions from students, teachers, and parents. We make every effort to buy books that students will recommend to their friends. To request a book, go to our "Book Reviews" Forum, where you can make your suggestion .

Back to top

Book Reviews

  1. Where can I find comprehensive reviews of novels?

    Besides our "Book Reviews" forum, you can look in a few places. Amazon has an excellent database of customer reviews. If you are interested in posting reviews and participating in online discussion about novels, Shelfari is an excellent social media tool for book lovers. Finally, parents who want to know about the appropriateness of novels can look at Common Sense Media, a site that hosts reviews by parents and kids.

Back to top