What's the Dewey Number for A Whole New World?: Nonfiction numbers you should know, part 4

By Tori Hamilton, Children's Library Associate, Glenpool Library

Books take you places! Everyone says so! Of course, we're not just talking about the places books take us through the power of imagination - the delights of Narnia or the wonderful wonders of Oz! Nonfiction books are the perfect place to foster any child's dreams of travel and adventure. Whether you want to visit Fiji, Finland, or France, here are the Dewey Decimal numbers that will get you there!

  • 200s, Religion - The entire 200s section is dedicated to the study of world religions. Here you'll find books of scripture, studies of religious history, and books of prayer and inspiration. The children's 200 section shows religion as it should be: humanity at its best.
  • 299, "Religions not provided for elsewhere" - The 200s cover all religions, with different number for various Christian denominations, Judaism, Islam, and more, but what about historical religions? That's where 299 comes in, the number for ancient mythologies. Rick Riordan fans, rejoice!
  • 390s, Customs, Etiquette, and Folklore - Ever wonder what life is like in Australia or how people live in the rain forest? There are books for that! With titles from the 390s, you can learn about daily life, clothing and costumes, or holidays and traditions in other parts of the world. (Or, you know, this part part of the world, if you need to know which fork to use at a fancy dinner party.)
  • 400s, Languages - Travel the world! Meet interesting people! And then...not understand them? Oops. Should have checked the children's 400s before your trip! You could have picked up some dictionaries, conversation starters, or lists of first words. For help on the go, ask a librarian about Mango Languages, a language-learning database you can load on a computer or smartphone and access for free with your library card.
  • 92 and 920, Biographies - You can learn a lot about other cultures by reading about their people. While most kids have had biography assignments in school ("Pick a U.S. president!" or "Pick a famous inventor!"), they most not yet have discovered the many hidden gems the biography section has available. Leave the presidents alone for a minute and go meet someone new: political figures, artists, musicians, and athletes, both historical and modern and from all over the world. 
  • 910, Geography and Travel - Yes, we've covered this section before (pirates, anyone?), but seriously, this is where the travel books are. Learn about the "can't miss" places for your upcoming family trips, find maps of the Grand Canyon or histories of state parks. Actually leaving the country? Don't worry! We have books for that, too!
  • 999, To Infinity and Beyond? - While all of the 900s are dedicated to history and geography, you won't find any books in 999. Not yet. 999 is special. That's the number librarians over the years have held in reserve for the history and geography of extraterrestrial worlds. Just because we haven't found them yet doesn't mean they're not out there.

As I said, books take you places. I promise you there are children out there who will look at these nonfiction books - about rocket ships (629) and outer space (520s), about astronauts and engineers (92) - and will dream of visiting the stars. Those children will write the books we librarians put in 999.

Maybe your child is one of them.

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