TheBookSeekers is a search and discovery website for children’s books which seeks to help navigate through the huge choice of books for children – from toddlers to teens – to find the next great book to read.
You can search for a book by inputting a keyword into the search box on the menu bar. This can be a book title, an author or illustrator or a general search term such as "cats magic funny". The site will then search and return back books and collections that are related to those words. Our search engine is unique as it maps books to keywords extracted from book meta data. This means you can search by content as well as by title and author/illustrator; so if you search ‘tiger’ you can find books featuring tigers where the term ‘tiger’ does not feature in the title.
Once you have used general search you can search within that set of books again and again. This is useful in narrowing down the set of books that you have to eyeball. Searching for ‘steam trains’ in search will give you a wider set of results than if you search for ‘trains’ and then use ‘search-in-search’ to look for ‘steam’; the former will give you books tagged ‘steam trains’, ‘train’ and ‘steam’ whereas the latter will only give you ‘steam trains’ and ‘trains’.
Advanced search allows you to narrow your search to specific categories. This can be useful in reducing noise in your search results. For example, if you are looking for books by a specific author you can search in the ‘contributor’ box and this will look only at contributor names; if the author surname is ‘Fox’ then this should prevent your search results returning lots of books featuring foxes.
We offer a search box called ‘book blurb’. This looks at the ‘teaser’ text that authors provide to tell the reader what their book is about. It can be a good source of data on characters, genres, themes. Currently data from book blurbs is not incorporated into our general search so if you don’t get results from a general search, it can be worth searching again within the ‘book blurb’ box only.
Filters are available after every search, and they also allow you to narrow down your search results to a small(er) set which is easier to eyeball. We offer the following filters which can be used individually or together: page range, fiction, genre, booktype, and age range. Not all books are coded yet for each filter, so it can be helpful to try different combinations. We have full data on page ranges so further information on how to use this filter is provided below.
Filter - Page Range
The number of pages in a book provides some indicator of the amount of text in a book. However customers should note this is a very broad brush guide as it does not indicate how difficult a book is to read or understand. Also please note that whilst the ranges may look a bit odd, they reflect the fact that in the past books were printed on offset presses and so the total pages had to be multiples of 8, 16, or 32.
More information as to the types of books which may fall in the categories is shown below:
0 - 40 Board books aimed at very young children tend to have few pages. Picture books - which have a standard page count of 32 - also fall in here. Example would be Goodnight Moon' by Margaret Wise Brown
41 - 64 Books in this category are likely to have lots of pictures alongside the text and tend to be aimed at emerging readers. Example would be 'Mimi and the Mountain Dragon' by Helen Stephens and Micahel Morpurgo.
65 - 96 This category is the start of 'chapter books'. Here we should still see lots of pictures, but more words than in the previous category. Example would be 'Winnie goes batty' by Korky Paul and Laura Owen.
97 - 128 More chapter books. The text is getting longer here and there are more likely to be line drawings than full illustrations. Example would be 'Sophie's Tom' by Dick King Smith.
129 - 192 These books would likely fall in the 8-12 category in bookshops. Example would be Captain Underpants and the Attack of the Talking Toilets' by Dav Pilky.
193 - 256 Again these books would likely fall in the 8-12 category in bookshops. Example would be 'A Dog so Small' by Philippa Pearce.
257 - 352 Stories here are getting longer and more complex - so upper end of the 8-12 and into the teen category. Example would be 'Charlie Bone and the Time Twister' by Jenny Nimmo.This category will cover books aimed at older readers, including YA. Example would be 'The Hunger Games' by Suzanne Collins.
To find a book you can also browse our specially curated pages. Our home page has been designed to showcase collections of books you might be interested in; it is our equivalent of a high street shop window. However, like a high street store, we want to show our customers more examples of the wonderful books that are out there. To do this we have created a series of pages where we can showcase book collections in an organised way. These pages are really our online version of the sections you can see in some major bookshops, and each has its own button on the menu bar. Each page shows a different curated selection of books and collections.
Collections are sets of books that "go together” in some way, be that because they share the same theme, mood, series, book award or reading scheme. Once you have found a collection you are interested in you can browse the books in it, and if you find one you are interested in you can click the cover image to visit the book page to find out more about it. If you can’t find an interesting book in a collection you can look at the shelves underneath for other suggestions. Having clicked on a collection, you can then search within those results (e.g. for a specific illustrator) and filter (e.g. to find a picture book version).
Collections which are related to each other may be linked together in another page. For example, some series – e.g. Beast Quest - have lots of sub-series which can be shown alongside each other.
Hyperlinks are offered to allow you to direct your browsing. On a book page you will see the author/illustrator’s name hyperlinked to all their books that are in our database. If the book is in a series you can get to the rest of the books in the series by the hyperlinked series name which appears under the author name, and in the series tab below the book cover. If the book has won any award(s) these are shown in the awards tab, hyperlinked to the other books nominated/winner of that same award. Classic stories may be re-told by many different authors, and illustrated by different artists. You can access other versions of the same story (e.g. ‘Cinderella’) by clicking on the hyperlink in the story tab on the book page. Having clicked on the hyperlink in the tab you can – like with collections - then search and filter within those results.
Our database holds books which are part of levelled and unlevelled reading schemes. Some of these books are coded for key stage and national curriculum level. If the book is coded this information will appear under the author/illustrator names on the book page, and will be hyperlinked to other books at the same level.
Publishers categorise books by target audience, and these categories reflect content as well as reading difficulty. The following outlines the criteria for YA and Middle Grade:
Middle Grade: used for books which have the following characteristics: aimed at ages 8-11 years, US grades 3-6, UK school years 4-7, around 30-50k words long, main character is around the age of the reader or younger, topics include friendship, family, the character's life and world, external conflict, point of view is frequently in the third person, content is restricted so swearing, graphic violence and sexuality are not allowed.
YA (Young Adult): used for books which have the following characteristics: aimed at ages 12-18 years, US grades 7-12, UK school years 8-15, around 50-75k words long,main character is aged 12-18 years, topics include self-reflection, internal conflict vs external, analysing life and its meaning, point of view is often in the first person, swearing, violence, romance and sexuality are allowed.