Kid Pickers: How to Turn Junk into Treasure

( 3 )


The star of the hit television show American Pickers shares his love of treasure-hunting with kids.

Mike Wolfe’s love for “picking” started with old bikes, cigar boxes, and other collectibles people may have called “junk.” A self-taught picker, the TV star now shares his passion for picking antiques with his enthusiastic kid audience, and offers tips on collecting, sorting through flea market offerings, asking relatives about family heirlooms, and much, much ...

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Kid Pickers: How to Turn Junk into Treasure

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The star of the hit television show American Pickers shares his love of treasure-hunting with kids.

Mike Wolfe’s love for “picking” started with old bikes, cigar boxes, and other collectibles people may have called “junk.” A self-taught picker, the TV star now shares his passion for picking antiques with his enthusiastic kid audience, and offers tips on collecting, sorting through flea market offerings, asking relatives about family heirlooms, and much, much more. In the process, kids will pick up history, research skills, and new hobbies galore (and maybe even help clean the attic).

Kids love treasure-hunting. Kid Pickers is a fun and practical resource from one of the most popular pros around.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Fans of the History Channel’s American Pickers will be pleasantly surprised by Wolfe’s foray into writing for young enthusiasts . . . A nice addition to any collection, especially for history (or television) buffs." — School Library Journal
School Library Journal
Gr 4–7—Fans of the History Channel's American Pickers will be pleasantly surprised by Wolfe's foray into writing for young enthusiasts. The author adopts an accessible, enthusiastic tone as he describes what "treasure hunters" do, how they do it, and the best places for childen to start collecting. For added veracity, each chapter features a young person and his or her area of interest. Wolfe encourages his readers to do the research behind their finds and to develop other skills, like bargaining, while they learn to discern both the personal as well as material value of an object. The usual items, like baseball cards and collector toys, are mentioned, but so are things like farm tools. This isn't a "get rich quick" book; instead, it focuses on helping kids learn about what they might find with a little digging and creativity. Many black-and-white photos and illustrations punctuate the text, and a collection of interesting facts is appended. A nice addition to any collection, especially for history (or television) buffs.—Carol Fazioli, Barth Elementary School, Pottstown, PA
Children's Literature - Amy McMillan
Taking a leap from the small screen to the printed page, History Channel's American Pickers host, Mike Wolfe, adapts his treasure hunting secrets and obsessions for a young audience of up-and-coming pickers. Covering such topics as the thrill of the hunt, where to begin, and how to develop your own picking style, kids with a beginning interest in picking will have plenty to work with. Wolfe also ties in green trends like repurposing and sustainability, uncovering your own family history, making a profit, and using various resources to discover an item's story, widening the appeal to those not necessarily looking to dig through endless flea markets and dumps. The orange, black, and white palette give it an appropriately vintage feel and the lively layouts sprinkled with photos, real kid-picker profiles, and picking pointers adds to the book's accessibility. This is a surprisingly versatile resource that would be a fine addition to any library. Reviewer: Amy McMillan
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781250019301
  • Publisher: Feiwel & Friends
  • Publication date: 4/16/2013
  • Pages: 128
  • Sales rank: 626,725
  • Age range: 7 - 12 Years
  • Lexile: 1030L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 8.90 (w) x 6.00 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Meet the Author

Mike Wolfe

Mike Wolfe has been diggin’ and pickin’ through junk since the age of four. As the star of the History Channel hit show American Pickers, Mike travels more than 60,000 miles a year around the country “making a living telling the history of America, one piece at a time.” He divides his time between LeClaire, Iowa, and Nashville, Tennessee, where he owns the store Antique Archaeology. 

Lily Sprengelmeyer is a third-grade elementary school teacher. She has been a lifelong picker, growing up in her father’s eclectic antique store, La Belle Epoque in Galena, Illinois, where Mike Wolfe was a regular. She continues to reside in Galena.

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Read an Excerpt

Chapter One



BY SIMPLY PICKING UP THIS BOOK, chances are you’re probably a “picker” at heart, just like me. You’ve got a passion for rediscovering those once-forgotten items of our past, and the stories they tell. You love the excitement of hunting through old items, or those that were tossed aside to collect dust. You understand their importance because you picked it, and you’ve begun a new chapter in the life of your picked item … now, that’s cool.

So let’s forget about what something’s worth, or what everyone else around you likes. It’s time to create your own story; find your own Passion. That’s right, put on some old jeans, grab a flashlight, and set out for the journey that lies ahead. The adventure is all about finding—picking—items that will connect you closer to yourself and the people that surround you. Whether these items have been cherished in your family for centuries or you’ve uncovered a rusty broken wheel in your backyard, the point is it’s your pick and that’s what makes you a true Kid Picker.

As a seasoned picker myself, trust me when I say you’ve got all the tools you’ll need just by going out and finding what you like. My favorite memories as a Kid Picker were those in which I was the leader of my own journey, going out in search of whatever caught my eye. Curiosity will be your best guide (and, of course, this wonderful book you’re holding), as you are now the creator of your very own picking story. Join me by following the guidelines in the chapters ahead on searching, finding, collecting, sharing, and creating your own story. Your journey awaits, fellow Kid Pickers. What will your story be?


AGE 10

COLLECTS: Bottles, rockets, old toys

BEST PICK SO FAR: Old bottles found while digging in the dirt near his grandfather’s shop


Copyright © 2013 by Mike Wolfe

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Reading Group Guide

Dear Teacher,

As educators, we expect that our students will be excited by and eager to engage

with new technology. New tablet computers, new smartphone apps, and new video

production software are all sure to meet with unbridled enthusiasm. But “old stuff”?

Will vintage and antique objects, used and forgotten items, get the same response?

Yes! With the classroom activities and templates here to accompany the enthusiasm

of Kid Pickers author Mike Wolfe, it won’t be long before your students are history

buffs and repurposing enthusiasts.

This guide includes a Pre-reading Activity, student activity sheets, and additional

classroom activity ideas.

Kid Pickers is appropriate for students in grades 2–7. It will be especially useful in conjunction with Social Studies/History units, as well as in Language Arts and Mathematics classes. With its focus on respecting and preserving history through the location and study of artifacts from other time periods, Kid Pickers will provide many opportunities to meet the Common Core State Standards (CCSS). This guide contains a number of activities that are applicable across grade levels, as well as some that are differentiated for lower and higher grade bands. The standards below for Reading, Writing, and Speaking/Listening are an example from the fi fth-grade standards; teachers may want to visit the CCSS Web site to apply their own grade-level equivalents. The subheadings and numerical references will help users easily locate the coordinating standards for specific grade levels.

English Language Arts: Reading Informational Text

RI 4.5 Determine the meaning of words and phrases in a text relevant to a grade 5 topic or subject area.

RI 7.5 Draw on information from multiple print or digital sources, demonstrating the ability to locate an

answer to a question quickly or to solve a problem effi ciently.

English Language Arts: Writing

W 1.5 Write opinion pieces on topics or texts, supporting a point of view with reasons and information.

W 2.5 Write informative/explanatory texts to examine a topic and convey ideas and information clearly.

W 3.5 Write narratives to develop real or imagined experiences or events using effective technique,

descriptive details, and clear event sequences.

W 7.5 Conduct short research projects that use several sources to build knowledge through the

investigation of different aspects of a topic.

English Language Arts: Speaking and Listening

SL 1.5 Engage effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (one-on-one, in groups, and teacher-led)

with diverse partners on grade 5 topics and texts, building on others’ ideas and expressing their

own clearly.

SL 6.5 Adapt speech to a variety of contexts and tasks, using formal English when appropriate to the

task and situation.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3
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Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 24, 2014

    Kid's Treasure Hunting

    This book is a kid's guide of how to find hidden treasures in the old stuff other people have just laying around in their houses, barns, yards, etc. it teaches kids the value of saving things from the past and reusing them in new ways

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 14, 2013

    I Also Recommend:

    Highly Recommend very well done

    This book is very appropriate for children, Young folks can learn to respect others property ,when following advice in this book, great starter info for all those kid pickers out there just starting out.

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  • Posted April 26, 2013

    Too simplistic even for a 10 year old.

    Too simplistic even for a 10 year old.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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