Archive for Nonfiction

Solar System Forecast

Written by Kelly Kyzer Whitt

Illustrated by Laurie Allen Klein

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Get ready for an interplanetary adventure in learning as the green alien leads us through the weathers of the planets and moons of our solar system. What a fascinating way of presenting facts that have to be studied in class, often through not very interesting text books. This forecast aligns itself to the Common Core, so teachers and parents know that what is presented here is what their students have to learn. » Read more

Bodyguards! From Gladiators to the Secret Service

Written by Ed Butts
Illustrated by Scott Plumbe

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The world is a large place; it is not possible to know every single thing about it, and no one is expected to have such knowledge. But, occasionally you come across a book that makes you realize the fascination of everyday facts. Bodyguards! is such a book.

Bodyguards have been around, but how many people know that it is a career that goes back to ancient times, has its own code of conduct, and very rigorous training procedures? The book is chock-full of facts and would make a great read for upper elementary and middle school students. You can just picture readers trading stories of ancient Egyptian bodyguards, and enlightening each other on the difference between a Samurai and a Ninja warrior. » Read more

Adele

Written by Tammy Gagne

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Adele is part of the Blue Banner Biography series brought out by Mitchell Lane. The premise behind the series is that reluctant readers would be attracted to a book, if it tells a story they are interested in. It addresses the complaints that keep children away from books — too long, too boring, too old, or just not interesting. Young children are interested in the lives of their favorite stars, whether they be in sports, music, performance or writing. This series provides the biographies of contemporary superstars. » Read more

Dinosaurs

Written by Penelope Arlon and Tory Gordon-Harris

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This is the kind of non-fiction book that boys (and girls) love. Lots of pictures, lots of facts in small bites, and all about a kid’s favorite subject: dinosaurs. Incorporating the latest scientific discoveries, this book attempts to organize the hundreds of known dinosaurs and what scientists have concluded about them. There is attention paid to recreating the time period in which the different species lived. Not only are there illustrations showing the plants and animals from the same time period, there are some prey/predator scenarios presented as well. » Read more

I am Albert Einstein

Written by Grace Norwich

Illustrated by Ute Simon

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Books serve many purposes. They encapsulate the learning of many generations. They carry forth the history and culture of a people. Big, heavy tomes can even act as door stops! Books entertain and educate.

Scholastic has brought out a new series that falls squarely in the ‘books that educate’ category. The series, entitled “I Am…”, presents the biographies of famous men and women in an easily comprehensible fashion.

Young Albert Einstein, who grew up to solve many a mystery of the universe, was an mystery to his parents. He did not go through the babbling, simple-word-speaking stage. At two years of age he barely spoke. When his sister was to be brought home from the hospital his parents told him that they were bringing home a “new toy”.  Albert took one look at the newborn and, finally,  spoke, “Where are the wheels?” » Read more

Bruno Mars

Written by Amie Jane Leavitt

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Songwriters often stay in the background, but Bruno Mars is becoming a celebrity on the strength of his performances, as well as his songwriting. His style is a blend of 50s and 60s ballad-storytelling with an up-to-date sound. Many artists love his songs and perform them. More and more, however, Bruno and his band record and premiere his songs, especially now that he has won numerous awards including a Grammy and a People’s Choice award. This biography shows that his rise to fame hasn’t been easy. » Read more

A Picture Book of Harry Houdini

Written by David A. Adler and Michael S. Adler

Illustrated by Matt Collins

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Harry Houdini is a subject sure to enthrall young readers. The book opens to a dramatic moment. Houdini is lowered into a tank of water. “If I fail to appear my assistants will do everything possible to save my life.” The opening captures the essence of his career: he was the most celebrated escape artist of his time. » Read more

The Woman Who Lived With Wolves and Other Stories from the Tipi

Written and Illustrated by Paul Goble

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Paul Goble presents the philosophy and life-wisdom of a culture through simply stated stories that even a fourth grader would enjoy.And in the reading of the stories some of the thoughts rub off on the reader.

We love animals. A quote from Brave Buffalo, Lakota, shows the Native American belief that there can be communication between species, but “we must do the greater part in securing an understanding.” The birds and animals speak in their tongue, we have to work to understand, as the ancient people did. » Read more

Bugs

Written by Penelope Arlon and Tory Gordon-Harris

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Vivid and detailed close ups of bugs are part of the fascination for this creative look at the life of bugs. This is a great way to observe without having to gather the actual bugs and a good way to desensitize the squeamish. Many of the photos are at least one hundred times as large as the real creature, so the reader comes face to face – literally – with bug after bug. Several collections of many, many bugs within a group highlight the contrasts within the group. The authors first explore classification of invertebrates, the relative populations of those classifications, and the physical attributes of invertebrates. » Read more

Addie Slaughter: The Girl Who Met Geronimo

Written by Susan L. Krueger

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If you’ve ever wanted to know what it was really like to live in the Old West, read this book about Addie Slaughter. She was born in the early 1880’s in Texas and lived in many places in the western part of the country before settling around Tombstone, Arizona. The family moved from Texas to Arizona to Oregon and back to Arizona. Written in first person, the text uses a lot of sensory detail to convey the story. For example, Addie describes the cold and wet snow while riding in a wagon. She talks about the smell of the buffalo robe they used to keep out that cold. She also describes the rubble created by the adobe bricks in an earthquake. » Read more

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