Captured History – 3 Must-Have series from Capstone


Captured History (series). North Mankato, MN: Compass Point Books, 2017. $34.65 ea. 64pp. Gr. 5-9.

Burgan, Michael. Death at Kent State: How a Photograph Brought the Vietnam War Home to America. 978-0-7565-5424-8.

Nardo, Don. Ground Zero: How a Photograph Sent a Message of Hope. 978-0-7565-5427-9.

Captured History is a beautiful photography series from Capstone that began in 2012.  These two new titles bring to light two very different historic moments in U.S. history: 9/11 and Kent State, May 1970.  Both are symbols of war, yet have very different responses.  The first hope; the second fear and death (each cover expresses these feelings too: Ground Zero has firefighters raising the U.S. flag, while Death at Kent State shows a dead body with a woman screaming out next to it).  Each title integrates photographs and prose to share the iconic moment in U.S. history with students.  These titles, along with the previous ones in the series, are a great tool for not only teaching the history, but also for teaching how to read and use images to tell a story, along with use of primary sources in research.  In addition to the prose and images, each title also includes a timeline, glossary, additional resources (including a code for FactHound), Common Core connections, source notes, selected bibliography, and an index.  THOUGHTS:  This is a must have series for all middle schools and high schools.  The images alone make this a worthy purchase, not to mention the prose and resources provided.  This series is useful for library classes looking at images, research, history courses, and English classes in need of more nonfiction.  

U.S. History       Erin Parkinson, Beaver MS/HS



Captured History Sports (series). North Mankato, MN: Compass Point Books, 2016. $33.99 ea. 64pp. Gr. 5-9.

Berne, Emma Carslon. What a Kick: How a Clutch World Cup Win Propelled Women’s Soccer. 978-0-7565-5293-0.

Burgan, Michael. Daring Play: How a Courageous Jackie Robinson Transformed Baseball. 978-0-7565-5291-6.

Burgan, Michael. Miracle on Ice: How a Stunning Upset United a Country. 978-0-7565-5290-9

Nardo, Don. Massacre in Munich: How Terrorists Changed the Olympics and the World. 978-0-7565-5292-3.

Capstone Publishing began their Captured History series in 2012 focusing on iconic moments in U.S. history.  This new series, Captured History Sports, brings to light four moments in sports history that transformed the United States and specific sports: women’s soccer, Munich Olympic Games, Jackie Robinson and baseball, and U.S. ice hockey.  Following its predecessor, each title captures the particular historic topic through a mixture of prose and images and includes a “Life After…”/ “Where are they now” section, timeline, glossary, additional resources (include a code for FactHound), Common Core connection, source notes, selected bibliography, and an index.  THOUGHTS:  This is a must-have series for all middle school and high school libraries.  It is a fun tie to other moments of U.S. history, especially since each sport and moment included had a larger impact on society and our nation.  Use these titles, along with the other Captured History texts to teach reading images or use of nonfiction in English or history courses.  Additionally, this is just a fun series for any sports fan or required nonfiction assignment.

Sports; U.S. History          Erin Parkinson, Beaver Area MS/HS



Captured World History (series). North Mankato, MN: Compass Point Books, 2017. $34.65 ea. 64pp. Gr. 5-9.

Burgan, Michael. The Hindenburg in Flames: How a Photograph Marked the End of the Airship. 978-0-7565-5441-5.

Smith-Llera, Danielle. Che Guevara’s Face: How a Cuban Photographer’s Image Became a Cultural Icon. 978-0-7565-5440-8.

Began in 2014, Captured World History presents key moments that changed the world or world nations.  The two newest titles present students with a thing and person they may have heard about but cannot quite remember much: the Hindenburg and Che Guevara.  Each text presents the historic moment/thing and person through images and prose that captured the world’s attention and will now capture students attention.  These texts are a great supplement for history courses that just don’t have enough time to get to everything.  The compact presentation and use of images will easily attract students, while the timeline, glossary, resources (including a code for FactHound), source notes, and selected bibliography may lead to further exploration.  THOUGHTS:  Captured World History is a great addition for libraries that own titles from Captured History.  Use these titles for research about lesser known moments that impacted the world or for nonfiction reading in English and/or history courses.  This is another must-have series from Capstone Publishing.

World History        Erin Parkinson, Beaver Area MS/HS

MS NF Series – Fashion Origami; Lazy Crafternoons; Accessorize Yourself


Song, Sok. Fashion Origami (series). North Mankato, MN: Capstone Press, 2017. $31.99 ea. 48pp. Gr. 4-8.

Everyday Origami. 978-1-5157-1630-3.

Origami Accessories. 978-1-5157-1623-5.

Origami Outfits. 978-1-5157-1631-0.

Calling fashionistas everywhere!  Fashion Origami, a new series from Capstone Press, takes fashion design to a new level with origami created wearable pieces.  In Origami Accessories, step-by-step instructions for folding a tote bag, scarf, bow, brooch, ballet flats, bracelet, sunglasses, clutch, backpack, and flip-flops are presented.  Each set of instructions includes folding directions and illustrations, along with a pop-out “How to Use” section and brief intro to the item.  Each book also begins with basic origami instructions and folding guide and key.  THOUGHTS:  This is a really neat set of books for students interested in design and can easily be used by an art, crafts, or other subject area teacher working on a project.  This series helps students take 2-D designs to 3-D designs and even wearable designs.

Crafts              Erin Parkinson, Beaver Area MS/HS



Fields, Stella. Lazy Crafternoon (series). North Mankato, MN: Capstone Press, 2017. $27.99 ea. 32pp. Gr. 4-8.

Accessory Projects for a Lazy Crafternoon. 978-1-5157-1436-1.

Back-to-School Projects for a Lazy Crafternoon. 978-1-5157-1438-5.

Decorating Projects for a Lazy Crafternoon. 978-1-5157-1435-4.

Party Planning for a Lazy Crafternoon. 978-1-5157-1437-8.

Lazy Crafternoon is a new series from Capstone that provides ideas for middle grades students to perk up their surroundings and things.  Each title begins with a supplies list for the whole book instead of individual craft ideas and ends with further reading and exploration through a print list and code for Facthound.  Decorating Projects for a Lazy Crafternoon includes directions for no-sew pillows, lampshades, faux stained glass, various canvas ideas, birdhouses, and decorative jars.  Each project has an individualized “What You’ll Need” list along with step-by-step instructions.  THOUGHTS:  This is a fun series for crafty students looking for a new idea.  Each project is simple enough for upper elementary and middle school students and provide a fun way to liven-up the room.

Crafts      Erin Parkinson, Beaver Area MS/HS



Accessorize Yourself! (series). North Mankato, MN: Capstone, 2017. $34.65 ea. 48pp. Gr. 4-8.

Kachidurian, Debbie. Bring on the Bling!: Bracelets, Anklets, and Rings for All Occasions. 978-1-4914-8231-5.

Laughlin, Kara L. Sparkle and Shine!: Trendy Earrings, Necklaces, and Hair Accessories for All Occasions. 978-1-4914-8228-5.

Phillips, Jennifer. Picture Perfect!: Glam Scarves, Belts, Hats, and Other Fashion Accessories for All Occasions. 978-1-4914-8229-2.

Venturea, Marne. The Perfect Pair!: Purses, Handbags, and Wallets for All Occasions. 978-1-4914-8230-8.

“You’re one of a kind, and your accessories should be too” and so begins each book in this new series from Capstone.  Accessorize Yourself gives readers step-by-step instructions to creating one-of-a-kind accessories that help celebrate individual personalities.  Each title focuses on a different type of accessory (or accessories) that can be made from items found around the house or in any craft store.  Some accessories begin with a base that can be purchased in a thrift store (or found in the give-away/throw-away pile at home), while others start from scratch with just basic wire or fabric for creation.  Each title also includes a section at the end for further reading and exploration, along with colorful photos throughout of each accessory.  THOUGHTS:  This is a fun series for upper elementary and middle school girls to explore their creative side and personality through basic accessories and crafting.

Crafts; Fashion     Erin Parkinson, Beaver Area MS/HS

Saving Red


Sones, Sonya. Saving Red. New York: HarperTeen. 2016. 978-0-06-237028-0. 440 pp. $17.99. Gr. 7 and up.

Nothing has been quite right in fourteen-year old Molly’s world since her older brother, Noah, disappeared a year ago. Her distant father is always at work, her mother abuses her medical marijuana prescription, and she battles frequent anxiety attacks with the help of her therapy dog, Pixel. While completing a service requirement for school, Molly meets an older homeless girl named Red. She makes it her mission to reunite Red with her family before the fast-approaching Christmas holiday. But even with the help of a cute new friend named Cristo, Molly soon realizes that all of her best intentions may fall short: Red’s eccentricities are actually the symptoms of schizoaffective disorder, for which she refuses medication. THOUGHTS: This engagingly earnest novel-in-verse tackles some tough topics with a light touch and a refreshing innocence. The reason for Noah’s absence lends a hint of mystery to the narrative. Saving Red would be a good choice for future fans of When We Collided by Emery Lord.

Realistic Fiction; Novel in Verse    Amy V. Pickett, Ridley HS

Author Sonya Sones includes in her Author’s Note an annotated list of resources for readers who face challenges such as homelessness, hunger, illness, and mental health issues.

Explorers of the Wild – Picture Book


Atkinson, Cale. Explorers of the Wild. New York: Disney Hyperion, 2016. 978-148472340-1. Unpaged. $16.99. Gr. PreK-1.

A bespeckled brown boy and a cuddly-looking brown bear have a favorite activity in common: Exploring! Their stories parallel, each individually discovering the same love of nature. When they encounter something unexpected (each other) they become nervous for the first time. But differences lead to similarities, and both the boy and the bear find they have the same passion. They adventure together and find that a shared experience is a deeper one. When it is time to go home, they are fast friends.  THOUGHTS: A great book for the nature lover about being the same and different all at once. It’s fun for children to pick out the tools the boy has (snacks, flashlight) and how the bear has comparable ones (berries and nuts, fireflies).

Picture book     Emily Woodward, The Baldwin School

Nettie & Nellie Crook


Abbot, E.F. Nettie and Nellie Crook: Orphan Train Sisters (Based on a True Story). New York: Feiwel & Friends, 2016. 978-1-250-06835-4. $15.99. 176 pp. Gr. 3-6

Nettie and Nellie were twin girls in a poor New York City family around the turn of the century. When just five years old, they were told their mother did not take care of them, and the girls were taken to an orphanage and separated from their brother. Finding it hard to adjust, Nettie and Nellie sought comfort in each other and learned the stories of the other children, while they are forced to work. Without warning, the girls were told to put on new dresses and get on a train. They were then taken out West where all the children from various care societies were put on a stage and shown off to possible adoptive parents. Nettie and Nellie were taken in by a childless couple and made to work around the house and store.  THOUGHTS: A very interesting book about a period in time not many know about. I love the non-Fiction aspect of it! There are historical photographs and pictures throughout the book depicting scenes and items (a coal scuttle for example), so the reader is given a better sense of what it was like.

Historical Fiction    Emily Woodward, The Baldwin School

Elementary NF – This or That? Weather; Thor


This or That? Weather series. North Mankato: ABDO, 2016. $17.95 each. 24 p. Gr. K-3.

Doudna, Kelly. Cloud or Fog? 978-1-62403-953-9.

Doudna, Kelly. Tidal Wave or Tsunami? 978-1-62403-956-0.

Doudna, Kelly. Winter Storm or Blizzard? 978-1-62403-958-4.

Plattner, Josh. Hail or Freezing Rain? 978-1-62403-954-6.

Plattner, Josh. Hurricane or Waterspout? 978-1-62403-955-3.

Plattner, Josh. Tornado or Dust Devil? 978-1-62403-957-7.

This series seeks to help children identify the differences between similar kinds of weather, such as hail and freezing rain or hurricanes and waterspouts. The text is structured so that the two kinds of weather are compared on each two-page spread. For example, the first two pages of “Hail or Freezing Rain?” compares the two by saying “Hail falls from the sky. It is ice. It freezes before it lands,” on page 4, while page 5 says “Freezing rain falls from the sky. It is water. It freezes after it lands.” The books have several large, colorful photographs of each kind of weather to help demonstrate the concepts on each page. This series would work both as an introduction to various kinds of weather and as a simple mentor text for comparing facts on two similar things. The text is easy to read and understand and some text features add extra information. Each title has a Table of Contents, a glossary, an “At a Glance” chart comparing the two types of weather, and an experiment to help demonstrate how one kind of weather forms or works. THOUGHTS: A serviceable addition to the realm of easy nonfiction weather books. The strength here is the comparison feature of two items.

551.5; Weather; Science      Lindsey Long, Nye & Conewago Elementary Schools



Bowen, Carl, and Eduardo Garcia. Thor vs. the Giants: A Viking Graphic Novel. North Mankato, MN: Stone Arch , 2017. 978-1-4965-3487-3.  55 pp. $20.99. Gr 3-6.

Norse Mythology may not be quite as commonly known as its Greek, Roman, and Egyptian relatives, but a certain Norse superhero has been slowly changing that. This unique graphic novel brings the style of Marvel’s Thor into the ancient Norse world where gods and giants were constantly at war. Told through the eye of Odin, the readers see three myths come to life in short order. There is plenty of trickery, jealousy, humor and violence in the graphic tales, but nothing too over the top. The active illustrations and fast paced story will catch plenty of new fans.  THOUGHTS: Try these, and then compare them to other versions, or even to the Marvel version of Thor. Hopefully this collection makes for natural extensions, from Riordan’s work to classic mythology.

Graphic Novel; Mythology     Dustin Brackbill, State College Area




YA NF – Bioluminescence; Vietnam


Zimmer, Marc.  Bioluminescence: Nature and Science at Work.  Minneapolis: Twenty-First Century Books, 2016.  978-1-4677-5784-3. 72 p.  $26.00.  Gr. 7 and up.

This engaging title begins with an overview of bioluminescence in the animal kingdom, explaining its use as a communication, defense, and survival mechanism for animals, describing experiments that have been done on bioluminescent species, and explaining what we have learned about bioluminescence from these experiments.  Then, the author goes on to describe ways in which bioluminescence is being used in scientific studies.  For example, scientists who require sterile conditions for lab research use bioluminescence to test for the presence of bacteria; if bacteria is present, their lab surface will glow.  Scientists are also using bioluminescent proteins in medical studies to learn more about cancer, HIV, Alzheimer’s disease, malaria, and other viruses and diseases.  Color photographs, diagrams, and sidebars are dispersed throughout the text, and a glossary, source notes, bibliography, reading list, and index are all included.  A concise introduction to a complex topic, the author does an excellent job of presenting highlights about bioluminescence and explaining their applications and importance to the field of science.  THOUGHTS: Although I do not view myself as a science person, this book proved very interesting to me.  Not only were the concepts broken down so they were easy to understand, but there were many tidbits of information throughout the book that were actually very intriguing.  For example, I learned that females of some species of fireflies, unlike their male counterparts, do not have lucibufagin, a poisonous chemical that can be released when challenged by a predator.  To make up for this, they will actually eat a male firefly from a different species in order to take in his lucibufagin and increase their chances of survival. Full of interesting facts like this, this book would be a solid addition to any high school science collection.

572; Bioluminescence      Julie Ritter, Montoursville Area High School



Freedman, Russell. Vietnam: A History of the War. New York: Holiday House, 2016.  978-0-8234-3658-3.150 p. $20.00. Gr. 7 and up.

In this concise overview of the Vietnam War, Freedman begins with an examination of Vietnam’s history, presenting its struggles for independence against the Chinese, the French, and the Japanese.  He then goes on to explain how America became involved in Vietnam.  Throughout this explanation, Freedman explores many key figures (such Ho Chi Minh and multiple U.S. presidents) and major events (such as the Gulf of Tonkin incident, the My Lai massacre, the Kent State shootings, and more).  Freedman then concludes with a chapter on the relationship between the U.S. and Vietnam today and presents valuable lessons that were learned from America’s most controversial war.  Black and white period photographs are interspersed throughout the text, and a timeline, source notes, glossary, bibliography and index are included.   THOUGHTS:  Compared to much of the narrative nonfiction on the market these days, this title is very straightforward and even a little dry at times.  However, there have not been many excellent resources published on this topic in recent years, and the fact that this book comes from an author who has written many award-winning titles makes it all the more appealing.  Given that it is concise (yet thorough) and easy to understand, I feel that this would be a solid addition to any middle or high school library collection.

959.704; Vietnam War         Julie Ritter, Montoursville Area High School


Freedman, Russell. Vietnam: A History of the War. New York : Holiday House, 2016. 978-0-8234-3658-3. $20.00. 160 p. Gr. 6 and up.

A look back at the disastrous and divisive war America fought in Vietnam, Vietnam describes the turbulent history of the Vietnamese people under the rule of a long list of invaders and reviews the actions which led to the growing military involvement of the United States in Vietnam at the height of the Cold War along with the impact of the protests of the American people against the unpopular war.  The final chapter provides an update on the current positive political situation between the two nations. The book features many of the iconic photos of the war front and the protests at home. Includes chapter notes, timeline, bibliography, and index. THOUGHTS: Well-written and well-researched, a perfect choice for investigation into a turbulent period in American history. The narrative style makes a difficult topic readable for middle grades and older students.

U.S. History               Nancy Summers, Abington Senior High School

MS NF – Fannie Never Flinched; Superman Science; Inspiring Stories


Farrell, Mary Cronk.  Fannie Never Flinched: One Woman’s Courage in the Struggle for American Labor Union Rights.  New York: Abrams Books for Young Readers, 2016.  978-1-4197-1884-7. 44 p.  $19.95.  Gr. 5-8.

Labor activist Fannie Sellins lived during the Gilded Age, when American industrial laborers worked in unsafe conditions for low wages.  Fannie made it her life’s work to travel the country and fight for higher wages and better working conditions for these laborers.  She started out by helping to organize Ladies’ Local 67 of the United Garment Workers of America in St. Louis and then went on to help organize unions for coal workers in Pennsylvania and West Virginia.  Ultimately, Fannie ended up giving her life for the cause, as she was shot down during a scuffle between deputies and striking coal miners while trying to herd children to safety.  In addition to period photographs and other primary source material, the author includes a glossary, timeline of events in the American labor struggle, notes, sources, and additional resources in this well-researched, well-written title. THOUGHTS: This book is an excellent addition to any middle school U.S. history collection.  It reads like a novel, making it both engaging and informative.  It provides information on many key concepts pertaining to workers’ rights throughout U.S. history, including strikes, pickets, boycotts, unions and more.  This book would pair well with fictional accounts of the American labor struggle, such as Melanie Crowder’s Audacity or Katherine Paterson’s Bread and Roses, Too.

331.88; Biography; Labor Unions     Julie Ritter, Montoursville Area High School



Biskup, Agnieszka and Tammy Enz. Superman Science (series). North Mankato, MN: Capstone Press, 2017. $27.32 ea (hbk). $7.95 (pbk.). $39.99 (ebk). 32 pp. Gr. 3-9.

Seeing Through Walls: Superman and the Science of Sight. 978-1-5157-0915-2 (hbk).

Stopping Runaway Trains: Superman and the Science of Strength. 978-1-5157-0914-5 (hbk.)

Outrunning Bullets: Superman and the Science of Speed. 978-1-5157-0915-2 (hbk).

Soaring the Skies: Superman and the Science of Flight. 978-1-5157-0913-8 (hbk).

Superman Science is a great series for upper elementary and middle grades students.  Through illustrations, images, charts, and graphs sight, strength, speed, and flight are presented in easy to follow, short sections; in Seeing Through Walls: Superman and the Science of Sight, section titles include “Human Sight”, “Enhancing Sight”, “Animal Vision”, and “Beyond Ordinary Sight” with each section broken down into two-page portions such as “Seeing Color”, “Corrective Lenses”, “Microscopes”, and “Heat Vision”.  The short sections and further two-page break-outs, allow students to focus attention on a particular area of interest within each of the varying topics.  Each book begins with an introduction about Superman and the particular superpower/science topic to be presented.  Seeing Through Walls begins with Superman’s backstory and discussion of his X-ray vision.  Each title concludes with a glossary, “Read More” pop-out box, and index, along with a code for FactHound, a website for further exploration.  THOUGHTS: Superman Science is a really fun way of introducing basic science to upper elementary and middle school students.  Using a famous superhero only makes the science more fun and interesting.  Think of these as Bill Nye in book form.

500s; Science     Erin Parkinson, Beaver Area MS/HS



Inspiring Stories (series). North Mankato, MN: Compass Point Books, 2017. $35.99 ea. 112 pp. Gr. 5-7.

Doak, Robin S. Phillis Wheatley: The Inspiring Life Story of the American Poet. 978-0-7565-5166-7.

Green, Mary. Sarah Winnemucca: The Inspiring LIfe Story of the Activist and Educator. 978-0-7565-5167-4.

Haugen, Brenda. Geronimo: The Inspiring Life of an Apache Warrior. 978-0-7565-5162-9.

Haugen, Brenda. Harriet Beecher Stowe: The Inspiring Life Story of the Abolition Advocate. 978-0-7565-5164-3.

Hill, Pamela. William Shakespeare: The Inspiring Life Story of the Playwright Extraordinaire. 978-0-7565-5163-6.

Stille, Darlene R. Madam C.J. Walker: The Inspiring Life Story of the Hair Care Entrepreneur. 978-0-7565-5165-0.

Most middle school students have not heard of Madam C.J. Walker, Sarah Winnemucca, or Phillis Wheatly, and they may have heard about Harriet Beecher Stowe or Geronimo, but are not quite sure what they did.  In Inspiring Stories, a new middle grades biography series from Capstone Publishing, students are introduced to somewhat lesser known Americans (except for William Shakespeare) who inspired change.   Each text utilizes primary sources, both textual and through images, along with a timeline that includes text and images, a glossary, information for further reading (both print and a code for FactHound), source notes, an index, and questions for critical thinking tied to Common Core.  THOUGHTS: This is a great addition for middle school libraries where biography projects are a staple.  Introducing students to lesser known, prominent Americans will peak their interests in learning more.  The only downside to this series is the Shakespeare title.  I’m not sure why that was included.

92; Biography      Erin Parkinson, Beaver Area MS/HS




YA Mystery – Girl I Used to Be; Long Game


Henry, April. The Girl I Used to Be. New York: Henry Holt and Company, 2016. 978-1-62779-332-2. 229 pp.  $16.99.  Gr. 7 and up.
Seventeen-year-old Ariel Benson, who now goes by Olivia Reinhart, grew up in foster care believing that her father murdered her mother and ran off, abandoning her when she was only three years old.  When authorities find a piece of her father’s jawbone, however, Olivia learns that her father was likely murdered on the same day her mother died.  Now she is back in her hometown of Medford, determined to uncover the truth behind her parents’ murders.  But will she be able to solve the mystery before the murderer realizes who the curious new girl in town is and comes after her?  THOUGHTS:  The short chapters and fast moving, suspenseful plot make this an excellent choice for reluctant readers.  Fans of mystery writers like Mary Higgins Clark, John Grisham, Sara Shepard, James Patterson, and Barry Lyga will also enjoy this title.

Mystery Fiction              Julie Ritter, Montoursville Area High School



Barnes, Jennifer Lynn. The Long Game (The Fixer Bk. 2). New York: Bloomsbury, 2016. 978-61963-596-8. $17.99. 358 pp. Gr. 8-11.

Tess Kendrick is back in this sequel to The Fixer (2015).  Finally accepting her position as Ivy Kendrick’s daughter (D.C.’s best fixer) and William Keyes’ granddaughter (a D.C. heavy-weight), Tess has become the Hardwicke School’s “fixer”.  Usually “fixing” school issues or “family” problems, Tess is faced with a more personal “fix” when she takes on a frenemies’ student council campaign against the school bully, who also happens to the the minority whip’s son.  When politics mix with politicians’ children, anything can happen.  Meanwhile, Ivy has taken on a serious case that puts everyone’s lives in jeopardy.  When the Hardwicke School is taken over by a terrorist organization, Tess realizes that Ivy’s case is more than a fix, and it’s up to her to figure out how to save her family, her school, her friends, and hopefully, herself.  THOUGHTS:  The Long Game is another fabulous, fast-paced mystery from Jennifer Lynn Barnes.  If your collection doesn’t include her series, The Fixer and The Naturals get them.  These Scandal-esque and Criminal Minds style series are sure to please all readers.  

Mystery/Suspense      Erin Parkinson, Beaver Area MS/HS

Upper Elem. & MS Series NF – Recycled Science; History Hunters; Warrior Science


Recycled Science (series). North Mankato, MN: Capstone Press, 2017. 32 p. $84. Gr. 3-8.

Enz, Tammy. Awesome Craft Stick Science. 978-1-5157-0861-2.

Enz, Tammy. Cool Plastic Bottle and Milk Jug Science. 978-1-5157-0862-9.

Enz, Tammy. Incredible Snack Package Science. 978-1-5157-0863-6.

Wheeler-Toppen, Jodi. Amazing Cardboard Tube Science. 978-1-5157-0860-5.

Each book in this series focuses on an everyday object like a cardboard tube or a popsicle stick.  There are several step-by-step experiments and projects that can be completed using the objects.  Not only do these projects serve to recycle the materials, but they also teach scientific principles that will stick with the reader after the project is finished.  For example, readers will turn cardboard tubes into marshmallow shooters and learn about potential energy and kinetic energy in the process.  They will create harmonicas out of popsicle sticks in order to understand the concepts of sound waves, frequency, and pitch.  Complete with a glossary, index, color photographs, additional print and web resources, and critical thinking questions using the Common Core, this hands-on series is sure to entertain students as they learn about scientific principles.  THOUGHTS:  This is an excellent resource for elementary and middle school science teachers to incorporate into the classroom or Earth Day.  Full of great ideas for recycling everyday objects and hands-on projects designed to make learning fun, these books are a wonderful addition to any elementary or middle school library.

745.5; Crafts & Hobbies; Recycling              Julie Ritter, Montoursville Area High School



History Hunters. North Mankato: Capstone, 2017. $20.99 ea. $125.94 set of 6. 32p. Gr. 3-8.

Dickmann, Nancy. Ancient Egypt. 978-1-5157-2531-2.

Dickmann, Nancy. Ancient Greece. 978-1-5157-2535-0.

Dickmann, Nancy. Ancient Rome. 978-1-5157-2550-3.
Spilsbury, Louise. Ancient China. 978-1-5157-2525-1.

Spilsbury, Louise. The Mayans. 978-1-5157-2551-0.

Spilsbury, Louise. The Vikings. 978-1-5157-2552-7.

The History Hunters series uses archaeological discoveries to help illuminate and explain the history of several well known ancient civilizations. Numerous photos of archeological finds are used to supplement the text. Each volume covers topics such as religion, family life, work, housing, food, wars/conflict, and other basic information about the culture being presented. Sidebars entitled “Deadly Secrets” offer a photos, descriptions, and clues about specific finds in order to get the reader to correctly guess their purpose. A glossary is included in each volume.  THOUGHTS: Though each book in this set is a slim 32 pages, a great deal of knowledge is incorporated into the text. Readers will walk away with a basic understanding of the each civilization. Numerous photos of archaeological discoveries as well as historical images will add to the reader’s overall understanding. A great choice for history fans.

900s; Ancient Civilizations     Elizabeth Henry, Lampeter-Strasburg HS/MS



Warrior Science. North Mankato: Capstone, 2017. $20.99 ea. $83.96 set of 4. 32p. Gr. 3-8.

Lassieur, Allison. Gladiator Science: Armor, Weapons, and Arena Combat. 978-1-4914-8129-5.

Lassieur, Allison. Medieval Knight Science: Armor, Weapons, and Siege Warfare. 978-1-4914-8130-1.

Lusted, Marcia Amidon. Ninja Science: Camouflage, Weapons, and Stealthy Attacks. 978-1-4914-8115-8.

Lusted, Marcia Amidon. Samurai Science: Armor, Weapons, and Battlefield Strategy. 978-1-4914-8124-0.

Each volume of the Warriors Science series examines one of the most prominent and popular groups of fighters from world history. Types of weapons, protective gear and tactical strategies are discussed within the context of science. In order to emerge victorious, these historic warriors had to rely on scientific principles and knowledge to maximize the effectiveness of their weaponry and strategy. For example, medieval knights protected themselves with armor designed to disperse and absorb energy from the blows of enemy weapons. Knights also built weapons such as trebuchets, which relied on counterweights and the science of gravity. Each volume features numerous diagrams, photos and historical images designed to illustrate the science behind the history. In addition, phrases/words are defined throughout the text in order to increase clarity for the reader. THOUGHTS: These engaging reads are sure to be popular with upper elementary and middle school fans of military/weapons books. The science content is seamlessly and logically woven into the presentation of historical events and the soldiers/fighters under discussion.

Military Science, History    Elizabeth Henry, Lampeter-Strasburg HS/MS