Buckey, A.W. Privacy in the Digital Age. Core Library, an imprint of Abdo Publishing, 2020. $23.00 ea. $138.00 set of 6. 48p. Grades 3-6.
Hudak, Heather. Cell Phone Privacy. 978-1-53211-889-0.
—. Cybercrime. 978-1-53211-890-6.
Edwards, Sue Bradford. The Dark Web. 978-1-53211-891-3.
Buckey, A.W. Identity Theft. 978-1-53211-892-0.
—. Personal Data Collection. 978-1-53211-893-7.
—. Surveillance. 978-1-53211-894-4.
Using platforms they are very familiar with, such as Netflix, YouTube, Facebook, and even 23andMe, Personal Data Collection introduces middle grade readers to the idea that the convenience that data collection affords may not always be in their best interest. Part of the Privacy in the Digital Age series, this book explores the history of data collection, what data is being collected and why, how that data is being used, and how it could potentially be harmful to individuals. Fast Facts at the end will help students organize their thoughts about what they have read, and guiding questions could be used by educators in a digital literacy lesson.
THOUGHTS: A good introduction to the topic. Graphs, sidebars, and diagrams create interest, and teacher resources are an added bonus.
005.8 Computer SecurityMelissa Johnston, North Allegheny SD
What the average reader does not know about freshwater eels could fill volumes, and luckily there exists just the volume to educate us all. At a scant 96 pages, Eels, part of The Superpower Field Guide series, uses illustrations by Nicholas John Frith, diagrams, timelines, and more to accompany the story of Olenka, a freshwater eel living in a river in Russia. Readers will learn of the eel’s 10 superpowers, including wall crawling, double invisibility, and globe-spanning grit. Sections are short but high-interest and fact-filled, and the entire book could easily be read in one sitting.
THOUGHTS: A great addition to an elementary or middle school library where nonfiction circulates well.
597 Cold Blooded Vertebrates, FishesMelissa Johnston, North Allegheny SD
Turk, Evan. A Thousand Glass Flowers. Atheneum Books for Young Readers, 2020. Unpaged. 978-1-534-41034-3. $17.99. Grades K-2
This nonfiction biography tells the story of Marietta Barovier who came from a family of glassblowers, and her journey to becoming the first woman given permission to open her own furnace in Venice. The story begins with her as a small girl watching her father create glass until he allows her to try, and her passion for glassmaking grows from there. The end of the book contains an author’s note, which really adds to the story as there is not much known of her, because glassblowing was a male dominated industry. Marietta is credited with creating the rosetta bead, which was used as a currency!
THOUGHTS: This is a wonderfully illustrated biography that will introduce readers to Marietta Barovier and the world of glassblowing.
Biography Mary Hyson, Lehigh Valley Regional Charter Academy
Follow teenager Isablle, who recently discovered she is the daughter of the infamous Robin Hood, as she travels with the Merry Men to meet her father for the first time. Isabelle is being hunted by the notorious Wolf who knows her true identity and has captured her mother. Traveling with the Merry Men after living in a priory her whole life is full of new experiences and daring acts. Will the Merry Men accept her after learning her true identity, and can her own skill with a bow and arrow live up to her father’s?
THOUGHTS: Adventure lovers will enjoy this new twist on a classic tale with its familiar characters, noble quest, and strong female antagonist.
Grant, Allison Sweet and Adam Grant. Leif and the Fall. Dial Books for Young Readers, 2020. Unpaged. 978-1-984-81549-1. $17.99. Grades K-2.
It is autumn and Leif the Leaf is worried about falling from his tree. He confesses to his friend Laurel that the fall might cause him to “bump my head” or “skin my knee.” The other leaves tell him that falling is inevitable, but Laurel suggests that Leif should think of a way to slowly lower himself as he falls. So the pair work together to invent various devices, such as a kite made of bark and moss, a parachute out of a spider web and a swing made of vines. All of these ideas fail. Then an unplanned gust of wind blows Leif and Laurel off the tree, and they have the good luck to fall on the soft cushion of the failed experiments. Liddiard’s illustrations are done with a combination of digital collage and mixed media, creating drawings that balance the whimsical appearance of the leaves with images of actual moss. This book is very similar to Wade’s The Very Last Leaf. Both are about the fear of falling, but Wade’s text deals more with facing fears and perfectionism, while the Grants’ focus is on solving problems with creative ideas and to keep on trying. However, the message in this story is a little confusing since it was actually fate and luck that caused Leif to be successful in the end.
THOUGHTS: This book is a good choice for autumn themed storytimes. It would be also useful for guidance counselors for lessons on perseverance and in the classroom for lessons on problem solving and creativity.
Outdoor Adventure Guides. Capstone Press, 2020. $24.04 ea. $96.16 set of 4. 48 p. Grades 3-6.
Bean, Raymond. Backpacking Hacks: Camping Tips for Outdoor Adventures. 978-1-543-59031-9.
Hoena, B.A. Campfire Cooking: Wild Eats for Outdoor Adventures. 978-1-543-59033-3.
Hoena, B.A. Wilderness Survival: Basic Safety for Outdoor Adventures. 978-1-543-59029-6.
Bean, Raymond. Wildlife Watching: Spotting Animals on Outdoor Adventures. 978-1-543-59035-7.
Part of the Outdoor Adventure Guides series, Backpacking Hacks is a valuable resource for both the novice and experienced hiker. Chapter titles include “Preparation and Planning;” “Food, Water, and Shelter;” and “Critters and Fire.” There are thoughtful tips for staying warm, staying cool, and staying dry. The book also includes information on how to pack food and what to pack, how to make your tent more comfortable, and hygiene when you are away from a bathroom. Readers who are using this guide to plan a trip will appreciate the websites listed in the back and the “Hack Your Pack” section that will make all hikers well prepared.
THOUGHTS: This is a thorough guide for planning a backpacking trip. There is so much great information packed into the scant 48 pages. Appropriate for all school libraries, this book should have broad appeal.
796.54 Camping Melissa Johnston, North Allegheny SD
Mauleón, Daniel. Edge Books: Wide World of Esports. Capstone Press, 2020. $21.54 ea. $86.16 set of 4. 32 p. Grades 3-6.
Athletic Esports: The Competitive Gaming World of Basketball, Football, Soccer, and More! Fighting Game Esports: The Competitive Gaming World of Super Smash Bros., Street Fighter, and More! 978-1-543-57355-8. First-Person Action Esports: The Competitive Gaming World of Overwatch, Counter-Strike, and More! 978-1-543-57353-4. Online Battle Arena Esports: The Competitive Gaming World of League of Legends, Dota 2, and More! 978-1-543-57354-1.
Part of the Edge Books: Wide World of Esports series, Athletic Esports not only makes the introduction those unfamiliar to the world of competitive esports, for the readers who are already interested in competitive esports, it takes a closer look at the competitive leagues within the most popular athletic esports, such as basketball and football, including facts about player drafts, tournaments, and cash prizes. Also included are a history of athletic esports and a chapter on equality in esports.
THOUGHTS: Even students who think they know everything about competitive esports will learn something from reading this book. It is a good addition to elementary and middle school libraries where informational nonfiction circulates well.
794.8 Video Games Melissa Johnston, North Allegheny SD
Welsh, Clare Helen. The Perfect Shelter. Kane Miller, 2020. 978-1-68464-050-8. Unpaged. $14.99. Grades K-3.
The Perfect Shelter follows two sisters who are trying to make the perfect shelter outside; however, something is wrong. One sister is sick, and the other sister has to deal with the consequences of her sister being sick and not being able to build the perfect shelter with her. As the story progresses, the sisters decide to build a shelter inside because “it’s the perfect place to build a shelter.” The illustrations show the progression of the older sister’s sickness, as well as how the family handles and deals with it. The illustrations are absolutely beautiful.
THOUGHTS: I loved how the ending of this book doesn’t promise a happy ending, merely that the family will just be together. This book could be a great conversation starter for a child who is dealing with someone in their family having an illness, or if they personally have an illness. The family is drawn as being interracial, which I also loved that representation.
Picture Book Mary Hyson, Lehigh Valley Regional Charter Academy
Quiet Down, Loud Town! follows an elephant who thinks the town around him is too loud, and he has no problem telling them that. As he goes through his day, the loudness of his environment keeps frustrating him until he finally snaps and yells, “Quiet down loud town!” However, the elephant learns that perhaps quiet isn’t what he needs either as he struggles to fall asleep, and then becomes the one being too loud. The illustrations are bright and colorful, with lots of added details to enjoy as the reader goes through the book.
THOUGHTS: This is an extremely fun book to read aloud with students, or for students to go through on their own. Highly recommended for an elementary school collection.
Picture Book Mary Hyson, Lehigh Valley Regional Charter Academy
Rippon, Jo. Rise Up! The Art of Protest. Charlesbridge, 2020. 978-1-623-54150-7. 60 p. $18.99. Grades K-3.
Human rights are important to all of us which is why when they are threatened, many artists create work that peacefully protests and raises awareness. This book is sectioned into six different topics of protest that have been around for years and are still ongoing, including climate change, gender equality, and LGBTQIA+ rights. Each section describes a bit about the history of the struggle and features artwork in various mediums that supported the cause. Captions accompany each piece of artwork to explain the powerful meaning behind it. But in many cases the artwork, the creation of which spans over the past century, speaks for itself.
THOUGHTS: Rise Up! is written in child-friendly language which makes it easy for young readers to understand the cause behind the protest. The artwork in this book is carefully and thoughtfully chosen and shows the power a paintbrush (or camera or crayon) can have. For adolescents figuring out their place in the world around them, this book can be crucial in helping them see the power young people can have. Written in collaboration with Amnesty International, this is a must-have for librarians and teachers who want to curate a collection of books that bring awareness to social issues.
322.4 Social Issues and Peaceful ProtestDanielle Corrao, Manheim Central SD