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
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
Miles, John C. Fighting Forces of World War II. Capstone Press, 2020.$21.54 ea. $85.16 set of 4. 32p. Grades 5-8.
Fighting Torces of World War II at Sea.978-1-543-57481-4. Fighting Forces of World War II in the Air. 978-1-543-57482-1. Fighting Forces of World War II on Land. 978-1-543-57483-8. Fighting Forces of World War II on the Home Front.978-1-543-57484-5.
Fighting Forces explores the military forces of both allied and axis powers. With several primary sources and informative captions, history lovers will enjoy learning about specific units that fought during World War II. In every book, each unit is featured in chronological order with specific dates the units were formed, the strength, and the areas the units were active including Europe, the Pacific, Mediterranean, and the Eastern Front. Included is a Timeline and “Read More” section with credible books and websites.
THOUGHTS: Perfect for students who already have knowledge about World War II and for those wanting to learn about how both sides of the war contributed at sea, in the air, on land, and on the home front. Well organized and full of in-depth information, this is an excellent addition to a library that already has a full World War II collection and history buffs are begging for more.
940.54 World War II Jaynie Korzi, South Middleton SD
Animals Back From the Brink. Crabtree Publishing, 2020. $14.30 ea. $290.50 set of 14. 32p. Grades 3-6.
Bringing Back the American Alligator. 978-1-549-08040-1. Bringing Back the Black-Footed Ferret. 978-1-725-44237-5. Bringing Back the Blue Iguana. 978-1-725-48072-8. Bringing Back the California Condor. 978-1-725-48073-5. Bringing Back the Giant Panda. 978-1-549-08041-8. Bringing Back the Gray Wolf. 978-1-549-08042-5. Bringing Back the Grizzly Bear. 978-1-549-08043-2. Bringing Back the Humpback Whale. 978-1-549-08044-9. Bringing Back the Island Fox. 978-1-725-48074-2. Bringing Back the Lesser Long-Nosed Bat. 978-1-725-44238-2. Bringing Back the Mountain Gorilla. 978-1-725-44239-9. Bringing Back the Snow Leopard. 978-1-725-44240-5. Bringing Back the Southern White Rhino. 978-1-725-48075-9. Bringing Back the Whooping Crane. 978-1-549-08045-6.
Readers will discover endangered species around the world. Each book begins with facts about the featured species including its habitat and an introduction to the dangerous factors contributing to extinction. Each book explains the scientific criteria that is used to figure out the levels of threat to each species, the historical and current threat to each species, and the problems environmental groups have had trying to protect them. Each book concludes with an explanation of future protection efforts and what the reader can do to help. The “Learning More” section of each book provides books and websites for the reader to learn more about the specific species featured.
THOUGHTS: A good supplement to an existing collection of endangered species books and for libraries with patrons interested in this topic.
Jewell, Tiffany. This Book Is Anti-Racist: 20 Lessons on How to Wake Up, Take Action, and Do the Work. Frances Lincoln Children’s Books, 2020. 978-0-711-24521-1. 160 p.$13.09. Grades 5-8.
This handbook provides readers with the answers about racism in America that young people seek but many adults do not have the answers to. Readers will explore more about themselves, how racism came to be, why it has yet to disappear, and how to actively work against racism. A glossary of terms will help beginners understand novel vocabulary words like complicity, assimilate, neurodiverse, and BIPoC. Graphic art colors every few pages, and activities are provided at natural stopping points to help the reader fully understand and reflect on difficult concepts. The author writes about their own experience so that those who have experienced racism feel heard and others learn about a real person’s experience with racism. Although this book teaches readers about social activism, its main purpose is for readers to help dismantle and work toward ending racism.
THOUGHTS: This book can be used as a workbook to help discover more about oneself or used in book clubs to encourage conversation with others. I recommend this book to every educator seeking to better support their students. I personally like that it is small enough to be carried in a purse, backpack, or back pocket. Any person troubled by current events will benefit from reading this book, especially the section about Taking Action and Responding to Racism.
Johnson, Varian, and Shannon Wright. Twins. Graphix, 2020. 978-1-338-23617-0. 249 p. $24.99. Grades 3-6.
Francine and Maureen are twins who have always been best friends, done the same activities, and had the same group of friends. But now that they are starting middle school, Francine (call her Fran, please) wants to come out from her sister’s shadow and be her own person. Unfortunately, Maureen wants the opposite. When both girls wind up running for class president, sibling rivalry steps up several notches and threatens to ruin any shred of relationship the girls have left. Once Fran confesses that the reason she wanted to create her own identity in middle school was to boost her self esteem after competing with her perfect sister for years, the girls’ relationship blossoms into a new, more mature sibling relationship.
THOUGHTS: I loved this graphic novel! Fans of Raina Telgemeier will flip over this new offering. I love that the characters are African American, but they could be any race and the story would be the exact same! Students need to see characters of other races that do not struggle because of their race.
Tanzer, Myles. Music Is My Life: Soundtrack Your Mood with 80 Artists for Every Occasion. Wide Eyed Editions, 2020. 978-0-711-24918-9. $19.97. 111 p. Grades 6-12.
Music is my Life was created to help music lovers find more artists to love. Artists are grouped together within chapters titled Get Pumped Up With, Focus With, Fall in Love to, and more. Each artist is featured in a full page spread with biographical information, song suggestions, and information about how each artist’s music will make the listener feel. Every artist is colorfully illustrated in a way that makes the person or band feel accessible and exciting regardless of age or the style of music they produce. Artists include Ariana Grande, Carole King, Prince, Chance the Rapper, and ABBA.
THOUGHTS: A fresh addition to any school library collection seeking to update their music and biography collections. Music is my Life achieves its purpose and those who read it will feel more connected to music than ever before.
Jackson, Tom. Fake News. Quarto Publishing, 2020. 978-0-711-25034-5. 96 p. $14.75. Grades 5-8.
“Everyone and anyone can have an opinion, but not everyone’s opinion is fully informed.” Learn about censorship, secret agendas, conspiracy theories, and the battle between the media and politicians by reading Fake News. Chapters include the Myths and Meaning, Advertising, Memes, World Wide Web, and Freedom of Speech. This book encourages students to get all the facts before forming an opinion. Each chapter ends with a section of questions the reader can use to help reflect and make sense of what they have read. After reading this book, students will have the knowledge and skills needed to become responsible users of information and be able to make informed opinions about hot topics.
THOUGHTS: An important book for any person wishing to be a more critical thinker. The information presented is relevant to today’s current events and the book will be a valuable addition to any middle school or high school library collection. This book and others can be displayed together to make a compelling collection.
070.4 Media Literacy Jaynie Korzi, South Middleton SD