MG – Science Gets Physical (Series NF)

George, Enzo. Science Gets Physical. Crabtree Publishing Company, 2020. $10.95 ea. $65.70 set of 6. 48p. Grades 5-9.

Physical Science in Basketball. 978-0-778-77557-7.
Physical Science in Cycling Sports. 978-0-778-77634-5.
Physical Science in Football. 978-0-778-77635-2.
Physical Science in Snow and Ice Sports. 978-0-778-77650-5.
Physical Science in Street Sports. 978-0-778-77651-2.
Physical Science in Water Sports. 978-0-778-77652-9.

Science meets sports in this series aiming to educate readers about the science behind popular sports. Organized into six chapters, each book explains how physics plays a part in the technique and function of each sport. Each book includes a science experiment readers can complete at home to gain a real understanding of the physics explained in the previous chapters. Glossary terms, Learning More, and Index sections help readers understand and navigate through the nonfiction text as well as encourages readers to learn more about the physics of sports. There are plenty of sidebars and photographs that highlight how the scientific theories explained in the text are demonstrated in the real world through contemporary sports.

THOUGHTS: A useful text for athletes seeking an advantage on their competition and for students eager to learn the science behind popular sports. It is a good addition to a collection of sports books and a good offering for teachers of physical science to share with students who may be reluctant to learn about science. The text and captions are easy to read and informative while the colorful, modern photographs make the information feel relatable.

796 Sports     Jaynie Korzi, South Middleton SD

MG – World’s Greatest Soccer Players (Series Nonfiction)

World’s Greatest Soccer Players. SportsZone, an imprint of Abdo Publishing, 2020. $20.95. $167.60 for 8. 32 p. Grades 3-8. 

Decker, Michael. Chicharito. 978-1-5321-9061-2.
—. Luka Modric. 978-1-5321-9064-3.
—. Paul Pogba. 978-1-5321-9066-7.
Kortemeier, Todd. Harry Kane. 978-1-5321-9062-9.
—. Christian Pulisic. 978-1-5321-9067-4.
Nicks, Erin. Cristiano Ronaldo. 978-1-5321-9068-1.
—. Lionel Messi. 978-1-5321-9063-6.
—. Neymar. 978-1-5321-9065-0.

This reviewer read Harry Kane in the World’s Greatest Soccer Players series. This series highlights some of the greatest current players in the world’s most popular game. Each book in the series tells the story of a player from their childhood through their professional career. Books include many colorful photos, side bars with even more player information, a glossary, and an index. Reinforced Library Bound covers.

THOUGHTS: This series is a great addition for a library looking to update their sports biography section with current athletes. (Title Reviewed: Harry Kane)

796.33 Football (Soccer)                 Krista Fitzpatrick- Waldron Mercy Academy

Elementary NF – Shark Lady; Best Athlete series; DIY Day Spa series; Survival Zone series

Keating, Jess. Shark Lady: The True Story of How Eugenie Clark Became the Ocean’s Most Fearless Scientist.  Sourcebooks Jabberwocky, 2017.  9781492642046. Unpaged. $17.99. Gr. K-3.

This is the fascinating story of the scientist Eugenie Clark, who is better known as the “Shark Lady.” Keating begins with a look at Eugenie as a child, who even then showed an interest in this marine animal. We see her visiting an aquarium, diving into the ocean at Atlantic City, gazing at her own small aquarium, and sitting in a library reading books about different species of sharks.  While in college, the reader learns that some professors discouraged Eugenie from pursuing a career in marine biology, but she achieved her dream in spite of this. Clark’s career began in a laboratory, but she was eager to “make her own discoveries” and began diving in the ocean to continue her research. The reader sees the illustrations of three fish species that Eugenie discovered.  Clark wanted to prove that sharks were intelligent creatures and became the first scientist to train one to receive food by pushing a bell.  The illustrations by Marta Álvarez Miguéns are engaging and give the reader an insight into what the scientist is thinking. On a two page spread where Eugenie is pretending that she is walking underwater at the aquarium, the illustrator draws fish swimming within its rooms and darting out from behind columns.  Fish also appear in the library scene when she is reading books. One small problem is the description of the underwater scene at Atlantic City because it is doubtful that the water was as clear as pictured and described.  Still, readers will enjoy poring over the drawings, especially the one of the giant jaws. The back matter includes a timeline of Clark’s life and interesting facts about sharks are found on a page called “Shark Bites.” The author’s note gives some further details about Clark’s life and the Mote Marine Research Laboratory where she worked.  Thoughts: This picture book biography should be added to every elementary collection and not just because shark books are always in high demand by young students. Keating’s book contains an important message in that it shows children that they should not be discouraged from following their dreams.  However, the author also makes it clear that following a dream takes hard work and study.  This book is an inspiration to future marine biologists and is a great choice for any child who is curious about sharks.

Picture Book Biography             Denise Medwick, West Allegheny SD

 

Make Me the Best Athlete. Abdo, 2017. $22.95ea. $183.60 set of 8. 48p. Gr. 4-6.

Ackerman, Jon. Make Me the Best Volleyball Player. 978-1-680-78492-3.

Graves, Will. Make Me the Best Basketball Player. 978-1-6807-8487-9.

Kortemeier, Todd. Make Me the Best Baseball Player. 978-1-6807-8486-2.

Kortemeier, Todd. Make Me the Best Hockey Player. 978-1-6807-8489-3.

Kortemeier, Todd. Make Me the Best Soccer Player. 978-1-6807-8491-6.

Myers, Jess. Make Me the Best Lacrosse Player. 978-1-6807-8490-9.

Myers, Dan. Make Me the Best Football Player. 978-1-6807-8488-6.

Stone, Ken. Make Me the Best at Track and Field. 978-1-6807-8485-5.

The Make Me the Best Athlete series introduces readers to various drills/tips they can use to improve their skills in specific sports. Each title features chapters that focus on a single skill and a representative player that exemplifies that skill. For example, the Make Me the Best Football Player volume features chapters titled “Pass Like Aaron Rodgers” and “Catch Like Julio Jones.” Each chapter provides a brief biographical sketch of the featured athlete as well as discussion about the importance of developing skills in order to play the player’s position. Specific tips and drills are presented that readers can use to help them improve their personal play. THOUGHTS: These volumes are clearly organized, make good use of photos, and feature popular and contemporary athletes (older athletes are also spotlighted in boxes throughout the text). The drills are clearly explained and require only basic equipment any player of the sport under discussion would own. Recommend to athletes looking to improve their play.

796 Sports      Elizabeth Henry, Lampeter-Strasburg SD

 

Andrus, Aubre. DIY Day Spa. Capstone, 2017. $23.49ea. $93.96 set of 4. 48p. Gr. 4-8.

Bathe, Buff, and Beautify: DIY Crafts and Recipes for Natural Body Care. 978-1-5157-3446-8.

Gloss, Floss, and Wash: DIY Crafts and Recipes for a Fresh Face and Teeth.
978-1-5157-3447-5.

Lotions, Potions, and Polish: DIY Crafts and Recipes for Hands, Nails, and Feet.
978-1-5157-3445-1.

Spray, Smooth, and Shampoo: DIY Crafts and Recipes for Healthy Hair.
978-1-5157-3444-4.

Designed with the tween beauty market in mind, the DIY Day Spa set offers readers a variety of recipes for homemade spa products and instructions for related crafts. All recipes use natural ingredients such as essential oils, honey, spices, oats, lemon, etc. Most recipes contain 3-7 ingredients, most of which can be found in grocery or health food stores and online. Recipes are clearly explained and safety tips are included to make sure products are stored and used properly.  Examples of recipes in the Bathe, Buff, and Beautify volume include Mocha Salt Scrub, Cinnamon Vanilla Whipped Body Butter and Sweet Dreams Cream. Each volume also contains related craft projects to accompany the spa products. Examples of craft projects include a shower pouf, a spa towel wrap, and homemade gift wrap. THOUGHTS: Students who are fans of beauty products will be fans of this series. Recipies are relatively simple and contain commonly acquirable ingredients. Perfect for creating gifts for family or friends, or a great activity for sleepovers or scouting groups.
615; 646 Beauty      Elizabeth Henry, Lampeter-Strasburg SD

 

Perish, Patrick. Survival Zone. Bellwether, 2017. $19.95ea. $239.40 set of 12. 24p. Gr. 3-7.
Survive a Blizzard. 978-1626174412
Survive a Fire. 978-1626175815.
Survive a Flood. 978-1626174429.
Survive a Hurricane. 978-1626174436
Survive a Plane Crash. 978-1626175822.
Survive a Tornado. 978-1626174443.
Survive a Tsunami. 978-1626174450.
Survive an Avalanche. 978-1626175839.
Survive an Earthquake. 978-1626175846.
Survive in the Mountains. 978-1626174467.
Survive in the Woods. 978-1626174474.
Survive on a Desert Island. 978-1626174481.

Each volume of this exciting series opens with a real-life situation in which a person (often a tween or teen) faces a specific potentially life-threatening disaster and survives. Readers will learn about how each disaster develops. The importance of preparation in advance of natural disasters are stressed and specific survival strategies and tips are also described. The text is enhanced by numerous photos, diagrams, and text boxes. THOUGHTS: This series is an engaging page-turner that will interest many readers. Concepts are clearly explained and the survival tips/strategies presented are practical and could be employed by students of all ages. Would be a great non-fiction option for fans of Lauren Tarshis’ I Survived series.

600s Technology      Elizabeth Henry, Lampeter-Strasburg SD

 

 

 

Elementary NF – Trudy’s Big Swim; How to be a Scientist; Stormy Seas; Top Dogs

Macy, Sue, and Matt Collins. Trudy’s Big Swim: How Gertrude Ederle Swam the English Channel and Took the World by Storm. Holiday House, 2017. 978-0-8234-3665-1. $16.95. 36 pp. Gr. 2-5.

Gertrude Ederle was not used to failure. Her determination, athleticism, and fearlessness could take her almost anywhere. Soon the challenge of successfully crossing the 21 mile stretch of the English Channel and becoming only the sixth person, and first woman, was her goal.   “England or drown” became her motto. Trudy’s Big Swim takes readers into the water with her on the journey and shows the perseverance she needed to succeed. Sue Macy’s words are just right to drive the action while giving some backstory, and Matt Collins provides a lively realistic backdrop for this fascinating glimpse of pushing the human limits in the 1920’s. A timeline of sports highlights is added to the end pages, as well as an afterword, author notes, and source notes at the end.  THOUGHTS: There are many great water adventure challenges that could be connected to this story, including a recent comparison of Diana Nyad’s swim to Cuba. I think it is a fascinating discussion to see what drives people to try the impossible, and how they respond when they reach their limits. Hopefully, Trudy’s Big Swim will inspire a few readers – girls or swimmers in particular – to find their quest.

797, Sports    Dustin Brackbill, State College Area SD

 

Mould, Steve. How to Be a Scientist. DK, 2017. 978-1-46546-121-6. $17.99. 144 pp. Gr. 2-5.

Jump right into this colorful exploration of science with quick activities and experiments both familiar, fun, and fresh! Starting with basic layout info and tips for experimenting, Steve Mould then takes readers through six different strands of science: natural world, human body, chemistry, earth, physics, and space. Each unit has quite a few experiments deftly mixed in with background facts and occasional bios of famous scientists. The layout is the typical DK style that is attractive to young readers, broken into short text segments, and full of photos, fact boxes, and illustrations. One desirable trait in this volume is the accessibility of the activities, often using simple household products and basic three step directions. This pattern allows readers to dive in and explore for themselves, inquiring as they go and connecting to a larger scientific world. From making bug chambers to color exploration to crystals and more, discover the world for yourself!   THOUGHTS: This is an attractive book to replace any old faded editions from long ago. The blend of information makes it accessible to a range of ages, and good for repeated reading. Easy to connect some of these activities to makerspace or inquiry centers as well. Though not in depth, How to Be a Scientist is a great cursory view of science.

500, Science     Dustin Brackbill, State College Area SD

 

Leatherdale, Mary Beth, and Eleanor Shakespeare. Stormy Seas: Stories of Young Boat Refugees. Annick Press, 2017. 9781554518968. $24.95. 56 pp. Gr. 4-6.

This excellent resource will place readers on the boat with youth who are struggling to survive and to find a new life. Whether escaping Germany, Vietnam, Cuba, or Afghanistan, the journey to freedom is never easy or without cost. The true narratives of individual youth from each of these locations help to give a first person experience for readers. There are direct quotes mixed in with timelines, definitions, additional facts, and current updates. Their worlds are also represented with engaging photos and collages from illustrator Eleanor Shakespeare. The honest explanations about the reasons and consequences for escaping may open new discussions for many readers. These boat rides to hope and promise are full of perseverance, and they remind us of our good fortune and responsibility to educate ourselves about their stories.  THOUGHTS: The author, Mary Beth Leatherdale, does an admirable job of addressing this tricky topic in a way that is relatable and eye-opening. Students will likely have questions no matter what their age, and there are few resources at this reading level besides some online sites. A very worthy purchase.

305, Refugees     Dustin Brackbill, State College Area SD

 

MacLeod, Elizabeth. Top Dogs: True Stories of Canines That Made History. Annick Press, 2017. 978-1-55451-907-1. 102 p. $18.00. Gr. 3-6.

Sure to please dog lovers, MacLeod’s book showcases several dogs and breeds who have served man in a variety of ways over hundreds of years. Some dogs, like Balto and Togo, are relatively well-known and well-covered within children’s books; others, like the first American guide dog Buddy, will be new for most kids. There’s a little something for every dog lover–canine war heroes, search and rescue dogs, adventure companions, even royal pups. The text is upbeat and interesting and includes lots of photos and illustrations to help readers visualize these exciting dogs in action. The book includes lots of colorful and attractive text features, like sidebars with information on breeds or the history of a working dog job, which can become a little distracting and take a lot of back-and-forth reading. Aside from busy page layouts, it’s a great read. A timeline, places to visit, and further reading sections are included. THOUGHTS: An attractive, enjoyable addition to your dog collection.

636.7, Service Dogs      Lindsey Long, Lower Dauphin School District

Elementary series NF – Real Monsters; Our Renewable Earth; Olympic Biographies; Be an Engineer

Real Monsters (series). Abdo Publishing, 2017. $21.68 ea. 32p. Gr. 3 – 5.

Bernhardt, Carolyn. Gila Monster: Venomous Desert Dweller. 978-1-68078-420-6.

Harvey, Jillian L., Komodo Dragon: Toxic Lizard Titan. 978-1-68078-421-3.

Leusted,  Marcia Amidon. Tasmanian Devil: Savage Island Scavenger. 978-1-68078-423-7.

Polinsky, Paige V. Spotted Hyena: Cackling Carnivore of the Savanna. 978-1-68078-422-0.

Polinsky, Paige V. Giant Centipede: Colossal Creeper of the Night. 978-1-68078-418-3.

Polinsky, Paige V.  Giant Squid: Mysterious Monster of the Deep. 978-1-68078-419-0.

Spotted Hyena: Cackling Carnivore of the Savanna begins with a good table of contents, and has a very good introductory “Creature Feature” page with many of the basic facts (name, class, size , life span) as well as a world map showing the range and diet of the hyena. The book addresses legends, then moves on to educational facts. The cover and the series title are geared toward the more monstrous aspects of the species, and some of the contents reflect this. THOUGHTS: More recent books focusing on specific animals without a an agenda (biggest, scariest) are few and far between. This is not one of them, but it does have good information and the pictures are adequate.

Animals            Emily Woodward, The Baldwin School

 

Rivera, Andrea. Zoom In on Our Renewable Earth. ABDO Zoom, 2017. $18.95 ea. $113.70 set of 6. 24p. Gr. K-2.

Conservation. 9781680799385.

Plants. 9781680799392.

Recycling. 9781680799408.

Solar Power. 9781680799415.

Water. 9781680799422.

Wind Power. 9781680799439.

This series is geared toward the younger elementary set.  Wind Power looks at the basic ideas of wind and how it can be used to make electricity. The text is quite general with some keywords, such as “turbine,” that are explained in the glossary. It also covers a range of topics such as engineering, art, and math. THOUGHTS:  If your school is excited about renewable resources, this is a good series to introduce the concept to the youngest readers.

Science           Emily Woodward, The Baldwin School

 

Lajiness, Katie. Big Buddy Olympic Biographies (series). Abdo Publishing, 2017. $19.95 ea. Set of 6 $119.70.  32p. Gr. 2 – 5.

Ibtihaj Muhammad: Olympic Fencer. 9781680785548.

Katie Ledecky: Olympic Swimmer. 9781680785531.

Laurie Hernandez: Olympic Gymnast. 9781680785524.

Michael Phelps: Olympic Swimmer. 9781680785555.

Simone Biles: Olympic Gymnast. 9781680785500.

Usain Bolt: Olympic Sprinter. 9781680785517.

This series is notable not only for the quality information and the professional pictures, but also for highlighting women athletes. These biographies cover birthplace and training, as well as important milestones in the athlete’s career. It does focus on the Rio Olympics, and the further out they get the more dated this biographies will be. Yet some will be lasting because their Olympic careers are over. THOUGHTS: I love this series! It has the fastest runner (not from the US) as well as high profile women athletes. It’s great to expose young readers to success stories that are not just USA (Usain Bolt) and diverse females that don’t usually get coverage (Ibtihaj Muhammad).

Sports Biographies        Emily Woodward, The Baldwin School

 

Be An Engineer: Designing to Solve Problems (series). Crabtree, 2017. 24 pp. $17.95 each. Gr. 2-5.

Burns, Kylie. A Bridge Goes Over. 979-0-7787-2907-5.

Burns, Kylie. A Skyscraper Reaches Up. 979-0-7787-2904-4.

Sikkens, Crystal. A Dam Holds Back. 979-0-7787-2905-1.

Sikkens, Crystal. A Tunnel Runs Through. 979-0-7787-2903-7.

Engineers solve problems. It’s as simple as that, but much more complex is the process that gets them there. Whether building a bridge, a tunnel, a dam, or a building, each engineer uses science, math, and creative thinking to work out the problem. Each book in this series flows from an example problem to explaining the role of an engineer and the problem solving process. Then there are plenty of structure specific examples with photographs and captions to lead the reader to a model activity at the end. Also included are resource lists, online codes, glossaries, and indexes. Be an Engineer!: Designing to Solve Problems is a great way to open the eyes of young innovators to the structures that support us every day!  THOUGHTS: This series complements well with themes of STEAM and inquiry science and future careers. The predictable pattern of each book makes them comparable for small group projects, note taking or discussion. Visually they are a good blend of pictures, colors, and descriptions to hold the reader’s attention.

620, Engineering      Dustin Brackbill, State College Area SD