MG – Germy Science: The Sick Truth about Getting Sick (and Staying Healthy)

Kay, Edward. Germy Science: The Sick Truth about Getting Sick (and Staying Healthy). Kids Can Press, 2021. 978-1-525-30412-5. 48 p. $18.99. Grades 4-8.

This entertaining, comprehensive guide to germs presents readers with a wealth of well-researched information. Topics include the history of germs, the different types of germs, important discoveries about germs, how the immune system works, how to stay healthy, and more. There is information about plagues and pandemics, including a brief section on the COVID-19 pandemic. There is even information about the use of germ warfare and the future of germs. Sections of text are split up by goofy, cartoon-like illustrations and informational sidebars. A glossary, index, and additional resources are included in the end matter. A truly engaging and enlightening book, this would be an excellent addition to middle school science collections.

THOUGHTS: I found this book very timely and incredibly fascinating. For instance, did you know that some therapists cure their patients of mysophobia (irrational fear of germs) by taking them on the subway and making them lick the handrails? Gross! I think middle school students would find this work absolutely captivating.

579.3 Bacteria          Julie Ritter, PSLA Member

Elem. – Be Your Best You (Series NF)

Olsen, Elsie. Be Your Best You (series). Abdo, 2020. $20 ea. $120 set of 6. 24 p. PreK-2.

Be Aware! A Hero’s Guide to Being Smart and Staying Safe. 978-1-532-11964-4.
Be Bold! A Hero’s Guide to Being Brave. 978-1-532-11965-1.
Be Kind! A Hero’s Guide to Beating Bullying. 978-1-532-11966-8.
Be Respectful! A Hero’s Guide to Being Courteous. 978-1-532-11967-5.
Be Strong! A Hero’s Guide to Being Resilient. 978-1-532-11968-2.
Be Well! A Hero’s Guide to a Healthy Mind and Body. 978-1-532-11969-9.

Designed for a preschool and early elementary audience, this series encourages readers to be heroes by becoming the very best version of themselves they can be. This involves actions like being brave, standing up to bullies, being respectful, exercising, eating healthy, and more. By including tips, examples, and real-life scenarios, these straightforward books are very easy to understand and perfect for very young readers.

THOUGHTS: I personally read Be Bold! A Hero’s Guide to Being Brave and was impressed with the simplicity of the book and the importance of its message. I especially liked the scenarios at the end, which provide readers with an opportunity to think critically and decide how they might display bravery in specific situations. I could absolutely see this being used with preschool and early elementary students to supplement a character education curriculum, or even in a life skills classroom to teach valuable social skills and fundamental health and wellness concepts.

302 Social Interaction          Julie Ritter, PSLA Member
613 Personal Health & Safety

Elementary Series NF – Healthy Habits


Sjonger, Rebecca. Healthy Habits for a Lifetime series. New York: Crabtree Publishing, 2016. $17.95 each. 24 p. Gr. K-3.

Do Your Bit to Be Physically Fit! 978-0-7787-1879-6.

On a Mission for Good Nutrition! 978-0-7787-1880-2.

Stress Less! A Kid’s Guide to Managing Emotions. 978-0-7787-1882-6.

You Need Rest to Beat Your Best! 978-0-7787-1881-9.

This series seeks to help children learn how to lead healthy lives by eating well, exercising, getting enough sleep, and learning how to be emotionally balanced. Each title begins by introducing the topic of the book and why it’s important in leading a healthy life. Various aspects of the topic are reviewed.  For example, in “You Need Rest to Be at Your Best!”, readers will learn about the sleep cycle and it’s five stages, the amount of sleep that they need to be healthy, what happens to our bodies during sleep, and tips for how to get a good night’s sleep. The information is easy to read and presented in visually appealing ways, such as giving “Sweet Dreams Tips” in clouds that span the two-page spread. While these topics are not new, this series will be a fresh, updated set to add to your collection if your old set on healthy living is dated. Each title has a Table of Contents, a “Show What You Know!” section with short questions about the book’s content, a Learning more section of resources, a glossary, and an index.  THOUGHTS: An attractive collection that provides a fresh look at common topics.         

613 Health, Wellness            Lindsey Long, Nye & Conewago Elementary Schools

The Family Romanov, Perspectives, and Contemporary Lives


Fleming, Candace. The Family Romanov Murder, Rebellion & the Fall of Imperial Russia. New York: Schwartz &Wade Books, 2014. 978-0-375-86782-8. 292 p. $18.99. Gr. 9-12.

The Family Romanov is a fascinating book that gives insight into the life of one of the most beloved and hated families of the early 1900s. Fleming goes back and forth between writings about Tsar Nicholas II and his family to primary source documents from peasants, who were basically starving and freezing to death. The dichotomy of the two classes was so distinct that the Russian Revolution was destined to happen. Fleming points to the Romanov’s complete obliviousness of the conditions of their people to their downfall and eventual murder. This book is so well researched.  With notes, excerpts from other writings, photographs of the royal family (I’m so thankful that they had and used Kodak cameras), extensive bibliography, and an index, it is a model for students and authors regarding synthesis of information. The Family Romanov is a truly enjoyable non-fiction book that every school library should have in their collection.

This book is fabulous to use for students studying Russian History. It gives the perspective of the peasants as well as that of the Romanov Family. There are lots of primary source documents used throughout the text, which will help students gain better understanding regarding the outbreak of the Russian Revolution.

947.08; Russian History        Kathy Gilbride, North Pocono MS and HS




Perspectives on Diseases and Disorders (series). Detroit: Greenhaven Press, 2014. $42.10 ea. Gr. 10-12. 

Gillard, Arthur, Ed. Food Allergies. 116 p.  616.97. 978-0-7377-6354-6                                    

Langwith, Jacqueline, Ed. Sports Injuries. 135 p. 617.1. 978-0-7377-6358-4

As doctors learn more information about different diseases and disorders that information then becomes available to consumers. For the new information to be user-friendly, it must be presented in a basic manner for the masses to understand. Two new additions to the Perspectives on Disease and Disorders series from Greenhaven Press have straightforward text which is very easy to understand. The books are very clear and concise in their explanations of different types of injuries or allergies. The books give a chronology, including predictions regarding where future research will take us, and include diagrams, photographs, fast facts and treatment options along with a glossary, index, and a list for further reading.

Health classes do a project on diseases in our high school. I have found these books circulate a great deal at that time. A student may want to use them for more information about their health.

616.97/617.1 Health    Kathy Gilbride, North Pocono MS and HS



Contemporary Lives (set 4). Minneapolis: ABDO, 2015. 112p. $23.95 ea. Gr. 5-8.

Anderson, Jennifer. Miley Cyrus: Pop Princess. 978-1-62403-544-9.

Burling, Alexis. Pharrell Williams: Grammy-Winning Singer, Songwriter & Producer. 978-1-62403-549-4.

Cummings, Judy D. Macklemore & Ryan Lewis: Grammy-Winning Hip-Hop Duo. 978-1-62403-545-6.

Lusted, Amidan Marcia. Blake Shelton: Country Singer & TV Personality. 978-1-62403-547-0.        

Owings, Lisa. Katy Perry: Chart-Topping Superstar. 978-1-62403-546-3.                                              

Watson, Stephanie. Keith Urban: Award-Winning Country Star. 978-1-62403-548-7.

This is a continuation of the series Contemporary Lives, which documents the lives of people who influence present day culture. The initial set was published in 2012. After reading the book on Katy Perry, I had much more insight in to her life. There were quotes from her, and quotes by others about her which gave me perspective about how she views herself and how others view her. Large type, lots of pictures, and interesting facts will give it wide audience appeal. There was a waiting list for it in my library when Grade 7 was doing their biography project. The book contains a timeline, fact sheet, award list, glossary, additional resources, places to visit, source notes by chapter and an index.

This could be used to introduce biographies at a young age (grade 6). Our students do a biography project in grade 7, and it was used a great deal then. Primary use would be to find out more information about the highlighted individual.

Biography    Kathy Gilbride, North Poconos MS and HS