Russett, Bruce. Human Rights and Protecting Individuals (The United Nations Leadership and Challenges in a Global World series). Philadelphia: Mason Crest, 2016. 978-1-4222-3437-2. $22.99. 89p. Grades 7+.
This Mason Crest series, The United Nations Leadership and Challenges in a Global World Series, is fantastic for teaching research skills, ways to synthesize information, and citation skills. This particular book, Human Rights and Protecting Individuals, in the series looks at the UN’s role in Human Rights and their System, explaining the Universal Declaration of Human Rights as well as international laws and the United Nations in action on human rights issues. Each table of contents page in the series has “Key Icons To Look For” which provides readers with icons to help with vocabulary, further readings for research, text-dependent questions as well as glossary terms. There is an abundance of photographs and text boxes so students are not overwhelmed by the book and the content. THOUGHTS: Human Rights and Protecting Individuals – The United Nations Leadership and Challenges in a Global World series found the perfect way to take a complex and often difficult to understand topic and made it accessible to middle school students as well as struggling high school students.
341.48 Laura Ward, Fox Chapel Area High School
Thinking Critically series. San Diego: Reference Point Press, 2016. $29.00. 80p. Gr. 9 and up.
Currie, Stephen. Cyberbullying. 978-1-60152-820-9.
Cyberbullying is becoming more and more of an issue at younger ages. The Thinking Critically series takes a look at this sensitive topic and addresses whether it is more harmful than traditional bullying. It also takes on the topics of a school’s involvement when the bullying takes place off campus. This is an easily accessible book complete with source notes, cyberbullying facts, related organizations, websites and ideas for further research on this serious topic.
Nakaya, Andrea. Mass Shootings. 978-1-60152-822-3.
Mass Shootings are a hot-button issue in the world right now. The Thinking Critically series takes a closer look at how serious of an issue this is as well as how strict the government should be in hopes of reducing mass shootings in America. This book also explores violent video games as a cause of mass shootings. As with all of the titles in the Thinking Critically series, this is an easily accessible book complete with source notes, cyberbullying facts, related organizations, websites and ideas for further research on this serious topic.
Dudley, William. Biofuels. 978-1-60152-816-2.
Biofuels is yet another hotly contested topic from the US Government support of ethanol production to how essential are biofuels to national security. As with any environmental topic, this series takes a close look at both sides of how biofuels affect greenhouse gas emissions and if biofuels really threaten global food production. As with all of the titles in the Thinking Critically series, this is an easily accessible book complete with source notes, biofuel facts, related organizations, websites and ideas for further research on this serious topic.
Thoughts: All three new titles in the Thinking Critically series from Reference Point Press are great resources for refining research skills. The text boxes, graphs and illustrations will help students synthesize relevant information for use in their research projects.
302.34; 364.152; 662.88 Laura Ward, Fox Chapel Area High School
Farley, Terry, and Melissa Farlow. Wild at Heart: Mustangs and the Young People Fighting to Save Them. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2015. 978-0-544-39294-6. 196 pp. $19.99. Grades 6 and up.
Almost any casual library browser will be drawn to Wild at Heart‘s beautiful cover and the many striking images included inside the book. These photographs alone will entice readers to enter the intriguing world of wild mustangs, and the fascinating story will hold their interest throughout thanks to the way Terry Farley has expertly structured this piece of nonfiction to both entertain and educate. She opens with the story of Velma Johnson, a.k.a. “Wild Horse Annie,” and her heroic early advocacy for wild horses. She then covers how wild horses live, including their family structure and battles for dominance, before moving into the grim situation these iconic animals currently face. Readers will be shocked to learn that when mustang bands outgrow their population limits (as set by the Bureau of Land Management), they are subjected to “gathers” and sold by the pound to slaughterhouses. Though these horrifying scenes are depicted in an age-appropriate manner, the closing chapter on young people fighting to save wild horses is (thankfully) uplifting as well as enlightening. Excerpts of this carefully documented work will be applicable to units on biodiversity, conservation, political advocacy, and youth activism. THOUGHTS:Wild at Heart is a worthy addition to all libraries, middle school on up, and will be a special favorite among animal lovers of all ages.
599.6; Wild Horses Amy V. Pickett, Ridley High School