MS Series Nonfiction – Uncovering the Past; Collective Biographies

Hyde, Natalie. Uncovering the Past Analyzing Primary Sources. New York: Crabtree Publishing Co., 2017.  $31.32 ea. 48 pp. Gr. 5-8.

Internment Camps. 978-0-7787-28603.

Black Tuesday and the Great Depression.  978-077871721.                                                               

Civil Rights.  978-0778717225.                                                                                                        

The Cold War and the Cuban Missile Crisis.  978-0778725725.                                                                                                                                                                   

The Displacement of Native Peoples.  978-0778725718.                                                                      

The Holocaust.  978-0778715481.                                                                                

Immigration. 978-0778715542.                                                                                                     

The Underground Railroad.  978-0778715511.                                                                             

Women’s Suffrage. 978-0778715535.                                                                                       

Workers’ Rights.  978-0778728634.

This series of short but information packed titles covers significant events in United States history. The focus of these titles is on examining and analyzing the evidence of primary and secondary source material to interpret and understand historic events. Internment Camps tells the story of the internment of Japanese Americans as enemy aliens during World War II and features photos, excerpts of news articles, political cartoons, government documents and more as evidence.   Each section has information about the types of sources featured, the context of the source material and the possible biases presented.  Text boxes and sidebars feature questions to inspire students to think critically about the reasons for and the effects of the U.S. policies towards Japanese Americans after the bombing of Pearl Harbor. Includes a bibliography of print and internet sources, glossary and index.   THOUGHTS: This series would be an excellent source for teachers and librarians to use in class to incorporate information literacy skills with social studies.

U.S. History       Nancy Summers, Abington Senior HS

 

Blohm, Craig E. Sci-Fi Directors. Collective Biographies. (series) San Diego: Reference Point Press, 2017. 978-1-68282-030-8. $29.95. 80 pp. Gr. 5-8.

A reference series from Reference Point Press, Collective Biographies offers short concise overviews of the careers of popular culture figures in a range of fields. Sci-Fi Directors features six well known directors in the Science Fiction genre: Steven Spielberg, George Lucas, Stanley Kubrick, James Cameron, Christopher Nolan, and J.J. Abrams, The chapters highlight the filmmakers’ personal lives, career achievements and struggles in snappy, vivid prose. The titles feature photos of the directors and scenes from their films and include side bars and text boxes with quotes and supplemental information that break up the text and provide visual interest.  With source notes, bibliography, and index. THOUGHTS: High interest independent reading selection for those who prefer non-fiction, this is a great titles for a starting point for career exploration.  Other titles include: Brand Empire Celebrities; Electronic Dance Music DJs; Great Cartoonists; Great Magicians and Illusionists; Internet Entrepreneurs; Women Scientists and Inventors; Women World Leaders; Young Adult Authors.

920 Biographies      Nancy Summers, Abington Senior HS

Picture Books – They Saw a Cat; Fly Guy; Wet Cement; Elizabeth Started All…

Wenzel, Brendan. They All Saw a Cat. New York: Chronicle Books, 2016. 978-1-45215-013-0. Unpaged. $16.99. Gr. K-3.

The cat walked through the world with its whiskers, ears, and paws…” and every being that sees the cat has a very different picture of that creature. To a child, the cat looks friendly and fluffy. To a fish, the cat looks enormous and blurry, the result of being separated by a glass bowl. To a bird, the cat is a small brown object with a red stripe (collar) as seen from a great distance above. Every animal has a different perspective so the cat becomes many different things. This book is a 2017 Caldecott Honor Medal award winner, and it is easy to see why  Each illustration displays a new style and helps readers experience a new perspective and feeling about how we all see the world differently. A note at the book’s end explains, “The illustrations in this book were rendered in almost everything imaginable, including colored pencil, oil pastels, acrylic paint, watercolor, charcoal, Magic Marker, good old number 2 pencils, and even an iBook.” THOUGHTS: Brendan Wenzel created a lovely book with lots of discussion possibilities and illustrations that will spark imaginations.

Picture book     Lindsey Long, Nye & Conewago Elementary School

 

Arnold. Tedd. Fly Guy Presents the White House. New York: Scholastic, 2016. 978-0-545-91737-7. 32pp. $3.99. Gr. K-2.

In this nonfiction book, Buzz and his pet, Fly Guy, make a trip to Washington DC to visit the White House. On their tour, they learn a lot about the people who live and work in this famous building. From the President, First Lady, and their family, to the Secret Service agents, advisors, speech writers, chefs, butlers, maids, and gardeners, it’s a full house! The writing style and facts presented in this title are perfect for the youngest readers. Pronunciation guides are provided when new vocabulary words are introduced, and Tedd Arnold’s trademark squiggly illustrations are supplemented by captioned photographs of the White House’s many rooms, former Presidents, and pets that have lived at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.  THOUGHTS:  My students love Fly Guy books (both the fiction and nonfiction titles), and this has been a huge hit in my library’s browsing basket. It’s also a great tie-in to units about government, American history, or discussions about our nation’s capital. The mix of cartoon-style illustrations and real photographs adds interest and makes readers feel like they are accompanying Buzz and Fly Guy on their White House tour.

Nonfiction        Anne Bozievich, Friendship Elementary, Southern York County

 

Raczka, Bob. Wet Cement. New York: Roaring Brook Press, 2016. 978-1-62672-236-1. $17.99. 48 pp. Gr. K-3.

In the introduction to this collection of 21 poems, Raczka describes how he likes to think of poems as word paintings, and he believes the poet’s job is to use words to paint pictures inside the reader’s head. In his concrete poems, also known as shape poems, he arranges the words in the shape of the poem’s subject, adding an additional layer of meaning. In this collection, he also goes one step further, arranging the individual letters in the poem’s titles to paint an image with a single word. His subjects include airplanes, clocks, the Big Dipper, dominoes, fireflies, and icicles, so readers are sure to find something they can relate to. The poems are printed on uncluttered white or black backgrounds, so the arrangement of the letters and words takes center stage.  THOUGHTS:  This title is a strong addition to elementary poetry collections. While students will enjoy pouring over the poems’ unique shapes, the poems also lend themselves to teaching other skills such as metaphor, homophones, rhyme, and onomatopoeia.

Poetry     Anne Bozievich, Friendship Elementary, Southern York County

 

Rappaport, Doreen. Elizabeth Started All the Trouble. New York: Disney/Hyperion, 2016. 978-0-7868-5142-3. Unpaged. $17.99. Gr. 1-4.

Beginning with the signing of the Constitution (during which Abigail Adams encouraged her husband to “remember the ladies”), this title chronicles the progression of the Women’s Suffrage Movement in the U.S. through the years.  It highlights significant figures and events, including the Seneca Falls convention, the abolition of slavery, the role of women during the Civil War, the 1913 Women’s Suffrage March in Washington, D.C., the imprisonment of suffragists, and the eventual passage of the 19th Amendment.  The book is organized chronologically and details events in language that is accessible even to young readers.  The illustrations give faces to reformers mentioned in the text and add context to the writing.  Brief biographies of key figures, important dates, and additional resources are provided at the end of the book.  Overall, a solid addition to any elementary history and/or biography collection. THOUGHTS: It is worth noting that the author has received several starred reviews, honors, and awards for past biographical works, including Martin’s Big Words, Abe’s Honest Words, and To Dare Mighty Things.  Like those works, this title also celebrates a noble, heroic life.  It does not, however, focus solely on Elizabeth Cady Stanton (as the title would indicate).  Rather, other female social reformers (such as Sojourner Truth, Susan B. Anthony, Abigail Adams, Lucretia Mott, and Lucy Stone) are also mentioned.  This overview of the women’s movement would pair well with Tanya Lee Stone’s Elizabeth Leads the Way.  While Stone’s title provides a better biographical sketch of Elizabeth, Rappaport’s work gives a more extensive overview of this tumultuous chapter in women’s history.  An inspiring read for young girls who desire to leave their mark on the world.

Picture Book      Julie Ritter, Montoursville Area High School

Middle School Nonfiction – Scientists in Action (series); Child Soldier (NF GN)

robotbuilder

Scientists in Action! (series). Broomall, PA: Mason Crest, 2016. 48 p. $20.95. each. Gr. 5-8.

Cassriel, Betsy R. Robot Builders! 978-1-4222-3426-6.

Kelley, K.C. Astronauts! 978-1-4222-3418-1.

Bailey, Diane. Biomedical engineers! 978-1-42223-420-4.

Glenn, John. Civil engineers! 978-1-42223-421-1.

Kelley, K.C. Marine biologists! 978-1-42223-425-9.

Rich, Mari. Big-animal vets! 978-1-42223-419-8; Cyper spy hunters! 978-1-42223-424-2,

Sutinis, Beth. Crime scene techs! 978-1-42223-423-5.

Thompson, Clifford. Archaeologists! 978-1-42223-417-4; Climatologists. 978-1-42223-422-8.

Icons draw attention to vocabulary, research projects and text-dependent questions in this new series from Mason Crest. Text is supported with catchy headings and colorful images. Just as Star Wars inspired scientist Dr. Dennis Hong to learn about robots, this series exposes readers to careers that they may have yet to consider. Readers will learn that robots are able to help soldiers in battle, safely explore the ocean and also assist doctors with surgery. If students have a passion for space, they can learn what they can do so they are prepared to apply to become an astronaut or a scientist in the field while learning first hand experiences of space related scientists. A listing of books and websites to read and learn additional facts and a series glossary of key terms and an index conclude each book. Thoughts: The series presents the many opportunities found in science while inspiring the possibilities that students invision for their future.

Careers and Occupations; Science  Beth McGuire, Wendover Middle School

 

childsoldier

Humphreys, Jessica Dee and Michel Chikwanine. Child Soldier: When Boys and Girls Are Used in War. Illustrated by Claudia Davila. Toronto, ON: Kids Can Press, 2015. 978-1-77138-126-0.  48 p. $17.95 Gr. 5-8.

This SLJ star reviewed graphic novel is a harrowing nonfiction memoir that provides an overview of the Democratic Republic of Congo leading up to the story beginning in 1993. Children craft their own soccer balls of paper and plastic bags. During a soccer game, rebel militia arrive. Michel is hopeful that his father, a civil rights lawyer, won’t let the rebels succeed, but there is nothing that can be stopped at the time.  The kids are taken and later cut with a knife while the rebels place “brown brown” (gunpowder and cocaine mixture) in the wound. After being blindfolded, five year old Michel is ordered to kill his best friend. The book is powerful and the resources provide ways that children can make differences in the world.   THOUGHTS: Consider cataloging this book with the graphic novels. Students that enjoy graphic novels might not find the book in the 300’s and they might gain a great deal by reading this graphic novel. This book provides a story of growing up that may be unknown to students.

NF Graphic Novel; Children and War   Beth McGuire, Wendover Middle School

Discovering Art

art

Discovering Art (5 volume set).  San Diego, CA: Reference Point Press, 2015.  80p.  $31.32  Gr. 7+.  

Allen, John.  Anime and Manga.  978-1-60152-696-0.

Hirschmann, Kris.  Impressionism.  978-1-60152-700-4.

Kallen, Stuart A.  Animation.  978-1-60152-664-9.

Kallen, Stuart A.  Sculpture.  978-1-60152-678-6.

Stewart, Gail B.  Graphic Arts.  978-1-60152-698-4.

 

Each of the books in the Discovering Art series examines the history of a given art form and looks at the techniques used to produce the form.  These books are well-written and will be readily understood by most young adults.  They make frequent use of informative text boxes, photographs, and diagrams.  Each book also has an index, endnotes, and suggestions for further research (including books and websites).

The volumes on sculpture and impressionist art are not groundbreaking in any way and libraries may want to acquire more comprehensive books on these subjects.  However, the books on graphic arts, animation, and anime/ manga are especially well done.  Each of these books discusses and informs about subjects that interest young adults:  Anime and Manga contains a good look at Hayao Miazaki’s work (Spirited Away, Kiki’s Delivery Service).  Animation takes a look at traditional animation, computer animation, and claymation (Wallace and Gromit).  Graphic Arts does an excellent job of raising awareness about the extent to which graphic design is a part of our daily lives.  The discussion of how graphics become iconic (the product can be recognized without words describing it) is especially interesting.

Libraries may want to consider purchasing volumes of this set according to their needs.

740: Drawing and Decorative Arts        Susan Fox, Washington JSHS