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
Adbo has expanded their Geology Rocks! series for young readers with the addition of these six titles. Sure to be of interest to students with an interest in rocks and/or minerals, each title features simple text that explains the science behind geology. This reviewer had the opportunity to read the Igneous Rocks volume. The text broke down and described the steps in the igneous rock cycle in an easy to understand manner aimed at primary students. Numerous photos as well as charts accompanied the text in order to illustrate the formation and composition of the rocks. Back matter included a glossary, a chart that shows different types of igneous rocks and a link to Abdo’s extension activities and materials for the volume.
THOUGHTS: This series is an excellent choice for primary libraries looking to update or expand their geology-related collections. The titles offer a great way to introduce the topic of geology to young readers and the oversize books with high-quality photos will hold great curb appeal to browsers. As always, Abdo’s online supplemental content is a cut above what is provided by many publishers and could easily be incorporated into classroom lessons.
549-553 Minerals and Geology Elizabeth Henry, Lampeter-Strasburg SD
Erickson, Marty. Drugs and their Dangers. BrightPoint Press, 2020. $30.95 ea. $154.75 set of 5. 80 p. Grades 6-12.
E-cigarettes and their Dangers. 978-1-682-82705-5. Heroin and Its Dangers. 1-682-82707-0. Marijuana and Its Dangers. 978-1-682-82709-3. Methamphetamine and Its Dangers. 978-1-682-82711-6. Opioids and Their Dangers. 978-1-682-82713-0.
In four chapters each book in this series explores a type of drug, how the drug affects the body and society, and the treatment for drug abuse. A “Fact Sheet” introduces the reader to the topic while an introduction dives into a teenager’s personal account of being addicted to the drug, an explanation of how people can become addicted, or how the drug became popular in the United States. Each book also includes a Glossary, Source Notes, and pages with additional sources for students to research the topic further.
THOUGHTS: This series is a good addition to a middle school or high school collection. The simple sentence structure and generous amount of white space between lines of text makes each book easy for older students who may struggle with reading but are interested in the topic.
Abdo, Kenny. Guidebooks to the Unexplained. Abdo Zoom. 2020. $19.95 each. $119.70 for set of 6. Gr. 2-5
Area 51. 978-1-532-12933-9. Cryptids.978-1-532-12934-6. Ghosts. 978-1-532-12937-7. Lost Lands. 978-1-532-12935-3. Men in Black. 978-1-532-12936-0. Witches. 978-1-532-12938-4.
Have you ever wondered about the mysterious places and creatures that captivate our media and folklore? Have you ever wondered if these places are actually real or if there is a creature out in the forest or mountain, lurking about? If so, then this series is for you. Guidebooks to the Unexplained takes you on a brief adventure, looking at some of the most famous places and creatures you hear about in stories and movies, providing a information and even more wonderings and questions than you started with!
THOUGHTS: This is a beginner series to these questions that many readers have. This series would be a great way to begin research on a topic!
Potts, Nikki. Habitat Hunter. Ill. Maarten Lenoir, Picture Window Books, 2020. 31 p. $132.24 set of 6. $21.99 ea. Grades PreK-2.
Frog Moves out of the Rain Forest. 978-1-977-11423-5.
Goat Moves out of the Barnyard. 978-1-977-11421-1.
Meerkat Moves out of the Desert. 978-1-977-11419-8. Owl Moves out of the Forest. 978-1-977-11424-2. Penguin Moves out of the Antarctic. 978-1-977-11422-8.
Shark Moves out of the Ocean. 978-1-977-11420-4.
“Meerkats, meerkats everywhere!” (1), and Meerkat is not happy about it. She wants a new home she does not have to share, so she sets out to find her new home. Meerkat tries the mountains, but they’re too quiet. She tries a cave, but it’s too cold and has too many bats. Next she tries a playground; it seems like a great home with all of the tunnels, but the slide is too hot, and the monkey bars are too high. After trying a garden, Meerkat decides her own home is the best home and returns to it.
THOUGHTS: Meerkat Moves out of the Desert is a fun way for young readers to learn about meerkats. Combining both pictures and illustrations, readers learn about various homes for Meerkat while also learning why the new habitat isn’t quite right. In the end, Meerkat’s realization that her habitat is the best not only solidifies basic understanding of a meerkat, but it also teaches readers to appreciate their home and family and that something different is not always best. This title, as with the other titles in this series, also includes a page about the highlighted animal (meerkats) and an “Animal Passport.” This title is also useful for teaching comparing and contrasting because of the various homes Meerkat considers.
Vegara, Maria Isabel Sanchez. Greta Thunberg. Illustrated by Anke Weckmann. Frances Lincoln Children’s Books 2020. 978-0-711-25645-3. $15.99. Grades 3-6.
Like many environmentally conscious families, Greta Thunberg’s family took care of Earth as best they could. But when Greta learned even more about climate change in a class video, she can’t forget about the destruction and develops selective mutism. Doctors also diagnosed her with Asperger’s syndrome. While to some these diagnoses may have been seen as a curse, they allowed Greta to focus on matters of importance to her like climate change. Greta started at home by convincing her family to make small changes, but she felt that she could do more. By taking a stand publicly with her “School Strike for Climate,” other children learned more about climate change from Greta, and the world soon recognized the name Greta Thunberg.
THOUGHTS: This picture book biography should be included in all elementary (and maybe middle school) collections. Children will be inspired to learn more about those featured throughout the Little People, Big Dreams series.
Biography Maryalice Bond, South Middleton SD
Iconic America. ABDO Publishing, 2020. $23.00 ea. $138.00 set of 6. 48 p. Grades 5-8.
Burling, Alexis. Hollywood. 978-1-532-19090-2.
Kallio, Jamie. The National Mall. 978-1-532-19091-9.
Decker, Michael. New Orleans. 978-1-532-19092-6.
Ventura, Marne. New York City. 978-1-532-19093-3.
Decker, Michael. US Route 66. 978-1-532-19094-0.
Ventura, Marne. Walt Disney World. 978-1-532-19095-7.
Walt Disney World is the history behind not only Disneyworld and Disneyland but also the history and story of Walt Disney himself. This book follows Walt Disney from growing up until he came up with the idea for the amusement parks, as well as how the parks have grown and changed over the years from the time it was created until today. The book features photos with clearly labeled captions, as well as further evidence sections where students can go to a website to find more information. The further evidence sections also ask the students questions related to what the chapter was about, which can be helpful to assist the students in continuing their research. The book features a timeline, a stop and think section, glossary, as well as online resources and an index.
THOUGHTS: Overall this is a great book for students to use for research. The information is clearly laid out and easy to follow along with additional information found throughout. Highly recommended for students.
791.06 amusement parks Mary Hyson, Lehigh Valley Regional Charter Academy