Elem. – People Did What (Series NF)

Vallepur, Shalini. People Did What. Crabtree Publishing, 2020. $7.51 ea. $30.04 set of 4. 32 p. Grades 3-6. 

People Did What in Ancient Egypt? 978-0-778-77423-5.
People Did What in Ancient Greece? 978-0-778-77424-2.
People Did What in Ancient Rome? 978-0-778-77425-9.
People Did What in the Viking Age? 98-0-778-77433-4.

This series introduces young readers to a variety of historic cultures. The vivid, comic book covers entice browsers to open the book, and brightly colored, highly illustrated pages will captivate their attention. Interior pages are a collage of photographs, illustrations, and clip art, supplemented with brief blocks of text allowing for skipping around the page. While the information is factual, topics seem obviously chosen to titillate youngsters (how Vikings used pee to start fires). The books are organized by topic, contain such text features as table of contents, glossary, and index (the Ancient Egypt index did contain several mistakes), as well as suggested books and websites for additional reading. While these books would not be used for research, they are perfect for sparking interest in casual readers.

THOUGHTS: The books are visually appealing and full of the weird, gruesome facts kids love. They would be a good purchase for elementary libraries looking to expand their nonfiction offerings and a great option for those readers who prefer entertaining nonfiction books.

History 932, 938, 937, 948          Nancy Nadig, Penn Manor SD

YA – History of Crime and Punishment (Series NF)

Harris, Duchess. History of Crime and Punishment. Abdo Publishing, 2020. $26.00 ea. $156.00 set of 6. 112 p. Grades 8-12.

Capital Punishment. 978-1-532-11917-0.
For-Profit Prisons.
978-1-532-11918-7.
The History of Criminal Law.
978-1-532-11919-4.
The History of Law Enforcement.
978-1-532-11920-0.
The Juvenile Justice System.
978-1-532-11921-7.
The US Prison System and Prison Life.
978-1-532-11922-4.

This reviewer had the opportunity to read For-Profit Prisons. Concise and to the point, this title is broken into eight chapters on the major topics of for-profit prisons. The chapters highlight youth incarceration, prison labor, private and publicly funded prisons, inmate care, the politics of prisons, immigration detention centers, and the future of for-profit prisons. Additionally, the book includes essential facts, a glossary and index, source notes, additional resources and information about the authors. This title is part of the History of Crime and Punishment collection.

THOUGHTS: Complete with discussion starters in each chapter, color photos, and easy to read text, this book is recommended for high school libraries who do not have any sources on for-profit prisons.

300s          Samantha Hull, Ephrata Area SD

Elem. – Looking at Layers (Series NF)

Looking at Layers. The Child’s World, 2020. $20.00 ea. 24 p. Grades 3-6. 

London, Martha. Looking Inside Earth. 978-1-503-83518-4.
Huddleston, Emma. Looking Inside the Human Body. 978-1-503-83519-1.
—. Looking Into Caves. 978-1-503-83522-1.
—. Looking Into Soil. 978-1-503-83520-7.
London, Martha. Looking Into the Atmosphere. 978-1-503-83516-0.
—. Looking Into the Grand Canyon. 978-1-503-83517-7.
—. Looking Into the Ocean. 978-1-503-83515-3.
Huddleton, Emma. Looking Into the Rain Forest. 978-1-503-83521-4.

An attractive nonfiction series exploring various layers of natural things, from the human body to soil to the rainforest. Straightforward text clearly explains concepts with a natural projection from outward layers in. Words from the glossary are highlighted in red which is a nice feature for readers. Sidebars focus on timely topics, such as “Creating Mountains” when text discusses tectonic plates in Looking Inside Earth. Visuals are both illustrations and photographs. Looking Inside the Human Body has fascinating illustrations of many body systems that will keep little readers absorbed. Back matter includes a helpful Fast Facts section that covers main points from the text, a glossary, “To Learn More” section, and index.

THOUGHTS: Nice collection additions if nonfiction is hot.

500s-600s          Lindsey Long, Lower Dauphin SD

Elem. – Game On (Series NF)

Polinsky, Paige V. Game On. ABDO, 2020. $20.00 ea. $120 set of 6. 32 p. Grades 3-6. 

Fortnite. 978-1-532-19164-0.
Just Dance. 978-1-532-19165-7.
Madden NFL. 978-1-532-19166-4.
Mario. 978-1-532-19167-1.
Minecraft. 978-1-532-19168-8.
Pokémon. 978-1-532-19169-5.

A great series for students who love gaming, this series details the history, development, features, and pop culture connections for several popular video games. Pokémon follows creator Satoshi Tajiri’s fascination with both nature and video games from a young age. His idea for Pokémon drew from memories of bug collecting as a child! This volume details Tajiri’s development of the Pokémon game for Nintendo’s Game Boy and Game Link Cable and follows the rise of Pokémon into TV, more games, a float in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, Pokémon Go, and more. Backmatter includes a timeline, glossary, index, and online resources. The text is straightforward with colorful illustrations and photographs highlighting facts.

THOUGHTS: This is the series your young researchers crave! Perfect for use in school projects as well as pleasure reading.

794.8 Video Games          Lindsey Long, Lower Dauphin SD

Elem. – The Superpower Field Guide

Poliquin, Rachel. The Superpower Field Guide. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2018-2020. $13.76 ea. $55.04 set of 4. 95 p. Grades 3-6.

Beavers. 978-1-725-48225-8.
Eels. 978-1-725-48226-5.
Moles. 978-1-725-48227-2.
Ostriches. 978-1-725-48228-9.

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, Fishes          Melissa Johnston, North Allegheny SD

Elem. – Outdoor Adventure Guides (Series NF)

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

MG – Wide World of Esports (Series NF)

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

MG – Fighting Forces of World War II (Series NF)

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

Elem. – Geology Rocks! Set 2 (Series NF)

Hansen, Grace. Geology Rocks! (Set 2) Abdo, 2020. $20.95 ea. $125.70 set of 6. 24 p. Gr. K-2. 

Crystals. 978-1-532-18556-4.
Igneous Rocks. 978-1-532-18557-1.
Metamorphic Rocks. 978-1-532-18558-8.
Mineraloids. 978-1-532-18559-5.
Organic Gems. 978-1-532-18560-1.
Sedimentary Rocks. 978-1-532-18561-8.

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

MG/YA – Drugs and their Dangers (Series NF)

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.

362.29 Addiction          Jaynie Korzi, South Middleton SD