McAnulty, Stacy. Mars! Earthlings Welcome. Henry Holt and Company, 2021. 978-1-250-25688-1. $18.99. 40 p. Grades Pre K-2.
Earth! My First 4.54 Billion Years. 2017. 978-1-250-10808-1. Sun! One in a Billion. 2018. 978-1-250-19932-4. Moon! Earth’s Best Friend. 2019. 978-1-250-19934-8. Ocean! Waves for All. 2020. 978-1-250-10809-8.
The fifth book in the “Our Universe” series is about Mars. This nonfiction read, disguised as a fiction book, is a fun and informational read for those that love the solar system and the planets. All of the books in this series are told from the perspective of the subject, so in this case Mars is the author of this book, with the help of McAnulty (of course!). This book is attractively illustrated and reads like a fiction picture book but is filled with informational text. This series is terrific for those reluctant non-fiction readers.
THOUGHTS: I LOVE this series! Sun! One in a Billion was a PA Young Reader’s Choice Award selection this past year, and the students loved it. They really enjoyed reading all of the books in this series. Lovers of books about space will enjoy these books, but they will also appeal to all readers.
The Great Pyramid. 2021. 978-1-545-80633-3.
The Great Wall of China. 2021. 978-1-545-80634-0. Hidden Oil. 2021. 978-1-545-80690-6. The Crusades. 2021. 978-1-545-80714-9. The Plague. 2021. 978-1-545-80772-9.
In this series, Annie and Nico travel throughout the span of time learning about important places and moments in history. Traveling to Egypt to learn about the Great Pyramid, traveling along the Great Wall of China, finding hidden oil, and learning about the crusades and the plague are just the beginning of their magical historical adventure! This book presents fun factual information through comic-book style illustrations, incorporating maps, timelines, and other important characteristics that define and explain some of the greatest moments of our world history.
THOUGHTS: I received the first book, The Great Pyramid, and cannot wait to purchase the rest of the series! The historical information is presented in a fun way for readers to learn and enjoy moments and places in history.
Why Can’t Horses Burp? 2021. 978-0-500-65230-5.
Why Do Cats Meow? 2020. 978-0-500-65238-1. Why Do Dogs Sniff Bottoms? 2020. 978-0-500-65202-2.
Have you ever wondered why horses can’t burp? Or maybe you are curious about the different types of horses, the color of a horse’s hair, mane, or tail, or even where a horse came from. This book will answer all of those curious questions you may have about one of your favorite pets and animals: a horse! Filled with information by horse expert Dr. Nick Crumpton, many of those captivating and curious questions you have can be answered in this illustrated, yet humorous, book!
THOUGHTS: Horses are the favorite animal of many readers, and this book is an excellent choice for elementary and middle school readers. As a librarian, I learned a lot about horses that I did not know! Readers will enjoy this book and be drawn in with the curious questions about horses!
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
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.
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.
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.
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