Dogs have been by our side since ancient times, and their history is entwined with our own. From Assyrian war dogs to pampered lap-warmers learn about all the purposes dogs have served and how we treat dogs has changed over time. If you're looking for inspiration you can even find common dog names from different times and places to call your own best friend. Perfect for fans of dogs and history.
Dog Days of History: The Incredible Story of Our Best Friends by Sarah Albee
From hijabs and heels to cosplay and cultural garments this book covers aspects of style that have often been overlooked by mainstream culture. An immersive look at various aspects of fashion, the book has gorgeous photographs throughout and highlights a wide and diverse range of artists. This is a quick and engrossing read. I only wish it was longer.
The Power of Style: How Fashion and Beauty Are Being Used to Reclaim Cultures by Christian Allaire
Erica's Picks 5+ tags: art, nonfiction, People of Color
Sy Montgomery is a master of nonfiction and research for her books has taken her all over the world from the Australian outback to the cloud forests of Papua New Guinea. Along the way she has learned transformative lessons from the animals she has encountered. Some close to home, like her beloved dogs and pig, and some far away like tree kangaroos and tarantulas. Through these animals, Montgomery tells us the story of her life and how all lives are connected. She shares these poignant stories with the reader so that they can become better creatures and take care of each other and all animals on this planet we share. Highly readable and strongly recommended for animal lovers, but keep the tissues handy.
How to Be a Good Creature: A Memoir in Thirteen Animals by Sy Montgomery
20% of Americans have a least one disability. Many innovations aimed at adapting the environment to their needs have had wide-reaching benefits from closed captioning to curb cuts. How can we further understand the disability experience past, present, and future? What stereotypes exist that hurt all of us? How can we better understand each other and celebrate the diversity that exists in the world? To find the answers to these questions and more, check out The Disability Experience!
This is a great overview of the many varied experiences of people with disabilities presented in a fun, accessible way for teens. Because it covers such a wide range of topics from sensory to physical to intellectual disabilities the book doesn't go too far in depth to any one. This would be a great, eye-opening introduction that will hopefully inspire more reading and dialogue.
The Disability Experience: Working Toward Belonging by Hannalora Leavitt
In 1982 a charismatic and popular young man went out to celebrate his bachelor's party. What happened next would be the subject of several court cases and intense debate. What's undeniable is that a bar fight turned fatal ending with a white father and son beating a Chinese-American man to death. Vincent Chin would never see his wedding day, leaving the friends and family gathering for his wedding to observe his funeral rites instead. When the two white men received only a $3,000 fine and 3 years probation for this heinous crime, it was hard to believe that race hadn't played a role. Soon Vincent Chin's friends and family would rally together to protest the verdict and get the crime retried as the first federal civil rights trial involving a crime against an Asian American. Uncover the story behind this crime through case files, trial transcripts, and interviews with the people who were there. This is a hard but important story, and one that sheds light on what's happening today.
From a Whisper to a Rallying Cry: The Killing of Vincent Chin and the Trial that Galvanized the Asian American Movement by Paula Yoo
Erica's Picks 7th & up tags: history, nonfiction, People of Color, social justice
At first, President Lincoln would not allow African Americans or American Indians to enlist with the union army. But as the war drew on and the casualties mounted, it became harder and harder to find men willing to fight. In 1863 he changed that policy and allowed the creation of segregated units. By the end of the Civil War about 20,000 American Indians fought on both sides. One of the largest companies of American Indians were the Anishinaabe sharpshooters of Company K. Drawing on their hunting skills and their rich warrior tradition they were a formidable force who served with courage and honor. Learn about their stories, their service, and the history of their people.
The primary sources Sally Walker was able to find from photographs to letters home really bring members of Company K to life and depict the life of a Civil War soldier in detail. A fascinating history and a story that should be widely told and remembered.
Deadly Aim: The Civil War Story of Michigan's Anishinaabe Sharpshooters by Sally M. Walker
Erica's Picks 6th - 8th tags: history, nonfiction, People of Color
Gene was never interested in sports, but when he suffers from writer's block and everyone at school is talking about the basketball team, he senses a story. By the time he is done he's immersed himself in the history of basketball as a sport and the specifics of its history at his school. His school really does have a remarkable team with players destined for greatness. Gene was always interested in superheroes and comics, but he never imagined the epic stories of heroes right under his nose and how big a fan he'd become.
This is a great comic for basketball fans and the sports-shy alike. The human stories explored in the comic are universal and I feel lucky that Gene recorded their story to share with all of us. Especially considering its local setting. I'm a fan of Gene's work so I enjoyed the behind-the-scenes glimpse I got into his life as a comics creator.
Dragon Hoops by Gene Luen Yang 7th & 8th grades tags:
In the early days of football, no one wore helmets, forward passes weren't allowed, and the "Big Four" had a stranglehold on championships. But when a high number of deaths made some college deans threaten to ban football, Teddy Roosevelt stepped in to save it and institute new rule changes that would make it safer, break up gridlock on the field, and make it more fun for spectators. No one made it more fun to watch than Jim Thorpe and the Carlisle Indians. They invented the spiral, created innovative plays, and outplayed teams twice their size while maintaining a gruelling schedule of away games. Jim Thorpe was their breakout star with a speed and style that couldn't be touched. To find out more about the history of football, the life of Jim Thorpe, and life at Indian Boarding Schools, read Undefeated.
I am not a sports fan, but I absolutely loved this book! As always, Sheinkin's writing has all the emotion and fast pacing of a novel and the fact that it's all true only adds to the fascination. There's a wide variety of topics covered but it all feels cohesive. I particularly appreciate the way Sheinkin addresses injustices without sounding preachy and while engaging the reader. A sure-fit hit with fans of history and sports.
Undefeated: Jim Thorpe and the Carlisle Indian School Football Team by Steve Sheinkin Erica's Picks 6th - 8th grade Tags: history, nonfiction, people of color, sports
Ona Judge was born into slavery, the property of George and Martha Washington. Her mother was an enslaved seamstress owned by Martha Washington and her father was a white indentured servant who would eventually leave them both behind. When she was twenty two, Martha decided to give Ona to her granddaughter as a wedding gift, tearing Ona away from her family and putting her at the mercy of people Ona knew to be cruel. Before she could be handed over like a piece of china, Ona took matters into her own hands and boldy planned her escape.
"Like her mother, Betty, Ona learned how to persevere in the face of extreme hardship. Like her father, Ona would eventually free herself no matter who she left behind. Finally, like America itself, Ona would risk everything so that she, too, could achieve those rights written in the Declaration of Independence: life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness."
This is a much-needed perspective on American history, and I'm so glad that it came out in an edition for young readers. While the subject matter is by nature difficult, it is accessible and told in an engaging style. I strongly recommend it.
Never Caught, the Story of Ona Judge by Erica Armstrong Dunbar & Kathleen Van Cleve Erica's Picks 5th - 8th tags: biography, history, nonfiction, people of color
Rex is looking forward to his first day of 6th grade. He prepares with a checklist to make sure he's ready for anything. But he isn't counting on getting a black eye the night before. Now all his new teachers think he's trouble. At lunch he's even more mortified when he has to yell that he's in the free lunch program to get the lunch lady to hear him. Now the whole school knows his mom can't afford to pay for his lunch. It's hard to imagine that his life could get any worse, until it does.
This memoir depicts the author's childhood experiences with poverty and abuse. There are some bright spots like friendships, a loving grandmother, and a love of comics. Rex Ogle actually grew up to work in the comic book industry. A moving, and powerful story.
Free Lunch by Rex Ogle 5th - 8th Tags: biography, family life, mental illness, nonfiction, SEL