Fly With Me is a masterpiece of transdisciplinary study. The book examines birds from every possible angle: biological, historical, conservation, art, and stories. Poetry is peppered throughout complementing the other information. It's a National Geographic book, so you can trust that the photography throughout is stunning. Perfect for bird enthusiasts and curious minds.
A city of millions cut off from the rest of the world and left to starve. People killing for ration cards, which provide a mere 125 grams of bread made with sawdust mixed in to the flour. Desperate people resorting to cannibalizing the plentiful corpses lining the street. It sounds like the premise for a YA dystopian novel, but it really happened. In 1941 Nazi forces blockaded the city of Leningrad in a siege that would last two and a half years and result in the deaths of over a million people. One of the people trapped in the city was composer Dmitri Shostakovitch. When he escaped the city, he wrote a symphony that would commemorate those lost and give hope to those still trapped. This is his true story.
This thick, nonfiction tome should have taken me ages to slog through, but instead I tore through it like it was the latest sci-fi thriller. The story is at turns moving, disturbing, and triumphant. It is a prime example of the power of narrative nonfiction.
Symphony for the City of the Dead by M.T. Anderson
Erica's Picks 8th & up Tags: biography, dystopian, global perspectives, history, nonfiction
When Hitler invaded Denmark, the adults reluctantly accepted the occupation, too terrified of the overwhelming Nazi forces to fight back. But teenagers rose up to spark a resistance. Knud Pedersen founded the Churchill club with other students and together they started to sabotage the occupying Nazi forces. When the members were finally caught and it was revealed that the brave resistance fighters were teens, it sparked the Dutch resistance among adults. Read the history of the Churchill Club in their own words in this thrilling nonfiction account.
This is an inspiring true story of teenagers organizing themselves in a fight against overwhelming evil. The book is meticulously researched and quotes extensively from interviews the author conducted. A great choice for narrative nonfiction.
The Boys Who Challenged Hitler by Phillip Hoose
Erica's Picks 7th & up Tags: biography, history, nonfiction
,Stunning, powerful and spiritual, this book is a poetic presentation of Martin Luther King, Jr.'s final months. The Pinkneys, who have collaborated on many fine books, join their talent, wisdom and heart to take you on an emotional journey through history. The author's hope is "that each poem brings insight and dignity to the men and women who risked everything to end injustice, while also painting the story of humanity's power, against all odds, to change the world by working peacefully together." The artist sought to "create visual metaphors to symbolize how Martin embraced his own family with his love...that ultimately cast its luminescent power throughout the world." This is the most tender and moving tribute that I have seen; read this illuminating book and share Dr. King's dream.
This colorful and practical guide leads kids through a variety of exercises in mindfulness. The bright illustrations and simple language make it an engaging way to teach mindfulness to even the youngest kids. The exercises are broken down into five sections: Be Calm, Focus, Imagine, Make Some Energy, and Relax. Each exercise gets a fully illustrated two page spread with large text in appealing fonts explaining what to do in kid-friendly language. I love the squirrels with their kindness exercise and the wolf that leads the get your grumpies out exercise, but it's afternoon as I write this, so I am most drawn to the energizers. This example from that section certainly looks appealing to me. Just look at that lion!
Breathe Like a Bear by Kira Willey, illustrated by Anni Betts
Feminism Reinventing the f-word by Nadia Abushanab Higgens explores the history of feminism in the U.S., then goes on to highlight twenty-first-century feminists who are pushing for diverse beauty standards, improved access to reproductive control, freedom from sexual violence, LGBTQ rights, affordable health care and individual expression of femininity. After reading this book, you will be able to respond to "Am I a feminist?" with an informed voice
Here We are: Feminism for the Real world edited by Kelly Jensen Forty-four voices write, draw and speak from many perspectives. They are serious, funny, personal and historical. The book includes comics, poetry, song lyrics, illustrations, interviews and lists. The writers, artists and dancers have contributed works about everything from body positivity to romance to gender identity to intersectionality to the greatest girl relationships in fiction. Feminists come in every shape, size, form and background. They believe that every person—regardless of gender, class, education, race, sexuality, or ability—deserves equality. Have you ever wanted to be a SUPERHEROINE? Join a FANDOM? Create the perfect EMPOWERING PLAYLIST? Understand exactly what it means to be a feminist in the 21st century? You’ve come to the right place.
Tessa's Picks, 6th-8th grade, Nonfiction, Social Justice, LGBTQ
Identity and Gendertalks about how family, culture, and values shape our identities and that it is important to be happy with who you are. Equality and Diversity discusses having the same rights, opportunities, and status as everyone else and recognizing the importance of different cultures in society, while still protecting their equality.
Tessa's Picks, 5th-7th grade, Nonfiction,LGBTQ, People of Color, Social Justice
In the summer of 1944, 50 sailors, all of them African American, were tried and convicted of mutiny by the U.S. Navy. They had refused to follow a direct order of loading dangerous rockets and munitions on ships bound for battle in the Pacific after an enormous explosion had killed more than 300 of their fellow sailors and other civilians working on the dock. At the heart of this story is the rampant racism that permeated the military at all levels, leaving minority sailors and soldiers to do the drudge work almost exclusively while their white counterparts served on the front lines. Through extensive research, Sheinkin effectively re-creates both the tense atmosphere at Port Chicago before and after the disaster as well as the events that led to the men's refusal of this one particular order that they felt put them directly in harm's way. Much of the tension in this account stems from the growing frustration that readers are meant to feel as bigotry and discrimination are encountered at every turn and at every level of the military. The attractive and user friendly format is laced with primary-source material, including interviews with the convicted sailors, court records, photographs, and other documents, all of which come together to tell a story that clearly had a huge impact on race relations in the military. This little known event is placed in historical context with Thurgood Marshall, Jackie Robinson, and Eleanor Roosevelt figuring in the telling. Sheinkin, who writes non-fiction with a “you are there” immediacy, gives voice to 50 new American heroes. “ If you are not outraged, you are not paying attention.”
Tessa's Picks, Nonfiction, 6th-8th grade, Social Justice, People of Color,
Immigrants chose to leave their country to look for better opportunities. Refugees flee their homeland because of unsafe conditions. Here are three new books that look at their stories.
Their Great Gift Courage, Sacrifice, and Hope in a New Land By John Coy, Photographs by Wing Young Huie Thought-provoking photography and text make this book on 21st century immigrants an ideal discussion starter for teachers and parents. Intimate, individual family stories combine to present the universal immigration experience and celebrate the diversity of our country. It is a vision of hope for the future and a heartfelt reminder of a significant American ideal. All ages.
Stepping stones A Refugee Family’s Journey By Margriet Ruurs. In English and Arabic The author of this book saw an image on Facebook that touched her deeply. It was of a mother holding her baby and a father trudging along under a heavy load; it was composed of stones. One of the stones was signed—Nizar Ali Badr. Finding him on Facebook, she was moved by his images of love, anguish sorrow and joy. The artist was Syrian and much of his work was inspired by the war in his country. They joined forces to produce this book which tells the story of a Syrian family who are forced to leave behind everything they know and love. The lyrical text handles a heart breaking subject with such grace that it could be shared with children of all ages. There is hope of a bright future and peace.
A Refugee’s Journey from Syria by Helen Mason Roj and his family are forced to flee their homeland of Syria when civil war bombings destroy their home. They escape secretly by boat and end up in a European camp for refugees. Students take a walk in Roj’s shoes and will gain a real understanding of the plight of the Syrian people. Interspersed with the story are facts about Syria and the efforts made around the world to help the millions of refugees. Students are encouraged to help refugees in their communities. Written in 2017, this current book is for children third grade and up.
What would you do if your family didn't have enough to eat? If they didn't have access to running water or electricity? What if you had no money to fix any of it? If you're anything like William, then you'd head to the library! In this true story, William describes how he combined knowledge gained from studying library books with scrap metal and junk to make a windmill that changed his life forever.
This book is absolutely fascinating. Of course as a librarian I'm a sucker for any story about the transformative powers of libraries. William is remarkable and hearing his story in his own words was incredibly moving. Added morals about STEM, recycling, and life in Africa make this an ideal fit for classroom reading. It's an engaging read for students on their own too.
The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind (Young Readers Edition) by William Kamkwamba and Bryan Mealer
Erica's Picks 4th - 8th grade Tags: Biography, Makers, Nonfiction, People of Color, Social Justice