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Viewing Blog: The Nonfiction Detectives, Most Recent at Top
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Two intrepid librarians, one works in a school library and the other in a public library, together explore nonfiction titles to find the best for the children they service.
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1. Zap! Nikola Tesla Takes Charge

Zap! Nikola Tesla Takes Charge  by Monica Kulling illustrated by Bill Slavin Tundra Books, 2016 Grades K-6 The reviewer received a copy of the book from the publisher. Nikola Tesla is the latest subject in Monica Kulling's Great Idea Series featuring innovators and inventors. The story of Nikola Tesla is sure to intrigue readers. The picture book biography begins with Tesla departing from a

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2. Nadia: The Girl Who Couldn't Sit Still

Nadia: The Girl Who Couldn't Sit Still  by Karlin Gray illustrated by Christine Davener Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2016 Grades K-5 As I watched the Olympics on television Sunday evening a familiar face was in the crowd for the women's gymnastics competition: Nadia Comaneci was in Rio to cheer on the 2016 gymnasts. A new picture book biography introduces young children to the Romanian gymnast and

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3. Jazz Day

Jazz Day: The Making of a Famous Photograph by Roxanne Orgill illustrated by Francis Vallejo Candlewick, 2016 Grades 2-6 In 1958, fifty-seven jazz musicians gathered on a street in Harlem to pose for a photo for Esquire. The photo entitled "A Great Day in Harlem" became an iconic image from the 20th century, and the story behind the photograph is amazing. In this extended picture book, Roxanne

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4. Coyote Moon- Blog Tour and Giveaway

Coyote Moon  by Maria Gianferrari illustrated by Bagram Ibatoulline Roaring Brook Press, 2016 Grades K-5 Today I'm taking part in the Coyote Moon blog tour. The book officially hits shelves tomorrow. As part of the blog tour, I'm giving away one copy of Coyote Moon donated by the publisher. The details and entry form can be found at the bottom of this page. The engaging narrative of Coyote

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5. Gorillas Up Close

Gorillas Up Close   by Christena Nippert-Eng Photographs by John Dominski and Miguel Martinez Henry Holt and Company, 2016 Grades 3-6 The majority of the animal books in the 500s section of my school library focus on animals in the wild. Occasionally there are books about animals that were rescued and rehabilitated such as Winter's Tail: How One Dolphin Learned to Swim Again or Owen & Mzee: The

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6. Whoosh!: Lonnie Johnson's Super-Soaking Stream of Inventions

Whoosh!: Lonnie Johnson's Super-Soaking Stream of Inventions by Chris Barton illustrated by Don Tate Charlesbridge, 2016 Grades K-5 Chris Barton and Don Tate collaborated on last year's successful picture book biography, The Amazing Age of John Roy Lynch. I'm pleased that the duo is back with the engaging picture book about engineer, Lonnie Johnson. Johnson was a creative and inventive child who

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7. The Great White Shark Scientist

The Great White Shark Scientist  by Sy Montgomery photographs by Keith Ellenbogen Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2016 Grades 5 and up It's Shark Week on the Discovery Channel, and it's the perfect time to review the latest Scientists in the Field book, The Great White Shark Scientist. Author, Sy Montgomery, and photographer, Keith Ellenbogen, have teamed up on another exciting marine biology story

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8. You Can Fly: The Tuskegee Airmen

You Can Fly: The Tuskegee Airmen  by Carole Boston Weatherford illustrated by Jeffrey Boston Weatherford Atheneum Books for Young Readers, 2016 Grades 5-12 Carole Boston Weatherford is one of my favorite poets and authors of books for children. Her picture book, Voice of Freedom: Fannie Lou Hamer, Spirit of the Civil Rights Movement won many awards and praises last year including a 2016 Sibert

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9. Crossing Niagara

Crossing Niagara: The Death-Defying Tightrope Adventures of the Great Blondin by Matt Tavares Candlewick, 2016 Grades K-5 In stunning watercolor, gouache and pencil illustrations, Tavares conveys the incredible story of the Great Blondin, a tightrope walker who set his sights on crossing Niagara Falls in 1859. Crowds packed the area to see The Great Blondin walk across the falls. Gamblers

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10. Nonfiction Summer Reading Suggestions

I spent the weekend creating summer reading lists for K-5 students in my elementary school. While I was compiling this year's lists, I consulted a number of summer reading lists created by librarians, teachers, parents and organizations. I noticed that many summer reading lists shy away from nonfiction titles. Here are some new nonfiction titles that kids will enjoy reading over the summer

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11. Prairie Dog Song

Prairie Dog Song: The Key to Saving North America's Grasslands by Susan L. Roth and Cindy Trumbore Lee and Low Books, 2016 Grades K-5 Susan L. Roth and Cindy Trombore have earned many honors and praises for their picture books including the 2014 Robert F. Sibert Medal for Parrots Over Puerto Rico. Their new nonfiction picture book highlights the role prairie dogs play in maintaining the balance

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12. Bubonic Panic: Blog Tour and Giveaway

Bubonic Panic: When Plague Invaded America  by Gail Jarrow Calkins Creek, 2016 Grades 5 and up Today I'm pleased to kick off the Bubonic Panic blog tour! Gail Jarrow rounds out her "Deadly Diseases" trilogy with a riveting account of how the plague came to the United States at the turn of the century. Using the perfect blend of history and science, Jarrow provides readers with an overview of

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13. Dorothea's Eyes

Dorothea's Eyes: Dorothea Lange Photographs the Truth by Barb Rosenstock illustrated by Gerard DuBois Calkins Creek, 2016 Grades 2-5 The students and teachers at my elementary school are big fans of Barb Rosenstock. Rosenstock's historical fiction picture book, The Camping Trip That Changed America, is read aloud to 4th grade students to kick off a social studies unit on National Parks. Students

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14. In the Fields and the Trenches

In the Fields and the Trenches: The Famous and the Forgotten on the Battlefields of World War I  by Kerrie Logan Hollihan Chicago Review Press, 2016 Grades 7-12 When I first picked up In the Fields and the Trenches, I excepted a traditional World War I history book for kids. I definitely underestimated this title. Hooligan provides exciting glimpses into the lives of successful (and sometimes

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15. Animal Bites- New Animal Planet Series

Ocean Animals (Animal Bites series) by Laaren Brown Liberty Street, an imprint of Time Inc. Books, 2016 Grades K-5 Polar Animals (Animal Bites series) by Laaren Brown Liberty Street, an imprint of Time Inc. Books, 2016 Grades K-5 Today is Earth Day, and it's the perfect time to highlight the new Animal Bites series by Animal Planet. Published by Time Inc., the series was released earlier this

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16. Pogo: A New Imprint from Jump!

 Jump! has been publishing nonfiction for children since 2012. The publisher known for Bullfrog Books for PreK-2 readers, has a new imprint released this year. Pogo features science books for grades 2-5. Books released under the Pogo imprint cover life science, earth science, physical science, and engineering/technology. Each book incorporates a variety of text features including sidebars,

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17. A Girl Called Vincent

A Girl Called Vincent: The Life of Poet Edna St. Vincent Millay  by Krystyna Poray Goddu Chicago Review Press, 2016 ISBN: 978-1-61373-172-7 Grades 5 and up April is Poetry Month, so it's fitting that A Girl Called Vincent was released earlier this month. The biography provides middle grade and teen readers with an in-depth look at the life of Edna St. Vincent Millay, who was known to her friends

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18. The Story of Seeds

The Story of Seeds: From Mendel's Garden to Your Plate, and How There's More of Less to Eat Around the World by Nancy F. Castaldo Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2016 ISBN: 978-0-544-32023-9 Grades 6-12 Nancy Castaldo, author of Sniffer Dogs: How Dogs (and Their Noses) Save the World, has turned her attention to the topic of seeds. In her new nonfiction book for tweens and teens, Castaldo writes

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19. Solving the Puzzle Under the Sea

Solving the Puzzle Under the Sea: Marie Tharp Maps the Ocean Floor by Robert Burleigh illustrated by Raul Colon Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, 2016 Grades 2-6 This unique picture book biography written in the first person tells the story of how Marie Tharp 's love of maps and background in science led her to map the ocean floor between 1957-1977. "At last I was a young scientist,

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20. FROM THE BACKLIST: BREAKTHROUGH! BY Jim Murphy

Breakthrough!: How Three People Saved “Blue Babies” and Changed Medicine Forever by Jim Murphy Clarion Books. 2015 ISBN: 9780547821832 Grades 8-12 I was sent a copy of this book by the publisher. On a cold day in November 1944, eighteen-month-old Eileen Saxon was brought into an operating room at Johns Hopkins Hospital. She could barely breathe, and her lips and fingertips had turned

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21. FROM THE BACKLIST: If the World Were a Village by David J. Smith

If the World were a Village: a book about World’s People Book 1 in the CitizenKid series Written by David J. Smith; Illustrated by Shelagh Armstrong Kids Can Press. 2nd edition. 2011 ISBN: 9781554535958 I am on a crusade to get some really terrific and often overlooked informational picture books into the hands of teachers and parents. These books, read aloud to middle and high school

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22. The Secret Subway

The Secret Subway  by Shana Corey illustrated by Red Nose Studios Schwartz & Wade, 2016 ISBN: 978-0-375-87071-2 Grades K-5 In the 1860s, stagecoaches, horses, peddlers and garbage clogged the streets of New York City. Coeditor of Scientific American, Alfred Ely Beach, had an innovative solution to the city's problem: an underground train powered by a fan. Corey's engaging narrative style brings

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23. Fearless Flyer: Ruth Law and Her Flying Machine

Fearless Flyer: Ruth Law and Her Flying Machine   by Heather Lang illustrated by Raul Colon Calkins Creek, 2016 ISBN: 978-1-62091-650-6 Grades 2-6 Heather Lang and Raul Colon have collaborated to share the exciting story of Ruth Law in the picture book biography, Fearless Flyer. Before Amelia Earhart won the hearts of Americans with her aviation accomplishments, Ruth Law was flying "daredevil

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24. FROM THE BACKLIST: Bodies from the Ash by James M. Deem

Bodies from the Ash: Life and Death in Ancient Rome  By James M. Deem Houghton Mifflin Co. 2005 ISBN: 0618473084 I am on a crusade to get some really terrific and often overlooked informational picture books into the hands of teachers and parents. These books, read aloud to middle and high school students, could be a gateway for important conversations and growth.  Grades 2-12 In

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25. FROM THE BACKLIST: The Librarian Who Measured the Earth by Kathryn Lasky

The Librarian Who Measured the Earth Written by Kathryn Lasky; Illustrated by Kevin Hawkes Little, Brown and Company. 1994 ISBN: 0316515264 I am on a crusade to get some really terrific and often overlooked informational picture books into the hands of teachers and parents. These books, read aloud to middle and high school students, could be a gateway for important conversations and growth.

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