Two intrepid librarians

Two intrepid librarians review the best nonfiction books for children

Monday, January 6, 2020

We are saying goodbye....

Inspired by A Splash of Red by Jen Bryant
After nine years of blogging, we have decided to take a break. We are both juggling so many other obligations it is challenging to keep up with reading and reviewing all the nonfiction titles being published.

Authors, publishers, and readers, we thank everyone for your support over the years.

All the best,
The Nonfiction Detectives
Cathy and Louise

Monday, December 23, 2019

Our Best of 2019


It is amazing how quickly a year goes by. It seems like just yesterday 2019 began, and here we are selecting this year's favorites, and in a few weeks the ALA Media Awards will be announced from Philadelphia, PA at ALA Midwinter. Cathy and I always wonder if any of the titles we reviewed will win an award. We'll just have to wait and see, won't we?

Without further ado...

The Nonfiction Detectives' Best Of 2019!


by Laura Gehl; Illustrated by Louise Pigott and Alex Oxton


Written by Lori Mortensen; Illustrated by Kristy Caldwell


Janice N. Harrington; Illustrated by Theodore Taylor III


By Margarita Engle; Illustrated by Rafael López


Written by Laurie Wallmark; Illustrated by Katy Wu


by Lela Nargi; illustrated by Harriet Popham


Lost Forest
by Phyllis Root; illustrated by Betsy Brown




by Sy Montgomery; with photos by Roger and Logan Wood


Written and illustrated by Jennifer Thermes


by Carlyn Beccia


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Moth: An Evolution Story
by Isabel Thomas and Daniel Egneus


by Benjamin Grant and Sandra Markle


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A Place to Land
by Barry Wittenstein; illustrated by Jerry Pinkney


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Planting Stories: The Life of Librarian and Storyteller Pura Belpré
by Anika Aldamuy Denise; illustrated by Paola Escobar


by Gail Jarrow


Written by Barb Rosenstock; art by Christopher Silas Neal


by Carole Boston Weatherford; illustrated by Frank Morrison


Barry Wittenstein; iIllustrated by Keith Mallett


by Leslie Bulion; illustrated by Robert Meganck


Thursday, December 19, 2019

Overview: a New Way of Seeing Earth: Young Reader's Edition by Benjamin Grant and Sandra Markle


Overview: a New Way of Seeing Earth
Young Reader's Edition
Benjamin Grant with Sandra Markle
Crown Books for Young Readers. 2019
Grades 2 up

When astronauts view Earth from space, the sense of oneness they feel is termed the Overview Effect. It describes the awareness that we are all part of the same humanity.  Astronauts, when they see Earth from space, say the experience changes them forever. The view gives them a greater connection to Earth, its people, and the environment. 

The large-format sized book is divided into nine chapters. Each chapter examines a different aspect of our planet. From natures wonders to how humans are affecting the plant, each full-page color photograph is captioned, giving a brief explanation as to why it is included in the book. 

Uluru, also called Ayers Rock, in Australia’s Northern Territory, is a giant sandstone rock formation that rises above an otherwise flat plan. Estimated to be 600 million years old, Uluru is 1,142 feet (348 m) high and 6 miles (9.7 km) around at the base. Like a land iceberg, Uluru also extends underground another 2 miles (3.2 km). The rock is a sacred site for the Aboriginal people of the area, who first settled there 10,000 years ago.”

Grant and Markle also include environmental concerns to encourage readers to contemplate their role in creating a healthy planet.

Back matter includes bibliography, resources on how you can help our planet to have a healthy future, and index that includes not only page numbers but coordinates to use when searching Google Earth or the satellite mode of Google Maps!

A truly awe-inspiring book.

 To write this review, I borrowed the book from my local public library.

Monday, December 16, 2019

New Nonfiction- December


Here are some nonfiction titles that are available in December.


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Nazi Saboteurs: Hitler's Secret Attack on America by Samantha Seiple

Into the Blizzard: Heroism at Sea During the Great Blizzard of 1978 [The Young Readers Adaptation] (True Rescue Series)
Into the Blizzard: Heroism at Sea During the Great Blizzard of 1978 by Michael Tougias

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Eclipse Chaser by Ilama Loomis and Amanda Cowan

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Beetle Battles: One Scientists Journey of Adventure and Discovery by Douglas Emlen

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My Survival: A Girl on Schindler’s List by Rena Finder with Joshua M. Greene

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The Vegetarian Cookbook

Thursday, December 12, 2019

Always Looking Up: Nancy Grace Roman, Astronomer : Written by Laura Gehl


Always Looking Up: Nancy Grace Roman, Astronomer
Written by Laura Gehl; Illustrated by Louise Pigott and Alex Oxton
Albert Whitman & Company. 2019
Grades 2 – 5

“The Hubble Telescope changed the way people saw the universe, and helped scientists make giant leaps in understanding space.”

In this picture book biography, Gehl tells the true story of Nancy Grace Roman (1925-2018), the scientist responsible for putting the Hubble Telescope into orbit.

Born in 1925, despite being discouraged, Roman studied and became an astronomer. In 1959, Roman joins the newly created NASA as their Chief of Astronomy and Relativity Programs. Though Congress approved funding for the development of the Hubble Telescope, it was not launched into orbit until 1990.

The text is engaging and the digital images draw readers’ attention into the story. Back matter includes an author’s note and timeline.

A nice addition to the growing number of books that celebrate women scientists.
I used an uncorrected proof sent to me by the publisher to write this review.