Two intrepid librarians

Two intrepid librarians review the best nonfiction books for children

Thursday, January 31, 2019

ALA Youth Media Awards

We both watched the live stream of the ALA Youth Media Awards announcements from our libraries on Monday. A number of excellent nonfiction books garnered awards this year. Here is a recap of nonfiction titles that were recognized on Monday.

Sibert Award

Sibert Honors

We Are Grateful: Otsaliheliga

YALSA Award for Excellence in Nonfiction

The Beloved World of Sonia Sotomayor

Boots on the Ground

Hey, Kiddo

Coretta Scott King Illustrator Winner

The Stuff of Stars

Coretta Scott King Illustrator Honor

Hidden Figures: The True Story of Four Black Women and the Space Race

Let the Children March

Coretta Scott King Author Award

A Few Red Drops: The Chicago Race Riot of 1919

Pura Belpré Award


Schneider Family Book Award

Rescue & Jessica: A Life-Changing Friendship

Monday, January 28, 2019

Planting Stories

Planting Stories: The Life of Librarian and Storyteller Pura Belpré
by Anika Aldamuy Denise
illustrated by Paola Escobar
Harper Collins, 2019
Grades K-6

Today the ALA Youth Media Awards will be announced live from Seattle. One of the awards that will be announced is the Pura Belpré Award which recognizes a Latino or Latina author or illustrator "whose work best portrays, affirms, and celebrates the Latino cultural experience in an outstanding work of literature for children and youth."

It is only fitting that today we highlight Planting Stories, a picture book biography of Pura Belpré, talented writer, storyteller and children's librarian at the New York Public Library. The story begins in 1921 as Belpré leaves Puerto Rico to begin life in New York. Belpré loves books and stories, and she soon is hired as a bilingual library assistant. When Belpré realizes there are no folktales from Puerto Rico in the library, she tells the children stories her abuela told her as a child. The book describes Belpré's wonderful story hours and her success as a published author of books for children.

Whimsical digital illustrations capture the energy and enthusiasm of Belpré and her love of stories. The story is the perfect length to read to children during story hour. Planting Stories shows how one person can make a difference in the lives of children for many generations. It is a recommended purchase for public libraries and elementary school library collections, and it would make a great gift for the book lover in your life.

Thursday, January 24, 2019

Rotten by Anita Sanchez

Rotten: Vultures, Beetles, Slime, and Nature's Other Decomposers
Written by Anita Sanchez; Illustrated by Gilbert Ford
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. 2019
Grades 3 and up

Unplug your nose and get ready to take a trip into the world of decomposition. 

“Nature doesn’t move in a straight line; it turns in a circle. After decomposition comes new life.”

From dung beetles, vultures, and fungus; to earthworms, compost piles, and, yes, yogurt, this jolly romp explores the truth about “one of nature’s most fascinating processes.”

To wrap up this fascinating exploration, Sanchez ends with how the Egyptians preserved bodies, cremation, and how we can see the cycle of life through a compost pile that turns old scraps into new life.
The book does not include photos. Instead, Ford’s cheerful and brightly colored illustrations enhance the text.
 Back matter includes glossary of terms, notes, and bibliography.
 For students who can't get enough of the cycle of life, hand them Death Eaters by Kelly M. Hall.
To write this review, I borrowed a copy of this book from my local public library.

Monday, January 21, 2019

Celebrating Martin Luther King Day

 This year marks the 50th anniversary of the Coretta Scott King Award
What better way to celebrate Martin Luther King Day, 
than to highlight past reviews on book 
about Civil Rights.

The Amazing Age of John Roy Lynch
Written by Chris Barton; Illustrated by Don Tate

by the late, and great nonfiction writer, Russell Freedman 

Written by Deborah Hopkinson; Illustrated by Don Tate

By Selina Alko; Illustrated by Sean Qualls and Selina Alko

by Alice Faye Duncan: Illustrated by R. Gregory Christie

by Michael Mahin; Illustrated by Evan Turk

By Lynda Blackmon Lowery; as told to Elspeth Leacock and Susan Buckley; 
Illustrated by PJ Loughran

by Larry Dane Brimner

by Carole Boston Weatherford; Illustrated by Ekua Holmes

You Can Fly: The Tuskegee Airmen 
by Carole Boston Weatherford
illustrated by Jeffrey Boston Weatherford

Turn in Monday, January 28, 2018, 12:00 PM EST for the 
2019 Youth Media Award announcements, including the CSK awards!

Monday, January 14, 2019

Our Top Posts from 2018

We just spent some time looking over the most popular posts from 2018.  

And, here they are!!!

by Sandra Neil Wallace; Illustrated by Bryan Collier

and Part 2  

Written by Kate Messner; Illustrated by Matthew Forsythe

by Monica Kulling; Illustrated by Julianna Swaney

by Christy Hale

There you have it! Our top posts from 2018. 
We look forward to what will be released in 2019.
Thank you to all our readers!

Wednesday, January 9, 2019

New Nonfiction Releases- January 2019

2019 is already looking like a strong year for nonfiction. 

Here are new titles published this month.

On shelves January 1st

The Greatest Treasure Hunt in History: The Story of the Monuments Men
by Robert M. Edsel

Fake News: Separating Fact from Fiction
by Michael Miller

Forest Talk: How Trees Communicate
by Melissa Koch

Taking Cover: One Girl’s Story of Growing Up During the Iranian Revolution
by Nioucha Homayoonfar

When Plants Attack: Strange and Terrifying Plants
by Rebecca E. Hirsch

Little Monsters of the Ocean: Metamorphosis Under the Waves
by Heather L. Montgomery

A Song for Gwendolyn Brooks
by Alice Faye Duncan and Xia Gordon

On shelves January 8th

We Are Here to Stay: Voices of Undocumented Young Adults
by Susan Kuklin

We Are Displaced: My Journey and Stories from Refugee Girls Around the World
by Malala Yousafzai

Standing Up Against Hate: How Black Women in the Army Helped Change the Course of WWII
by Mary Cronk Farrell

This Promise of Change: One Girl's Story in the Fight for Social Equality
by Jo Ann Ellen Boyce and Debbie Levy

1919: The Year That Changed America
by Martin W. Sandler

Elvis Is King
by Jonah Winter and Red Nose Studio

On shelves January 15th

The Roots of Rap: 16 Bars on the 4 Pillars of Hip-Hop
by Carole Boston Weatherford and Frank Morrison

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

On shelves January 22nd

Rotten!: Vultures, Beetles, Slime, and Nature's Other Decomposers
by Anita Sanchez and Gilbert Ford

Out of This World: The Surreal Art of Leonora Carrington
by Michelle Markel and Amanda Hall

On shelves January 29th

Dark Sky Rising: Reconstruction and the Dawn of Jim Crow
by Henry Louis Gates, Jr.

Just Right: Searching for the Goldilocks Planet
by Curtis Manley and Jessica Lanan