Two intrepid librarians

Two intrepid librarians review the best nonfiction books for children

Friday, April 29, 2022

Mightier Than the Sword by Rochelle Melander

Mightier Than the Sword: Rebels, Reformers & Revolutionaries Who Changed the World

Through Writing

by Rochelle Melander; Illustrated by Melina Ontiveros

Beaming Books, an imprint of 1517 Media. 2021.

From speechmakers, scientists, explorers, to authors, poets, and activities, these brief summaries highlight the lives of these diverse men and women who changed history by using their pens. 

Each entry is four pages in length and gives a brief summary of the individual’s life and their contribution to society. Readers will be engaged with the activities and prompts that are included with each entry. Along with the activities, other individuals who have some connection to the time, place, or writing formare added in a side text. 

For example, under Maria Merian, naturalist and scientific illustrator (1647-1717), Carl Linnaeus is mentioned for his reliance on Merian’s insect discoveries. For the activity, it encourages readers to keep a research or field journal, with Marie Curie mentioned for her practice of keeping a lab notebook. Highlighting the text are comic style illustrations by Ontiveros. 

The text is readable with just enough information to spark readers curiosity.

Mightier Than the Sword was this year’s 2021 Cybil’s Middle Grade Non-Fiction winner.

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