Two intrepid librarians

Two intrepid librarians review the best nonfiction books for children

Monday, January 30, 2023

No World Too Big: Young People Fighting Global Climate Change

No World Too Big: Young People Fighting Global Climate Change.
Edited by Lindsay H. Metcalf, Keila V. Dawson, and Jeanette Bradley;
Illustrated by Jeanette Bradley.
Charlesbridge. 2023

This picture book biography introduces twelve young activists and three groups from around the world who are making their voices heard to fight climate change. These activists are watching, questioning, and demanding that world leaders keep their promise.

Each double-page spread includes a poem or song by different poets, and a brief bio of the activist. Young activists or groups included: Zanagee Artis, Greta Thunberg, Xiuhtezcatl Martinez, The Marshallese Youth of the Marshall Islands, Aratemisa Xakriab√°, Leah Namugerwa, Marinel Ubaldo, Autumn Peltier, Lina Yassin, Maya Penn, Nikita Shulga and Sofiia-Khrystyna Borysiuk, The Green School of Bali, Indonesia, Maanasa Mendu, Mackintosh Academy of Littleton, Colorado.

The book is inspiring, uplifting, and offers suggestions that any one person can do to make an impact in helping to stop climate change. Bradley’s illustrations, done digitally in Procreate for iPad are the perfect complement to the text.

Included is a glossary, how to visualize greenhouse gases, the different poetic forms used in throughout the book, and brief bios of each poet.

Another great books to display and share when talking about climate change or on Earth Day.


 

Friday, January 27, 2023

Bomb: Graphic Novel

Bomb: Graphic Novel
written by Steve Sheinkin
illustrated by Nick Bertozzi
Roaring Brook Press, 2023
Grades 4 and up

The much anticipated Bomb: Graphic Novel hit shelves this week.  I frequently recommend to Bomb: The Race to Build and Steal the World's Most Dangerous Weapon to students, and the multiple copies we have in my school library are constantly checked out. So I was thrilled to learn that Roaring Brook Press was releasing a graphic novel version of the nonfiction book

Sheinkin pulls quotes and events out of the nonfiction history book to create the graphic novel version. As with the 2012 book, the graphic novel immerses readers in the story beginning with the FBI knocking on the door of chemist turned spy, Harry Gold. The story is told through a series of flashbacks as Gold is interviewed by the FBI. Nick Bertozzi's illustrations use a dark, muted palette to create a somber and serious tone. The illustrations add a sense of excitement and intrigue to the story as Germany, Russia and the U.S. race to develop an atomic bomb to bring an end to World War II. When the U.S. drops bombs on Nagasaki and Hiroshima, pale pink clouds are depicted on the page without words. After President Truman announced that the bombing were successful, the pages that follow show devastation in stark, gray rubble. At the bottom of the page readers learn that 70,000 people died and 100,000 more would die from burns and radiation poisoning in Hiroshima.  As with the nonfiction book, the graphic novel concludes with Robert Oppenheimer visiting the President to share his reservations and regret about the atomic bomb leaving the readers to think about the implications of the scientific development on humanity.

The new format of Bomb: Graphic Novel will attract readers who want to learn about the events that led to the end of World War II, devastated a nation, and ushered in a cold war between the U.S. and the U.S.S.R. It is also likely to be popular with readers who are already fans of the long form Bomb: The Race to Build and Steal the World's Most Dangerous Weapon. 

Monday, January 23, 2023

Border Crossings by Sneed B. Collard III

Border Crossings 

Sneed B. Collard III
Illustrated by Howard Gray   
Charlesbridge. 2023                                                         

We are aware of the emotional and economic impact the Wall that divides the United States with Mexico has on our society. In Border Crossings, science writer, Sneed B. Collard III asks readers to think about the environmental impact the Wall has on our natural world in this important informational picture book. 

Following two endangered ocelots, readers explore the beauty and biodiversity of this area, while also made aware of the many obstacles these species, and many others, face when they attempt to cross the border. 


In the story, the ocelots are traversing this remote territory in search of a mate. Encountering the barrier, “He tries to squeeze thru the wall, but the gaps are too narrow. He is searching for a way around the wall or under it when…harsh headlights approach, accompanied by a loud roaring sound.” Sprinting back into the brush for cover, this young ocelot will not find a mate this year. 


Sneed explains that for animals, the area surrounding the Wall are not separate lands. Running almost two thousand miles, through forest, grasslands, and brushlands, this habitat is home to “plants and animals found nowhere else on Earth.”


Supporting Collard’s powerful narrative are colorful illustrations, done in digital media, by Howard Gray.


Included is an Author’s Note, Glossary, and suggestions for further reading. 

Friday, January 20, 2023

The Moon Tonight: Our Moon's Journey Around Earth by Jung Chang-hoon

The Moon Tonight: Our Moon’s Journey Around Earth.                                        by Jung Chang-hoon;
Illustrated by Jane Ho     
                      Translated by Paige Morris.
Blue Dot Press. 2023


Astronomer, Jung Chang-hoon, offers readers an informational picture book about the cycle of the Moon. Easy to follow scientific explanations make this a great book to share with children off all ages who are curious about the moon.

Each double-page spread gives an explanation of the moon’s phase. At the bottom of each spread, in italics, is a more scientific explanation. 

Included is an Author’s Note that gives more facts about the Moon. 

Ho’s illustrations add the visual element to make this a must-have science book.

Monday, January 16, 2023

Deep, Deep Down: The Secret Underwater Poetry of the Mariana Trench by Lydia Lukidis; Illustrated by Juan Calle

Deep, Deep Down: The Secret Underwater Poetry of the Mariana Trench    
by Lydia Lukidis; Illustrated by Juan Calle
Capstone Editions. A Capstone Imprint. 2023

“Deep, deep down, at the bottom of the Pacific Ocean lies a secret place.”

So begins this engaging informational poetry book on the wonders found in the Mariana Trench. 

Vampire squids                                                                                          Seadevil anglerfish                                                                                       Giant Goblin sharks?

How do we find out what lives there? You must go down, down deep in a submersible to find out.

This slim book is loaded with fascinating details about fish, eels, plants that make this place home. 

Complementing the text are wondrous illustrations by Juan Calle. There is a disclaimer in the book that states that “though the illustrations were researched and accurate, they are not scientifically rendered and may not be drawn to scale.”

Included more facts about the Mariana Trench.

A great book to share with students of all ages who are fascinated by what live deep, deep down in the deep, dark ocean.


Friday, January 13, 2023

The Universe in You

The Universe in You: A Microscopic Journey
by Jason Chin
Neal Porter Books, 2022.
Grades 2 and up

Jason Chin takes readers on a microscopic adventure through the living world in The Universe In You. Intricate watercolor, gouache and digital illustrations give readers an up close look at cells, DNA and atoms. The book is structured from large to small and compares each new concept to the next. 

"But even nuclear pores are made of smaller parts called...DNA."

Text features such as captions, labels clearly define new terms for young readers. The book comes full circle from the 8 cm hummingbird on the first page and back to the hummingbird at the end after examining how the universe is made up of particles, atoms and molecules.

Curious science-minded readers will be interested in the back matter that includes the periodic table of elements as well as more information about genes, atoms and elementary particles.

The Universe in You one of the most stunning books I read in 2022. It is a recommended purchase for science classrooms in elementary and middle schools and for children interested in science and the natural world.






Monday, January 9, 2023

Love is Loud: How Diane Nash led the Civil Rights Movement. Written by Sandra Neil Wallace

Love Is Loud: How Diane Nash Led the Civil Rights Movement          

Written by Sandra Neil Wallace;
Illustrated by Caldecott Honor Recipient Bryan Collier.
A Paula Wiseman Book. Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers. 2023

“Hating people is not the solution to human problems.” Diane Nash

Sandra Neil Wallace has penned an inspiring tribute to Civil Rights activist, Diane Nash. Born in 1932 in Chicago’s South Side, Nash’s life was filled with so much love.  Her parents want her to grow up in the North rather than the segregated South. 

In high school, Nash reads books that show segregation, but since her high school includes everyone - A rainbow of colors - segregation does not touch her.

Nash’s awakening comes when she attends Fisk University in Nashville. “Your Nashville friends take you to the fair, where the air is filled with sticky, sugar smells of cotton candy. And suddenly you see it up close, between roller coasters roiling and corn-dog fryers bubble-boiling— Two signs for bathrooms: WHITE and COLORED.”

Diane Nash was one of the most influential and effective leaders of the Civil Rights Movement. Her name is not well-known. According to Wallace in her Author’s Note, “Black women activists faced both racial and gender discrimination. This gender bias also found its way into the movement.” Diane Nash led major campaigns: Nashville’s lunch counter sit-ins, integrating interstate bus travel with the Freedom Riders, and securing voting rights for Black Americans in the South with the passing of the Voting Rights Act. 

Four-time Caldecott Honor winner, Bryan Collier, illustrates this powerful picture book biography. Rendered in watercolor and collage, Collier’s art is powerful. 

Well-researched, this picture book biography includes an author’s note, illustrator’s note, timeline, bibliography, quote sources, and a selected bibliography. 
The message of standing up for what you believe with LOVE and RESPECT makes this the perfect book to share with students of all ages, especially those in middle and high school. 

Friday, January 6, 2023

New Nonfiction- January 2023

 


There are many titles scheduled to be released in the first month of 2023.
Here are some of the titles on our radar.

History

by Leonard S. Marcus
Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Bomb: Graphic Novel
by Steve Sheinkin and Nick Bertozzi
Roaring Brook Press

Doomed: Sacco, Vanzetti & the End of the American Dream
by John Florio and Ouisie Shapiro
Roaring Brook Press

Biography/Memoir


Just Jerry: How Drawing Shaped My Life
by Jerry Pinkney
Little, Brown Books for Young Readers

Love Is Loud: How Diane Nash Led the Civil Rights Movement
by Sandra Neil Wallace
illustrated by Bryan Collier
Simon & Schuster

The In-Between: A Memoir in Verse
by Katie Van Heidrich
Simon & Schuster

My Selma: Trues Stories of a Southern Childhood at the Height of the Civil Rights Movement
by Willie Mae Brown
Farrar, Straus and Giroux

by Roberta Flack with Tonya Bolden
illustrated by Hayden Goodman
Anne Schwartz Books

by Traci N. Todd
illustrated by Shannon Wright
Orchard Books

The Indestructible Tom Crean: Heroic Explorer of Antarctica
by Jennifer Thermes
Viking Books for Young Readers


Ice Cream Man: How Augustus Jackson Made a Sweet Treat Better
by Glenda Armand and Kim Freeman
illustrated by Keith Mallett
Crown Books for Young Readers

Rosa Parks & Claudette Colvin: Civil Rights Heroes
by Tracey Baptiste
illustrated by Shauna J. Grant
First Second

Milloo's Mind: The Story of Maryam Faruqi, Trailblazer for Women's Education
by Reem Faruqi
illustrated by Hoda Hadidi
Harper Collins

To Boldly Go: How Nichelle Nichols and Star Trek Helped Advance Civil Rights
by Angela Dalton
illustrated by Lauren Semmer
Harper Collins

A Mighty Long Way: My Journey to Justice at Little Rock Central High School
Adapted for Young Readers
by Carlotta Walls LaNier and Lisa Frazier Page
Delacorte Press

The Boy Who Followed His Father Into Auschwitz
A True Story Retold for Young Readers
by Jeremy Dronfield
Quill Tree Books

Science

Yoshi, Sea Turtle Genius: A True Story About an Amazing Swimmer
by Lynne Cox
illustrated by Richard Jones
Anne Schwartz Books

by Lydia Lukidis
illustrated by Juan Calle
Capstone

Bird Detectives: Science Sleuths and Their Feathered Friends
by Kristine Rivers and Carla J. Dove
Capstone

The Penguin of Ilha Grande: From Animal Rescue to Extraordinary Friendship
by Shannon Earle
illustrated by Renato Alarc√£o
Charlesbridge

Whose Egg Is That?
by Darrin Lunde
illustrated by Kelsey Oseid
Charlesbridge

by Sneed B. Collard III
illustrated by Howard Gray
Charlesbridge

Extra Life: The Astonishing Story of How We Doubled Our Lifespan
Adapted for Young Readers
by Steven Johnson
Viking Books for Young Readers

The Gentle Genius of Trees
 by Philip Bunting
Crown Books for Young Readers