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September 1, 2014

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Book Review: Grades 5 & Up Nonfiction

SLJ1402w BK NonFic5Up Book Review: Grades 5 & Up Nonfiction

RedReviewStar Book Review: Grades 5 & Up NonfictionGevinson, Tavi, ed. Rookie Yearbook Two. 352p. illus. photos. reprods. Drawn & Quarterly. 2013. pap. $29.95. ISBN 9781770461482.

Gr 7 Up –Brimming with the social and cultural insights that made the first volume so remarkable, Rookie Yearbook Two anthologizes the best of the online magazine’s June 2012–May 2013 offerings, and it does so with a style, wit, and panache that surpass the original. Gevinson has produced a vibrant, playful chronicle of today’s youth that beautifully captures their minds and spirits in lavish detail. Filled with a dizzying amount of photographs, illustrations, and collages, the visual impact of the artwork and design is irresistible, providing the readers with an abundance of vintage cut-outs, pop art, and densely layered images to explore. The inclusion of extras, such as sticker pages and punch-out cards, add to the whimsy. If this was all that the Yearbook contained, it could easily be written off as inconsequential fluff, but the anthology is more than just eye candy: it contains smart, sassy, and shrewd articles and interviews that resonate. Whether examining standard teen fare such as “The Complete Guide to Kissing” and (un)popularity (“On the Outside Looking Out”) or interviewing iconic musicians like Carrie Brownstein and Morrissey, the writers, with their distinct voices and points-of-view, connect with their subjects and make them instantly relatable to their audience. Even the themed playlists that appear throughout the collection provide readers with musical touchstones that may stimulate further exploration. There is something for every reader here.–Audrey Sumser, Cuyahoga County Public Library, Mayfield, OH

RedReviewStar Book Review: Grades 5 & Up NonfictionPowell, Patricia Hruby. Josephine: The Dazzling Life of Josephine Baker. illus. by Christian Robinson. 104p. bibliog. further reading. Chronicle. Feb. 2014. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9781452103143. LC 2012030440.

Gr 5-8 –This charming biography invites readers to step inside the vibrant and spirited world of performer and civil rights advocate, Josephine Baker. Robinson’s paintings are as colorful and rich as Josephine Baker’s story, offering page after page of captivating and animated illustrations and rhythmic text, which is written in blank verse. In a few short and well-organized parts, readers learn the story of one of the world’s most well known female performers who danced and sang her way from the poor and segregated streets of St. Louis to the dazzling stages of Paris all the way to Carnegie Hall. Text and illustrations work in tandem to accurately document Josephine’s extraordinary life and the era in which she lived. Clear and lively descriptions of Josephine’s story play out creatively in the text, introducing readers to basic principles of poetic structure in storytelling and offering an accurate portrait of a woman who fought for racial equality and civil rights through her life’s passion: performance. Reluctant readers of nonfiction and poetry lovers alike will be drawn to this book’s musical, theatrical nature, making for a fun, enriching, and holistic reading experience. This unique and creative work is a first purchase.–Natalie Braham, Denver Public Library

 

RedReviewStar Book Review: Grades 5 & Up NonfictionSheinkin, Steve. The Port Chicago 50: Disaster, Mutiny, and the Fight for Civil Rights. 208p. bibliog. index. notes. photos. reprods. Roaring Brook. 2014. Tr $19.99. ISBN 9781596437968.

Gr 7 Up –In the summer of 1944, 50 sailors, all of them African American, were tried and convicted of mutiny by the U.S. Navy. They had refused to follow a direct order of loading dangerous rockets and munitions on ships bound for battle in the Pacific after an enormous explosion had killed more than 300 of their fellow sailors and other civilians working on the dock. At the heart of this story is the rampant racism that permeated the military at all levels, leaving minority sailors and soldiers to do the drudge work almost exclusively while their white counterparts served on the front lines. Through extensive research, Sheinkin effectively re-creates both the tense atmosphere at Port Chicago before and after the disaster as well as the events that led to the men’s refusal of this one particular order that they felt put them directly in harm’s way. Much of the tension in this account stems from the growing frustration that readers are meant to feel as bigotry and discrimination are encountered at every turn and at every level of the military. There is a wealth of primary-source material here, including interviews with the convicted sailors, court records, photographs, and other documents, all of which come together to tell a story that clearly had a huge impact on race relations in the military. This is a story that remains largely unknown to many Americans, and is one of the many from World War II about segregation and race that is important to explore with students. Abundant black-and-white photos, extensive source notes, and a thorough bibliography are included.–Jody Kopple, Shady Hill School, Cambridge, MA

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The following titles are reviewed in this month's print issue.
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Grades 5 & Up

Benedettelli, Daniele. The LEGO MINDSTORMS EV3 Laboratory: Build, Program, and Experiment with Five Wicked Cool Robots! 409p. chart. diag. illus. index. No Starch. 2013. pap. $34.95. ISBN 9781593275334. LC 2013030612.

Benoit, Peter. The Panama Canal. ISBN 9780531282052; ISBN 9780531276709. LC 2013002373.

Gregory, Josh. The Hunt for Bin Laden. ISBN 9780531282090; ISBN 9780531276747. LC 2013001358.

Mara, Wil. The Tiananmen Square Massacre. ISBN 9780531282076; ISBN 9780531276723. LC 2013000081.

ea vol: 64p. (Cornerstones of Freedom Series). chron. diag. further reading. glossary. illus. index. maps. photos. reprods. websites. Children’s. 2013. lib. ed. $30.00. pap. $8.95.

Eboch, Chris. Green Movement. ISBN 9781617838880; ISBN 9781624011580. LC 2013932969.

Perdew, Laura. Animal Rights Movement. 2013. ISBN 9781617838842; ISBN 9781624011542. LC 2013932964.

ea vol: 112p. (Essential Library of Social Change Series). bibliog. chart. chron. further reading. glossary. illus. index. notes. photos. reprods. websites. ABDO/Essential Library. 2013. lib. ed. $23.95. ebk. $23.95.

Fontichiaro, Kristin. Starting Your Own Blog. ISBN 9781624311338. LC 2013005607.

––––. Understanding and Creating Infographics. ISBN 9781624311260. LC 2013014828.

Matteson, Adrienne. Using Digital Maps. 2013. ISBN 9781624311291. LC 2013012084.

Truesdell, Ann. Learning and Sharing with a Wiki. ISBN 9781624311321. LC 2013008589.

ea vol: 24p. (Information Explorer Junior Series). diag. further reading. glossary. illus. index. maps. photos. reprods. websites. Cherry Lake. 2013. lib. ed. $28.50.

Gagne, Tammy. Crocodile. ISBN 9781 617839467; ISBN 9781624013102. LC 2013932510.

Ingalls, Ann. Piranha. ISBN 9781617839511; ISBN 978-1-62401-315-7. LC 2013932507.

Lanser, Amanda. Boa Constrictor. ISBN 978-1-61783-945-0; ISBN 978-1-62401-309-6. LC 2013932504.

Strother, Ruth. Tarantula. ISBN 9781 617839528; ISBN 9781624013164. LC 2013932511.

ea vol: 48p. (Great Predators Series). chart. diag. further reading. glossary. index. maps. photos. reprods. websites. ABDO. 2013. lib. ed. $22.95. ebk. $22.95.

Goldsmith, Connie. Traumatic Brain Injury: From Concussion to Coma. 88p. bibliog. chart. diag. further reading. glossary. illus. index. notes. photos. reprods. websites. Twenty-First Century. Feb. 2014. lib. ed. $34.60. ISBN 9781467713481; ebk. $25.95. ISBN 9781467725507. LC 2013001346.

Gordon, Stephen G. Expressing the Inner Wild: Tattoos, Piercings, Jewelry, and Other Body Art. 56p. bibliog. further reading. index. notes. photos. reprods. websites. Twenty-First Century. 2014. lib. ed. $33.26. ISBN 9781467714679; ebk. $24.95. ISBN 9781467725484.

Hall, Shyima with Lisa Wysocky. Hidden Girl: The True Story of a Modern-Day Child Slave. 232p. ebook available. S & S. 2014. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9781442481688. LC 2013011860.

House, Katherine L. The White House for Kids: A History of a Home, Office, and National Symbol. 144p. bibliog. chron. diag. illus. index. photos. reprods. score. websites. Chicago Review. Feb. 2014. Tr $16.95. ISBN 9781613744611.

Jackson, John, retel. Brahma Dreaming. illus. by Daniela Jaglenka Terrazzini. 239p. JJ Books. 2013. Tr $38.95. ISBN 9780956921284.

Jeffrey, Laura S. Amazing American Inventors of the 20th Century. ISBN 9780766041622. LC 2012024611.

Northrup, Mary. Pioneering American Computer Geniuses. ISBN 9780766041677. LC 2012024625.

Schraff, Anne. Daredevil American Heroes of Exploration and Flight. ISBN 9780 766041639. LC 2012024614.

ea vol: 112p. (Inspiring Collective Biographies Series). further reading. index. notes. photos. reprods. websites. Enslow. 2013. lib. ed. $31.93.

Kallen, Stuart A. K-Pop: Korea’s Musical Explosion. 64p. bibliog. further reading. glossary. index. notes. photos. reprods. websites. Twenty-First Century. Feb. 2014. lib. ed. $33.26. ISBN 9781467720427; ebk. $24.95. ISBN 9781467725491. LC 2013009293.

Kuklin, Susan. Beyond Magenta: Transgender Teens Speak Out. photos by Susan Kuklin. 192p. further reading. glossary. websites. Candlewick. Feb. 2014. RTE $22.99. ISBN 9780763656119; ebk. $22.99. ISBN 9780763670351. LC 2013943071.

Lanser, Amanda. Pope Francis: Spiritual Leader and Voice of the Poor. ISBN 9781617837043. LC 2013936859.

Llanas, Sheila. Jonas Salk: Medical Innovator and Polio Vaccine Developer. ISBN 9781617838965. LC 2013932924.

Rowell, Rebecca. Malala Yousafzai: Education Activist. ISBN 9781617838972. LC 2013933057.

ea vol: 112p. (Essential Lives Series). bibliog. chron. further reading. glossary. illus. index. notes. photos. websites. ABDO/Essential Library. 2013. lib. ed. $23.95.

Latta, Sara. Scared Stiff: Everything You Need to Know About 50 Famous Phobias. illus. by G. E. Gallas. 224p. appendix. further reading. index. notes. websites. Zest. Feb. 2014. pap. $12.99. ISBN 9781936976492.

McHugh, Maura. Twisted Fairy Tales. illus. by Jane Laurie. 144p. Barron’s. 2013. Tr $19.99. ISBN 9780764165887. LC 2012943308.

McMullan, James. Leaving China: An Artist Paints His World War II Childhood. illus. by James McMullan. 128p. maps. Algonquin. Mar. 2014. Tr $19.95. ISBN 9781616202552.

Nelson, Marilyn. How I Discovered Poetry. illus. by Hadley Hooper. 112p. Dial. 2014. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9780803733046.

Rhatigan, Joe. People You Gotta Meet Before You Grow Up: Get to Know the Movers and Shakers, Heroes and Hotshots in Your Hometown. 144p. illus. index. photos. reprods. Imagine. Feb. 2014. Tr $14.95. ISBN 9781623540043. LC 2013015435.

Sandler, Martin W. How the Beatles Changed the World. 192p. bibliog. further reading. index. photos. reprods. Walker. Feb. 2014. Tr $20.99. ISBN 9780802735652; lib. ed. $21.89. ISBN 9780802735669. LC 2013019876.

Van Vleet, Carmella. Explore Electricity!: With 25 Great Projects. illus. by Bryan Stone. 96p. (Explore Your World! Series). chron. diag. glossary. index. notes. websites. Nomad. 2013. pap. $13.95. ISBN 9781619301801.

Wallace, Rich & Sandra Neil Wallace. Babe Conquers the World: The Legendary Life of Babe Didrikson Zaharias. 272p. bibliog. index. notes. photos. reprods. websites. Calkins Creek. Mar. 2014. Tr $16.95. ISBN 9781590789810. LC 2013953471.

Warren, Rachel Meltzer. The Smart Girl’s Guide to Going Vegetarian. 240p. chart. illus. websites. Sourcebooks/Fire. 2014. pap. $12.99. ISBN 9781402284915.

Winters, Kay. Voices from the Oregon Trail. illus. by Larry Day. 48p. ebook available. Dial. Feb. 2014. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9780803737754. LC 201300034.

This article was published in School Library Journal's February 2014 issue. Subscribe today and save up to 35% off the regular subscription rate.

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