February 21, 2018

The Advocate's Toolbox

Nonfiction Series Update

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Preschool to Grade 4

Borgert-Spaniol, Megan. Baby Foxes. ISBN 9781626172159; ISBN 9781681030708.

––––. Baby Giraffes. ISBN 9781626172166; ISBN 9781681030715.

––––. Baby Hedgehogs. ISBN 9781626172173; ISBN 9781681030722.

––––. Baby Hippos. ISBN 9781626172180; ISBN 9781681030739.

––––. Baby Koalas. ISBN 9781626172197; ISBN 9781681030746.

––––. Baby Squirrels. ISBN 9781626172203; ISBN 9781681030753.

ea vol: 24p. (Super Cute!). bibliog. glossary. index. photos. Bellwether. 2015. lib. ed. $22.95. ebk. $22.95.

K-Gr 2 –Baby (animals) on board! These titles tackle the stately and majestic, the placid and slow moving, and even the small and spiny. The text is short and sweet, with brief statements about each creature’s appearance at birth and parenting habits, and the accompanying photos will have readers rapt. As with previous titles, accurate, though potentially difficult, vocabulary terms are used (and defined). While there may be limited room on the shelves for additional animal titles, these selections are solid contenders.

Clapper, Nikki Bruno. Learning About Plagiarism. ISBN 9781491460498.

––––. Learning About Primary Sources. ISBN 9781491460504.

ea vol: 24p. (Media Literacy for Kids). further reading. glossary. index. websites. Capstone. 2015. lib. ed. $24.65.

K-Gr 2 –These slim, spare texts make media literacy understandable and relevant—a tall order when it comes to addressing such a young audience. The author effectively conveys each lesson in simple but age-appropriate language, asking readers how they would feel if a friend passed a poem of theirs off as his own in Plagiarism and employing visual examples in Primary Sources. It’s never too early to establish awareness of sources when doing research, and these offerings do the job nicely.

Dell, Pamela. Apache Resistance: Causes and Effects of Geronimo’s Campaign. ISBN 9781491448366.

––––. Last Battle: Causes and Effects of the Massacre at Wounded Knee. ISBN 9781491448359.

ea vol: 32p. (Cause and Effect: American Indian History). further reading. glossary. index. maps. notes. websites. Capstone. 2015. lib. ed. $26.65.

Gr 3-5 –Examining crucial moments in American Indian history, these installments start off with a brief description before providing comprehensible and detailed context. The organization is sound: bold headings make the causes and effect clear, while the maps and visuals further enrich the reading experience. The use of quotes from relevant historical figures is an additional plus. These are strong options for those looking to demonstrate the complexities of history in an approachable, user-friendly way.

Hirsch, Rebecca E. American Alligators: Armored Roaring Reptiles. ISBN 9781467779845.

––––. Boa Constrictors: Prey-Crushing Reptiles. ISBN 9781467779814.

––––. Galápagos Tortoises: Long-Lived Giant Reptiles. ISBN 9781467779821.

––––. King Cobras: Hooded Venomous Reptiles. ISBN 9781467779838.

––––. Komodo Dragons: Deadly Hunting Reptiles. ISBN 9781467779777.

––––. Leatherback Sea Turtles: Ancient Swimming Reptiles. ISBN 9781467779807.

––––. Panther Chameleons: Color-Changing Reptiles. ISBN 9781467779784.

––––. Tuataras: Dinosaur-Era Reptiles. ISBN 9781467779791.

ea vol: 32p. (Comparing Animal Traits). bibliog. chart. ebook available. further reading. glossary. index. maps. photos. websites. Lerner. Oct. 2015. lib. ed. $26.65.

Gr 3-5 –Students can put their critical thinking skills to the test with these well-designed and accessible titles that make comparisons among different reptiles. Starting off with a quick overview of its subject, each book goes on to compare the highlighted animal to eight other related creatures, touching on standard topics such as diet, habitat, and behavior. Featuring a few charts and some eye-catching photographs, these selections are solid contenders in a saturated field.

Murray, Julie. Birds. ISBN 9781629708980; ISBN 9781629709529. LC 2014958552.

––––. Cats. ISBN 9781629708997; ISBN 9781629709536. LC 2014958422.

––––. Dogs. ISBN 9781629709000; ISBN 9781629709543. LC 2014958423.

––––. Fish. ISBN 9781629709017; ISBN 9781629709550. LC 2014958420.

––––. Hamsters. ISBN 9781629709024; ISBN 9781629709567. LC 2014958424.

––––. Hermit Crabs. ISBN 9781629709031; ISBN 9781629709574. LC 2014958425.

ea vol: 24p. (Family Pets). glossary. index. photos. websites. Abdo Kids. 2015. Tr. $27.07. ebk. $27.07.

PreS-Gr 1 –Kids asking themselves the age-old question “What pet should I get?” will find some light guidance in these sweet additions. As with previous ABDO animal sets (“Dogs” and “Cats”) for the youngest readers, these titles are light on text and fairly general, addressing some of the high points of owning each pets and duties that pet owners will have to take on. Birds identifies a couple different types (parakeets and parrots), but Fish includes photos of different species without labeling them; similarly, different breeds of cats and dogs aren’t discussed. Sweet, additional options.

Murray, Julie. Chickens. ISBN 9781 629709383; ISBN 9781629709598. LC 2014960330.

––––. Cows. ISBN 9781629709390; ISBN 9781629709604. LC 2014960331.

––––. Goats. ISBN 9781629709406; ISBN 9781629709611. LC 2014960329.

––––. Horses. ISBN 9781629709413; ISBN 9781629709628. LC 2014960328.

––––. Pigs. ISBN 9781629709420; ISBN 9781629709635. LC 2014960327.

––––. Sheep. ISBN 9781629709437; ISBN 9781629709642. LC 2014960326.

ea vol: 24p. (Farm Animals). glossary. index. photos. websites. Abdo Kids. 2015. Tr. $27.07. ebk. $27.07.

PreS-Gr 1 –In the same vein as ABDO’s other animal and pet series aimed at the very young, these books briefly describe their subject: physical appearance, names for male and female animals, sounds they make, what they eat, and why they are useful to humans. Bright, eye-catching photographs support the text well, and snazzy page borders add to their appeal.

Thomas, Isabel. Experiments with Forces. ISBN 9781410979216.

––––. Experiments with Magnets. ISBN 9781410979223.

––––. Experiments with Materials. ISBN 9781410979230.

––––. Experiments with Plants. ISBN 9781410979247.

ea vol: 32p. (Read and Experiment). further reading. glossary. index. photos. websites. Heinemann-Raintree. 2015. lib. ed. $29.99.

Gr 2-4 –When it comes to science, no textbook can replace diving right in and getting your hands dirty. These titles give readers an easy and safe way to do so. Each volume features four chapters, each of which concludes with experiments that offer kids a chance to try out what they’ve just learned. The design is clear and attractive, and useful sidebars (“Real World Science,” “Is It Fair?”) provide context for aspiring scientists.

Grades 5 & Up

Gish, Melissa. Bighorn Sheep. ISBN 9781608185641.

––––. Crabs. ISBN 9781608185658.

––––. Falcons. ISBN 9781608185665.

––––. Iguanas. ISBN 9781608185672.

––––. Jellyfish. ISBN 9781608185689.

––––. Meerkats. ISBN 9781608185696.

––––. Raccoons. ISBN 9781608185702.

––––. Storks. ISBN 9781608185719.

ea vol: 48p. (Living Wild). bibliog. glossary. index. maps. photos. reprods. Creative Education. 2015. lib. ed. $38.50.

Gr 4-8 –While there are no shortage of titles on animals, this excellent series continues to distinguish itself from the herd. Stunning photographs, sidebars with intriguing facts, and engaging prose are hallmarks of this set, and the chapters describing each creature’s role in folklore or pop culture add to the fun (The Little Mermaid’s Sebastian and The Lion King’s Timon make appearances in, respectively, Crabs and Meerkats).

Green, Sara. Apple. ISBN 9781626172869; ISBN 9781681031064.

––––. Coca-Cola. ISBN 9781626172876; ISBN 9781681031071.

––––. Crayola. ISBN 9781626172883; ISBN 9781681031088.

––––. Target. ISBN 9781626172890; ISBN 9781681031095.

ea vol: 24p. (Brands We Know). bibliog. glossary. index. photos. Bellwether. 2015. lib. ed. $22.95. ebk. $22.95.

Gr 4-6 –Previous titles in this series tackled kid-friendly corporations, including LEGO, Disney, and Hershey’s, and these latest employ the same engaging writing, strong graphics and design, and excellent information. Each volume covers history, fun facts, and more. While Coca-Cola briefly discusses concerns that the company promotes an unhealthy lifestyle, overall these works accentuate the positive, detailing the socially conscious decisions the corporations have made, such as Crayola going green by using a solar farm to produce crayons and markers. Delightful and informative selections.

Parks, Peggy. How Serious a Problem Is Synthetic Drug Use? ISBN 9781601528841; ISBN 9781601528858.

Wilcox, Christine. How Is Online Pornography Affecting Society? ISBN 9781601528827; ISBN 9781601528834.

ea vol: 96p. (In Controversy). further reading. index. notes. photos. ReferencePoint Pr. 2015. lib. ed. $28.95. ebk. $28.95.

Gr 7 Up –This long-running, well-researched series continues to tackle timely and relevant subjects. While these are potentially sensational topics, the writing is, as always, matter-of-fact and the perspective balanced. Chapter headings are phrased in the form of questions (“What Are the Dangers of Synthetic Drug Use?”), and occasional photos, sidebars, and pull-out quotes add to the appeal. Robust choices for those seeking options for current events units or materials to spark debate.

Marcovitz, Hal. Life During the Renaissance. ISBN 9781601528025; ISBN 9781601528032.

Nardo, Don. Life in Ancient Greece. ISBN 9781601528049; ISBN 9781601528056.

ea vol: 96p. (Living History). further reading. glossary. index. maps. photos. reprods. websites. ReferencePoint Pr. 2015. lib. ed. $28.95. ebk. $28.95.

Gr 8 Up –Emphasizing the experiences of ordinary people, these titles focus on subjects such as education, religion, and occupations. Details about the less glamorous side of life (Greek table manners, the Black Plague) will appeal to more reluctant historians. While the visuals (maps, photographs, reproductions) aren’t the strongest, the books are well written and draw heavily on primary sources, making them solid additions to collections.

Mattern, Joanne. Careers in Finance. ISBN 9781601528100; ISBN 9781601528117.

Sheen, Barbara. Careers in Education. ISBN 9781601528087; ISBN 9781601528094.

––––. Careers in Sales and Marketing. ISBN 9781601528124; ISBN 9781601528131.

ea vol: 80p. (Exploring Careers). index. photos. ReferencePoint Pr. 2015. lib. ed. $28.95. ebk. $28.95.

Gr 9 Up –Students who are past asking, “What will I be when I grow up?” and who are instead wondering how to translate existing interests into marketable skills, would do well to consult this solid series. Each detailed title presents specific opportunities in a different field, offering a job description, the necessary skills and background, working conditions, salary, and a list of resources. Education, for instance, covers positions such as early childhood educator, education administrator, library media specialist, and school counselor. Interviews with individuals in these fields add a personal touch. Strong selections for students trying to winnow down their options.

Murray, Laura K. The Story of AT&T. ISBN 9781608185566.

––––. The Story of Berkshire Hathaway. ISBN 9781608185573.

––––. The Story of Lululemon. ISBN 9781608185580.

––––. The Story of Southwest Airlines. ISBN 9781608185597.

ea vol: 48p. (Built for Success). glossary. index. photos. Creative Education. 2015. lib. ed. $38.50.

Gr 6-10 –This attractively designed series continues with some new offerings. The information is strong, and there’s a cheerful tone running through the books, from the engaging and lively writing to the choice of photographs The books also touch on the importance of social consciousness; Lululemon discusses the controversy the corporation has stirred up because of its labor practices and its failure to serve women of all sizes, while AT&T considers the strides the company has made in terms of diverse hiring.

This article was published in School Library Journal's September 2015 issue. Subscribe today and save up to 35% off the regular subscription rate.

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