Storytellers, Animals, and History Makers | Nonfiction Series Update

These updates to existing nonfiction series cover a variety of topics, from comic book art to Spanish language titles on California history—there is something for everyone.


Anderson, Zachary. La Misión de La Purísima Concepción (Discovering Mission La Purísima Concepción). ISBN 9781502611550; ISBN 9781502611659; ISBN 9781502611451.

––––. La Misión de Nuestra Señora de la Soledad (Discovering Mission Nuestra Señora de la Soledad). ISBN 9781502611376; ISBN 9781502611383; ISBN 9781502611369.

––––. La Misión de San Antonio de Padua (Discovering Mission San Antonio de Padua). ISBN 9781502611413; ISBN 9781502611390; ISBN 9781502611406.

Buckley, Jeanette. La Misión de San Juan Capistrano (Discovering Mission San Juan Capistrano). ISBN 9781502611598; ISBN 9781502611604; ISBN 9781502611420.

––––. La Misión de San Luis Obispo de Tolosa (Discovering Mission San Luis Obispo de Tolosa). ISBN 9781502611581; ISBN 9781502611628; ISBN 9781502611444.

––––. La Misión de San Luis Rey de Francia (Discovering Mission San Luis Rey de Francia). ISBN 9781502611826; ISBN 9781502611925; ISBN 9781502611697.

Cantillo, Oscar. La Misión de San Fernando Rey de España (Discovering Mission San Fernando Rey de España). ISBN 9781502611512; ISBN 9781502611680; ISBN 9781502611499.

––––. La Misión de San Francisco de Asís (Discovering Mission San Francisco de Asís). ISBN 9781502611802; ISBN 9781502611864; ISBN 9781502611734.

––––. La Misión de San Francisco de Solano (Discovering Mission San Francisco de Solano). ISBN 9781502611840; ISBN 9781502611895; ISBN 9781502611710.

Connelly, Jack. La Misión de San Miguel Arcángel (Discovering Mission San Miguel Arcángel). ISBN 9781502611574; ISBN 9781502611611; ISBN 9781502611437.

––––. La Misión de San Rafael Arcángel (Discovering Mission San Rafael Arcángel). ISBN 9781502611796; ISBN 9781502611857; ISBN 9781502611727.

––––. La Misión de Santa Bárbara (Discovering Mission Santa Bárbara). ISBN 9781502611536; ISBN 9781502611635; ISBN 9781502611475.

Hamilton, Sam. La Misión de San Buenaventura (Discovering Mission San Buenaventura). ISBN 9781502611543; ISBN 9781502611666; ISBN 9781502611482.

––––. La Misión de San Carlos Borroméo del Río Carmelo (Discovering Mission San Carlos Borromeo del Río Carmelo). ISBN 9781502611321; ISBN 9781502611352; ISBN 9781502611314.

––––. La Misión de San Diego de Alcalá (Discovering Mission San Diego de Alcalá). ISBN 9781502611529; ISBN 9781502611673; ISBN 9781502611505.

Nuñes, Sofía. La Misión de Santa Clara de Asís (Discovering Mission Santa Clara de Asís). ISBN 9781502611789; ISBN 9781502611888; ISBN 9781502611819.

––––. La Misión de Santa Cruz (Discovering Mission Santa Cruz). ISBN 9781502611765; ISBN 9781502611918; ISBN 9781502611758.

––––. La Misión de Santa Inés (Discovering Mission Santa Inés). ISBN 9781502611567; ISBN 9781502611642; ISBN 9781502611468.

Stevens, Madeline. La Misión de San Gabriel Arcángel (Discovering Mission San Gabriel Arcángel). ISBN 9781502611833; ISBN 9781502611901; ISBN 9781502611703.

––––. La Misión de San José (Discovering Mission San José). ISBN 9781502611772; ISBN 9781502611871; ISBN 9781502611741.

––––. La Misión de San Juan Bautista (Discovering Mission San Juan Bautista). ISBN 9781502611338; ISBN 9781502611345; ISBN 9781502611307.

ea vol: tr. from English by Christina Green. 48p. (Las misiones de California (The Missions of California). chron. further reading. glossary. index. maps. photos. reprods. websites. Cavendish Square. 2016. Tr $31.36. pap. $12.95. ebk. $31.36.

Gr 3-6 –The Spanish editions of these in-depth explorations of the missions established by the Spanish government in Northern California from 1769–1823 are competent selections for reports and research at the upper elementary level. The series gives an overview of both the positives and negatives of the project: from the adverse effects of Spanish colonization and religious proselytizing of the Native Americans to the contributions to art and history. The design doesn’t vary much from volume to volume, but the specifics of each location is well-integrated within the text and illustrations throughout. Extensive back matter makes this a good choice for Spanish-language students, especially for colonization and California history courses.

Bodden, Valerie. Chameleons. ISBN 9781608186099; ISBN 9781628322156; ISBN 9781566606561.

––––. Frogs. ISBN 9781608186112; ISBN 9781628322170; ISBN 9781566606585.

––––. Skunks. ISBN 9781608186143; ISBN 9781628322200; ISBN 9781566606615.

––––. Walruses. ISBN 9781608186150; ISBN 9781628322217; ISBN 9781 566606622.

Riggs, Kate. Antelopes. ISBN 9781608186082; ISBN 9781628322149; ISBN 9781566606554.

––––. Chimpanzees. ISBN 9781608186105; ISBN 9781628322163; ISBN 9781 566606578.

––––. Hippopotamuses. ISBN 9781 608186129; ISBN 9781628322187; ISBN 9781566606592.

––––. Octopuses. ISBN 9781608186136; ISBN 9781628322194; ISBN 9781 566606608.

ea vol: 24p. (Amazing Animals). bibliog. index. photos. websites. Creative Education. Feb. 2016. Tr $19.95. pap. $8.99. ebk. $28.50.

K-Gr 3 –This long-running series, known for its gorgeous, eye-catching photos; elegant layout; and spare yet effective text, returns with new installations that introduce kids to some fascinating creatures. Bodden and Riggs cover the basics—behavior, appearance, location, and young—and each volume ends with a brief myth or legend about the animal in question. The photographs elevate these offerings above the rest of the pack: images from striking angles that depict these beasts in movement will entice children. Browsers and those making their first forays into nonfiction will enjoy these gentle overviews.

Bowman, Chris. Lois Lowry. ISBN 9781626173408; ISBN 9781681031651.

––––. Maurice Sendak. ISBN 9781626173415; ISBN 9781681031668.

Leaf, Christina. Kate DiCamillo. ISBN 9781626173392; ISBN 9781681031644.

––––. Rick Riordan. ISBN 9781626173422; ISBN 9781681031675.

ea vol: 24p. (Children’s Storytellers). bibliog. chart. further reading. glossary. index. maps. photos. websites. Bellwether. 2016. Tr $22.95. ebk. $22.95.

K-Gr 3 –More well-known children’s book writers are tackled in this series that takes on current and classic authors alike. Previously called “worthwhile selections for younger readers” by SLJ, the set covers familiar ground: the authors’ childhoods, career paths, and best-known works. Photographs, pull-out quotes, and “Fun Fact” sidebars are interspersed throughout. While the writing is on the simplistic style and the offerings lack source notes, these are fun and attractive options for students interested in exploring their favorite authors.

Hansen, Grace. Amelia Earhart: Aviation Pioneer. ISBN 9781680801217; ISBN 9781680802337.

––––. Cesar Chavez: Latino American Civil Rights Activist. ISBN 9781680801224; ISBN 9781680802344.

––––. Eleanor Roosevelt: First Lady and Equal Rights Advocate. ISBN 9781680801231; ISBN 9781680802351.

––––. Ella Fitzgerald: American Jazz Singer. ISBN 9781680801248; ISBN 9781680802368.

––––. Harry Houdini: Illusionist and Stunt Performer. ISBN 9781680801255; ISBN 9781680802375.

––––. Rosa Parks: Activist for Equality. ISBN 9781680801262; ISBN 9781680802382.

ea vol: 24p. (History Maker Biographies). glossary. websites. ABDO. 2016. Tr $19.95. ebk. $32.95.

K-Gr 2 –Attractive photographs combine with simple text, resulting in nonfiction for the youngest readers. Each spread features two to four sentences of very brief information. Copious white space and a large font make the reading experience easy on budding readers, while the simple back matter will introduce students to nonfiction text features. These titles necessarily simplify complex topics—Rosa Parks also introduces the civil rights movement, for instance—but they are ideal for the target audience.

Hansen, Grace. Angel Sharks. ISBN 9781680801491; ISBN 9781680802610.

––––. Blacktip Reef Sharks. ISBN 9781680801507; ISBN 9781680802627.

––––. Blue Sharks. ISBN 9781680801514; ISBN 9781680802634.

––––. Bull Sharks. ISBN 9781680801521; ISBN 9781680802641.

––––. Nurse Sharks. ISBN 9781680801538; ISBN 9781680802658.

––––. Sand Tiger Sharks. ISBN 9781680801545; ISBN 9781680802665.

ea vol: 24p. (Sharks). glossary. websites. ABDO. 2016. Tr $19.954. ebk. $32.95.

K-Gr 2 –Is it safe to dive back into ABDO’s shark series for young readers? The concise, bite-size pieces of information and artful layout (full of striking images of some ominous looking creatures) will easily entice wildlife fans. Though the basics are covered, the books are on the general side (for instance, Sand Tiger Sharks never discusses just how big these animals get). However, these are attractive and fun offerings for the youngest nonfiction readers.

Hirsch, Rebecca E. Ruby-Throated Hummingbirds: Tiny Hovering Birds. ISBN 9781467795081.

––––. Snowy Owls: Stealthy Hunting Birds. ISBN 9781467795067.

Waxman, Laura Hamilton. Bald Eagles: Prey-Snatching Birds. ISBN 9781467795074.

––––. California Condors: Wide-Winged Soaring Birds. ISBN 9781467795128.

––––. Emperor Penguins: Antarctic Diving Birds. ISBN 9781467795050.

––––. Ostriches: Fast Flightless Birds. ISBN 9781467795098.

––––. Pileated Woodpeckers: Insect-Hunting Birds. ISBN 9781467795111.

––––. Toco Toucans: Big-Billed Tropical Birds. ISBN 9781467795104.

ea vol: 32p. (Comparing Animal Traits). further reading. glossary. index. photos. websites. Lerner. Apr. 2016. Tr $26.65.

Gr 3-5 –Students who enjoyed previous iterations of this set, which in the past covered reptiles and mammals, will be pleased to see these installations. Each title begins with a look at the bird in question and then makes comparisons on the basis of a variety of traits, such as habitat, range, diet, and more. The layout is inviting, and the clear and color photographs of birds in action will tempt budding ornithologists. Intriguing and effective additions.

Kennon, Caroline. Leonardo da Vinci in His Own Words. ISBN 9781482440768; ISBN 9781482440744; ISBN 9781482440775.

Machajewski, Sarah. Cesar Chavez in His Own Words. ISBN 9781482440607; ISBN 9781482440904; ISBN 9781482440614.

McDonnell, Julia. Harriet Tubman in Her Own Words. ISBN 9781482440676; ISBN 9781482440669; ISBN 9781482440690.

Nagelhout, Ryan. Neil Armstrong in His Own Words. ISBN 9781482440805; ISBN 9781482440782; ISBN 9781482440812.

Rajczak, Kristen. Laura Ingalls Wilder in Her Own Words. ISBN 9781482440720; ISBN 9781482440706; ISBN 9781482440737.

Shea, John. Eleanor Roosevelt in Her Own Words. ISBN 9781482440645; ISBN 9781482440621; ISBN 9781482440652.

ea vol: 32p. (Eyewitness to History). chart. further reading. glossary. index. maps. photos. reprods. Gareth Stevens. 2016. Tr $26.60. pap. $10.50. ebk. $26.60.

Gr 3-5 –These new installations in the series SLJ previously called “attractive and substantive” are sure to please students seeking accessible yet informative materials for report writing, as well as educators. Brief quotes from diary entries and letters appear throughout, providing context (for instance, Harriet Tubman offers information on the devastating effects of slavery) and making important historical figures accessible. Maps and reproductions, as well as the sepia pages, which give the volumes an appropriately old-fashioned air, add to the tone. Engaging and effective.

Micklos, John, Jr. A Primary Source History of the Gold Rush. ISBN 9781491484869; ISBN 9781491484906.

––––. A Primary Source History of the U.S. Civil War. ISBN 9781491484890; ISBN 9781491484937.

––––. A Primary Source History of the War of 1812. ISBN 9781491484883; ISBN 9781491484920.

Webb, Sarah Powers. A Primary Source History of the American Revolution. ISBN 9781491484876; ISBN 9781491484913.

ea vol: 32p. (Primary Source History). bibliog. glossary. index. Capstone. 2016. Tr$19.99. pap. $7.95.

Gr 3-6 –The ability to make sense of and evaluate primary sources is an important one. These updates to a series that SLJ once called “strong options for those introducing the concept of primary source analysis” are ideal additions. Previous offerings took on the dust bowl, slavery, U.S. independence, and westward expansion. With quotes from letters, speeches, and newspaper articles presented in brown and italicized, these offerings are sure to fit the bill for students doing research on U.S. history.

Murray, Laura K. Fighter Jets. ISBN 9781608186631; ISBN 9781628322484; ISBN 9781566606776.

––––. Retrievers. ISBN 9781608186648; ISBN 9781628322491; ISBN 9781566606783.

––––. Tanks. ISBN 9781608186655; ISBN 9781628322507; ISBN 9781566606790.

––––. Terriers. ISBN 9781608186662; ISBN 9781628322514; ISBN 9781566606967.

Riggs, Kate. Armored Vehicles. ISBN 9781608186594; ISBN 9781628322446; ISBN 9781566606738.

––––. Battleships. ISBN 9781608186600; ISBN 9781628322453; ISBN 9781566606745.

––––. Beagles. ISBN 9781608186617; ISBN 9781628322460; ISBN 9781566606752.

––––. Bulldogs. ISBN 9781608186624; ISBN 9781628322477; ISBN 9781566606769.

ea vol: 24p. (Seedlings). bibliog. diags. glossary. index. photos. websites. Creative Education. Feb. 2016. Tr $19.95. pap. $7.99. ebk. $28.50.

K-Gr 2 –The highlight of these short and simple books are the crisp and engaging photographs. Dog lovers will be particularly pleased to pore over the “aww-inducing” pups featured in Beagles, Bulldogs, Retrievers, and Terriers. Each canine book follows the same pattern: the opening line greets the breed (“Hello, Retrievers!”) and is followed by one or two sentences on each page that offers basic facts (“Retrievers are large dogs”; Chesapeake Bay retrievers can weigh 80 pounds!”). The military vehicle entries feature a similarly straightforward and appealing design and format, though the content is markedly less cuddly (“Soldiers inside the vehicle can fire weapons.”, “It drives over rough ground. It tries to keep people safe.”) The simple nonfiction elements are a nice plus; each title includes a table of contents, a labeled diagram, a glossary, a “Read More” and “Websites” section, and an index. Solid offerings to introduce young learners to nonfiction.

West, David. Armored Dinosaurs. ISBN 9781508190165; ISBN 9781508190141; ISBN 9781508190172.

––––. Duck-Billed Dinosaurs. ISBN 9781508190202; ISBN 9781508190189; ISBN 9781508190219.

––––. Frilled Dinosaurs. ISBN 9781508190240; ISBN 9781508190226; ISBN 9781508190257.

––––. Giant Meat-Eating Dinosaurs. ISBN 9781508190288; ISBN 9781508190264; ISBN 9781508190295.

––––. Long-Necked Dinosaurs. ISBN 9781508190325; ISBN 9781508190301; ISBN 9781508190332.

––––. Plated Dinosaurs. ISBN 9781508190363; ISBN 9781508190349; ISBN 9781499480344.

––––. Prehistoric Flying Reptiles. ISBN 9781508190394; ISBN 9781508190370; ISBN 9781508190400.

––––. Prehistoric Mammals. ISBN 9781508190431; ISBN 9781508190417; ISBN 9781508190448.

––––. Prehistoric Sea Reptiles. ISBN 9781508190479; ISBN 9781508190455; ISBN 9781508190486.

––––. Sharp-Clawed Dinosaurs. ISBN 9781508190516; ISBN 9781508190493; ISBN 9781508190523.

ea vol: 24p. (Prehistoric Animals). chron. glossary. illus. Windmill. 2016. Tr $23.60. pap. $8.25. ebk. $23.60.

Gr 2-5 –Dinophiles, rejoice! This new set explores not only dinosaurs but prehistoric mammals and reptiles that aren’t strictly classified as dinosaurs. Each book devotes a spread to a different creature, with a clear image and simple text. The author is clear to note that scientists can only speculate on certain pieces of information. Though the content is a bit spare for report writers seeking an in-depth look at specific creatures, these volumes are attractive introductions that should easily attract browsers.

Middle to High School

Marcovitz, Hal. Comic Book Art. 80p. (Discovering Art). bibliog. diag. illus. index. notes. photos. ReferencePoint. Mar. 2016. Tr $28.95. ISBN 9781601529442; ebk. $39.95. ISBN 9781601529459.

Gr 6 Up –The latest in this art-related series (previous titles include Anime and Manga, Impressionism, Animation, Sculpture, Graphic Art) takes on a relevant—and wildly popular—topic: comics. The title begins with an examination of composition and the language of sequential art. Marcovitz then explores the history of comic books and superheroes, looking at pivotal characters such as Superman and Captain America and the rise of darker, more complex themes within comics. The author ends with a look at digitization. A couple of brief pages are devoted to the portrayal of women and the issue of gender. Photos and sidebars break up the dense text. A comprehensive exploration of the format for report writers and fans.

Schmidt, Debra. Careers in Sports and Fitness. ISBN 9781601528148; ISBN 9781601528155.

Sheen, Barbara. Careers in Architecture and Construction. ISBN 9781601528063; ISBN 9781601528070.

ea vol: 80p. (Exploring Careers). chart. index. photos. websites. ReferencePoint. Mar. 2016. Tr $28.95. ebk. $39.95.

Gr 8 Up –These titles provide solid information to teens looking to turn their passions into viable professions. The books examine the broad array of choices in fast-growing occupations in the United States—sports and fitness and architecture and construction—and break down several different jobs in that field. Schmidt highlights the positions of athletic trainer, fitness instructor, physical education teacher, reactional therapist, sports dietician, sporting events planner, and sports medicine physician. Sheen examines the occupations of architect, carpenter, civil engineer, construction manager, electrician, landscape architect, plumber, and surveyor. A chapter is devoted to each job and describes what the work entails, the education requirements, and an estimated salary range. Most importantly, the texts feature quotes from interviews with real practitioners as well as useful projections for growth in each position. The succinct presentations include a smattering of full-color photos, helpful “At a Glance” sidebars, and a listing of professional organizations and unions at the end of each chapter. Accessible and user-friendly additions to most high school libraries.

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