March 25, 2018

The Advocate's Toolbox

Integrating Nonfiction into Your Summer Booktalking | Nonfiction Notions

Nonfiction Notions columnist Jennifer Wharton recommends several recent nonfiction titles and offers simple ways to include them in summer reading booktalking.

Last of the Giants: The Rise and Fall of Earth’s Most Dominant Species by Jeff Campbell | SLJ Review

Campbell, Jeff. Last of the Giants: The Rise and Fall of Earth’s Most Dominant Species. 288p. bibliog. websites. Zest. 2016. pap. $13.99. ISBN 9781942186045. 

Gr 9 Up –The extinctions of giant (both in size and number) species at the mercy of nature and humanity turn out to be a fascinating and jarring lesson for our present. Chronicling the fates of aurochs, moa, passenger pigeons, and sea cows, alongside the unresolved destinies of today’s lions and tigers, […]

Review of the Day: Samurai Rising by Pamela S. Turner

Samurai Rising: The Epic Life of Minamoto Yoshitsune By Pamela S. Turner Illustrated by Gareth Hinds Charlesbridge $16.95 ISBN: 9781580895842 Ages 10 and up On shelves now When you read enough children’s books published in a single year, folks tend to believe that you’ve an ability to spot trends in the general literature. Trend-spotting is […]

Bridge to the Wild: Behind the Scenes at the Zoo by Caitlin O’Connell | SLJ Review

O’Connell, Caitlin. Bridge to the Wild: Behind the Scenes at the Zoo. photos by Caitlin O’Connell & Timothy Rodwell. 208p. ebook available. index. photos. HMH. Aug. 2016. Tr $18.99. ISBN 9780544277397. Pop 

Gr 4-7 –O’Connell takes readers through five days of behind-the-scenes access to a number of different exhibits while introducing some of the amazing inhabitants of Zoo Atlanta. There is so much more happening at a zoo than just the proper care and feeding of […]

The Bee Book | SLJ Review

The Bee Book. 224p. illus. index. maps. photos. DK. 2016. Tr $25. ISBN 9781465443830. 

Gr 5 Up –Half science lesson and half “how to” manual for beekeeping, this enticing book will keep readers occupied for days, if not longer. The first half discusses bee evolution and what goes on in a hive. Information on honey, beeswax, and colony predators and a brief discussion of colony collapse disorder are followed by discussion of the “waggle dance” and several pages […]

The Extraordinary Suzy Wright: A Colonial Woman on the Frontier by Teri Kanefield | SLJ Reveiw

Kanefield, Teri. The Extraordinary Suzy Wright: A Colonial Woman on the Frontier. 64p. bibliog. ebook available. index. maps. notes. reprods. Abrams. Mar. 2016. Tr $19.95. ISBN 9781419718663. 

Gr 4-8 –This biography of Suzy Wright is a welcome addition to the very crowded collection of early American history books and a rare example of a work that highlights a groundbreaking Colonial woman. At 16, Wright emigrated in 1714 from England to Pennsylvania with her family to escape […]

This Land Is Our Land: A History of American Immigration by Linda Barrett Osborne | SLJ Review

Osborne, Linda Barrett. This Land Is Our Land: A History of American Immigration. 128p. bibliog. chron. index. notes. photos. reprods. Abrams. Apr. 2016. Tr $24.95. ISBN 9781419716607.

Gr 6-10 –This exceptional work explores the history of American immigration from the early colonization of the continent to the contemporary discussions involving undocumented aliens. The so-called American melting pot has a history of exclusion, discrimination, and strife that has resulted in anti-immigration laws, segregation, and, in the case […]

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.

This article was published in School Library Journal's February 2016 issue. Subscribe today and save up to 35% off the regular subscription rate.

Our Bodies, Our Shelves | SLJ Spotlight

From sex and gender to reproductive rights, these recent offerings make complex topics accessible and ensure that teenagers will be informed about issues that affect them.

Hillary: Beyond the Headlines | SLJ Spotlight

Several recently reviewed books take a close look a presidential hopeful Hilary Clinton.

Ten Days a Madwoman: The Daring Life and Turbulent Times of the Original “Girl” Reporter Nellie Bly by Deborah Noyes | SLJ Review

Noyes, Deborah. Ten Days a Madwoman: The Daring Life and Turbulent Times of the Original “Girl” Reporter Nellie Bly. 144p. bibliog. further reading. illus. index. notes. photos. reprods. Viking. Feb. 2016. Tr $18.99. ISBN 9780803740174.

Gr 6 Up –Daring? Turbulent? Madwoman? When a book’s title includes those words, readers are bound to be inspired to open it. When the book is as well done as this one is, readers will stay through the last page. About […]

Beyond the Whodunit: Sarah Miller Takes a Deep Dive into the Infamous Lizzie Borden Case

Sarah Miller relates the challenges of researching and writing The Borden Murders and discusses the moments and discoveries that surprised her.

Urban Tribes: Native Americans in the City by Lisa Charleyboy and Mary Beth Leatherdale | SLJ Review

Charleyboy, Lisa & Mary Beth Leatherdale, eds. Urban Tribes: Native Americans in the City. 136p. bibliog. filmog. further reading. illus. photos. Annick. 2015. Tr $21.95. ISBN 9781554517510; pap. $14.95. ISBN 9781554517503.

Gr 7 Up –This sequel, of sorts, to Dreaming in Indian (Firefly, 2014) dispels stereotypes of what it means to be Indigenous in a postmillennial world. This compact book explodes with text and graphics that echo the lives of 40-plus Indigenous contributors, all of whom […]

When the Earth Shakes: Earthquakes, Volcanoes, and Tsunamis by Simon Winchester | SLJ Review

Winchester, Simon. When the Earth Shakes: Earthquakes, Volcanoes, and Tsunamis. 80p. diags. filmog. further reading. index. maps. photos. websites. Viking. 2015. Tr $18.99. ISBN 9780670785360.

Gr 5-8 –Winchester, a journalist and former geologist, examines earth-shaking phenomena. In the opening pages, the author discusses his experience on a university research team that confirmed the key scientific theory of continental drift; his powerful writing conveys the excitement of discovery. After this first chapter, descriptions of earthquakes, volcanos, and […]

Breakthrough!: How Three People Saved “Blue Babies” and Changed Medicine Forever by Jim Murphy | SLJ Review

Murphy, Jim. Breakthrough!: How Three People Saved “Blue Babies” and Changed Medicine Forever. 144p. bibliog. index. notes. photos. Clarion. Dec. 2015. Tr $18.99. ISBN 9780547821832.

Gr 4-7–Murphy tells the fascinating story of a partnership between three extraordinary individuals, which led to a groundbreaking heart surgery. Prior to 1944, 25 percent of babies born with Tetralogy of Fallot, a serious heart defect, died before they reached their first year; only 30 percent lived to the age of 10. Dr. […]

The Borden Murders: Lizzie Borden & the Trial of the Century by Sarah Miller | SLJ Review

MILLER, Sarah. The Borden Murders: Lizzie Borden & the Trial of the Century. 304p. bibliog. ebook available. index. notes. photos. Random/Schwartz & Wade Bks. Jan. 2016. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9780553498080; lib. ed. $20.99. ISBN 9780553498097.

Gr 7 Up–Lizzie Borden: the name alone conjures up the legendary story of a daughter who brutally hacked her parents to death with an axe. And yet, as this thoroughly researched account demonstrates, the story is far more complicated. Miller untangles a complex story of a […]

Treasury of Norse Mythology: Stories of Intrigue, Trickery, Love, and Revenge by Donna Jo Napoli | SLJ Review

NAPOLI, Donna Jo. Treasury of Norse Mythology: Stories of Intrigue, Trickery, Love, and Revenge. illus. by Christina Balit. 192p. bibliog. chron. index. maps. National Geographic. 2015. Tr $24.99. ISBN 9781426318870.
Gr 4-8–Witty, informative, and entertaining, this collection of Norse myths will satisfy the storyteller at heart, whether read aloud or silently. The stories are compiled in an attractive, oversize volume. Pages feature intricate borders and larger-than-life characters. At first glance, this title looks similar to other juvenile nonfiction compilations, and readers […]

Welcome to the Museum: Historium by Jo Nelson | SLJ Review

NELSON, Jo. Welcome to the Museum: Historium. illus. by Richard Wilkinson. 112p. chron. index. Candlewick/Big Picture. 2015. Tr $35. ISBN 9780763679842. LC 2014949929.
Gr 4-8–This museum-style exhibition of world culture goes beyond simply covering the Greek, Roman, and Egyptian worlds by encompassing southern African, Polynesian, and Hopewell cultures. The work begins with a general introduction to archaeology and provides a full-spread time line for reference. An index cites the museum locations of the depicted artifacts. The strength of this work is […]

The Prisoners of Breendonk by James Deem | SLJ Review

DEEM, James M. The Prisoners of Breendonk: Personal Histories from a World War II Concentration Camp. 352p. appendix. bibliog. illus. index. maps. notes. photos. reprods. HMH. 2015. Tr $18.99. ISBN 9780544096646.
Gr 8 Up–This title sheds light on the Nazi prison camp Breendonk. Never designated as a concentration camp, Breendonk (an old fort intended to defend Antwerp, Belgium, in World War I) was referred to as a “reception” camp. Regardless of its title, Breendonk held about 3,600 prisoners between 1940 and […]

Inside Biosphere 2 by Mary Kay Carson | SLJ Review

CARSON, Mary Kay. Inside Biosphere 2: Earth Science Under Glass. photos by Tom Uhlman. 80p. (Scientists in the Field). bibliog. charts. diags. glossary. index. maps. notes. websites. HMH. Oct. 2015. Tr $18.99. ISBN 9780544416642.
Gr 5-8–The latest installment in this stellar series examines Biosphere 2, a research facility in Oracle, AZ. Biosphere 2 began as an engineering marvel and an experiment in creating a self-sustaining, closed biological system that could support a team of humans for two years. In 1993, when […]