Here are a few of our newest non-fiction titles for kids. Different formats, different subjects, different styles—but all great books to read or share at home or at school. So, in no particular order:
A Young Dancer: The Life of an Ailey Student. By Valerie Gladstone, photographs by Jose Ivey
Iman is a student at the prestigious Ailey School in New York City. Passionate about dance, she also enjoys drawing, playing music, and hanging out with her friends. Follow Iman as she warms up at the barre, practices violin, and gets ready for a performance with her fellow students. This informative picture book provides fascinating insight into the world of dance through the voice of one very talented young performer. Appropriate for dancers of all ages.
Saving the Baghdad Zoo: A True Story of Hope and Heroes. By Kelly Milner Halls with Major William Sumner.
When U. S. Army Captain William Sumner was asked to check out the state of the Baghdad Zoo not long after the destruction of the city, he found it devastated. Hundreds of animals were missing, and those remaining were in desperate need. Together with an international team of zoologists, veterinarians, conservationists, and dedicated animal lovers, Captain Sumner worked tirelessly to save the neglected—but tenacious—animals of Baghdad.
Saving the Baghdad Zoo tells the poignant stories of these remarkable animals. Meet the abandoned lions who roamed an empty palace with no food or drink; the camel, Lumpy, who survived transport through sniper fire; the tigers, Riley and Hope, who traveled 7,000 miles from home; and many more. Appropriate to animal lovers grades four and up; a warning though, some of the stories are tough to read, and while most have happy endings, not all of them do.
Benjamin and the Silver Goblet. By Jacqueline Jules, illustrated by Natascia Ugliano
The story of Joseph and the Coat of Many Colors is fairly well known; a famous musical even set the story to music. Not as well known, however, is the story of Benjamin, Joseph’s youngest brother. Told through the eyes of young Benjamin, this is the story of betrayal and redemption, of the brothers journey to Egypt, and their encounter with Joseph, once sold as a slave by his older brothers, now Governor of Egypt. To test his family, he accuses Benjamin of theft. The story of Joseph’s test, Benjamin’s confusion, and the dramatic reunion of the brothers will capture the imagination of readers of all ages.
Ask Dr. K Fisher about Planet Earth. Written by Claire Llewellyn, illustrated by Kate Sheppard.
Animal agony columnist extraordinaire, Dr. K. Fisher answers questions for and dispenses advice to all sorts of creatures as they write into his nest about their science concerns. In this collection, Dr. K. sympathetically responds on the subject of planet earth—about earthquakes, tides, climate, and all the things the animals observe about their surroundings. Through postcard inquiries, engaging artwork, and plenty of core knowledge, Ask Dr. K. Fisher is a hilarious and innovative approach to learning the Earth’s geography. Try other books in the series too! Recommended for ages 4 to 10.
Survival at 40 Below. By Debbie S. Miller, illustrations by Jon Van Zyle.
Popular Alaskan author Debbie Miller (who visited Weston schools last year) has a great new addition to her titles with this book! As temperatures drop and the snow deepens, the animals that make the tundra home must ready themselves for survival. Follow the arctic ground squirrel as it begins the cycle of sleeping, supercooling, and warming that will occur at least a dozen times before spring arrives. See how the wood frog partially freezes itself in hibernation beneath layers of snow, or how the woolly bear caterpillars makes it through the winter months with a special antifreeze substance that prevents ice from forming in their bodies. Then when the temperatures finally rise and the snow begins to melt, these creatures emerge and the pulse of life returns to the arctic. Recommended for kids grades 2 to 5, or anyone who wants to know more about Alaska and life in the Arctic regions.
Autism and Me: Sibling Stories. By Ouisie Shapiro, photographs by Steven Vote
“If you see a kid with autism on the street, don’t yell at her if she’s doing something wrong. She can’t help it. Autism is really challenging,” explains Christian, who tells about life with his sister, Mary Gwen, a beautiful girl who loves to swim. In these moving essays, Christian and many other kids tell what it’s like to live with siblings who have autism. Sometimes they can’t talk much. Sometimes they have tantrums. It can be tough for a family, but there are happy surprises, too. “Autism has helped us to become a better family,” adds Christian. “It teaches us patience and understanding.” Ouisie Shapiro’s inspiring book shows how children – and all of us – can grow in wisdom, acceptance, and love. Steven Vote’s warm photos capture the rich emotional life of these amazing families. Appropriate for ages 8 to 12, or for anyone who knows or goes to school with a child with autism.
And one last title, for parents:
The Web and Parents: Are You Tech Savvy? By Judy Hauser
Don’t know a blog from a Wiki? MySpace from Facebook? An RSS feed from an instant message? The Web and Parents provides a brief introduction to these and other aspects of Web 2.0, including podcasts, forums, graphic generators, photo storage and file-sharing sites, and more. Parents will get a sense of what each tool or resource does, how they themselves might use them—lots of grownups do, really—and the role each plays in current K-12 education and in the lives of school-age children. For parents who want to raise their comfort level with today’s Web capabilities, for those who want to enhance their children’s Internet usage in and out of school, and for those who want to be prepared for potential dark alleys in the online world, this book is a welcome new resource.