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Books categorized as 'Non-Fiction'

Mirror Mirror: A book of reversable verse

Mirror Mirror: A book of reversable verse by Marilyn Singer
Recommended for: Grades 2 and up

This is a collection of reverso: poems which can be read top to bottom, or bottom to top, each direction telling a different story from a different point of view.  Each poem is based on a well-known fairy tale.  For example, there is a poem called “In the Hood” which is told in one direction in the Wolf’s voice and in the other in Little Red Riding Hood’s voice.  These poems are amazingly creative and will spark your imagination.  Each poem is accompanied by a gorgeous, detailed color illustration which often tells a story of its own.

Reviewed by: Mrs. Waring

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Living Sunlight: How Plants Bring the Earth to Life

Living Sunlight:  How Plants Bring the Earth to Life by Molly Bang & Penny Chisholm
Recommended for: Grades K – 3

Molly Bang and Penny Chisholm have captured just enough  information and clearly presented it with the  simplicity needed for  children to understand photosynthesis.  The life cycle of sunlight, oxygen, carbon dioxide and sugar is presented in a beautifully illustrated story.  The story is a subtle way to teach children about our precious earth and it’s needed environmental balance.  Great book for Earth Day reading.

Reviewed by:  Mrs. Baumgartner

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Number of comments: 1


Claudette Colvin: Twice Toward Justice

Claudette Colvin: Twice Toward Justice by Phillip Hoose
Recommended for: Grades 5 and up

You’ve heard of Rosa Parks, the famous civil rights leader who refused to give up her seat on a Montgomery bus. But have you heard of Claudette Colvin? Months before Rosa did it, Claudette did. She was only 15 years old, and tired of grown-ups saying they wanted equality but doing nothing about it. Later, when she was still a teenager, Claudette was one of 4 plaintiffs in the landmark busing case Browder v. Gayle.
This is a fascinating and inspiring biography about a strong young woman who stood up for her rights. This book features photographs and informative sidebars that bring to life the beginnings of the civil rights movement in Montgomery, AL. I highly recommend this book to anyone who is learning about Martin Luther King Jr., Rosa Parks, or the civil rights movement in general.
Winner of the 2009 National Book Award for Young People’s Literature.

Reviewed by: Mrs. Waring

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James Houston’s Treasury of Inuit Legends

James Houston’s Treasury of Inuit Legends by James Houston
Recommended for: Grades 5-8

This collection includes 4 stories (each ranging from about 50 to almost 100 pages long): Tiktaliktak, The White Archer, Akavak, and Wolf Run. All 4 stories center on a young Inuit boy, usually about 12-14 yrs old. He is faced with an adult task, such as finding food to save his starving tribe or revenging an attack on his family. These very gripping adventure tales take place in an exotic, harsh landscape. Houston lived amongst the Inuit tribes for 14 years; he has great passion for the people, their customs and the landscape, and this come through in his writing. These are great adventure stories!

Reviewed by: Mrs. Waring

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My Brothers’ Flying Machine

My Brothers’ Flying Machine by Jane Yolen
Recommended for: Grades 1-4

Jane Yolen has used “lyrical” or “line-break” prose for this picture book biography of the Wright Brothers. Told by little sister Katherine, Yolen has captured the warm, closeness of the Wright family growing up. This story will capture the fancy of young inventors, creative kids and sisters and brothers everywhere. It is a Parents’ Choice Gold Award and Massachusetts Book Award winner.

Reviewed by: Mrs. Baumgartner

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Failure is Impossible

Failure is Impossible by Martha E. Kendall
Recommended for: Grades 4-8

Author Martha Kendall presents an overview of the Women’s Rights Movement in the United States in this intriguing photo essay. Many women from 1600 to 2002 stood up for equal rights, each working within her position and restrictions to further the cause. Kendall weaves the chronology with anecdotes and explanations that make for interesting and enlightening reading. There is a timeline at the end and a list of other remarkable women who were not included in the text.

Reviewed by: Ms. Wettergreen

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Kate Shelley: Bound for Legend

Kate Shelley: Bound for Legend by Robert D. San Souci
Recommended for: All ages

Fifteen year-old Kate risks her own life to find survivors of a train wreck, and then crawls over a 700-foot, storm-torn railroad bridge to warn an oncoming train. This is a beautifully illustrated picture book biography that pays tribute to an ordinary young woman performing an act of extraordinary courage.

Reviewed by: Ms. Wettergreen

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Awful Ogre’s Awful Day

Awful Ogre’s Awful Day by Jack Prelutsky
Recommended for: Grades 3-6

In a series of poems, Prelutsky takes us through the day of a huge, horrible, but lovable ogre. Paul Zelinsky’s illustrations lend just enough gore and grossness in a humorous way. Pull this out for Halloween or any other time!

Reviewed by: Ms. Wettergreen

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Ben Franklin’s Almanac: Being a True Account of the Good Gentleman’s Life

Ben Franklin's AlmanacBen Franklin’s Almanac: Being a True Account of the Good Gentleman’s Life by Candace Fleming
Recommended for: Grades 4-6

Presented in “almanac style” with lots of historical photos and documents, this outstanding biography captures Franklin, his many and varied pursuits, and his important role in creating a new nation. Details about his family and his diplomatic work in England and France are very interesting. A good book for browsing or for school reports.

Reviewed by: Ms. Wettergreen

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