Tag Archives: nonfiction

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? 4/9/18

9 Apr

This week was so weird and I’m completely blaming the weather with snow flurries, rain, sun, clouds, warm weather and cold which led me feeling sleepy, a little cranky and not in the mood to read… I’m hoping to finish up The Serpent’s Secret by Sayantani Dasgupta today and over the weekend I also read Turn This Book Into a Beehive!: And 19 Other Experiments and Activities That Explore the Amazing World of Bees by Lynn Brunelle. I’m hoping to read:

  • Dreadful Young Ladies and Other Stories by Kelly Barnhill
  • A Possibility of Whales by Karen Rivers

And possibly trying to get to a few other titles as well. April’s been really busy as I’m posting three times a day as I’m working on my AtoZ Blogging Challenge and have some blog projects I’m trying to get a jump start on before the summer.


Join Jen from Teach Mentor Texts and Kellee and Ricki from Unleashing Readers and share all of the reading you have done over the week from picture books to young adult novels. Follow the links to read about all of the amazing books the #IMWAYR


18 Titles to Inspire Kids Under 18

6 Apr

Since the February 14th school violence shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, more teens and kids are becoming politically active to change the laws to better protect other children in school. Each time the news reports on a horrifying event like this, my heart breaks a little more and I wonder what else can I do? I think this hit me harder than others because my cousins went to high school at this school. They have all graduated at this point, but to be that close to a situation of violence is truly scary.

And the answer to what else can I do? Well, the teens that experienced this terrifying situation are showing the world what we can do – with nation (and worldwide) events like the School Walkout and the March for Our Lives as well as town hall meetings, social media posts, and interviews from major news networks and newspapers, teens are keeping this issue at the forefront of everyone’s mind and doing all they can to be the change. With that said, I’ve compiled a list of nonfiction books about real life teens who have changed the world as way of inspiration. Also, take a look at my 28 Social Justice Titles in YA Literature for some more inspiration filled with both nonfiction and fiction titles.

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  1. Being Jazz: My Life as a (Transgender) Teen by Jazz Jennings
  2. Beyond Magenta: Transgender Teens Speak Out by Susan Kuklin
  3. The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind: Young Readers Edition by William Kamkwamba
  4. The Boys Who Challenged Hitler: Knud Pedersen and the Churchill Club by Phillip M. Hoose
  5. Brave Girl: Clara and the Shirtwaist Makers’ Strike of 1909 by Michelle Markel, illustrated by Melissa Sweet
  6. Claudette Colvin: Twice Toward Justice by Phillip M. Hoose
  7. Emmanuel’s Dream: The True Story of Emmanuel Ofosu Yeboah by Laurie Ann Thompson, illustrated by Sean Qualls
  8. The Girl from the Tar Paper School: Barbara Rose Johns and the Advent of the Civil Rights Movement by Teri Kanefield
  9. Girl Rising: Changing the World One Girl at a Time  by Tanya Lee Stone
  10. Here We Are: Feminism for the Real World edited by Kelly Jensen
  11. I Am Malala: How One Girl Stood Up for Education and Changed the World (Young Readers Edition) by Malala Yousafzai, with Patricia McCormick
  12. I Will Always Write Back: How One Letter Changed Two Lives by Caitlin Alifirenka, Martin Ganda, with Liz Welch
  13. March by John Lewis, Andrew Aydin, Nate Powell
  14. Marching for Freedom: Walk Together Children and Don’t You Grow Weary
    by Elizabeth Partridge
  15. Outcasts United: The Story of a Refugee Soccer Team That Changed a Town by Warren St. John
  16. Turning 15 on the Road to Freedom: My Story of the Selma Voting Rights March by Lynda Blackmon Lowery, Elspeth Leacock, Susan Buckley, P.J. Loughran
  17. We’ve Got a Job: The 1963 Birmingham Children’s March by Cynthia Levinson
  18. We Will Not Be Silent: The White Rose Student Resistance Movement That Defied Adolf Hitler by Russell Freedman


60 STEM Titles for 3-6 Year Olds

15 Mar

We often are asked by parents for “science books for preschoolers” and after a reference interview, we find that they are looking to teach their kids a variety of science concepts at a young age and finding books that are academic enough to satisfy the parents can be difficult. I created the list below filled with nonfiction titles, but also picture book titles that introduce some basic science concepts, but are still developmentally appropriate for a very young audience. I created a math list previously on this site (14 Picture Books to Introduce Math Concepts), so stop by that list for math titles (you won’t find them repeated here). These are just a few, there are more than I could ever put into a list, but find a few of these as a jumping off point! Enjoy!

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  1. Ada Twist, Scientist by Andrea Beaty
  2. Charlotte the Scientist is Squished by Camille Andros
  3. Citizen Scientists: Be a Part of Scientific Discovery from Your Own Backyard by Loree Griffin Burns
  4. National Geographic Little Kids First Big Book of Why by Amy Shields
  5. What Is a Scientist? by Barbara Lehn


  1. Best In Snow by April Pulley Sayre
  2. Calendar by Myra Cohn Livingston
  3. Cloudette by Tom Lichtenheld
  4. Leaves by David Ezra Stein
  5. Old Bear by Kevin Henkes
  6. Our Seasons by Grace Lin and Ranida T. McKneally
  7. Over and Under the Snow by Kate Messner
  8. Raindrops Roll by April Pulley Sayre
  9. Water is Water by Miranda Paul
  10. The Wind Blew by Pat Hutchins


  1. A Butterfly Is Patient by Dianna Hutts Aston
  2. Diary of a Worm by Doreen Cronin
  3. DK First Animal Encyclopedia
  4. First the Egg by Laura Vaccaro Seeger
  5. I’m Trying to Love Spiders by Bethany Barton 
  6. Lifetime: The Amazing Numbers in Animal Lives by Lola M. Schaefer
  7. Over in the Jungle: A Rainforest Rhyme by Marianne Collins Berkes
  8. A Nest Is Noisy by Dianna Hutts Aston
  9. Parrots Over Puerto Rico by Susan L. Roth and Cindy Trumbore
  10. Who Am I? by Steve Jenkins

Human Body

  1. Bones by Steve Jenkins
  2. The Busy Body Book by Lizzy Rockwell
  3. DK First Human Body Encyclopedia
  4. From Head to Toe by Eric Carle
  5. I Hear a Pickle (And Smell, See, Touch, and Taste It, Too!) by Rachel Isadora
  6. Inside Your Outside! By Tish Rabe
  7. The Magic School Bus Inside the Human Body by Joanna Cole
  8. Me and My Amazing Body by Joan Sweeney
  9. My Five Senses by Aliki
  10. Seven Blind Mice by Ed Young

Outer Space

  1. If You Decide to Go to the Moon by Faith McNulty
  2. Little Kids First Big Book of Space by Catherine D. Hughes
  3. Papa, Please Get the Moon for Me by Eric Carle
  4. The Sun Is My Favorite Star by Frank Asch
  5. Zoom, Rocket, Zoom! By Margaret Mayo


  1. Because of an Acorn by Lola M. Schaefer
  2. Grand Canyon by Jason Chin
  3. Growing Vegetable Soup by Lois Ehlert
  4. In a Small, Small Pond by Denise Fleming
  5. Jack’s Garden by Henry Cole
  6. Over and Under the Pond by Kate Messner
  7. A Rock Is Lively by  Dianna Hutts Aston
  8. A Seed is Sleepy by Dianna Hutts Aston
  9. The Tiny Seed by Eric Carle
  10. Up in the Garden and Down in the Dirt by Kate Messner


  1. 11 Experiments That Failed by Jenny Offill
  2. Awesome Dawson by Chris Gall
  3. Boy + Bot by Ame Dyckman
  4. Dreaming Up: A Celebration of Building by Christy Hale
  5. Have Fun, Molly Lou Melon by Patty Lovell
  6. If I Built a Car by Chris Van Dusen
  7. Iggy Peck, Architect by Andrea Beaty
  8. Monkey with A Tool Belt and The Noisy Problem by Chris Monroe
  9. Robots, Robots Everywhere! by Sue Fliess
  10. Rosie Revere, Engineer by Andrea Beaty

#blogbookaday: Winter Dance

3 Mar

33413879Summary:  “Snow is coming, and it’s time to get ready! The squirrel gathers nuts, the geese soar south, and the snowshoe hare puts on its new white coat. But what should the fox do? Each animal advises the fox that its own plan is best, but the fox thinks otherwise—yet it’s not until he meets a golden-eyed friend that he finds the perfect way to celebrate the snowfall.

Stunning illustrations by the new talent Richard Jones are the perfect complement to the Newbery Honor winner Marion Dane Bauer’s lyrical and playful homage to the natural world.” (Taken from Goodreads)

Review: The fine red fox is excited for the snowflakes that are falling, but isn’t sure what to as winter approaches. As the fox learns what other woodland animals do in the winter, he knows that’s not what he’ll do, but don’t learn until he finds a friend in another fine red fox. The illustrations perfectly capture the blanket of snow that falls and the animals habitats during the winter.

Personal Reaction: I liked the poetic way this book read and enjoyed how it captured the quiet of winter while also teaching about how animals spend the winter. I loved the soft palette of colors in this story with the bright red fox’s fur. My only concern about this story is that most of animals aren’t identified with a gender, but the ones that are, are all male characters. It’s a small thing, but one that can make a difference to be more encompassing for all readers.

Title: Winter Dance
Author: Marion Dane Bauer
Illustrator: Richard Jones
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Books for Young Readers
Publication Date: October 24, 2017

#blogbookaday (1)This is a new idea I’m trying on my blog this year that was inspired by @donalynbooks and @heisereads – to provide a brief review of a picture book every day of 2018. You’ll get a brief summary of the story, a review of the content, illustrations and theme, my personal reaction to the book and all the pertinent publication information! Enjoy!

Mathical Book Prize Announced!

2 Mar

Mathical-H-Logo_Books2“The Mathical Book Prize aims to inspire a love of mathematics in the everyday world in children of all ages. Each year’s winners and honor books join a selective and ever-growing list of new and previously published fiction and non-fiction titles for youth.

These titles are as varied as the intersection between literature and mathematics — that is to say, they encompass picture books, novels, poetry collections, puzzle books, biographies, and more!

The Mathical selection panel is drawn from librarians, teachers, mathematicians, early childhood experts, and others. The jury selects winners in five grade-level categories: PreK, K-2, 3-5, 6-8, and 9-12.” (Mathical website)

I love this concept of combining math and reading together! What I like is that they don’t just hand out prizes, you really have to earn it. This year there is no prize for a 6-8 grade title or a 9-12 grade title and I appreciate the honesty of the selection panel for not just picking a mediocre title, but really looking for high-quality material. Check out the 2018 winners:


Baby Goes to Market by Atinuke (PreK)


Sheep Won’t Sleep: Counting by 2’s, 5’s and 10’s by Judy Cox (K-2)


A Hundred Billion Trillion Stars by Seth Fishman (3-5)

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