Tag Archives: nonfiction

Ballet for Martha

Making Appalachian Spring
By Jan Greenburg and Sandra Jordan
Illustrated by Brian Floca
Published by Roaring Book Press, 2010
Creating a ballet performance is a team effort, and choreographer Martha Graham works with experts in their fields to create the music and the set to go along with her vision.
A great book for older elementary and middle school students interested in dance and also a good book for illustrating collaboration amongst adults.
Awards: Orbiz Pictus Award for Outstanding Nonfiction
Accessed: Augusta County Library

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Insect Detective

By Steve Voake
Illustrated by Charlotte Voake
Published by Candlewick Press 2009
This nonfiction work illustrates the amazing world of insects and all the work that they do.
Great for classes studying insects in science class as an introduction to the variety of insects even in one’s own back yard.
Awards: Junior Library Guild Selection
Accessed: Augusta County Library

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Pablo Neruda: Poet of the People

By Monica Brown
Illustrated by Julie Pashkis
Published by Henry Holt and Company, 2011
Neftali loved words and surrounded himself with words from a young age. His father disapproved of his writing and so he started publishing his work under then name Pablo Neruda at the age of 16. He wrote about the people of Chile and their struggles.
Great for middle and high school English classes when studying poetry. This beautiful book uses the words in his poetry to illustrate the book in a marvelous way.
Awards: Kirkus Starred Review, 2012 Annual Orbis Pictus Award Honor Book
Accessed: Augusta County Library

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A River of Words

The Story of William Carlos Williams
By Jen Bryant
Illustrated by Melissa Sweet
Published by Eerdmans Books, 2008
When Willie Williams was growing up, he loved words and writing poetry. However, he needed a way to make a living, so he became a family doctor and practiced medicine for 40 years. All during that time, though, he never stopped writing. This is the story of William Carlos Williams– doctor, poet, and legend.
Great for middle and high school English class! I bought a copy for my own middle school classroom. WCW is studied, and it will be nice to have an additional resource for poetry units.
Awards: Caldecott Honor
Accessed: Augusta County Library

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When Marian Sang

By Pam Muñoz Ryan
Illustrated by Brian Selznick
Published by Scholastic Press, 2002
Marian Anderson was a world-renowned singer in her heyday– but she wasn’t always that way. Struggling to become a singer during the time of the civil rights movement, segregation and prejudice, Anderson’s voice wasn’t always enough to get her through. This true story about a cornerstone of 20th Century music tells a tale of tenacity and hope.
Great biographical sketch of an African American singer for young researchers for late elementary and middle grades.
Awards: Sibert Honor Winner, ALA Notable Picture Book
Amos & Boris is a 1971 New York Times Book Review Best Illustrated Book of the Year, Notable Children’s Book of the Year, and Out

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America is Under Attack

By Don Brown
Published by Flashpoint, 2011

Arguably the most profound occurrence of the 21st Century was the attacks on the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001. Brown takes his readers through the tragedy in a concise way, giving credit to the people who were heroes that day.

A good introduction to the terrorist threat era of the 21st century, how it began and what happened on that fateful day. Good for all ages, though may be inappropriate for young children.

Awards: One of School Library Journal’s Best Nonfiction Books of 2011

One of Horn Book’s Best Nonfiction Books of 2011

Accessed: Augusta County Library

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Mermaid Queen

by Shana Corey

Illustrated by Edwin Fotheringham

Published by Scholastic Press, 2009

Annette Kellerman was a girl who, in the early 1900’s, changed swimming forever.  She was born unable to walk, but she could swim.  Soon she was winning races and setting records.  She also loved to dance in the water, and she pioneered female aquatics as well as swim suits that were not heavy and cumbersome.  She made waves– both literally and figuratively– and paved the way for female athletes that followed.

Another great biography about a female pioneer– great for preliminary research or just as a good read for late elementary students.

Accessed: Augusta County Library

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