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Category Archives: Historical

The Great Trouble

Title: The Great Trouble
Author: Deborah Hopkinson
Series:NA
Recommended for: 4th grade and up
Pages: 272
Call Number/Link:  The Great Trouble

Synopsis: Equal parts medical mystery, historical novel, and survival story about the 1854 London cholera outbreak, this introduces Eel, a boy trying to make ends meet on Broad Street. When he visits one of his regular employers, he learns the man has fallen ill. Eel enlists the help of Dr. Snow, and together they work to solve the mystery of what exactly is causing the spread of cholera and how they can prevent it. Steeped in rich fact and detailed explanations about laboratory research, Hopkinson’s book uses a fictional story to teach readers about science, medicine, and history—and works in a few real-life characters, too. Eel serves as a peek into the lower class of London society and offers readers a way to observe—and, hopefully, ask questions about—the scientific method. An author’s note provides readers with a look at the real story behind the novel, making this a great choice for introducing readers to science and history.

This would be a great choice for those historical fiction genre assignments.  She gives a great description of London in the mid 19th century and makes you grateful for indoor plumbing and modern medicine.  My only complaint is that the pacing is a little slow.  It picks up around the middle when the cholera epidemic breaks out.  But I wouldn’t recommend it for reluctant readers.

 

 
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Posted by on July 25, 2017 in Historical

 

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Bomb: The race to build and steal the world’s most dangerous weapon

Title: Bomb: The race to build and steal the world’s most dangerous weapon
Author: Steve Sheinkin
Series: N/A
Recommended for: 5th Grade and up
Pages: 266 pages
Call Number/Link:  J 623.4 SHE

Synopsis: In December of 1938, a chemist in a German laboratory made a shocking discovery: When placed next to radioactive material, a Uranium atom split in two. That simple discovery launched a scientific race that spanned 3 continents. In Great Britain and the United States, Soviet spies worked their way into the scientific community; in Norway, a commando force slipped behind enemy lines to attack German heavy-water manufacturing; and deep in the desert, one brilliant group of scientists was hidden away at a remote site at Los Alamos. This is the story of the plotting, the risk-taking, the deceit, and genius that created the world’s most formidable weapon. This is the story of the atomic bomb.

My thoughts: This is a very interesting book.  I listened to the audio book, so I had a little bit of trouble remember who some of the people were.  I think that if I had read the book that the names would have stuck with me better. It was interesting to hear the whole process and to see some insight to the scientists who worked on the project.  I didn’t realizes that some scientists in Chicago did some initial work on the project.  I am really surprised that they were able to keep everything so secretive with all the spies trying to get information.  I think a anyone interested in World War II will be interested in this book.  It has really good information in an easy format to follow.

 
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Posted by on March 20, 2017 in Historical, Juv

 

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Lost in the Pacific, 1942: not a drop to drink

lost-in-the-pacificTitle: Lost in the Pacific, 1942: not a drop to drink
Author: Tod Olson
Series: Lost
Recommended for: 6th- 9th Grade
Pages: 168 pages
Call Number/Link:  J FICTION OLSON, T.

Synopsis: World War II, October 21, 1942. A B-Seventeen bomber drones high over the Pacific Ocean, sending a desperate SOS into the air. The crew is carrying America’s greatest living war hero on a secret mission deep into the battle zone. But the plane is lost, burning through its final gallons of fuel. At 1:30 p.m., there is only one choice left: an emergency landing at sea. If the crew survives the impact, they will be left stranded without food or water hundreds of miles from civilization.

This is an interesting event that happened during World War II.  I found it interesting that you would hear what was going on while they were lost at sea.  It was also fun to hear the different views from the different crew members.  It was a little slow in some areas, but I did find it fascinating.

 
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Posted by on February 28, 2017 in Historical, Juv, Non-Fiction

 

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Conoce a / Get to know Gabriela Mistral

mistral

 

Title: Conoce a / Get to Know Gabriela Mistral

Author: Georgina Lazaro Leon

Series: Personajes del mundo hispanico

Recommended for:  grade 2-5 

Pages: 29

Call Number/Link:  SPA J B MISTRAL, G.

Synopsis: A quiet, shy, and humble little girl grew up to become a very important writer. How important was she? She was the first Latin American writer to receive the Nobel Prize in Literature, the most prestigious award given to writers in the world!

Thoughts:  I like how these books are bilingual and are illustrated very nicely.  They are attractive to the eye and present the information in a storybook form while giving excerpts from their body of work. For a biography it was interesting and told their story fairly quickly and would be a great use for book reports or personal information.  We only have a few books in the series so they would have to be held and brought over from other libraries.

 
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Posted by on February 26, 2017 in Historical, Juv, Non-Fiction, Spanish, Uncategorized

 

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The Lost Twin

lost twin 1_Title:The Lost Twin

Author: Sophie Cleverly

Series:Scarlet and Ivy

Pages: 290 pages

Recommended for: 3rd – 6th Grade

Synopsis:After her troublemaking twin, Scarlet, vanishes from Rookwood Boarding School, shy Ivy tries to track her down, using pieces of Scarlet’s journal carefully hidden all over the school for Ivy to find.

Ivy is invited to go to Rookwood Boarding School to take her twin sisters spot at the school.  Ivy doesn’t want to go, but isn’t given a choice.  Once, she gets their the headmistress tells her she has to pretend that she is Scarlet. Ivy knows something is up, but not sure what to do.  She stumbles pieces of her sisters diary and starts to piece together what happened.

This is set in the 1930, but really the only thing that sticks out as different from modern times is that corporal punishment is still allowed.  It is an interesting story and I would read the next in the series, but it was not a book I couldn’t put down. It is even paced and well written.  I like that Ivy is a strong main character, even thought she doesn’t thing she really is.

 

 
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Posted by on June 10, 2016 in Historical, Juv, Mysteries

 

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Resistance

Resistance

Jacket (1)Title:: Resistance
Author: : Carla Jablonski ; illustrated by Leland Purvis ; color by Hilary Sycamore.
Series: Resistance trilogy
Recommended for: Grades 5-9
Pages: Unpaginated
Call Number/Link:  GN J JAB
Synopsis: A couple’s bucolic French town is almost untouched by the ravages of WWII. When their friend goes into hiding and his Jewish parents disappear, they realize they must take a stand.
Review:  This is a tough book, but important. It is about the occupation of France as told from the point of view of children. The authors work hard to make the story gripping without being melodramatic. The excellently capture the fear and uncertainty of war coupled with the power of family. End notes in the book talk a bit more about the war and reasonably discuss the idea that war is filled with shades of grey, explaining some of the ideas as to why people might collaborate with the Nazis.

 

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The Great and Only Barnum

barnumTitle:  The Great and Only Barnum:  The Tremendous Stupendous Life of Showman P.T. Barnum
Author:  Candace Fleming
Series:
Recommended for:  5th grade and up
Pages:  160
Call Number/Link:  J B Barnum 
Synopsis:  It is unlikely that Barnum ever actually said “There’s a sucker born every minute,” but he freely admitted to being a master of the “humbug”—a spectacle that both fooled and entertained the public. This highly readable biography uses primary sources, including Barnum’s own words, to trace the man’s roller-coaster life from his boyhood in Connecticut to his early career as the creator of the country’s most famous “museums” (comparable to sideshows) to his later role as the master of enormously successful circuses, winning and losing several fortunes along the way. Fleming captures Barnum’s exuberant personality and describes how his gift for promotion and dedication to delivering what the public wanted made him the world’s most famous showman. She also reveals the private Barnum, a man who valued culture, had deep religious beliefs, and devoted considerable time and funds to charity and public service. Fleming is admiring of Barnum, but does not dismiss his weaknesses and faults. The text is supplemented with sidebars and reproductions of period photos and illustrations, including several of Barnum’s advertisements. The bibliography includes Web sites and a selection of primary- and secondary-source books, and notes are done in paragraph format. This book goes beyond traditional biography to give students an objective and informative glimpse into the sometimes-exploitative world of 19th-century entertainment. An outstanding choice for all middle level and secondary collections.

Another biography with an awsome title.  I actually read this a while ago a just pulled it out again to re-read.  Who wouldn’t want to read a biography of Barnum?  Especially ones with pictures of sideshows, bearded ladies, and other circus performers.  It’s a great look at how we’ve changed in our definition of ‘entertainment’ and how we view those who are ‘different’.  Barnum is also the man who basically created ‘celebrity’, publicity and marketing.  He was a larger than life man who lead a larger than life existance.  Another awesome biography that’s more than just facts and figures.  It really does help bring Barnum and his world to life.

 
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Posted by on April 26, 2016 in Historical

 

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