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Category Archives: Historical

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

 

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Hidden Figures- Young Reader’s Edition

hidden-figures

Title: Hidden Figures
Author: Margot Lee Shetterly
Series: N/A

Recommended for: 8-12 years old

Pages: 231

 

Call Number/Link:  J 629.4 LEE

 

 

Synopsis: Before John Glenn orbited the earth, or Neil Armstrong walked on the moon, a group of dedicated female mathematicians known as “human computers” used pencils, slide rules, and adding machines to calculate the numbers that would launch rockets, and astronauts, into space. This book brings to life the stories of Dorothy Vaughan, Mary Jackson, Katherine Johnson, and Christine Darden, four African-American women who lived through the civil rights era, the Space Race, the Cold War, and the movement for gender equality, and whose work forever changed the face of NASA and the country.

Review: I think this is a very interesting book that highlights what women were doing behind the scenes in the equal rights movement.  A real revelation that it is never how it seems and always nice to see people being given recognition for their contributions to society.   This would be a great read aloud for an elementary school classroom and will undoubtly be a book to reach for during Black History Month this coming year.

 
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Posted by on December 31, 2016 in Historical, Juv, Non-Fiction

 

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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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Dust of Eden

Dust of edenTitle:Dust of Eden
Author: Mariko Nagai
Series: N/A
Recommended for: 4th – 8th Grade
Pages: 121 pages
Call Number/Link:  J FICTION NAGAI, M.

Synopsis:”Thirteen-year-old Mina Tagawa and her Japanese-American family are forced to evacuate their Seattle home and are relocated to an internment camp in Idaho, where they live for three years”– Provided by publisher.

I am an avid fantasy reader, but this book caught my attention while I was fixing shelves. I highly recommend this book as it takes a look at a subject that is not really talked about. It is told in verse so it is a short read, but does a great job of showing Mina’s feelings.  After reading about this family’s  experience I want to do some research and actually read some nonfiction books to learn more.  I feel that if a class is learning about World War II, that this is a good book that can be brought in as a different look World War II.  Weedflower by Cynthia Kadohata, A Diamond in the Desert by Kathryn Fitzmaurice and Dash by Kirby Larson are other fiction books that cover Japanese-American Internment camps.

 
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Posted by on March 12, 2016 in Historical, Juv

 

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The iPhone that Saved George Washington

iphone GWTitle:  The iPhone that Saved George Washington
Author: David Potter
Series: The Left Behinds
Recommended for: 4th-7th grade
Pages: 344
Call Number/Link:  J FICTION POTTER, D.

 

 

Synopsis:  Three students, Mel, Bev, and Brandon, left behind at their prestigious school during Christmas break, find themselves in 1776 New Jersey with General George Washington dead at their feet, and twelve-year-old Mel must find a way, using his iPhone, to set things right.

Review:  This is like the Magic Tree House for older kids.  The iPhone has an app that sends them back in time, and hilarity ensues.  Kids will learn about history, the adventure is madcap and the narrator is witty.  My biggest quibble is that I got bored of them using the iPhone to befuddle people from history.  I didn’t want to hear them explain the iPhone any more times, and the sequence where they tried to recharge the battery with Benjamin Franklin was kind of ludicrous.  For me, the action picked up once they actually took part in changing history back to where it should be and used ingenuity instead of cheap iPhone tricks.  At the end of the story, they discover that this is all a dastardly plot to create mayhem, and more adventures will be forthcoming.  A trilogy is planned.

 
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Posted by on February 11, 2016 in Adventure, Funny, Historical, Juv