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Category Archives: Non-Fiction

Hillary Rodham Clinton: A Woman Living History

25664420Title: Hillary Rodham Clinton: A Woman Living History
Author: Karen Blumenthal
Series: N/A
Recommended for: 7th Grade and up
Pages: 432
Call Number/Link:  Teen Biography Clinton, H

Synopsis: As a young girl growing up in the fifties, Hillary Diane Rodham had an unusual upbringing for the time-her parents told her, “You can do or be whatever you choose, as long as you’re willing to work for it.” Hillary took those words and ran. Whether it was campaigning at the age of thirteen in the 1964 presidential election, receiving a standing ovation and being featured in LIFE magazine as the first student commencement speaker at Wellesley, or graduating from Yale Law School-she was always one to stand out from the pack.

And that was only the beginning. Today, we have seen Hillary in many roles. From First Lady of the United States to the first female Senator of New York and most recently as the United States Secretary of State. An activist all her life, she has been devoted to health care reform, child care, and women’s rights, among others. And she’s still not done.

Review: As a teen biography on a politician this book was highly readable. I’ll admit that I learned quite a bit about Hillary, especially about her earlier life. The material is presented in a way that is not over dry and I do believe teen interested in politics would enjoy it. The only thing I wish would have gone more in-depth about would have been her days as in Senate as as Secretary of State. However, at almost 400 pages, I can understand why that may have been cut. Overall, an entertaining & informative read.

 
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Posted by on January 23, 2017 in Non-Fiction, Teen

 

Blood, Bullets, and Bones: The History of Forensic Science from Sherlock Holmes to DNA

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Title: Blood, Bullets, and Bones: the Story of Forensic Science from Sherlock Holmes to DNA
Author: Bridget Heos
Recommended for: 12th Grade and Up
Pages: 264
Call Number/Link:  J 363.25 HEO

Synopsis: “Blood, Bullets, and Bones provides young readers with a fresh and fascinating look at the ever-evolving science of forensics. Since the introduction of DNA testing, forensic science has been in the forefront of the public’s imagination, thanks especially to popular television shows like CSI: Crime Scene Investigation. But forensic analysis has been practiced for thousands of years. Ancient Chinese detectives studied dead bodies for signs of foul play, and in Victorian England, officials used crime scene photography and criminal profiling to investigate the Jack the Ripper murders. In the intervening decades, forensic science has evolved to use the most cutting-edge, innovative techniques and technologies. In this book, acclaimed author Bridget Heos uses real-life cases to tell the history of modern forensic science, from the first test for arsenic poisoning to fingerprinting, firearm and blood spatter analysis, DNA evidence, and all the important milestones in between. By turns captivating and shocking, Blood, Bullets, and Bones demonstrates the essential role forensic science has played in our criminal justice system[.]”– Provided by publisher.

My Thoughts: Blood, Bullets, and Bones is a curious book. In terms of reading level, it would be accessible for middle schoolers, or even advanced elementary students. In terms of content, however, this book lands squarely in the advanced high school or post-secondary category. Blood, Bullets, and Bones details the history of forensic science, illustrating many of the important scientific advances with actual cases.
These crimes, including those of Jack the Ripper and other serial killers, are described in somewhat graphic detail and some include descriptions of rape cases; arson; adultery, and other inappropriate relationships, one of which involves a 34-year-old man’s inappropriate relationship with a (later murdered) teenaged girl. Some of the other murder cases involve young teenagers, either as rape and/or murder victims, perpetrators, or both.
Much of the scientific and historic information in this book may be useful for academic study. Moreover, footnotes are plentiful, and there is an extensive bibliography. That being said, I would have a difficult time recommending this to anyone but an advanced high school or even college student pursuing a career in forensic criminology, as the disturbing content will almost certainly be too much for younger readers.

 
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Posted by on November 10, 2016 in Non-Fiction, Non-Fiction, Uncategorized

 

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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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Blood, Bullets, and Bones: The Story of Forensic Science from Sherlock Holmes to DNA

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Title: Blood, Bullets, and Bones: The Story of Forensic Science from Sherlock Holmes to DNA
Author: Bridget Heos
Recommended for: 12th Grade and Up
Pages: 264
Call Number/Link:  J 363.25 HEO

Synopsis: “Blood, Bullets, and Bones provides young readers with a fresh and fascinating look at the ever-evolving science of forensics. Since the introduction of DNA testing, forensic science has been in the forefront of the public’s imagination, thanks especially to popular television shows like CSI: Crime Scene Investigation. But forensic analysis has been practiced for thousands of years. Ancient Chinese detectives studied dead bodies for signs of foul play, and in Victorian England, officials used crime scene photography and criminal profiling to investigate the Jack the Ripper murders. In the intervening decades, forensic science has evolved to use the most cutting-edge, innovative techniques and technologies. In this book, acclaimed author Bridget Heos uses real-life cases to tell the history of modern forensic science, from the first test for arsenic poisoning to fingerprinting, firearm and blood spatter analysis, DNA evidence, and all the important milestones in between. By turns captivating and shocking, Blood, Bullets, and Bones demonstrates the essential role forensic science has played in our criminal justice system”– Provided by publisher.

My Thoughts: Blood, Bullets, and Bones is a curious book. In terms of reading level, it would be accessible for middle schoolers, or even advanced elementary students. In terms of content, however, this book lands squarely in the advanced high school or post-secondary category. Blood, Bullets, and Bones details the history of forensic science, illustrating many of the important scientific advances with actual cases.
These crimes, including those of Jack the Ripper and other serial killers, are described in somewhat graphic detail and some include descriptions of rape cases; arson; adultery, and other inappropriate relationships, one of which involves a 34-year-old man’s inappropriate relationship with a (later murdered) teenaged girl. Some of the other murder cases involve young teenagers, either as rape and/or murder victims, perpetrators, or both.
Much of the scientific and historic information in this book may be useful for academic study. Moreover, footnotes are plentiful, and there is an extensive bibliography. That being said, I would have a difficult time recommending this to anyone but an advanced high school or even college student pursuing a career in forensic criminology, as the disturbing content will almost certainly be too much for younger readers.

 
 

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In Love and In Danger: A Teen’s Guide to Breaking Free of Abusive Relationships

1064005Title: In Love and In Danger: A Teen’s Guide to Breaking Free of Abusive Relationships
Author: Barrie Levy
Series: N/A
Recommended for: grade 7 & up
Pages: 144
Call Number/Link:  Teen Fiction 362.88 LEV

Synopsis: With one out of eleven high school students in the past year experiencing some form of physical abuse — being hit, slapped, or physically hurt on purpose by a boyfriend or girlfriend — young adults need to know where they can turn for help. Even more teens (as high as ninety-six percent) reported emotional and psychological abuse in their relationships.

This revised and updated edition for teenagers who have questions about abusive dating relationships helps them understand the causes and consequences of their situation, learn what they can do about it, find help from parents and other adults, and discover how to build healthier relationships. In Love and in Danger is one of the only books available on dating violence and abusive relationships that addresses young adults directly in a straightforward and non-condescending manner. Included are facts about dating violence, tips for how to tell if your relationship is abusive, information on why dating abuse happens, and what you can do if you are being abused by (or are abusing) someone you love. Packed with practical advice and compelling interviews with teens, this edition features updated information and statistics, an expanded resource section, and a new afterword by the author.

Review:  We don’t own this on in our collection and, at the moment, I’m going back and forth on if I’ll add it or not. There is some really, really good information in it. I really like how he broke some of it down and gave explanation to the different kind of abuse. However, there are parts that just don’t work for me. For example, the opening chapter is all teen stories, but they don’t quite work for teens. They’re more about teens who are pulled out of their family homes more than normal day-to-day dating. The little blurbs/quotes given through the rest of the book work way better. Also, there was a safety plan at the end that was more geared toward college age or adults. Most of it would really work for our grade 6 – 12 teens. There is also a part where he says “if you stay” which makes me cringe because no one should stay in an abusive relationship. I think better phrasing would have be “if you can’t get out yet…” or something like that.

I am leaning towards buying it because 90% of it is really go and there are hardly any books for teens on this topic.

 
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Posted by on October 29, 2015 in Non-Fiction, Teen

 

Laughing at My Nightmare

20518842Title: Laughing at My Nightmare
Author: Shane Burcaw
Series: N/A
Recommended for: High school
Pages: 256
Call Number/Link:  Teen 617.482044 BUR

Synopsis: With acerbic wit and a hilarious voice, Shane Burcaw’s Laughing at My Nightmare describes the challenges he faces as a twenty-one-year-old with spinal muscular atrophy. From awkward handshakes to having a girlfriend and everything in between, Shane handles his situation with humor and a “you-only-live-once” perspective on life. While he does talk about everyday issues that are relatable to teens, he also offers an eye-opening perspective on what it is like to have a life threatening disease.

I didn’t particularly like this one because of how he acts towards those with disabilities. He spent the whole book trying to get the reader to not judge him because of his own,but then went and bashed almost every disabled kid he mentioned. At one point, he describes two of his classmates in gym as smelling like they had “atomic bowel movements simmering in their pants”. I know it’s suppose to be “funny”, but I hate that type of humor & makes me a bit hesitant to recommend it. Although, it was a Non-Fiction Honor award book, so mileage will vary. I also would have loved to hear so much more about his parents/brother as they’re the reason he can even function day to day. However, there are some good points, especially his childhood memories w/friends and his outlook on problems/tackling life. There is a lot of swearing and a bit TMI, but nothing a high school-er couldn’t handle. Also, for what it’s worth, my book group teens loved it. (Although, they did agree w/me that he was a massive jerk.)

How to Sell it/Quick Spiel: Quick, funny, & often entertaining read about a kid surviving spinal muscular atrophy. His various hijinks, such as using his wheelchair and rope to lift his younger brother up to dunk, often get him in trouble.

 
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Posted by on February 28, 2015 in Non-Fiction, Teen

 

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