Children's Books for Parents and Teachers - book reviews and suggestions for parents and teachers.
Nonfiction

What do menus, road signs, Web sites, and books about sports, hobbies, history, science, and math have in common? They are all nonfiction! Bring the following cross-curricular collection of colorful and engaging books into your classroom to get your students excited about “reading to learn.”

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The Impossible Rescue, The True Story of an Amazing Arctic Adventure

By: Martin W. Sandler
Publisher: Candlewick Press (MA)
Level: 12-13

In 1897, whaling in the Arctic waters off Alaska’s coast was as dangerous as it was lucrative. And in that particular year, winter blasted early, bringing storms and ice packs that caught eight American whale ships and three hundred sailors off guard. Their ships locked in ice, with no means of escape, the whalers had limited provisions on board, and little hope of surviving until warmer temperatures arrived many months later. Here is the incredible story of three men sent by President McKinley to rescue them. The mission? A perilous …

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Almost Astronauts, 13 Women Who Dared to Dream

Almost Astronauts, 13 Women Who Dared to Dream

By: Tanya Lee Stone, Margaret A. Weitekamp
Publisher: Candlewick
Level: 14+

Provides the story of the thirteen women connected with NASA’s Mercury 13 space mission, who braved prejudice and jealousy to make their mark and open the door for the female pilots and space commanders that would soon follow.

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Harlem Stomp!, A Cultural History of the Harlem Renaissance

Harlem Stomp!, A Cultural History of the Harlem Renaissance

By: Laban Carrick Hill, Nikki Giovanni
Publisher: Little Brown & Co
Level: 12-13

Explores the literary, artistic, and intellectual creativity of the Harlem Renaissance and discusses the lives and work of Louis Armstrong, Langston Hughes, Zora Neale Hurston, and other notable figures of the era.

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And Still They Bloom: A Family's Journey of Loss and Healing

And Still They Bloom: A Family’s Journey of Loss and Healing

By: Amy Rovere
Publisher: The American Cancer Society
Level: 12-13

Emily and Ben have just lost their mother to cancer. The children are struggling to come to terms with their mother’s death and make sense of their changed world. They experience a range of feelings: anger, sadness, fear, and hopelessness. Guided by conversations with their father, the children learn to better understand and express their feelings. Gradually, they begin to adjust to their loss.

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Be a Gem, Let Your Goodness Shine

By: Nancy Steyer Stapleton
Publisher: Ferne Press
Level: 8-9

Goldie learns sportsmanship. These character traits help children grow up and “let their goodness shine.” You can be a positive role model. Find out how to take care of our Earth or try something new. Which gem or stone are you?

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Yellow Star

By: Jennifer Rozines Roy
Publisher: Marshall Cavendish Corporation
Level: 10-11

This is the true story of Syvia Perlmutter — a story of courage, heartbreak, and finally survival despite the terrible circumstances in which she grew up.

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Robert Wadlow: The Unique Life of the Boy Who Became the World's Tallest Man

Robert Wadlow: The Unique Life of the Boy Who Became the World’s Tallest Man

By: Jennifer Phillips
Publisher: Nose in a Book Publishing
Level: 10-11

Imagine being the tallest person in the world. As a child. You just keep growing and growing and growing…six feet…seven feet…eight feet up. The world is made in miniature and you must constantly endure. The crush of public attention is relentless. Some people are kind, some are mean. All are curious. This may sound like a tale from long ago, but this is the inspirational true life story of young Robert Wadlow. The victim of an overactive pituitary gland, Robert lived from 1918 to 1940. He stood just shy of …

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Sonia's Song

Sonia’s Song

By: Sonia Korn-Grimani
Publisher: Clay Grouse Press
Level: 14+

At the age of eight, little Sonia Korn is declared an enemy of the German State. She and her family are given the choice to either find a way to leave Germany on their own, without any resources, or be deported. After a series of frightening narrow escapes, Sonia finds that she must give up everything she knows and loves just to survive. This is the complex true story of one girl, who rises from war’s ashes to sing the songs of hope and love world-wide. A heart-wrenching and poignant …

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Upstairs Room

Upstairs Room

By: Johanna Reiss
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Level: 14+

A Life in Hiding… When the German army occupied Holland, Annie de Leeuw was eight years old. Because she was Jewish, the occupation put her in grave danger-she knew that to stay alive she would have to hide. Fortunately, a Gentile family, the Oostervelds, offered to help. For two years they hid Annie and her sister, Sini, in the cramped upstairs room of their farmhouse. Most people thought the war wouldn’t last long. But for Annie and Sini — separated from their family and confined to one tiny room — the war seemed to go on forever.

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Knuffle Bunny: A Cautionary Tale

Knuffle Bunny: A Cautionary Tale

By: Mo Willems
Publisher: Hyperion Books for Children
Level: 6-7

Using a combination of muted black-and-white photographs and expressive illustrations, this stunning book tells a brilliantly true-to-life tale about what happens when Daddy’s in charge and things go terribly, hilariously wrong.

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