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Other Nonfiction

TrappedTrapped: How the World Rescued 33 Miners from 2,000 Feet Below the Chilean Desert
by Marc Aronson
Ages 8–12
In 2010, 33 miners were trapped in a Chilean copper mine 2000 feet below the surface for more than two months. This riveting book tells the story of those 69 days in 12 short chapters. Photos and diagrams illustrate both above- and below-ground scenes, showing the struggles of the trapped men to stay alive deep inside the mine as their rescuers work frantically from above. This well-researched and positive book highlights the amazing technology and the helping hands from around the world that transformed what could have been a horrendous tragedy into an amazing story of survival.

Children of the WorldChildren of the World: How We Live, Learn, and Play in Poems, Drawings, and Photographs
by Anthony Asael, Stephanie Rabemiafara
All ages
Children from 192 countries around the world celebrate their homelands with words and pictures. Candid photographs, maps, fun facts, artwork, and poems bring the children from different countries to life in this celebration of cultural differences and the similarities of children all over the world.

KKKThey Called Themselves the K.K.K.: The Birth of an American Terrorist Group
by Susan Campbell Bartoletti
Ages 12–up
This accessible book presents the origins and development of the Ku Klux Klan through slave narratives, newspapers, congressional testimony, and other sources, against the background of the complex Reconstruction era of 1865–1877. Photographs, engravings, and illustrations provide a graphic context for KKK terrorism and the societal forces that provide a growth medium for hate and terrorist groups.

StonewallStonewall: Breaking Out in the Fight for Gay Rights
by Ann Bausum
Ages 12–up
In 1969 being gay in the United States was a criminal offense. Most hid their sexual orientation for fear of losing their jobs or becoming estranged from their families. The Stonewall Inn, a Mafie-run bar in New York City, was one of the few places gays could feel free to be themselves. One hot night in June, the police raided the bar. But the crowd refused to leave quietly and the raid became a riot that triggered a demand for gay civil rights. This exploration of the Stonewall Riots and the national gay rights movement that continues to the present is powerful.

RoyalsRaucous Royals:
Test your Royal Wits: Crack Codes, Solve Mysteries, and Deduce Which Royal Rumors are True
by Carlyn Beccia
Ages 9–12
This fascinating mix of costumed caricatures, interactive text, and quizzes encourages the reader to participate in history rather than just read about it. The combination picture book/graphic novel is sure to appeal to middle grade kids.

Tommy: The Gun that Changed AmericaTommy: The Gun That Changed America
by Karen Blumenthal
Ages 12–up
John Taliaferro Thompson designed a light quick-firing weapon to help Americans win on the World War I battlefield, but the military wan’t interested in his Thompson submachine gun. Instead, American gangsters, including Chicago’s rival bootlegging gangs, adopted the Tommy gun, which was not covered by concealed-weapons laws and could be purchased at sporting and hardware stores. Mug shots and crime scene photographs capture the lawlessness of the period. An epilogue highlights recent shootings, legislation, and continuing questions about guns in America.

DistressAll Stations! Distress!
April 15, 1912: The Day the Titanic Sank
by Don Brown
Ages 6–10
This gripping account captures the grandeur of the Titanic, the terror of the disaster, and the rescue the survivors. The watercolor and pencil illustrations capture telling details of of actions and facial expressions. The causes of the disaster are clearly explained and gripping first-hand accounts are included.

Drowned CityDrowned City: Hurricane Katrina and New Orleans
by Don Brown
Ages 12–up
Hurricane Katrina’s monstrous winds and surging water overwhelmed the protective levees around New Orleans, Louisiana, on August 29, 2005. Dynamic as-it-happened narration presents the power of the storm that flooded 80% of the city and claimed 1,833 lives. Stories of selflessness and courage are balanced against examples of racism, incompetence, and criminality. Marking the ten year anniversary of Hurricane Katrina,a portion of the proceeds from this book has been donated to Habitat for Humanity New Orleans.

He Has Shot the PresidentHe Has Shot the President!: April 14, 1865: The Day John Wilkes Booth Killed President Lincoln
by Don Brown
Ages 6–9
This fifth in the “Actual Times” series presents the shooting of President Lincoln and then follows Booth’s attempted escape. Lincoln’s death, the investigation to track down Booth and his conspirators, and the eventual hanging of the four members of the assassination plot are presented chronologically with water color illustrations.

RevolutionLet It Begin Here!
April 19, 1775: The Day the American Revolution Began
by Don Brown
Ages 6–10
This book begins as King George III wins the Seven Years’ War and realizes his country needs money. The taxes imposed on the American colonies eventually lead to the Revolutionary War. Told in a clear and interesting style, young readers will enjoy reading about this time in history.

America’s National ParksAmerica’s National Parks, a Pop-Up Book
by Don Compton, Bruce Foster, Dave Ember
All ages
This cleverly-designed guide features 18 National Parks, six featured as double page pop-ups: Everglades, Great Smoky Mountains, Grand Canyon, Yellowstone, Glacier and Yosemite. Detailed text describes other national parks, lavishly illustrated in the style of vintage WPA posters from the 1930s.

Our ChildrenOur Children Can Soar:
A Celebration of Rosa, Barack, and the Pioneers of Change
by Michelle Cook
Ages 4–8
This beautiful book pays tribute to 10 African Americans from the Civil Rights movement to the present. The powerful illustrations by many different artists complement the text, presenting African-American history as the story of hope.

Their Great GiftTheir Great Gift: Courage, Sacrifice, and Hope in a New Land
by John Coy
Ages 5–10
Told mainly through photographs, this inspiring look at immigration to the United States focuses on the lives of children. Images of immigrant families from all over the world illustrate the experience of moving to a new country, working hard, making mistakes, and building a new home.

Eyes Wide OpenEyes Wide Open: Going Behind the Environmental Headlines
by Paul Fleischman
Ages 14–up
This compact yet thorough guide to climate change urges readers to think critically and broadly about the world’s problems. Fleischman gives readers a grounding in critical reading skills needed to recognize the vested interests make by those in power, and to understand media and PR distortions of the truth. Photographs, sidebars, and suggested resources support the hard truths presented. “solving the environment requires looking straight at reality and calculating the costs of our lifestyle and options.” The lively prose style and abundance of illustrations will appeal to young adults while providing the tools they need to become informed, responsible global citizens.

The Family RomanovThe Family Romanov: Murder, Rebellion, and the Fall of Imperial Russia
by Candace Fleming
Ages 12–up
This fascinating history presents an intimate portrait of Tsar Nicholas, his wife Alexandra, and their five children, placing their story firmly in their time of increasing social unrest and turmoil. Letters, diary entries, and memoirs are interwoven with the narration, demonstrating Nicholas’s inability to face the reality of the desperately impoverished Russian peasants, and Alexandra’s dependence on the advice of the the evil monk Rasputin.

Angel IslandAngel Island: Gateway to Gold Mountain
by Russell Freedman
Ages 9–12
Angel Island, in the San Francisco bay, served as the “Ellis Island” of the west coast, processing around one million people from Japan, China, and Korea, between 1892 and 1940. Because of the strict exclusion laws aimed first at the Chinese, Angel Island was more a detention center than a welcome to the United States. This poignant history is interspersed with the despairing poems written on the barrack walls along with archival photographs and personal vignettes.

Because They MarchedBecause They Marched: The People’s Campaign for Voting Rights That Changed America
by Russell Freedman
Ages 10–up
This powerful photo-essay commemorates the 50th anniversary of the march for voting rights from Selma to Montgomery. Frustrated with reprisals for attempting to register to vote, the black community of Selma began to protest. In January 1965, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was attacked by a segregationist while leading a voting rights march. In February, an an Alabama state trooper shot an unarmed demonstrator, inspiring a march from Selma to the state capital. On March 7th, law officers attacked the peaceful demonstrators. Broadcast around the world, this attack spurred the protesters to complete the march at any cost, finally completing the 54 mile walk on March 25th, arriving in Montgomery, Alabama, to the cheers of a crowd of 25,000 supporters.

The War to End All WarsThe War to End All Wars: World War I
by Russell Freedman
Ages 12–up
This powerful book begins with the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand in 1914 and ends with the Treaty of Versailles in 1918. The accessible narrative shows the brutality and horror of trench warfare along with the leaders and the new technology that made it all possible. The ramifications of the war—the end to American isolation, the Russian revolution, and the defeat that provided a foundation for Fascism and Nazism—are clearly demonstrated.

TimelineTimeline: A Visual History of Our World
by Peter Goes
Ages 10–up
This large-format book examines the history of the world from the Big Bang through modern day. Each spread covers a different time period with illustrations, captions, and short blocks of text highlighting mass extinctions, wars, natural disasters, and cultural trends. The visual timeline is powerful and has plenty of details to spark interest.

Ballet for MarthaBallet for Martha: Making Appalachian Spring
by Jan Greenberg and Sandra Jordan, Brian Floca
Ages 6–10
This inspired book captures the excitement of dance, music, and stage design while celebrating the collaboration between dancer Martha Graham, composer Aaron Cop,and, and set designer Isamu Noguchi. The book follows the creation of a ballet from Martha’s original idea to the opening night, highlighting the vital contributions from each of the artists.

Mocha DickMocha Dick: The Legend and the Fury
by Brian Heinz, Randall Enos
Ages 6–up
Mocha Dick, a white whale named for the island near Chile where he was first sighted in 1810, was hunted, wounded, and barely survived. Harpoons blinded him in one eye, and caused him to attack whale boats in revenge, sinking harpoon boats and killing the whalers. When Mocha Dick was finally killed, heads of 19 harpoons were found in his body. An 1839 magazine article about Mocha Dick inspired Herman Melville to write Moby Dick 12 years later.

Titantic VoicesTitanic: Voices From the Disaster
by Deborah Hopkinson
Ages 8–12
This intimate view of the Titanic disaster is told through the stories of a handful of survivors including an American teenager, a science teacher from England, a stewardess born in Argentina, and a nine-year-old British boy. The sinking of the ship, the rush for the lifeboats, and the terrifying wait for the arrival of the rescue ship Carpathia are presented with fast-paced drama.

The Boys Who Challenged HitlerThe Boys Who Challenged Hitler: Knud Pedersen and the Churchill Club
by Phillip Hoose
Ages 12–up
In April 1940, Germany made Denmark a “protectorate” of the Third Reich. The Danish government did not oppose the German invasion, but a small group of Danish teens were ashamed of their nation’s cowardice and decided to fight back. Led by 15-year-old Knud Pedersen, the teens formed the Churchill Club, named after British Prime Minister Winston Churchill. For five months in 1940, members of the club performed daring acts of sabotage, mostly from their bikes and often in broad daylight. The boys were arrested and imprisoned, but their courage fueled Danish resistance. Verbatim quotes from a 2012 interview with Knud Petersen are interwoven with the narration. An epilogue tells what happened to each member of the Churchill Club after the end of the war.

To the MountaintopTo the Mountaintop: My Journey Through the Civil Rights Movement
by Charlayne Hunter-Gault
Ages 12–up
This accessible historical memoir tells the story of the author’s harassment and threats when she entered the University of Georgia in 1959. Other chapters tell of other struggles for equal rights: lunch counter sit-ins, Freedom Riders, voter registration drives. The personal look at political struggle is both educational and inspiring.

Fatal FeverFatal Fever: Tracking Down Typhoid Mary
by Gail Jarrow
Ages 10–up
Mary Mallon worked as a cook in 1907 New York City. Mary was infected with typhoid, but had no symptoms of the disease, and inadvertently infected numerous people with the deadly disease. George Albert Soper, a sanitation engineer and typhoid expert, and Sara Josephine Baker, a doctor working at the New York City Department of Health, followed the trail of infection back to Mary, who was virtually imprisoned on North Brother Island in New York’s East River order to prevent the further spread of the disease. This true story is written in the style of a gripping thriller.

Can We Save the Tiger?Can We Save the Tiger?
by Martin Jenkins, Vicky White
Ages 5–8
Incredible artwork and a good balance between good and bad news about the tiger and other endangered species make this book an enjoyable and excellent resource. Other species featured are the partula snail, white-rumped vulture, and American bison.

Animals Upside DownAnimals Upside Down: A Pull, Pop, Lift & Learn Book!
by Steve Jenkins, Robin Page
Ages 4–8
This clever interactive book uses tabs, wheels, and pop-ups to examine reasons that animals turn themselves upside down. A jellyfish rests on its back to feed, the flamingo turns its head upside down to use its beak as a filter while feeding, a sparrow hawk flips upside down in midair to catch its prey. Striking artwork makes the unusual animal behavior come alive.

The Beetle BookThe Beetle Book
by Steve Jenkins
Ages 4–8
This large-format book introduces the world of beetles, which make up one-fourth of every kind of plant and animal on Earth. Striking illustrations and intriguing information present basic beetle anatomy and facts about specific species.

Just a SecondJust a Second
by Steve Jenkins
Ages 4–8
This thought-provoking book examines diverse events that occur in the space of a second, a minute, an hour, etc. In one second, a black mamba snake can slither 24 feet while a cheetah can sprint 100 feet. In one week a ladybug will eat more than 500 aphids. Fascinating observations like these will inspire readers to think about time and the world in new ways.

One WorldOne World, One Day
by Barbara Kerley
Ages 4–up
Sixty beautiful photographs follow children all around the world as they eat breakfast, go to school, and live a normal day. The global perspectives of the numerous photographers echo the theme of one global family.

Big WigBig Wig
by Kathleen Krull, Peter Malone
Ages 8–12
This playful “history of hair” follows our fascination with hair from prehistory to the punks. The humorous gouache illustrations beautifully complement the information about hair fashions and follies in ancient Egypt, Mexican, and Indian societies and through the royal courts of Europe to modern times.
 
Year of GoodbyesThe Year of Goodbyes: A True Story of Friendship, Family and Farewells
by Debbie Levy
Ages 10–up
This book tells the true story of a year in the life of Jutta, a 12-year-old girl in 1938 Nazi Germany, and the author’s mother. Photos and translations of comments from friends written in Jutta’s diary introduce each chapter, giving a vivid picture of an ordinary teenager in an extraordinary time and place. This very personal and powerful book in verse documents a year of change, confusion, cruelty, and farewells.

Thrice Told TalesThrice Told Tales: Three Mice Full of Writing Advice
by Catherine Lewis, Joost Swarte
Ages 12–up
This clever book uses the three blind mice to illustrate nearly 100 elements of writing and literature: plot, dialog, flashbacks, coincidence, etc. Literary styles are presented with samples like Dickens Mouse and Hemingway Mouse. Witty cartoons add to the fun in this funny and useful reference for writers and their teachers.

Canadian Railroad TrilogyCanadian Railroad Trilogy
by Gordon Lightfoot, Ian Wallace
Ages 4–up
The lyrics of Lightfoot’s 1967 song describe the construction of the transcontinental Canadian Pacific Railway, commissioned to mark Canada’s Centennial. Wallace’s beautiful paintings celebrate the Canada’s natural beauty while also illustrating the damage to First Nation people and the hardships of those who toiled to build the railroad. Many paintings show the railway in detail, while others focus on the history and settlement of Canada.

Flesh and Blood So CheapFlesh and Blood So Cheap: The Triangle Fire and its Legacy
by Albert Marrin
Ages 10–up
On March 25, 1911, the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory in New York City burst into flames. The factory was crowded with workers, mainly young Italian and Jewish women. The doors were locked to prevent the workers from leaving before the end of the work day, and 146 people died in the fire. One hundred years later, this powerful book examines the poor working conditions the immigrant factory workers endured, the greed that motivated the bosses and owners, and the courage of the workers who banded together to change working conditions for everyone in America.

One Times SquareOne Times Square: A Century of Change at the Crossroads of the World
by Joe McKendry
Ages 6–10
One Times Square, the former headquarters of the New York Times and the skyscraper that gave the square its name in 1904, still stands at the intersection of Broadway and Seventh Avenue in New York City. This fascinating book chronicles the change from livery stables and coal yards to a theater district and advertising mecca with beautifully detailed illustrations of buildings, street scenes, and billboards.

Heart and SoulHeart and Soul: The Story of America and African Americans
by Kadir Nelson
Ages 9–up
From pre-Revolutionary slavery to the election of President Obama, this powerful book documents the story of a people whose struggles and achievements helped to define America. The grandmotherly narrator tells the story of injustice, courage, hope, and inspiration from her ancestors arrival on a slave ship to her recent vote for an African American president. Dramatic oil paintings present the determination and strength of both well known historical figures and everyday people. The intimate and personal narration make this inspiring book accessible to young readers.

Miles To Go for FreedomMiles to Go for Freedom: Segregation and Civil Rights in the Jim Crow Years
by Linda Barrett Osborne
Ages 10–14
Continuing the story begun in Traveling the Freedom Road, this thought-provoking book examines racial segregation and early civil rights efforts in the United States from the 1890s to 1954—the Jim Crow years. First-person accounts, photographs, and other primary sources capture the period’s violence, dehumanization, and individual and collective defiance.

Hidden Like Anne FrankHidden Like Anne Frank: 14 True Stories of Survival
by Marcel Prins, Peter Henk Steenhuis
Ages 12–up
Hundreds of children went into hiding, like Anne Frank, to escape the Nazis. This powerful book presents 14 accounts from Dutch-born children, including the story of Prins’s own mother, who went into hiding and survived the war. though these 14 survived, the trauma wasn’t over when the war ended, since most lost family members and their homes forever. This powerful book makes the 14 different experiences real and dramatic.

The Impossible RescueThe Impossible Rescue: The True Story of an Amazing Arctic Adventure
by Martin W. Sandler
Ages 10–14
In 1897 the early arrival of winter trapped eight San Francisco-based whaling ships off the western coast of Alaska. President McKinley ordered an expedition to rescue the 265 stranded whalers. Brought to vivid life through the use of primary sources — journals, reports, letters, and photographs — this suspenseful rescue attempts is told from both the perspective of the rescuers facing danger to save the whalers, and the whalers themselves struggling to survive in life-threatening conditions.

To TimbuktuTo Timbuktu: Nine Countries, Two People, One True Story
by Casey Scieszka, Steven Weinberg
Ages 14–up
This entertaining travelogue follows the author and illustrator on their two-year goddess around the world. After graduating from college, the couple taught English in Beijing, traveled through Shanghai, Vietnam, Laos, and Thailand, and studied the role of Islam in the educational system of Mali. The present tense narration and cartoon sketches add sparkle to the exploration of each country’s language, food, traditions, and politics, while highlighting the friendships made throughout the trip.

BombBomb: The Race to Build—and Steal—the World’s Most Dangerous Weapon
by Steve Sheinkin
Ages 10–up
This high-interest book tells the exciting tale of the race to build the first atomic weapon. In 1938, a German chemist split the first Uranium atom. Soviet spies worked their way into American and British scientific communities. A Norwegian commando force attacked a German heavy-water plant. And in the American desert a group of brilliant scientists worked in secret labs in Los Alamos. The suspenseful narration transforms this history into a thriller.

Lincolns Grave RobbersLincoln’s Grave Robbers
by Steve Sheinkin
Ages 10–12
In 1875, master counterfeiter Ben Boyd is arrested by the Secret Service and thrown into prison. James Kennally, leader of one of the largest counterfeiting rings in the Midwest comes up with a plan to spring his best engraver from jail — steal Lincoln’s body from the tomb in Springfield and ransom it back for Boyd’s release and $200,000 in cash. This suspenseful tale of real-life historical intrigue is as exciting as a fictional thriller.

Most Dangerous: Daniel EllsbergMost Dangerous: Daniel Ellsberg and the Secret History of the Vietnam War
by Steve Sheinkin
Ages 10–14
In 1971, Daniel Ellsberg, an obscure government analyst, leaked The Pentagon Papers, a 7,000 page collection of papers documenting the secret history of the Vietnam War. The Pentagon Papers exposed a pattern of deception that spanned 20 years and four presidencies, forever changing the relationship between the American people and the politicians who claimed to represent their interests. This accessible history presents the story with the excitement of a spy novel, portraying Daniel Ellsberg as a man who risked everything to expose years of government lies.

ComradeI’ll Pass For Your Comrade:
Women Soldiers in the Civil War
by Anita Silvey
Ages 10–14
This non-fiction book tells the fascinating story of the women who risked their lives and reputations to fight in the Civil War. Vintage photographs, etchings, and memoirs illuminate the adventures and struggles of the women who cut their hair and disguised themselves as men to join the fight. Highly accessible language helps to put these unconventional women in historic context.

Courage Has No ColorCourage Has No Color, The True Story of the Triple Nickles: America’s First Black Paratroopers
by Tanya Lee Stone
Ages 10–up
During World War II enlisted black men are segregated from while soldiers and given less important assignments. At Fort Benning, Georgia, the black soldiers in First Sergeant Walter Morris’s unit act as guards while the white soldiers are trained as paratroopers. The story of the 555th Parachute Infantry Battalion tells the story of America’s first black paratroopers who had to battle against racism to earn the right to fight for their country.

Hope and TearsHope and Tears: Ellis Island Voices
by Gwenyth Swain
Ages 8–up
Photographs paired with poems give an intimate look at some of the 12 million immigrants that passed through Ellis Island between 1892 and 1954.

The President Has Been Shot“The President Has Been Shot!”: The Assassination of John F. Kennedy
by James L. Swanson
Ages 12–up
An overview of John F. Kennedy’s life and a profile of Lee Harvey Oswald bracket the dramatic account of Kennedy’s assassination on November 22, 1963. Diagrams, period photographs, and source notes supplement the text.

RiverRiver of Dreams:
The Story of the Hudson River
by Hudson Talbott
Ages 6–8
The series of watercolor spreads traces the role of the Hudson River through the colonization of New York, the era of steamboats, the building of the Erie Canal, and environmental degradation. Packed with facts, maps, and timelines, this amazing book manages to present an astounding among of information without overwhelming young readers.

Discovering Black AmericaDiscovering Black America: From the Age of Exploration to the Twenty-First Century
by Linda Tarrant-Reid
Ages 10–up
This comprehensive history of black Americans begins with early black explorers and the roots of slavery and concludes with the inauguration of Barack Obama as president. Chapters examine the Revolutionary War, the Civil War, Reconstruction, the Jim Crow era, and 20th century social, political, and artistic movements. This accessible book will inspire readers to think more broadly and deeply about the African-American experience.

Does this Happen to Everyone?Does This Happen to Everyone?: A Budding Adult’s Guide to Puberty
by Jan Von Holleben, Antje Helms
Ages 12–up
This empathetic and respectful guide answers questions about puberty in a direct and sensitive way that will appeal to both parents and children. Common questions receive both funny as well as serious and comprehensive answers. An excellent alternative to information mined from the Internet, this comprehensive guide is entertaining as it calms common worries and fears.

Speak a Word for FreedomSpeak a Word for Freedom: Women against Slavery
by Janet Willen, Marjorie Gann
Ages 12–up
This tribute to the women who fought and continue to fight against human rights abuses is inspiring, and perhaps unsettling to those who think of slavery as only a historical fact. Familiar women like Harriet Tubman and Harriet Beecher Stowe share the limelight with lesser known women. Ellen Craft, the daughter of a slave and the plantation owner, disguised herself as a white slave owner to escape north with her black husband. Alice Seeley Harris documented the atrocities against Congolese rummer workers with her powerful photographs. Micheline Slattery, who was enslaved in both Haiti and the United States speaks on behalf of other victims.

The Founding FathersThe Founding Fathers!: Those Horse-Ridin’, Fiddle-Playin’, Book-Readin’, Gun-Totin’ Gentlemen Who Started America
by Jonah Winter, Barry Blitt
Ages 5–8
This energetic book presents the 14 men who lead the charge to found the United States as vibrant individuals with unique strengths and weaknesses. Each spread presents one of the men with a watercolor caricature featuring his most famous attribute along with a brief biography and a list of facts and statistics (height, hobbies, education, wealth, etc.).