Category Archives: Non-Fiction

Bomb: the Race to Build – and Steal – the World’s Most Dangerous Weapon

Bomb: the Race to Build – and Steal – the World’s Most Dangerous Weapon

This one is a big “WOW.” Sheinkin weaves three stories together: 1) Robert Oppenheimer leading the Manhattan Project (especially the part in Los Alamos, New Mexico) to design and build an atomic bomb before the Germans can. 2) The effort by British Special Operations to destroy Germany’s ability to build their bomb, focused on the incredibly brave secret mission by Norwegian underground fighters to destroy the Vemork Heavy Water factory in Norway. 3) The Russian spies who successfully stole the plans to the atomic bomb and passed them to Russsia, leading to the Cold War’s nuclear standoff.

Sheinkin involves the reader by focusing on the stories of the people involved, from Oppenheimer and physicists like Richard Feynman to Norwegian hero Knut Haukelid, and to Americans turned Russian spies: Harry Gold and Ted Hall. The book reads like a combination of war epic and spy thriller. Sheinkin read dozens of books and hundreds of declassified government documents to prepare for this telling and there is an extensive bibliography if you want to pursue any story line further. Let me give this one more “Wow!” Author: Steve Sheinkin

Recommended by: Steve Bridge, Irvington Branch Library

The Secret of the Manhattan Project J. Robert Oppenheimer the Brain Behind the Bomb Why Did Hiroshima Happen? The Manhattan Project
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Hand in Hand: Ten Black Men Who Changed America

Hand in Hand: Ten Black Men Who Changed America

Hand in Hand

Hand in Hand tells the stories of 10 African-American men from different periods in American history. Each story is written like the author really knew the person. She didn’t, of course, she wasn’t even alive for most of them. What she did, though, was write about each person’s whole life, not just their accomplishments. It helps you understand how and why they accomplished what they did. This makes them much more real and their stories interesting. Author: Andrea Pinkney Illustrator: Brian Pinkney 2013

Winner! 2013 Coretta Scott King Author Award

  1. Benjamin Banneker : Surveyor of the Sky
  2. Frederick Douglass : Capital Orator
  3. Booker T. Washington : Polished Pioneer
  4. W.E.B. DuBois : Erudite Educator
  5. A. Philip Randolph : Always Striding Ahead
  6. Thurgood Marshall : Mr. Civil Rights
  7. Jackie Robinson : Game-Changer
  8. Malcolm X : Spark-Light
  9. Martin Luther King, Jr. : Nonviolent Visionary
  10. Barack H. Obama, Jr. : Holding on to Hope
More about significant people and events from black history:
Discovering Black America What Color is My World? Powerful Words Traveling the Freedom Road
Miles to Go for Freedom Marching for Freedom
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Staff Pick: Candy Bomber

Staff Pick: Candy Bomber

“World War II was over, and Berlin was in ruins. US Air Force Lieutenant Gail Halvorsen knew the children of the city were suffering. They were hungry and afraid. The young pilot wanted to help, but what could one man in one plane do?” Author: Michael Tunnel

In 1948, a single man was the inspiration for a USAF-led operation to drop candy behind enemy lines in post-WW II Germany. Lieutenant Gail Halvorsen came to be known as “Uncle Wiggly Wings” to the children and families in West Berlin. Deeply touched by the German children who survived the Allied bombing, Halvorsen resolved to drop chocolate and chewing gum to them during his regular flights with “Operation Vittles.” Beginning by asking his buddies to donate their personal candy rations, his efforts morphed into an all-out effort supported by the military and embraced by the American populace. Lt. Halvorsen continued his career with the Air Force after returning to the United States. When he returned to Berlin in 1970 as the Commander of the Air Force Base, he received many invitations to dinner from those who were now grown up. This rich historical story sheds a sweet light on how a caring person can inspire others to reach out to those who are suffering. Readers will be charmed by the pictures and illustrations that accompanied the letters of appreciation written by the children.

Recommended by: Roberta Ash, Eagle Branch Library

More Staff Picks

More stories about anonymous benefactors gifting strangers – pay it forward!:
Mercedes and the Chocolate Pilot Silver Packages Boxes for Katje The Carpenter's Gift
The Quiltmaker's Journey The Quiltmaker's Gift
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Here Come the Girl Scouts! – National Girl Scout Cookie Day!

Here Come the Girl Scouts! – National Girl Scout Cookie Day!

Today, February 8, 2013 is National Girl Scout Cookie Day. Girl Scouts selling cookies are all over town. Find one and stock up on some thin mints. The best kind. Obviously.

In honor of this day, here is a new biography of Juliette Gordon Low (otherwise known as “Daisy”). Juliette knew how to make things happen.

Daisy is ready for adventure and when she grows up she goes and gets it. She rides an elephant. She rides in an airplane. And when she’s done she goes home and teaches girls how to have adventures too. Daisy is Juliette Gordon Low, the founder of the Girl Scouts. She held the first meeting of the Girl Scouts on March 12, 1912 and together they discovered they could do anything!

GirlScoutKit When Juliette Gordon Low founded the Girl Scouts in 1912, the first uniforms were blue and their handbook was “How Girls Can Help Their Country.” The Girl Scouts were organized around a set of principles known as the “Girl Scout Law”: honor, loyalty, friendliness, courtesy, befriending animals, obeying orders, cheerfulness, thriftiness and cleanliness. This first aid kit and game handbook was used in 1929 one year after the group adopted a green uniform. IndyPL Digital Collections: Artifacts from the Children’s Museum of Indianapolis

GirlScoutUniformJuliette Gordon Low began the Girl Scouts based upon Sir Robert Baden-Powell’s Boy Scouts and Girl Guides program in England. Now in 90 countries, 3.6 million Girl Scouts explore the world around them developing important life skills. Beginning in 1935 any Senior Scout troop could choose to be a Mariner troop. These troops devoted time to outdoor activities including boating and camping to explore recreational and vocational activities. Much like the Boy Scout’s Sea Scouts, the program ended when girls could join the coed Sea Scouts in 1971. Instead of wearing the traditional green uniform, Mariners wore this blue uniform worn by Peoria, Illinois scout Colleen Cowan in the 1960s. IndyPL Digital Collections: Artifacts from the Children’s Museum of Indianapolis

Books:

First Girl Scout: the life of Juliette Gordon Low Junior Girl Scouts Badge Book Brownie Girl Scout Handbook
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The Super Bowl

The Super Bowl

The Super Bowl

 

It’s time again for the big game, even if our Colts can’t be in it this time. The Super Bowl has been around for 47 years. The first Super Bowl was played on January 15, 1967 in Los Angeles, California. It was between the Green Bay Packers and the Kansas City Chiefs. This year, the Super Bowl takes place in New Orleans, Louisiana on Febuary, 3, 2013. The game is between the Baltimore Ravens and the San Francisco 49ers.

 

 

Baltimore Ravens:

Baltimore Ravens Baltimore Ravens Baltimore Ravens The History of the Baltimore Ravens

San Francisco 49ers:

The San Francisco 49ers The San Francisco 49ers San Francisco 49ers San Francisco 49ers
The History of the San Francisco 49ers

Football Books:

Football The Ultimate Guide to Pro Football Teams Pro Football’s Dream Teams Pro Football’s Most Spectacular Quarterbacks
Pro Football’s Stars of the Defense Pro Football’s Stars of the Offense AFC North NFC West
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