Category Archives: Non-Fiction

Heart and Soul

Heart and Soul

Heart and Soul

Sometimes history can be overwhelming for me. It’s hard to keep the people and places and dates straight. I really like Heart and Soul because the history unfolds like a story. In fact, the book is written like an old lady talking. It’s like listening to your Grandmother explain it.

This is the kind of book that makes you proud to be a part of your country and it doesn’t matter if you are black or white or young or old. Our country is only 236 years old. That’s a baby country. And in that time we have worked through some struggles that could have ended really badly. Instead, we have struggled together to work out our differences and find common ground and build a life together.

This book shows how a country can go from thinking a black person was property to having a black president. It explains how changes were slowly made to help make that happen. It doesn’t say the job is done, but it shows how we got to where we are today. And it has the BEST paintings. Author & Illustrator: Kadir Nelson

If you like reading about the story of America and African Americans try these::
Traveling the Freedom Road Marching for Freedom Miles to Go for Freedom Powerful Words
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Drawing from Memory

Drawing from Memory

Drawing From Memory

Allen Say is the author/illustrator of many books that are often based on things that happened in his life. In this story, Mr. Say tells the story of how he became a maker of books. He tells it in very few words and with lots of photographs and drawings.

Believe it or not, Mr. Say moved out of his family’s house and into an apartment when he was 12 years old! Mr. Say became an apprentice to a master Japanese cartoonist and the two remained dedicated friends until Sensei Shinpei died at the age 87. Sensei Shinpei lived to see Mr. Say become a Caldecott Medal . Say, “the treasure of my life.” Author: Allen Say

More books from Allen Say:
Grandfather's Journey The Bicycle Man Tree of Cranes The Innkeeper's Apprentice
If you liked reading about Mr. Say and how he became an illustrator and a writer here are some books by authors who tell their own life story:
Bill Peet an Autobiography World of William Joyce Scrapbook 26 Fairmount Avenue Words to My Life's Song
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Science of Scary Stuff – Screaming Cup; Screaming Balloon

Science of Scary Stuff – Screaming Cup; Screaming Balloon

Are You Afraid Yet?

This book is laid out like a comic book – it’s full of drawings, pictures and all kinds of freaky facts about the things that usually scare us: monsters, UFOs, vampires, mummies, ghosts, haunted houses, and lots more scary stuff. For each freaky thing you get an explanation of the science behind it – either why the thing appears the way it does or why the thing is impossible. There’s nothing like a little bit of hard science to take the chill out of scary stuff. Of course some of the stuff remains gross…even if it isn’t scary anymore. So beware! Author: Steven O’Meara

The Stunning Science of Everything Gross Me Out
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Bat Spit, Maggots and Other Amazing Medical Miracles

Bat Spit, Maggots and Other Amazing Medical Miracles

Bat Spit

It turns out a lot of useful stuff is made from unusual, even gross, stuff from animals. Bat spit, snake venom, rooster combs and even…poop…can be used to make medicine. Really. Some of the things in this book make you say, “oooh gross!” but mostly you just feel like, “wow, some people must be really smart to figure all of this out!” While I don’t really want to experiment with bat spit, I’m glad someone does!

If you are interested in the extreme gross side of natural science and biology, then you’ll also like some of these!
Gross Body Invaders Clot and Scab Itch and Ooze Rumble and Spew
Hawk and Drool Crust and Spray Gut Bugs and Dust Mites Farts, Vomits and Other Functions That Help Your Body
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Amelia Lost: The Life and Disappearance of Amelia Earhart

Amelia Lost: The Life and Disappearance of Amelia Earhart

Amelia Lost

I have always been fascinated by the mystery surrounding Amelia Earhart, the thrill seeking, adventure loving pilot who disappeared over the Pacific trying to fly around the world in 1937.

This book is full of pictures and stories that reveal a lot more about Amelia than just her disappearance. In this book, you get a look at why Amelia was so compelled to adventure and do things no one else had ever tried before. You also get a first hand account of the hours and days following the moment her plane seemed to disappear into thin air. There are actually many many clues…the trick is figuring out which ones have anything at all to do with what really happened.

I think the reason people, including myself, are so interested in Amelia can be best understood by reading the note Amelia wrote before she left on her trip:

Please know I am quite aware of the hazards. I want to do it because I want to do it. Women must try to do things as men have tried. When they fail, their failure must be but a challenge to others.” (page 110)

She was an adventurer and took on the risks willingly. I think we are all interested in people that are unafraid of challenges, whatever the challenges are. Next summer you can follow another attempt to find out what happened to Amelia Earhart. There is going to be an underwater search take place in July, 2012. Maybe this time someone will find something and solve this 75 year-old mystery.

Some more about Amelia as well as other daredevils and adventurers in the sky:
Amelia Lost Sky High Women Daredevils Daring American Heroes of Flight
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