Category Archives: Non-Fiction

Friends Around the World

Friends Around the World

These books are a window into the lives of children living in different places. Children eat, go to school and Their Great Giftplay all over the world. How are these experiences in different places different? How are they the same?

a-ticket-around-the-worldA Ticket Around the World – An introduction to the world’s diversity follows the journeys of a young boy who visits friends in thirteen different countries and explores their respective cultures, languages, foods, geography, wildlife, and landmarks.

can-you-say-peaceCan You Say Peace? – Every September 21 on the International Day of Peace, children around the world wish in many different languages for peace.

celebrating-birth-around-the-worldCelebrating Birth Around the World – A wonderful world of celebrations from around the world featuring the world’s main religions as well as some little-known ceremonies and festivals, this book takes a look at how birth is celebrated in many different places.

celebrating-weddings-around-the-worldCelebrating Weddings Around the World – A wonderful world of celebrations from around the world featuring the world’s main religions as well as some little-known ceremonies and festivals, this book takes a look at how getting married and weddings are celebrated in many different places.

children-from-australia-to-zimbabweChildren from Australia to Zimbabwe – Text and photographs depict how children live in nations across the alphabet, from Australia to Zimbabwe.

Children Just Like Me – Photographs and text depict the homes, schools, family life, and culture of young people around the world.

city-atlas-travel-the-world-with-30-city-mapsCity Atlas – 30 best-loved cities from around the world are brought to life with illustrations which show in detail key landmarks, famous people, iconic buildings and cultural icons.

coming-of-age-around-the-worldComing of Age Around the World – Discover a world of celebrations from around the world featuring the world’s main religions as well as some little-known ceremonies and festivals, this book takes a look at how growing up and coming of age are celebrated in many different places.

dreams-around-the-worldDreams Around the World – Thirteen children from around the world share their dreams for the future, as well as a day in their lives.

a-faith-like-mineA Faith Like Mine – Presents detailed personal accounts which give unique insight into the diversity of religious faith as experienced by children across the world.

farms-around-the-worldFarms Around the World – Learning about animals, plants, and activities on a farm, you’ll read about the jobs that must be done daily, the changing seasons, and how food gets from the farm to your plate.

if-america-were-a-villageIf America Were a Village – This book uses a simple metaphor to create a snapshot–past, present and future–to help readers imagine America as a village of 100 people, exploring their lives to help children and readers of all ages to discover a whole new vision of America.

its-back-to-school-we-goIt’s Back to School We Go – In easy-to-read text, describes what the first day of school might be like for a child in Kenya, Kazakhstan, Canada, Australia, Japan, China, Peru, Germany, India, Russia, and the United States.

just-like-me-climbing-a-treeJust Like Me Climbing a Tree – Introduces twelve distinctive trees from across the world, including Mexico’s Montezuma cypress, South Africa’s baobab, and Australia’s white mulberry, and looks at what makes each one so unique.

a-life-like-mineA Life Like Mine – Looks at what life is like for children of different countries and how each child can fulfill his or her hopes and ambitions no matter how little or much their human rights are infringed.

my-librarian-is-a-camelMy Librarian is a Camel – Describes unusual mobile libraries found around the world. Young Hoosier Book Award, 2008-2009, 4-6 Nominee. Mi Bibliotecaria es un Camello

my-school-is-in-the-rain-forestMy School in the Rain Forest – A lively photo-essay examines the many ways children across the globe learn, from a webcam near the Sahara desert to a school that floats on a river to a school high in the Himalayas. By the author of My Librarian Is a Camel: How Books Are Brought to Children Around the World.

off-to-classOff to Class – Describes some of the different and unusual school settings around the world, from an environmentally sustainable school in India to schools within caves in China and schools for the nomadic tribes of Siberia.

our-worldOur World – Take a trip with your favorite Disney characters and learn how children around the world live, celebrate, speak, eat, etc.

remembering-the-dead-around-the-worldRemembering the Dead Around the World – Discover how people remember the passing of their loved ones all around the world. Featuring the world’s main religions as well as some little-known ceremonies and festivals, this book takes an intriguing and colorful look at how death is commemorated in many different places.

school-days-around-the-worldSchool Days Around the World – “What is a school? Is it a building with classrooms? Or can it be any place where children learn?” The fascinating stories that follow will expand how young readers think of school, as they learn about the experiences of real children in thirteen different countries around the world.

school-days-around-the-world-2School Days Around the World – What is a school? Is it a building with classrooms? Or can it be any place where children learn?” The stories that follow will expand how young readers think of school, as they learn about the experiences of real children in thirteen different countries around the world.

a-school-like-mine-2A School Like Mine – Introduces children from around the world and discusses where they live, how they play, and what their schools are like.

schools-in-different-placesSchools in Different Places – Discusses how schools from around the world are different by describing buildings, rules and responsibilities, and schedules.

this-child-every-childThis Child, Every Child – Examines how children from different countries around the world live and how their lives differ from children elsewhere, including issues such as access to water, healthcare, and education.

wake-up-worldWake Up World – Takes a look at home life, schooling, and other aspects of everyday life around the world by comparing the experiences of children from Ghana, Russia, Australia, California, Brazil, Vietnam, and England.

the-way-to-schoolThe Way to School – Your way to school might be by yellow bus, bicycle or car, but around the world children are also getting to class by canoe, through tunnels, up ladders, by donkey, water buffalo or ox cart. A collection of gorgeous, full-color photographs of schoolchildren from Myanmar, Ghana, Brazil, China, Canada and beyond, readers will see that the path to school can be “long and hard and even scary” depending on the lay of the land, the weather, even natural disasters.

what-we-wearWhat We Wear – Uses colorful photographs to show the clothing and dress of children from places around the globe, including Peru, Uganda, and Sweden.

whats-for-lunchWhat’s for Lunch? – An examination of the food consumption by school children in thirteen countries; focusing on school lunches, as wel as the inequality of food and the importance of health, nutritious food.

the-world-of-birthdaysThe World of Birthdays – Discusses how birthdays are celebrated in Australia, Brazil, Egypt, Germany, India, Japan, Mexico, Russia, South Africa, and the United States. Includes instructions for making a craft, game, or recipe from each country.

you-and-me-togetherYou and Me Together – From a festival in India to a bus in Germany, from a park in China to a campfire in Australia, loving moms, dads, and kids share their lives.

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Their Great Gift – the Immigrant Experience

Their Great Gift – the Immigrant Experience


Their Great Gift

Their Great Gift: Courage, Sacrifice, and Hope in a New Land – There are very few words in this book…the pictures tell the story. What you see on the cover is very much like what you see inside. Each time you turn a page you see 4-6 photographs of different immigrant families.

For some of you, depending on where you live, the people in these pictures might not seem familiar. But in other places, like here in Indianapolis, this book looks like a photo album of people you see while grocery shopping or getting an oil change or walking in a park. Indianapolis is a very diverse city. People have immigrated here from all corners of the globe. This book, and the books listed below, celebrate each of these people who have journeyed so far to start a new life here in America. The books highlight the experiences, talents and hard work each of them brings – all of these things are a gift. We are lucky to have them joining our communities!


More Books about the Immigrant Experience:

this-land-is-our-land_1This Land is Our Land – This book explores the way government policy and popular responses to immigrant groups evolved throughout U.S. history, particularly between 1800 and 1965. The book concludes with a summary of events up to contemporary times, as immigration again becomes a hot-button issue.

national-geographic-ellis-island_1National Geographic Ellis Island – Looks at the history of Ellis Island and identifies its early roles as a Mohegan island, fisherman rest spot, famous immigration station, and today’s museum.

we-came-to-america_1We Came to America – Celebrates United States immigration and the country’s diverse immigrant heritage.

journey-to-ellis-islandJourney to Ellis Island: How My Father Came to America – An account of the ocean voyage and arrival at Ellis Island of twelve-year-old Julius Weinstein who, along with his mother and younger sister, immigrated from Russia in 1922.

ellis-island-coming-to-the-land-of-liberty_1Ellis Island Coming to the Land of Liberty – Tells the complete history of the national landmark, highlighting its most notable purpose as an immigration service station that welcomed nearly twelve million people to the United States between 1921 to 1954.

yes-we-are-latinos_1Yes! We Are Latinos – A collection of stories about young Latino’s immigrant experience in the United States. Disponible en español: ¡Si! Somos Latinos.


Out of Iraq: Refugees’ Stories in Words, Paintings & Music – Uses words and pictures to tell the stories of Iraqi families who have left their homes in Iraq and fled to Syria and Jordan where they wait for the time it will be safe for them to return home.

at-ellis-islandAt Ellis Island: a History in Many Voices – The experiences of people coming to the United States from many different lands are conveyed in the words of a contemporary young girl visiting Ellis Island and of a girl who immigrated in about 1910, as well as by quotes from early twentieth century immigrants and Ellis Island officials.

we-are-americansWe Are Americans: Voices of the Immigrant Experience – Letters, diaries, and oral histories profile the often challenging but ultimately rewarding experiences of US immigrants during the last 20,000 years.

coming-to-americaComing to America: a Muslim Family’s Story – Depicts the joys and hardships experienced by a Muslim family that immigrates to New York City from Alexandria, Egypt, in the hope of making a better life life for themselves.

my-journey-through-ellis-island_1My Journey Through Ellis Island – Traveling to live in a new country can be terrifying, especially to a child. Leaving behind family, friends, and places you know and love is something everyone can relate to. In this book, readers board a boat with an immigrant child going to the United States for the first time. The first-person narration introduces readers to Ellis Island and the many immigrants coming to America during the late 1800s and early 1900s, including their reasons for doing so. Historical images and fact boxes add context to this important social studies topic.

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Anything But Ordinary Addie

Anything But Ordinary Addie

Anything But Ordinary Addie


Adelaide Herrmann was a little girl who wanted to make a splash. She did not want to be ordinary, so she set out to do extraordinary things. And she did, but as soon as she accomplished one extraordinary thing, she was ready to push herself to the next one. Addie liked the “wow” factor and a little danger made her exploits even better! She even let herself be set on fire! Don’t worry – it was her husband who did it. He was a magician!

All of this was pretty extraordinary for a woman of her time. Addie was born in 1853. Oregon and Minnesota weren’t even states yet! And of the state that existed, very few allowed women to own land. NONE of them allowed women to vote. Adelaide was an independent thinking woman way ahead of her time. And to be even MORE extraordinary, Addie became a well known magician herself – even the great magician Harry Houdini thought she was good! Addie wanted to dazzle, and she did!


Women Daredevils:




Magic Tricks:

the-great-book-of-magic-tricks i-can-make-magic big-magic-for-little-hands
amazing-magic-tricks amazing-magic-tricks-2 abracadabra abracadabra-the-story-of-magic-through-the-ages
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Antsy Ansel: Ansel Adams a Life in Nature

Antsy Ansel: Ansel Adams a Life in Nature

Ansel Adams was a photographer. His pictures are some of the most recognized in the world. You have probably seen many of his pictures but didn’t know it. They are often reproduced on calendars or posters or greeting cards. His favorite subjects were mountain peaks and rushing rivers and wildlife. He is most famous for photographing National Parks, especially Yosemite, in California.

When someone is good at what they do, and Ansel was REALLY good, people often want to ask them, “How did you get started?” This book shows you exactly how Ansel got started. And you’ll like this…part of his start was having his father say he didn’t have to sit still at school anymore!



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Ada’s Ideas: the Story of Ada Lovelace

Ada’s Ideas: the Story of Ada Lovelace

I know the girl on the back of that horse looks like she is from the old days…the hairdo, the ribbons, the long dress and all that. “The World’s First Computer Programmer” is not what you think of when you see her…but it’s the truth. Ada Lovelace was born in 1815. That is the year Napoleon fought in the Battle of Waterloo…just to give you an idea of the time we are talking….back when battles were fought on horseback. How is it possible that she could be considered the world’s first computer programmer?

You might not realize it, but the first computer was actually invented that long ago. Back than computers were mechanical, machines that counted things or made math computations or made repeating patterns possible in a machine like a loom or a player piano. Ada was friends with Mr. Charles Babbage who invented a mechanical device for math computations.

Ada had an amazing mind for math, and she used it in a time when girls typically weren’t educated much at all. Ada had to fight to do the things she wanted to do. A smart girl. A strong girl. This is her fascinating story.



poet-of-scienceada-byron-lovelace-and-the-thinking-machinewomen-of-science women-who-launched-the-computer-age
coding-games-in-scratch coding-projects-in-scratchhow-to-codeso-you-want-to-be-a-coder
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