Category Archives: Non-Fiction

Black History: Athletes

Black History: Athletes
Marshall Featured Athlete Marshall “Major” Taylor: This is the story of a young African-American boy who grew up in Indianapolis over a hundred years ago. Despite living at a time when African-Americans were often denied basic rights, Marshall Taylor became a world champion cyclist. Marshall earned the nickname “Major” when he performed bicycle tricks as a very young boy dressed in a military style costume. When he was a teenager he stopped performing tricks and moved on to bicycle racing – and he was really, really good – world champion good! His story is inspiring because he persevered even when there were many people who didn’t want him to even be in a race, let alone win, just because he was African-American. Sometimes he rode fast just to get away from angry people chasing him! Author: Marlene Targ Brill
In Indianapolis, we have the Major Taylor Velodrome, a world-class bicycle racing track named for this cycling great. You can ride your bike and also use inline skates at the Velodrome. If you want to try riding there, it’s best if you are at least 10 years old. Call ahead and see if you can arrange a time to go try it out. And don’t forget your helmet! 3649 Cold Spring Rd., Indianapolis, IN 46222 Velodrome Phone: 317-327-8356.

Websites – Marshall Taylor:

Featured Athlete Oscar RobertsonHave you ever heard of Indiana’s own Olympian Oscar Robertson? In 1955 Oscar went to Crispus Attucks High School. Oscar’s team won the Indiana State Championship, becoming the first all-black school in the nation to win a state title. Robertson led Crispus Attucks to another championship in 1956. Oscar was so good he played in College and went on to win a gold medal with the US Basketball team at the 1960 Olympic Games. During his NBA career with the Cincinnati Royals and the Milwaukee Bucks, Robertson became one of the top-scoring guards of all time, scoring 26,710 points.

Websites – Oscar Robertson:

Websites – African-American Athletes:

Books – African-American Athletes:

Sports Athletes2 Ship Fair
Touch Jesse Hope Jump
Trouble Satchel Champ Queen
Henry Jackie Lebron gabby-douglas


More Info Guides about Black History:

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Around the World: Religion

Around the World: Religion


There are about 7.5 billion people alive on earth today. A billion is one thousand millions, so the population of the earth is 7,500 million people!

The population of Indianapolis is 852,866. If we round up to make the math easy and say that is about 1 million…7.5 billion people is Indianapolis 7,500 times!

The total land area of Earth is about 57,308,738 square miles. That is a lot of people spread out over a very large space! It is no wonder that we speak different languages, eat different foods, sing different songs and play different games! We are all human though, so it is also no wonder we are a lot alike!

Religion is the belief in a supernatural power. On this page, you can learn about the beliefs of some of the world’s most common religions, your own, as well as someone else’s. It is interesting to learn about the ways these religions are different and the way these religions are the same.


Faith Five Religions and What They ShareSacred StoriesIn the House of HappinessThe Story of World ReligionsThe Lion Encyclopedia of World ReligionsEyewitness ReligionReligious CelebrationsOut of the ArkSacred Places


Followers: Buddhists
Sacred Book: Tripitaka
Gathering Space: Stupa
Holy Places: Lumbini (Buddha’s birthplace)

BuddhismThe Buddha's Apprentice at BedtimeBuddhaDalai LamaBuddha StoriesA Handful of QuietShantideva How to Wake Up a HeroBecoming Buddha the Story of SiddharthaTibetan Tales for Little Buddhas


Followers: Christians
Sacred Book: The Bible
Gathering Space: Church, Chapel, Cathedral
Holy Places: Jerusalem, Bethlehem
Holidays: Christmas, Easter

Angels in the Bible StorybookCelebrate EasterPope FrancisStories of the SaintsCreations First LightSaint FrancisNoah's ArkGiving ThanksJesusMaryMother TeresaB is for Bethlehem


Followers: Hindus
Sacred Book: Vedas, Upanishads
Gathering Space: Mandir
Holy Places: River Ganges
Holidays: Diwali, Holi

A Day to Remember an Indian WeddingFacts about HinduismHinduism Babu's StoryManu's Ark India's Tale of the Great FloodGandhiBe the ChangeGrandfather GandhiThe Fantastic Adventures of KrishnaKrishna Steals the Butter and Other StoriesGanesh's Sweet ToothGandhi March to the SeaDiwaliHappy DiwaliThe Diwali GiftHoli


Followers: Muslims
Sacred Book: The Qur’an
Gathering Space: Mosque
Holy Places: Mecca, Medina, Jerusalem
Holidays: Ramadan, Eid-ul-Fitr

Islam Hambali's StoryThe Genius of IslamUnder the Ramadan MoonRamadanMuhammadRumiThe Grand Mosque of ParisDeep in the SaharaMy Mum is a WonderGolden Domes and Silver LanternsHassan and Madrasa Go to MadrasaHassan and Aneesa Go To Masjid


Followers: Jews
Sacred Book: The TeNaCh (Torah, Nevi’im, Ketuvim
Gathering Space: Synagogue
Holy Places: Jerusalem
Holidays: Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur, Passover, Sukkot

Eyewitness JudaismJudaism Yoni's StoryHere is the World a Year of Jewish HolidaysHanukkah Around the WorldHershel and the Hanukkah GoblinsHanukkah BearHanukkah Cookies with SprinklesSammy Spider's First MitzvahMore Than Enough a Passover StoryA Place for ElijahMazel TovIs It Sukkot Yet?Oskar and the Eight BlessingsI Say ShehechiyanuRabbi Benjamin's ButtonsHow It's Made a Torah Scroll
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Masters of Disguise

Masters of Disguise

Masters of Disguise

Masters of Disquise is a finalist in the non-fiction category for the CYBILS Awards, 2016! More Finalists


If you are interested in animals at all or have studied them at school, you are probably familiar with animal camouflage – the ability for an animal to hide itself because its coloring makes it blend in to its environment. Sometimes, this also involves actively changing color to match the environment, like a chameleon.

Masters of Disguise is about some animals that take camouflage to the next level. They wear disguises or act like other things – they are great fakers! One spider makes a fake spider bigger than itself, and then moves it like a puppet to scare predators away. Amazing animal tricksters is right!

One question I always have is, “how do they do that?” This book answers that question. The amazing ability of each animal to disguise itself is described, but then you can also read the science behind the story. You also get to meet the scientists and see how they studied the animals to figure out how their disguises worked. Fascinating. Cool pictures too. Written and Illustrated by Rebecca L. Johnson.


More Books About Animal Camouflage:

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Finding Winnie: the True Story of the World’s Most Famous Bear

Finding Winnie: the True Story of the World’s Most Famous Bear

Finding Winnie

Finding Winnie the True Story of the World’s Most Famous Bear is a finalist in the non-fiction category for the CYBILS cybils-2016-round-150Awards, 2016! More Finalists

Finding Winnie is the story of a veterinarian named Harry Colebourn who was a soldier in 1914 during World War I. Harry’s job was to take care of the calvary’s horses. A cavalry is a group of soldiers who fight on horseback. Harry was from Winnepeg, Canada, which is located north of the border between North Dakota and Minnesota.
Winnie the True Story of the Bear Who Inspired Winnie-the-Pooh
To get to the east coast to catch a boat to Europe, Harry rode on a troop train. Trains were a very common way to transport troops during the war. During one of the train’s stops on its way East, Harry took a walk on a train platform. While walking, he ran into a trapper with a baby bear. Harry could not walk away from that bear! He bought the bear for $20, and took it with him on the boat to Europe! He named the bear Winnie, after his home town of Winnepeg, and she became his unit’s mascot.

If you think for just a few seconds, you can think of another bear you know named “Winnie.” Could there be two? An odd coincidence. But what if there was only one? Read Finding Winnie to find out what this Winnie, the London Zoo, the bear you know, and a little boy named Christopher Robin (the real one!) have to do with each other! Finding Winnie in Print and on DVD. By Lindsay Mattick. Illustrated by Sophie Blackall.


Book Trailer:

Military Animals:


Bears & Zoos:


Other Working & Helping Animals:

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Pink is for Blobfish

Pink is for Blobfish


Pink is for Blobfish is a finalist in the non-fiction category for the CYBILS Awards, 2016! More Finalists

“The World of Weird Animals” says it all. I have never even heard of cybils-2016-round-150a blobfish, but there one is, right on the cover. The animals in this book are all unusual, and oddly, they are all pink! If you like the Animal Kingdom and learning about the diversity there, this is a really fun book. Each animal has a full page picture so you can see every detail of their interesting and unusual bodies. Each animal also gets a page of interesting facts, kind of like a baseball card. The facts cover species name, size, diet, habitat & predator threats. as well as some surprising stories about how the animal lives. This isn’t a book that overwhelms you with information. It isn’t the kind that includes everything you need for a report, although it would help with one. Instead, it shows you amazing members of the Animal Kingdom and makes you smile and say, “Oh!….wow!” By Jess Keating. Illustrated by David DeGrand.


Books about Animal Colorations:


Series: My Life is a Zoo

Jess Keating also has a series of fiction books, My Life is a Zoo, about twelve-year-old Ana whose zoologist parents move her whole family into a zoo.

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