In the 1970s “The Undersea World of Jacques Cousteau” was a regular television show watched by a lot of people. Jacques Cousteau was the host of the show – an adventurer, explorer and teacher who took his boat called the Calypso all over the world filming amazing underwater creatures to show the rest of us. Jacques was like Steve Irwin, the Crocodile Hunter, but without all the “Crikey!” and alligator wrestling.
This book is the story of Jacques life as an adventurer and inventor. He helped develop the aqua lung – the tank that allows people to breath underwater. Jacques’s message about keeping the ocean clean and protecting ocean creatures was way ahead of everyone else. Jacques was green before being green was cool! Author: Jennifer Berne Illustrator: Éric Puybaret
If you want to know what it was really like during the California Gold Rush, this book is a great place to start. It isn’t a textbook telling all the facts, this is the inside story of the gold rush told by one of the miners himself, Thomas Hartley. Thomas tells the story from the day he heard about the discovery of gold in California. All the people around him can talk about is gold, “how much and how to get it and how to spend it once you’ve got it.” Of course, they forget to talk about all the work…and the danger. Thomas’s story includes blisters and rotting teeth, scurvy, dysentery, scheamers, crooks and murderers. A true adventure that just might end in fortune. Author: Tod Olson Illustrator: Scott Allred
Gary Paulsen, the author of this book, calls it “the true and fictional account of the most valiant marshal in the West.” Mr. Paulsen adds a little here and there to fill in the places where history left gaps…but for the most part, this is the story of a real guy – the first African-American U.S. Deputy Marshal west of the Mississippi – and this was in the 1870s! Bass became a legend, even in his own time. Some outlaws turned themselves in once they heard it was Bass that would be looking for them!
Bass was born to slave parents in the 1830s but escaped to the Indian Territory during the Civil War and lived with the Seminole and Creek Indians. After the Emancipation Proclamation, which freed slaves in 1863, Bass returned from the Indian Territory and settled in Arkansas. Because he knew how to speak several tribal languages and knew the land so well, he was hired as a U.S. Marshal. In his lifetime he brought in over 3,000 outlaws. This book is the story of how he went from being a child slave to being one of the most respected lawmen in the West. A really inspiring story and fun to read too. Bass was not boring and thought up all kinds of interesting ways to trap outlaws or trick them into custody. He could fight and he could shoot when he had too, but mostly, he was smart! Truly, one-of- kind! Author: Gary Paulsen
This Rapunzel is no princess in distress waiting to be rescued, in fact, she’s an Old West cowgirl ready for action. She can handle those braids like Indiana Jones and his whip. When Rapunzel discovers that she is indeed strandard in the tower until death, she makes a daring escape and discovers the truth about her stay in the tower and about what lies behind the wall that encircles her kingdom. She sets out to right the many wrongs that have been done against her and the people she cares about. This one is a graphic novel – it looks like a comic book inside. Take a look at the excerpt to see what I mean – it is action packed and a lot of fun! Author: Shannon Hale Illustrator: Nathan Hale
Piper Reed is a great character to read about on Veteran’s Day – today – the day our country honors the men and women who serve or have served in the military.
Piper Reed is proud of her Navy Dad and her Navy family. Piper calls her father Chief and loves to salute. She has never minded the moves the family must make because of the military but then again she has never had to move in the middle of the school year before. In Piper Reed Navy Brat, Piper’s father announces they are moving from a very comfortable home in San Diego to military housing in Pensacola, Florida. Piper feels her life has come undone. But change can bring surprises as Piper finds out. Piper is an adventurous fourth grader never lacking in excitement. -Recommended by Laura Dixon, Outreach Service Section
In Piper Reed The Great Gypsy, Piper’s Dad ships out for six months leaving Piper, her Mom and her sisters to face many months — even Christmas — all alone. Dad’s girls make the best of it and try as hard as they can to keep their Dad in the loop of family news and activities. Two good stories about a proud girl doing her part to keep the home fires burning for her Navy Dad. Author Kimberly Willis Holt Illustrator: Christine Davenier