John Glenn was born in Ohio in 1921. He was a Marine, a fighter pilot and test pilot before he became an astronaut as well as a US senator. That is a lot of jobs!
In 1959 NASA chose seven men to by the country’s first astronauts. John was one of them and he became the first American to orbit the Earth. His space capsule was called the Friendship 7. During his mission scientists learned many things that helped them figure out how to send a manned spacecraft to the moon.
In 1998, President Bill Clinton invited John to be an astronaut again on a space shuttle mission. He was 77 years old and became the oldest person in space! He helped NASA learn again by showing what happens to an older person during space travel.
John Glenn died yesterday, December 8, 2016. He was 95 years old.
“I suppose the one quality in an astronaut more powerful than any other is curiosity. They have to get some place nobody’s ever been.” ~ John Glenn
Artifact from The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis: Mercury GI Joe – America’s entry into the space race with the Soviet Union came with the 1958 creation of NASA (National Aeronautics and Space Administration) and the introduction of Project Mercury in 1959. NASA chose to be the first astronauts: Alan Shepard, Gus Grisson, John Glenn, Scott Carpenter, Wally Schirra, Gordon Cooper, and Deke Slayton. They become known as the Mercury Seven. Hasbro’s 1997 GI Joe line commemorated the history of spaceflight by issuing a Mercury astronaut GI Joe, honoring those pioneering astronauts. GI Joe was the first well known action figure made for boys. In the late 1970s, the three and a half inch GI Joe became popular and less expensive.
This book is a graphic novel of the classic Snow White story set after World War I. During the war while many men were serving in the military, many women did things they had not done before, like working outside the home in factories and businesses. During this time more women went to college and they won the right to vote. It is a really interesting time to set a story like Snow White, a story about a girl who seems to rely entirely on other people to rescue her or take care of her.
In this telling, Snow is strong and resilient and brave. She relies on her friends. Seven friends. I bet if you try to guess who they are, you’ll be wrong! This time around, Snow is rescued, but she does her own rescuing too! A great ending to a book that changes up the Snow White story to highlight how you get by with a little help from your friends!
Shane Woods is the star pitcher for his baseball team which is on its way to the nationals. He is a talented artist working on a graphic novel, he’s got his awesome best friend Josh who sticks with him through everything and there’s a girl who’s smart, cute, funny and actually likes him. Shane has his fair share of struggles as most 12 year olds do; his folks are divorced, his Dad isn’t supportive of his future, he’s certainly got an arch enemy with a rival baseball team, and worst of all…he’s struggled with keeping something personal from his best friend.
Shane’s finally got everything starting to go his way when a slip of the tongue sends it all spiraling out of control and threatens to ruin the normal life he’s fought so hard to live.
M.G. Hennessey takes us on a starkly honest journey into the challenging life of a transgender child. Shane is not only likable as a character; he’s also very real and more importantly, believable while dealing with the challenge of trying to keep the life he wants as just any other boy at school, facing a dad who thinks it’s just a phase and the torment of what happens when you’re outed. The bullying and harassment are emotional for both Shane and the reader. Hennessey shows us through Shane that sometimes to grow and move forward, you have to face some trials.
The book is an important read for not just children in the LGBTQ+ community, but for all kids. It’s a look into what it’s like to be judged by what others think you should be and not who you really are. I would recommend this book for adults and kids alike and would encourage discussion when it’s finished.
A King James Christmas : Biblical selections with illustrations from around the world.
Depicts happenings in countries around the world on Christmas Eve, 1822, while Clement Clarke Moore gives to his family the first reading ever of his poem “A Visit from Saint Nicholas.”
Mama and Papa Bear and their four children have a world tour Christmas, visiting friends and family in China, Australia, and other countries, and sharing special holiday traditions in each place.
Presents the words of the familiar Christmas song, plus extra verses and brief descriptions of the Christmas traditions of Mexico, Sweden, the Philippines, Poland, Italy, and Kenya.
Sets the traditional Christmas carol in Africa, using a combination of text and rebuses. Includes author’s note about some of the African traditions depicted.
Inspired by the classic English poem, “A Visit from St. Nicholas,” presents a similar tale in which Father Christmas arrives on a donkey cart to an African family with gifts of chickens, toys, and a very special present.
Set in Africa during the Christmas season, this is the story of a village preparing for a celebration – the birth of a child. The story is inspired by the traditional carol The Twelve Days of Christmas, the gifts are: 1 stork in a baobab tree, 2 thatched huts, 3 woven baskets, 4 market traders, 5 bright khangas, 6 women pounding, 7 children playing, 8 wooden carvings, 9 grazing goats, 10 drummers drumming, 11 dancers dancing and 12 storytellers.
Describes the celebration of Christmas in Australia, including recipes, craft projects, and elements of the indigenous culture.
Kathryn’s new pet kangaroo hops into a big pan of Christmas taffy cooling on Grandma’s porch. Australia
Christmas from a wombat’s point of view, including competition for the carrots children have left out for Santa’s reindeer. Australia
Tells how the well-known Christmas carol, “Silent Night,” first came to be written and performed in Austria in the early 1800s.
When winter arrives in the Austrian Alps, eleven-year-old Nicole Kinders is given a magic candy cane by Boznik, the shopkeeper, but after her first taste, it seems the whole world becomes more colorful, more delicious, and more dangerous.
An illustrated edition of the seventeenth-century Canadian Christmas carol that places the Nativity story in a Huron Indian setting.
On Christmas Eve, six French-Canadian trappers meet a mysterious stranger who gives them the gift of a trip to their homes in Montreal, if only they agree not to speak until they cross their own thresholds.
When Katie and Jack wake up on Christmas Eve to hear someone sneezing, they discover Father Christmas, who has a cold, and offer to help him on his rounds as he travels around London.
Discusses how people in France celebrate Christmas, identifying traditional symbols, decorations, presents, foods, and customs associated with the holiday.
Lyrics to familiar Christmas songs in English and French with colorful illustrations and information about French Christmas traditions–also in English and French.
In 1914 France, a British soldier writes to his mother about the strange events of Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, when German and Allied soldiers met on neutral ground to share songs, food, and fun. Includes historical notes and glossary.
A young Jewish girl is fascinated by the traditions of Christmas when her family moves to a small town in France.
Discusses how people in Germany celebrate Christmas, identifying traditional symbols, decorations, presents, foods, and customs associated with the holiday.
Lyrics to familiar Christmas songs in English and German with colorful illustrations and information about German Christmas traditions–also in English and German.
Presents the story of how an American pilot participated in the Berlin Airlift and decided to drop candy for the German children caught behind the post-World-War II Soviet blockade, an effort intended to heal the wounds of war.
Long ago in Germany, an old woman cleans her house and decorates her Christmas tree, hoping that this year she will witness some special Christmas Eve magic.
A tinker’s child who grows up helpng everyone in her Irish village is rewarded in her old age with a cabin built by fairies on Christmas Eve.
In Ireland in the Middle Ages, young Brother Cuthbert, known for making mistakes and giving up easily, is chosen through a miscommunication to serve as scribe for an illuminated manuscript of the Nativity story, through which the Abbot hopes to make the monastery famous.
At Christmastime, six-year-old Angela takes the baby Jesus from the cold church manger to her warm house in Limerick, Ireland. Based on a childhood story told by the author’s mother.
Discusses how people in Italy celebrate Christmas, identifying traditional symbols, decorations, presents, foods, and customs associated with the holiday.
Lyrics to familiar Christmas songs in English and Italian with colorful illustrations and information about Italian Christmas traditions–also in English and Italian.
An illustrated story about Bambinelli Sunday, an Italian Catholic family tradition in which hand-crafted babies (“bambinelli”) destined for the Nativity scene at home are blessed by the pope in a public celebration.
An Italian Christmas tale describing the heartening encounter between a group of royal men looking for the Baby King and an eccentric old woman who, after first turning them away, later bakes them cookies.
Italian-American chef Lidia Bastianich shares her memories of the Christmases she spent in Italy, where she learned to cook with her Nonna Rosa, and provides holiday recipes and decorating ideas.
Strega Nona returns with her bumbling assistant, Big Anthony, and Bambolona, the baker’s daughter, in time for the big Christmas Eve feast. Italy
While a young Japanese boy recovers from an illness, his mother folds origami paper into beautiful silver cranes, decorates a small pine tree, and tells him all about her childhood in America and about the joyous holiday of Christmas.
Ten-year-old Juma and his aunt Aida plan to surprise his Kenyan village with an appearance by Father Christmas and find that they themselves are surprised.
Explores Latin American traditions for celebrating Christmas Eve in a text that combines English and Spanish words and follows the rhythm of Clement Moore’s “The Night Before Christmas”.
In this adaptation of the folk song “The Twelve Days of Christmas,” friends exchange such gifts as a piñata and “cuatro luminarias.” Includes pronunciation and glossary of Spanish words and a description of Christmas foods and other holiday traditions from different Latin American countries.
Lyrics to familiar Christmas songs in English and Spanish with colorful illustrations and information about Mexican Christmas traditions–also in English and Spanish.
When Lucida is unable to finish her gift for the Baby Jesus in time for the Christmas procession, a miracle enables her to offer the beautiful flower we now call the poinsettia. Mexico
Ceci anxiously awaits her first posada, the special Mexican Christmas party, and the opportunity to select a piñata for it. Caldecott Medal Winner, 1960.
When his father goes to America to find a job that pays more than toymaking, young Pablo has to act as the man of the house, protecting their small farm and trying to keep his mother and sisters from worrying. Mexico
When his parents and grandfather are late on Christmas Eve, it’s up to Carlos to take over his grandfather’s role in the traditional Mexican reenactment of the Nativity called Las Posadas.
After moving from a small village in Mexico to a town in the United States, Eduardo is sure it will never feel quite like home. The other children don’t speak his language and they do not play fútbol. His family promises him that he will feel right at home by the time Christmas comes along, when “your words float like clouds from your mouth” and “trees will ride on cars.” Eduardo discovers the United States is not so different from Latin America and home is wherever family is.
It’s Christmastime, and Afam has decided to create and dance his own Mmo, or masquerade, just like the big celebratory Mmos he sees performed at festivals. But each time he starts collecting things to make his costume, family preparations for Christmas — haircuts, visiting the tailor, a church service, a trip to their village — get in the way. Will Afam ever get to perform his Mmo? Nigeria
Discusses how people in Norway celebrate Christmas, identifying traditional symbols, decorations, presents, foods, and customs associated with the holiday.
Halva is traveling with her trained bear to visit the King of Denmark (Norway) when they stop for the night at a cottage where, they learn, a pack of trolls is about to make its annual Christmas Eve visit, causing trouble and making a big mess. Includes author’s note about the story’s origins.
A boy from Finnmark and his ice bear help scare away some hungry trolls so that Kyri and her father can enjoy their Christmas Eve meal. Norway
Living with her grandparents after her mother moves to a distant town, Chabelita memorizes her mother’s favorite poem from childhood and plans to recite it at a Christmas pageant. Panama
An old Russian woman who was too busy to travel with the Wise Men to find the Child now searches endlessly for Him each Christmas season. Caldecott Medal Winner, 1961
When Alexi learns from his babuskha that a Russian village church has been closed for sixty years, the resourceful young boy decides to prepare it for a Christmas miracle.
An old woman who was too busy to travel with the Wise Men to find the Child now searches endlessly for Him each Christmas season. Russia
When Baboushka hosts three men, they tell her that they are taking gifts to a king of love, and she is determined to go and give gifts to the king, but first she needs to get her house in order. Russia
While traveling, Babushka gives her gifts for the Christ child away and thinks she has nothing left to give the baby, only to discover that everything she gave away, she also gave to him. Russia
Jamela is responsible for fattening up the chicken intended for Christmas dinner, but instead she gives it a name and makes it her friend. South Africa
Every Christmas Eve, the family put out porridge for the tomtes to thank them for their help around the farm. But this year they forget, and Papa tomte will be angry if he finds out. So Mama tomte and the children hatch a cunning plan. Sweden
In Sweden, while visiting their aunt and uncle at Christmas, triplets Flicka, Ricka, and Dicka are trying out their new ice skates when their dog Mike and new friend Bertie fall through thin ice, and the girls must save them.
Describes the customs, songs, foods, and activities associated with the celebration of Christmas in Sweden.
Pippi Longstocking’s after-Christmas party includes such activities as undecorating the Christmas tree, opening presents, and sledding. First Published in 1950 in Sweden.
Recounts pivotal events in the history and life of Saint Nicholas, including how he came to be associated with Christmas and Santa Claus. Myra, Present Day Turkey
Describes the origins and evolution of Santa Claus, from the Turkish Saint Nicholas to the jolly, red-suited Santa of today. Also discusses similar legendary figures in other cultures.
Describes the celebration of Christmas in Ukraine; includes sections on native songs, recipes, and fun-to-do crafts appropriate to the holiday.
A poor peasant woman who has no money for gifts or a special meal for her children gets help from a kindly mother spider on Christmas. Ukraine
Katrusya’s family cannot afford Christmas, but they cut a smalls pine tree in the forest, decorate it with buttons, and, when baby spiders hatch in its branches, they especially enjoy the silvery webs that appear. Ukraine
Noah writes a letter home each of the twelve days he spends exploring the state of Indiana at Christmastime, as his cousin Darcy shows him everything from the world’s largest Christmas tree to the Indanapolis Motor Speedway. Includes facts about Indiana.
Jacob writes a letter home each of the twelve days he spends exploring Georgia at Christmastime, as his cousin Ava shows him everything from a brown thrasher in a live oak tree to twelve bouncing kangaroos. Includes facts about Georgia.
Ruthie and her mother wonder how they will fulfill their obligation of getting the perfect Christmas tree to the town for the holiday celebration, since Papa has left the Appalachian area to go to war.
Draws on memories of Christmases from mid-twentieth-century New England, describing family members and friends who share holiday treats, enjoy sled rides, and listen for the sound of reindeer hooves on the roof.
Christmas is two days away, but Frances and her little brother Peter, who recently moved with their father to a lighthouse on an isolated island, fear that they will have no treats, no music, and no visit from Santa. Includes facts about the Flying Santa Service.
Frankie and his eight brothers and sisters learn lessons about giving, family, and tradition during a snowy Michigan Christmas long ago.
A young boy, living in rural Kentucky, looks forward to the annual Christmas festivities, especially the traditional family cream candy; but, when his favorite dog disappears, he comes to realize that tradition and family have a deeper meaning.
A mute Indian child has an extraordinary experience one Christmas when, following a figure who seems to be his beloved dead grandfather, he becomes part of a circle in which he, animals, nature, and all the world join in a moment of peace and good will. Native American
United States: Asian American
Yoon, a Korean American, is excited to hear about Santa Claus and Christmas at her school, but her family tells her that such things are not part of their Korean tradition.
United States: Hispanic American
Follows a Hispanic American family in a small New Mexican community as they prepare for and celebrate the nine-day religious festival which occurs just before Christmas.
With Christmas only days away, it snows so heavily that Jacobo the wood carver and his visiting grandson are afraid the roads will not be cleared in time for the rest of the family to come from the city, and that a sick neighbor will not get the help he needs. New Mexico
Provides a Southwestern spin on a Christmas classic, enhanced with bright illustrations, musical notation, and a recipe for a New Mexican holiday cookie–the bizcochitos!
One Christmas Eve, Santa Claus asks his cousin Pancho to help him deliver toys to the boys and girls along the Texas-Mexico border, and when he agrees, Santa magically transforms him into Charro Claus.
The story of a Christmas holiday in Spanish Harlem that young Eric spends with his grandmother. After they prepare their traditional Puerto Rican celebration, Eric and Grandma visit the Metropolitan Museum of Art for a school project, where he sees a painting by Diego Velasquez and realizes for the first time that he could be an artist when he grows up. Grandma witnesses his fascination, and presents Eric with the perfect Christmas gift–a sketchbook and colored pencils–to use in his first steps toward becoming an artist.
A little girl guides the reader through each step of a posada, a Hispanic holiday tradition celebrated on the nine nights before Christmas.
While spending Christmas with her Cuban American grandmother in Miami, Florida, young Nina misses her usual New England holiday but enjoys learning about the foods and other traditions her father knew as a child.
With her father away fighting in World War II and her grandfather too sick to create the traditional luminaria, Luz helps create farolitos, little lanterns, for their Christmas celebration instead. New Mexico
Some dogs don’t make good pets, but they can be great on the job. I learned reading this book that dogs have thirty times the number of smell receptors in their noses than humans do. They can smell in layers. When we might say, “that smells like apple pie,” a dog can smell the distinct parts of the pie individually, all at once….apple, sugar, flour, cinnamon. Humans can’t SEE smells, and humans can’t smell in layers, but dogs can. They make great detectives! They can smell clues people can’t! And believe it or not, one useful thing they can do is smell different kinds of animal poop. These dog detectives make great partners for animal scientists.
It might seem odd to spend years searching out animal poop, but when you understand why, it makes perfect sense. As Dr. Wasser, one of the scientists in this book who studies animals says about studying poop, “You can get a lot of information on a species without ever seeing a single animal.” (page 12) And that is important, because the scientists don’t have to see or disturb the animals to find out what they need to know. So studying poop, is really pretty brilliant. In this book you can go alongside scientists and their dog partners as they track bears, wild cats and even whales!