Tag Archives: Non-Fiction

The Way We Work

The Way We Work

The Way We Work

    David Macaulay is the guy who wrote and illustrated The Way Things Work – the book that explains how all the machines we use work, like telephones and televisions and computers and cars. This time, his book is about how the human body works, like how the heart pumps blood, how digestion works, how our arms and legs move and how the body fights infections.  It is full of his usual illustrations that show every detail of every part. His writing and pictures help make hard things easier to understand. Author: David Macaulay

  • Listen to a David Macaulay Interview on NPR
  • Kids’ Health: How the Body Works
  • Your Gross and Cool Body
  • Amazon Look Inside: The Way We Work
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Manfish: a Story of Jacques Cousteau

Manfish: a Story of Jacques Cousteau

Manfish

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

Flotsam

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How to Get Rich in the California Gold Rush

How to Get Rich in the California Gold Rush

How to Get Rich in the California Gold RushIf 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

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Duel! Founding Fathers Behaving Badly

Duel! Founding Fathers Behaving Badly

Duel!

Look at that cover! Talk about making history intresting. Do you know the names Aaron Burr and Alexander Hamilton? Both worked for George Washington during the Revolution. Eventually, Aaron Burr became Vice – President and Alexander Hamilton became Secretery of the Treasury – he’s the guy on our $10 bill. Here are two guys you would consider pretty smart…yet they both couldn’t think of a better way to settle their differences than a duel – a fight to the death. And like many disagreements, their reasons seem very silly now! That’s the thing about fighting, it usually seems pretty dumb later.

These two guys both had tempers, they were jealous, they argued, and they talked badly about each other to other people. They sound like a couple of school boy brats rather than the educated adults they were. Rather than work out their differences they agreed to have a duel, and they even sneaked off in the night to do it because they knew it was illegal. That’s a lot of bad choices made by both of them. In the end, one walked away from the duel but lived out his life in disgrace…and the other was dead. Now that’s a no-win situation!

This is a great book that brings two historic figures to full color life. It also goes to show you what a poor choice fighting is! Fighting has never been a smart way to solve differences. Thankfully, our politicians today use debates and interviews and speeches to settle their differences. So let’s hear it for the 2008 presidential election, a war of words and not of fists. Author: Dennis Fradin Illustrator: Larry Day

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Staff Pick: Mercedes and the Chocolate Pilot

Staff Pick: Mercedes and the Chocolate Pilot

Mercedes and the Chocolate Pilot

A true story. It’s 1948 during the Berlin Airlift. Pilots, who three years earlier were bombing Berlin, are now in the business of saving Berliners from a slow, wintry starvation. One of those pilots is Lt. Gail Halvorsen. In addition to his deliveries of flour and coal, he parachutes Hershey Bars to the watching children. These children have never tasted candy.  Halvorsen’s kindness is a hit.  He receives fan mail, and in one letter, a child named Mercedes asks the “Chocolate Pilot” to please drop some candy at her house.  A knock on Mercedes’ door begins a unique friendship. Author: Margot Raven Illustrator: Gijsbert van Frankenhuyzen

Recommended by: Mike Hylton – Irvington Library

More Staff Picks

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