Tag Archives: Non-Fiction

Florence Nightingale by Demi

Florence Nightingale by Demi

Florence Nightingale

Born in 1820, Florence Nightingale was an English girl with ideas about how to take care of sick people. But nobody wanted to hear them at first…even her parents! Why?

  1. Because she was a girl.
  2. Because she was a lady.

Really. In the 1800s that’s how it was. But Florence was persistent and she became a game changer. Because of her efforts, many, many lives were saved.

Florence is most famous for her work during the Crimean War 1853-1856, which took place in Crimea, a peninsula in the Black Sea. The Black Sea is surrounded by Russia, Ukraine, Turkey, Romania & Bulgaria.The war was fought between Russia and an alliance of countries that included France, Britain, the Ottoman Empire and Sardinia.


Florence was British and followed the war in the newspaper like many other people in her country.The Crimean war was the first time journalists and photographers reported back “home” what battles were like and what life was like for a soldier. People back home didn’t much like what they saw. Nobody liked getting a look at how the wounded soldiers were treated.

Lots of soldiers died from cholera – an infectious disease contracted from infected water supplies. According to The British Science Museum: War & Medicine, “during the war, 16,000 British soldiers died of sickness, and only 2600 were killed in battle.” That’s how bad it was! Florence had ideas about how clean and organized hospitals should be, something we take for granted now, but wasn’t known back then. She brought a team of nurses to Crimea and made a difference. This book is Florence’s story. Find out how she convinced her parents, hospitals and the British Army to listen. She was a girl. She was a lady. She was a nurse. Yes, a person can be all three!

Story about the Crimean War & Florence Nightingale:

Enola Holmes is still living undercover determined NOT to let her older brothers Mycroft and Sherlock find her and enroll her in some kind of awful boarding school where she will spend her days tied up in an excrutiatingly uncomfortable corset learning positively boring things like needlework. Instead, Enola lives in London in a shabby but comfortable boarding house passing herself off as Miss Meshle, the assistant to Dr. Leslie Ragostin, Scientific Perditorian – a finder of lost things. Actually, Enola is ALSO Dr. Leslie, so it is Enola who finds all the lost things…a mystery solver just like her brother Sherlock.This time, the mystery is too close for comfort when Enola’s boarding house is ransacked and her landlady, old Mrs. Tupper, is kidnapped. Mrs. Tupper is a really nice old lady but doesn’t have a penny to her name. What in the world would anybody want old, deaf Mrs. Tupper for? The mystery itself, involves smuggling during the Crimean War, and an appearance by none other than Florence Nightingale. Author: Nancy Springer


Nursing Books:

Florence Nightingale and the New Age of Nursing Florence Nightgale2 Girls Who Rocked the World Nurses
Nurses Help Nurses Help Us Pure Grit You Wouldn't Want to be a Nurse


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Grandfather Gandhi by Arun Gandhi & Bethany Hegedus

Grandfather Gandhi by Arun Gandhi & Bethany Hegedus

Grandfather Gandhi

Arun and his family have traveled to his Grandfather’s village for an extended visit. While there, Arun is respectful, eats food he doesn’t really like and tries to work hard doing his chores, like weeding the garden. Although it is difficult, he also tries hard at his lessons. But the truth is, Arun would rather be playing!

He’s a kid, what kid wouldn’t? Arun feels especially bad about feeling restless and impatient during his lessons because his Grandfather is Mohandas “Mahatma”(great soul) Gandhi. Really. This book is written by Gandhi’s real grandson, Arun.

If you have not heard of Gandhi before, he was a man who fought for the end of prejudice in India as well as for Indian independence from Great Britain. He taught change through non-violence and he won! Gandhi might remind you of someone else you have learned about – Martin Luther King Jr.. Gandhi’s teachings inspired Martin Luther King’s nonviolent civil rights movement in the United States as well as Nelson Mandela’s anti-apartheid movement in South Africa.

Gandhi was a man known the world over for his wisdom and patience. Arun can’t imagine his Grandfather being anything other than old and wise. Arun wants his Grandfather to be proud of him. But it would be hard, wouldn’t it, to be Gandhi’s son or grandson? It would be hard to feel good enough to have the family name Gandhi.

When Arun loses his temper during a soccer game he feels terrible, like a failure for feeling angry. But then his Grandfather says something amazing, something so amazing it can’t possibly be true – Grandfather says that he sometimes gets angry too! Gandhi! He actually tells Arun he shouldn’t feel bad about feeling angry. He says that everyone feels anger. Everyone.

‘Even you?” I asked.
“Even me,” said Grandfather.
(page 29)

Because it isn’t what you FEEL, it’s what you DO. Arun almost threw a rock at someone out of anger during the soccer game…but he didn’t. Making a choice like that – now that’s something both kids and adults can do! You can make choices to create peace too, just like Arun and his Grandfather. Take the Pledge. #Stand4Peace


Related Books You Might Like:

Same same but different

Sometimes feeling angry isn’t the only thing you might have in common with Arun and his Grandfather, there are many things, even though the Gandhi’s are from India. You can see what some of those things are in the book Same, Same, But Different. Pen pals Elliott and Kailash discover that even though they live in different countries–America and India–they both love to climb trees, own pets, and ride school buses.Young Hoosier Book Award, 2013-2014, K-3 Nominee.


Small Acts of Amazing CourageIf you wonder about what it would be like to live during Gandhi’s time, try the novel, Small Acts of Amazing Courage. It takes place in India in 1919 at the same time Gandhi was alive but before India’s Independence. It is the story of Rosalind, a British girl who lives with her family in India. Her father is an officer in the British military. Rosalind loves India and its people and becomes interested in the message of a man named Gandhi who travels the country inspiring people for non-violent change. Gandhi is fighting for and end to prejudice and for India’s independence from British rule…but he teaches non-violent, peaceful protest instead of actual fighting.

When Rosalind sneaks off with her friend to hear a speech by Gandhi, Rosalind’s Dad finds out and boy is he mad! What kid wants to hear this:

“…you are not to involve yourself in any way with what goes on in this country. Those who are older and wiser than you are have things well in hand. Is that understood?” (page 68)

What if you DON’T think those who are older, are wiser? What if you think they are just plain wrong? This headstrong girl has the moxy to stand up for what she believes in, even to her Dad. The heated debates between father and daughter are some of the best parts. I also loved Rosalind’s relationships with her Indian friends and how she developed her own thoughts about Indian freedom from British rule. She bases her thoughts on her own experiences and not solely on what she reads or what other people tell her. This book reveals the dramatic changes Gandhi inspired that eventually lead to a free India. The sequel is All My Noble Dreams and Then What Happens.

Learn about Gandhi & India:

A Taste of Freedom Gandhi2 Darkness Everywhere Gandhi a March to the Sea
Balarama The Cooking of India Costume Around the World India Cultural Traditions in India
Festivals of the World India Foods of India The Ganges River In the Heart of the Village
India Enchantment of the World Mahavira The Story of Divaali Taj Mahal

Stories from or set in India:

Anklet for a Princess Cinderella The Elephant's Friend Grandma and the Great Gourd Indian Mythology
Kali and the Rat Snake Manus Ark Monkey a Trickster Tale from India Once Upon a Mouse
One Grain of Rice Rikki Tikki Tavi The Rumor a Jataka Tale from India Seven Blind Mice
Sitas Ramayana The Story of Little Babaji Tales from India The Tiger and the Brahman
Alone in the Forest Homeless Bird In Andal's House The Jungle Book
Kim Small Acts of Amazing Courage All My Noble Dreams
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Identifying Leaves

Identifying Leaves

Have you been assigned making a leaf collection yet? If you have started your collection already but haven’t identified the leaves yet, here are some websites and books that will help you figure out the names of the trees your leaves came from.


Pinterest Logo 25More Websites, Printables & Activities on the IndyPL Kids Pinterest Board: Leaves & Leaf Identification

Local Places to Find Leaves:

If you haven’t started your collection yet or want to add to what you already have, there are two great places you can go in Indianapolis to find leaves, Crown Hill Cemetery and Butler University. Both places have websites you can go to for maps and directions. They even label the trees so that you know for sure what kind of leaf you have. Put on some old shoes and go on a leaf hike. The sun is shining, you get a map, the trees are labelled – Easy A!

Crown Hill Cemetery Logo 700 West 38th Street
Indianapolis, Indiana 46208
Phone: 317-925-3800

Butler University 4600 Sunset Ave.
Indianapolis, IN 46208
Phone: 317-940-9413 or 317-940-8302


If you want to check out one of the libary’s tree identification books, don’t wait until the last minute to put one on hold. These go fast! And if you want to read about someone who feels your pain – try Gianna Z, she’s got a leaf collection due also, and if her disorganizatin and procrastination keep her from getting it done, she can’t run in the cross-country sectionals. She is feeling the pressure to find the leaves and identify them before it is too late.
Trees of Indiana 101 Trees of Indiana National Audobon First Field Guide to Trees Eyewitness Trees
Golden Guide Trees of North America Golden Guide Trees Tell Me Tree Super Simple Leaf Projects
The Brilliant Fall of Gianna


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Native Americans

Native Americans


Non-Fiction Books:

Black Indians Native American Heroes Looks Like Daylight Native American Tribes
Buckskin Dresses First People Hands On History Native Americans Children of the Tipi
A Native American Thought Of It Native American Mythology Native American Culture A Day in the Life of a Native American
Native Americans Native Americans a Visual Exploration Tecumsah The World of North American Indians
Before Columbus Exploring the Life Myth and Art of Native Americans Kids Guide to Native American History Native American Art
Native American History for Kids

Fiction Books:

The Birchbark House Buffalo Bird Girl Crossing Bok Chitto Ghost Hawk
The Legend of Lighning and Thunder The Man Who Dressed As Elk Dogs Paiute Princess The Porcupine Year
Return to Hawk's Hill The Story of Jumping Mouse The Woman Who Lived With the Wolves

Indiana Books & Websites:

The Illini, the Shawnee and the Miami were some of the Native Americans that lived in Indiana before settlers came here. One of the most well-known Native Americans from Indiana is the Miami Chief, Little Turtle. The websites and books below will help you learn more about Native Americans all over country, especially those who lived in Indiana.

The Miamis Salt
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Pioneer Non-Fiction:

Bad News for Outlaws Dressing a Nation Daniel Boone Donner Dinner Party
The Donner Party Explorers Trappers and Pioneers Great Pioneer Projects Wild Women of the Wild West
Poptropica Wild West Women of the Frontier How to Get Rich on the Oregon Trail You Wouldn't Want to Be an American Pioneer
Seed By Seed Life as a Pioneer Life on a Wagon Train Painting the Wild Frontier
The Westward Movement You Wouldn't Want to Live in a Wild West Town Skillet Bread, Sourdough Etc. Hornbooks and Inkwells
Texas Rangers Who Were the American Pioneers

Pioneer Fiction:

The Ballad of Lucy Whipple Caddie Woodlawn Hattie Big Sky The Last of the Mohicans
Little House on the Prairie May B The Quilt Walk Sarah Plain and Tall
The Trouble with May Amelia Woods Runner

Indiana Books & Websites:

Alone The Bears of Blue river The Conners of conner Prairie The Floating House
Log Cabin in the Woods My Brother Abe Ollie's Cabin in the Woods A Place Called Freedom
Salt a Story of Friendship The School at Crooked Creek Where the River Grins
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