Technology innovations, past and present

hybrid and electric vehicles

Carmichael, L. E. Hybrid and Electric Vehicles High schoo  112 pp.  ABDO Farrell, Courtney Methane Energy High school  112 pp.  ABDO Hand, Carol Biomass Energy High school  112 pp.  ABDO Hirsch, Rebecca Hydrogen and Fuel Cells High school  112 pp.  ABDO Innovative Technologies series. These dense books describe energy sources and technologies that can serve […]

Literary biographies

pablo neruda

Brown, Monica Pablo Neruda: Poet of the People Gr. K–3  32 pp.  Holt Illustrated by Julie Paschkis. Brown opens with Neftali’s boyhood love of reading, writing, and nature, celebrating the subjects that informed his poetry and his “dreams of peace.” Paschkis’s signature effusions of color and stylized forms are embellished with words — in English, […]

Colonial America

story voyages through history

Arato, Rona Story Voyages Through History 1750–1899 Gr. 4–6  96 pp.  Owlkids Illustrated by Ben Shannon. On an American Day series. Nine chronological sections provide snapshots of life in early America. Short fictional narratives are followed by historical information illuminating the issues raised in the tales, from religious freedom to slavery to children’s rights. The […]

NF Notes: The 2013 Boston Globe-Horn Book Nonfiction Award Winners

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Every fall, we give out the Boston Globe–Horn Book Awards for excellence in children’s literature. To honor the tradition, this issue of Nonfiction Notes from the Horn Book includes reviews of all three 2013 nonfiction award recipients — winner Electric Ben: The Amazing Life and Times of Benjamin Franklin by Robert Byrd and honor books […]

Math is elementary

how many jelly beans

Long, Ethan The Wing Wing Brothers Math Spectacular! Gr. K–3    32 pp.  Holiday In three acts, five performing duck brothers compete with one another and introduce basic math concepts by spinning plates, juggling pies, and disappearing in a box. The simple cartoony panels give the book a comic-book appearance, and humor abounds via sibling rivalry, slapstick […]

Folklore

goldilocks variations

Ahlberg, Allan The Goldilocks Variations Gr. K–3    32 pp.  Candlewick Illustrated by Jessica Ahlberg. With six tongue-in-cheek variants, the Ahlbergs (father and daughter) progress from simple changes in the canonical tale’s details and repartee to a version with thirty-three bears. The verbal wit, the delicately limned pen and watercolor art with its plenitude of intriguing detail, and clever […]

Scientist biographies

berne_on a beam of light

Berne, Jennifer  On a Beam of Light: A Story of Albert Einstein Gr. K–3    48 pp.  Chronicle Illustrated by Vladimir Radunsky. Berne and Radunsky — in a gorgeous piece of bookmaking — use the “biggest, most exciting thought Albert had ever had” as the focal point for their homage to the great physicist. Berne’s simple […]

Architecture

dreaming up

Hale, Christy Dreaming Up: A Celebration of Building Gr. K–3    40 pp.  Lee Fifteen childhood building projects are deftly rendered in concrete poems and mixed-media collages, each paired with a photo of an iconic building bearing a resemblance to the creative play. A toddler’s upside-down stack of graduated plastic doughnuts looks like Wright’s Guggenheim Museum; a […]

Social reformers and activists

elizabeth cady stanton and susan b. anthony

Colman, Penny Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony: A Friendship That Changed the World Middle school, high school    256 pp.  Holt/Ottaviano “Yes, our work is one, we are one in aim and sympathy,” Elizabeth Cady Stanton wrote in an 1865 letter to Susan B. Anthony. Colman’s biography, rich in quotes from the women, details their […]

NF Notes: From the editor, June 2013

Roger Sutton

In this and every issue of Nonfiction Notes from the Horn Book, our aim is to give brief notice to good informational books that we think teachers and librarians will find useful in developing and enriching lesson plans across the curriculum. Are these books “Common Core Ready,” the latest buzz-phrase resounding from publishers’ promotional materials? […]