Happy Valentine’s Day

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Some years ago, my optimistic neighbor told me that he considers Valentine’s Day to be the unofficial start of spring. Given the ridiculous winter we are having in the northeast, this year I am holding him to it! So, in desperate hope for the start of spring, I am dedicating this post to Valentine’s Day. […]

Fascinating animal facts

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Learning about animals from an early age helps children understand their own relationship with the larger world. The following four books present fascinating facts and figures about extinct, endangered, and/or just extremely interesting animals. Susan L. Roth and Cindy Trumbore’s 2014 Sibert Award–winning Parrots over Puerto Rico is a gorgeously illustrated history of the critically […]

Snow day

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Baggetta, Marla Pastel Step by Step Middle school, high school   64 pp. Walter Foster Fisher, Diana The Art of Rock Painting Middle school, high school   64 pp. Walter Foster Franks, Gene Pencil Drawing Middle school, high school   64 pp. Walter Foster Goldman, Ken Charcoal Drawing Middle school, high school   64 pp. Walter Foster Powell, William […]

Civil rights

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Aretha, David Brown v. Board of Education Middle school, high school   128 pp. Morgan Aretha, David Martin Luther King Jr. and the 1963 March on Washington Middle school, high school   128 pp. Morgan Civil Rights Movement series. Black-and-white archival photographs, boxed quotes, and excerpts from notable speeches enhance this series documenting pivotal laws and incidents […]

U.S. presidents

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Bausum, Ann Our Country’s Presidents: All You Need to Know About the Presidents, from George Washington to Barack Obama Gr. 4–6   224 pp. National Geographic New ed., 2009. This updated volume offers balanced chronological summaries of the forty-four U.S. presidents’ terms, along with fact boxes, quotations, and official portraits. Interspersed are occasional double-page spreads about […]

Books mentioned in the January 2014 issue of Nonfiction Notes from the Horn Book

U.S. Presidents Bausum, Ann Our Country’s Presidents: All You Need to Know About the Presidents, from George Washington to Barack Obama Gr. 4–6     224 pp.     National Geographic     2013 [New ed. 2009] Trade ISBN 978-1-4263-1089-8 Bolden, Tonya Emancipation Proclamation: Lincoln and the Dawn of Liberty Middle school, high school     120 pp.     Abrams     2013 Trade ISBN 978-1-4197-0390-4 […]

Space

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Bailey, Diane The Future of Space Exploration Gr. 4–6   48 pp. Creative Education What’s Next? series. Acknowledging the challenges, this book begins by considering the possibility of living on Mars. What follows is a straightforward presentation of the successes and obstacles of space exploration from the invention of the telescope to the International Space Station and […]

Endangered species

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Arnold, Caroline A Warmer World: From Polar Bears to Butterflies, How Climate Change Affects Wildlife Gr. 4–6   32 pp. Charlesbridge Illustrated by Jamie Hogan. Arnold explains the effects of climate change on animals and other life. Most, like marmots and coral, are threatened or have even gone extinct, while a few (e.g., Arctic foxes) have […]

Jan Greenberg and Sandra Jordan on The Mad Potter

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In the January/February 2014 Horn Book Magazine, editor Martha Parravano asked Mad Potter authors Jan Greenberg and Sandra Jordan about choosing their unusual subject. Read the review here. Martha V. Parravano: How did you discover this fairly unknown subject? Jan Greenberg and Sandra Jordan: During the New Orleans ALA we headed over to Biloxi to […]

Review of The Mad Potter

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The Mad Potter: George E. Ohr, Eccentric Genius by Jan Greenberg and Sandra Jordan Intermediate, Middle School    Porter/Roaring Brook    56 pp. 10/13    978-1-59643-810-1    $17.99 “Eccentric” is an apt word for Ohr, a Mississippi blacksmith’s son (1857–1918) who reinvented himself as a potter: though he began his distinctive works on a potter’s wheel, he then reshaped […]