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Books mentioned in the September 2016 issue of Nonfiction Notes from the Horn Book

National Parks Service at 100 Brown, Craig  Mule Train Mail Gr. K–3     40 pp.     Charlesbridge     2009 Trade ISBN 978-1-58089-187-5 Paperback ISBN 978-1-58089-188-2 Carson, Mary Kay  Park Scientists: Gila Monsters, Geysers, and Grizzly Bears in America’s Own Backyard [Scientists in the Field series] Photographs by Tom Uhlman Gr. 4–6, middle school     75 pp.     Houghton     2014 Trade […]

Sports science and technology

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Anniss, Matt  The Impact of Technology in Sports Middle school, high school     56 pp.      Heinemann Impact of Technology series. This survey takes a positive look at how technology has changed sports. A new understanding of biomechanics and diagnostics has helped athletes, including those with disabilities, improve performance. The accessible text covers advances in training, nutrition, […]

Folklore and mythology collections

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Leupin, Herbert  Tales from the Brothers Grimm Gr. K–3     156 pp.     NorthSouth Nine tales, including “Snow White” and the less-familiar “Mother Holly,” are straightforwardly retold and accompanied by Swiss ad man/poster artist Leupin’s mid-century illustrations in a large-format storybook. The richly colored artwork has an early-era Disney sensibility. A lengthy biographical note about Leupin is […]

Internet safety and security

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Gitlin, Martin and Goldstein, Margaret J.  Cyber Attack Middle school, high school     72 pp.     Twenty-First Century A tour of internet tinkering begins with innocently inventive cyber explorers and leads progressively into an overview of the latest destructive cybercrimes. The schemes of hackers and other troublemakers are described in detail. Topics such as the “darknet” (internet […]

National Parks Service at 100

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Brown, Craig  Mule Train Mail Gr. K–3     40 pp.     Charlesbridge The book opens with postman Anthony at the top of the Grand Canyon loading mules with letters and packages. The landscape’s yellows, browns, and rust colors radiate heat; the palette changes to whites and blues to convey the danger of driving rain and sleet. An […]

U.S. politics

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Carson, Mary Kay  Why Couldn’t Susan B. Anthony Vote?: And Other Questions About Women’s Suffrage Gr. K–3     32 pp.     Sterling Richmond, Benjamin  What Are the Three Branches of Government?: And Other Questions About the U.S. Constitution Gr. K–3     32 pp.     Sterling Good Question! series. A question-and-answer format provides information relevant to each book’s American government […]

What do ordinary people do during war?

Symphony for the City of the Dead

This is one of the questions from a student that gave me pause a long time ago.  It was a sort of typical survey humanities course, and I vividly remember her interesting and important question. My own history education was often centered on primary sources or key events summarized neatly in a textbook, and I […]

Review of Presenting Buffalo Bill: The Man Who Invented the Wild West

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Presenting Buffalo Bill: The Man Who Invented the Wild West by Candace Fleming Middle School, High School    Porter/Roaring Brook    259 pp. 9/16    978-1-59643-763-0    $19.99    g Fleming (Amelia Lost, rev. 3/11; The Family Romanov, rev. 7/14) sets her sights on two connected myths of American history: William Frederick “Buffalo Bill” Cody’s life story and the American […]

Listening in on the past

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These engaging audio productions of four excellent historical nonfiction titles give teens another entry point into the profound (and profoundly personal) tales of courage and determination they relate. Steve Sheinkin‘s Most Dangerous: Daniel Ellsberg and the Secret History of the Vietnam War uses Ellsberg as a focal point to tell the story of the Vietnam […]

Review of In the Shadow of Liberty: The Hidden History of Slavery, Four Presidents, and Five Black Lives

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In the Shadow of Liberty: The Hidden History of Slavery, Four Presidents, and Five Black Lives by Kenneth C. Davis Middle School    Holt    279 pp. 9/16    978-1-62779-311-7    $17.99 Best known for his Don’t Know Much About History titles, Davis here presents another view of the American past, bringing to light the stories of five enslaved […]