Review of My Family Tree and Me

petricic_my family tree and me

My Family Tree and Me by Dušan Petričić; illus. by the author Primary   Kids Can   24 pp. 4/15   978-1-77138-049-2   $16.95 The truth that if one’s parents hadn’t met one wouldn’t exist is a head-exploding realization of childhood. In this celebration of ancestry, Petričić bounces off that revelation to create an innovative introduction to the ordinary […]

Prehistoric life

aronson_griffin and the dinosaur

Aronson, Marc  The Griffin and the Dinosaur: How Adrienne Mayor Discovered a Fascinating Link Between Myth and Science Gr. 4–6     48 pp.     National Geographic With Adrienne Mayor. Illustrated by Chris Muller. Mayor is a scholar whose fascination with mythical creatures led her to uncover a scientific basis for the existence of the legendary griffin. Hard […]

Social issues

behnke_up for sale

Behnke, Alison Marie  Up for Sale: Human Trafficking and Modern Slavery Middle school, high school     72 pp.     Twenty-First Century This slim volume takes on human trafficking all over the world, covering debt bondage, forced domestic servitude, the sex trade, organ and adoption trafficking, forced military service, and more. Although the text takes a thorough, businesslike […]

Human body

burmingham_tastes like music

Birmingham, Maria  Tastes like Music: 17 Quirks of the Brain and Body Gr. 4–6     40 pp.     Owlkids Illustrated by Monika Melnychuk. The eccentric neurological conditions outlined here are usually classified as “diseases” or “disorders,” but Birmingham treats them matter-of-factly and even — with the aid of the cartoon illustrations — lightly. The science of phenomena […]

Books mentioned in the May 2015 issue of Nonfiction Notes from the Horn Book

Creepy-crawlies Burns, Loree Griffin  Beetle Busters: A Rogue Insect and the People Who Track It Photographs by Ellen Harasimowicz Gr. 4–6, middle school     64 pp.     Houghton     2014 Trade ISBN 978-0-547-79267-5 Carson, Mary Kay  How Strong Is an Ant?: And Other Questions About Bugs and Insects [Good Question! series] Gr. K–3    32 pp.     Sterling     2014 Trade […]

Creepy-crawlies

burns_beetle busters

Burns, Loree Griffin  Beetle Busters: A Rogue Insect and the People Who Track It Gr. 4–6, middle school     64 pp.   Houghton Photographs by Ellen Harasimowicz. Scientists in the Field series. The Asian longhorned beetle (ALB), an invasive species, threatens “the entire northeastern hardwood forest.” In Worcester, Massachusetts, scientists and residents hypothesize that destroying all of […]

Rock ‘n’ roll

anniss_story of hip-hop

Anniss, Matt  The Story of Hip-Hop Gr. 4–6     32 pp.     Smart Apple Anniss, Matt  The Story of Pop Music Gr. 4–6     32 pp.     Smart Apple Anniss, Matt  The Story of Punk and Indie Gr. 4–6     32 pp.     Smart Apple Anniss, Matt  The Story of Rock Music Gr. 4–6      32 pp.     Smart Apple Anniss, Matt  The Story […]

Review of March: Book Two

lewis_march bk 2

March: Book Two by John Lewis and Andrew Aydin; illus. by Nate Powell Middle School, High School   Top Shelf Productions   192 pp. 1/15   978-1-60309-400-9   $19.95   g Lewis and Aydin begin this second volume of the graphic memoir trilogy in Washington, DC, on January 20, 2009 (President Obama’s first inauguration), then they move back in time […]

Review of Tricky Vic

pizzoli_tricky vic

Tricky Vic: The Impossibly True Story of the 
Man Who Sold the Eiffel Tower by Greg Pizzoli; illus. by the author Intermediate   Viking   48 pp. 3/15   978-0-670-01652-5   $17.99 Amidst the current plethora of picture-book biography role models, it’s nice to see a book about a con artist. “Ah, yes. But an artist all the same.” […]

Review of Water Is Water

paul_water is water

Water Is Water: A Book About the Water Cycle by Miranda Paul; illus. by Jason Chin Preschool, Primary   Porter/Roaring Brook   40 pp. 5/15   978-1-59643-984-9   $17.99 An evocative rhyming text and verdant watercolors introduce the water cycle to young readers by linking water’s forms — from water to steam to clouds to fog to rain to […]