Review of Josephine

powell_josephine

Josephine: The Dazzling Life of Josephine Baker by Patricia Hruby Powell; 
illus. by Christian Robinson Intermediate, Middle School    Chronicle    104 pp. 2/14    978-1-4521-0314-3    $17.99 To describe Josephine Baker’s life as “dazzling” is not an exaggeration. In this incomparable biography both Powell and Robinson convey the passion, exuberance, dignity, and eccentricity of their subject through words […]

Review of A Volcano Beneath the Snow

marrin_volcano beneath the snow

A Volcano Beneath the Snow: John Brown’s War Against Slavery by Albert Marrin Middle School, High School    Knopf    234 pp. 4/14    978-0-307-98152-3    $19.99 Library ed.  978-0-307-98153-0    $22.99    g e-book ed.  978-0-385-75340-1    $10.99 According to the prologue, John Brown’s raid at Harpers Ferry helped “set the stage for the Civil War.” His violent actions raise an […]

Core values

Go-to Guide

Narrative nonfiction is on the lesson plan in Lolly’s Classroom today. Is anyone else worried that the CCSS demand for more nonfiction reading does not seem to be translating into more nonfiction publishing? I have the feeling that publishers are mostly sitting this one out. (As well they might, now that no one seems to […]

Narrative nonfiction in middle school

Phineas Gage

You may have inferred from my first post in February that I am spending a lot of time thinking about nonfiction for middle school readers. We all know now that nonfiction figures prominently in the Common Core State Standards. In fact, we are told that 60% of a 7th grader’s reading diet ought to be […]

Review of Galápagos George

george_ galápagos george

Galápagos George by Jean Craighead George; 
illus. by Wendell Minor Primary    Harper/HarperCollins    40 pp. 4/14    978-0-06-028793-1    $15.99    g Jean Craighead George begins the evolutionary story of the tortoises on Galápagos archipelago with a single female, Giantess George, and asks readers to extrapolate from the life cycle of that one animal to the development of the […]

Review of He Has Shot the President!

brown_he has shot the president

He Has Shot the President!: April 14, 1865: The Day John 
Wilkes Booth Killed President 
Lincoln [Actual Times] by Don Brown; illus. by the author Intermediate    Roaring Brook    64 pp. 4/14    978-1-59643-224-6    $17.99    g This fifth entry in Brown’s Actual Times series (including All Stations Distress, rev. 9/08) begins on April 14, 1865, the day […]

Review of Eye to Eye

jenkins_eye to eye

Eye to Eye: How Animals See the World by Steve Jenkins; illus. by the author Primary, Intermediate    Houghton    32 pp. 4/14    978-0-547-95907-8    $17.99    g The origins of the eye lie in the need for animals to detect light, as Jenkins explains in the opening to this excellent presentation of the structures animals use to see. […]

Review of Dare the Wind

fern_dare the wind

Dare the Wind by Tracey Fern; 
illus. by Emily Arnold McCully Primary    Ferguson/Farrar    40 pp. 2/14    978-0-374-31699-0    $17.99    g In the early 1800s, young Ellen Prentiss (1814–1900) learned to be a keen and fearless sailor on her father’s trading schooner. Captain Prentiss also taught Ellen a difficult skill most sailors, and even some captains, never […]

Math concepts

boswell_diagrams, diagrams, diagrams

Boswell, Kelly Diagrams, Diagrams, Diagrams! Gr. K–3   32 pp. Capstone Boswell, Kelly Timelines, Timelines, Timelines! Gr. K–3  32 pp. Capstone Displaying Information series. Bold color photographs and easy-to-understand texts explain how diagrams and timelines are used to impart information. The books cover the different types of and uses for these visual tools, from charting classmates’ […]

Migration

cohn_on the move

Cohn, Scotti On the Move: Mass Migrations Gr. K –3   32 pp. Sylvan Dell Illustrated by Susan Detwiler. The text examines the instinctual nature of some types of animals (such as caribou, salamanders, and horseshoe crabs) to move in large groups for reasons related to survival, including reproduction, food and water, and shelter. Brightly painted […]