Native Americans

red bird sings

Capaldi, Gina and Pearce, Q. L. Red Bird Sings: The Story of Zitkala-Ša, Native American Author, Musician, and Activist Gr. 4–6   32 pp. Carolrhoda Illustrated by Gina Capaldi. This picture book adaptation of three of Zitkala-Ša’s semiautobiographical stories (published in the early 1900s) begins with the Native American girl’s 1884 enrollment in a Quaker-run boarding […]

World religions

growing up muslim

Ali-Karamali, Sumbul Growing Up Muslim: Understanding the Beliefs and Practices of Islam High school   214 pp. Delacorte Ali-Karamali balances facts, personal experience, and thoughtful discussion in this accessible introduction to Islam, written in an easygoing, occasionally humor-sparked style. Explanations of rules and practices lead naturally into good summations of Muhammad’s life, the religion’s spread, the […]

Review of Randolph Caldecott: The Man Who Could Not Stop Drawing

randolph caldecott

Randolph Caldecott: The Man Who Could Not Stop Drawing by Leonard S. Marcus Foster/Farrar     64 pp. 8/13     978-0-374-31025-7     $24.99 Randolph Caldecott (1846–1886) is especially known for his ability to make his subjects “jump off the page,” and Marcus is able to do the same for his subject here. With wit and fluency, he tells how […]

Sports season

miracle mud

Kelly, David A. Miracle Mud: Lena Blackburne and the Secret Mud That Changed Baseball Gr. K–3  32 pp.  Millbrook Illustrated by Oliver Dominguez. Every baseball used in a Major League game is broken in by being rubbed with special mud harvested from a secret location — who knew? This fascinating account relates how former player […]

Visual arts

picasso i the king

Bernier-Grand, Carmen T. Picasso: I the King, Yo el rey High school  64 pp  Amazon Illustrated by David Diaz. Free verse poems chronicle the dramatic life of modern art’s pinnacle figure. Rather than glossing over Picasso’s flaws — his womanizing, his self-absorption, etc. — they are Bernier-Grand’s intriguing focus. The poetry is powerful but challenging, […]

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 […]

Review of The Nazi Hunters

nazi hunters

The Nazi Hunters: How a Team of Spies and Survivors Captured the World’s Most Notorious Nazi by Neal Bascomb Middle School, High School Levine/Scholastic 240 pp.     9/13     978-0-545-43099-9     $16.99     g e-book ed. 978-0-545-56239-3     $16.99 Dismissing Hannah Arendt via footnote, Bascomb concisely establishes Adolf Eichmann as an enthusiastic and painstaking  enforcer of Hitler’s Final […]

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 […]