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Eye-opening history

The following works of narrative nonfiction for middle schoolers and high schoolers focus on events that may be overlooked by school curricula but can help make history come alive. In 1873, a mob of armed white men massacred more than one hundred black “freedmen” in the town of Colfax in central Louisiana. In his book […]

Review of Chasing King’s Killer: The Hunt for Martin Luther King, Jr.’s Assassin audiobook

Chasing King’s Killer: The Hunt for Martin Luther King, Jr.’s Assassin by James L. Swanson; read by Kim Staunton Middle School, High School    Scholastic Audio 5 CDs    5.67 hrs.    978-1-338-22724-6    $29.99 With intensity and clarity, Swanson documents the lives of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and James Earl Ray — King’s assassin — and the […]

Review of This Is Our Constitution: Discover America with 
a Gold Star Father

This Is Our Constitution: Discover America with 
a Gold Star Father by Khizr Khan with Anne Quirk Intermediate, Middle School    Knopf    216 pp. 10/17    978-1-5247-7091-4    $16.99 Library ed.  978-1-5247-7092-1    $19.99 e-book ed.  978-1-5247-7093-8    $10.99 This clearly written, straightforward study of the U.S. Constitution, written by Pakistan-born Khan (who spoke passionately at the 2016 Democratic National […]

Photography

Burgan, Michael  Ali’s Knockout Punch: How a Photograph Stunned the Boxing World Gr. 4–6, middle school     64 pp.     Capstone/Compass Point Smith-Llera, Danielle  Black Power Salute: How a Photograph Captured a Political Protest Gr. 4–6, middle school     64 pp.     Capstone/Compass Point Captured History: Sports series. These volumes each examine the impact of a single famous sports […]

Review of Very, Very, Very Dreadful: The Influenza Pandemic of 1918

Very, Very, Very Dreadful: The Influenza Pandemic of 1918 by Albert Marrin Middle School, High School    Knopf    198 pp. 1/18    978-1-101-93146-2    $21.99 Library ed.  978-1-101-93147-9    $24.99 e-book ed.  978-1-101-93148-6    $11.99 Between 1918 and 1920, three waves of a very aggressive influenza virus swept around the globe, killing tens of millions of people. World War I […]

Review of The Girl Who Drew Butterflies: How Maria Merian’s Art Changed Science

The Girl Who Drew Butterflies: How Maria Merian’s Art Changed Science by Joyce Sidman; 
photos by the author Intermediate    Houghton    140 pp.    g 2/18    978-0-544-71713-8    $17.99 e-book ed.  978-1-328-83028-9    $9.99 Sidman introduces readers to Maria Merian, a seventeenth-century German naturalist whose illustrations of the life cycles of butterflies and moths included groundbreaking scientific details, such […]

Review of A Few Red Drops: The Chicago Race Riot of 1919

A Few Red Drops: The Chicago Race Riot of 1919 by Claire Hartfield Middle School, High School    Clarion    196 pp.    g 1/18    978-0-544-78513-7    $18.99 e-book ed.  978-1-328-69904-6    $9.99 This readable, compelling history explores the longstanding and deeply rooted causes of the 1919 Chicago Race Riot, which left thirty-eight people dead and 537 wounded (two-thirds of […]

Native American history

Burling, Alexis  Occupying Alcatraz: Native American Activists Demand Change Middle school, high school     112 pp.     ABDO/Essential Library Hidden Heroes series. Well-paced chapters with archival photos examine Native American activists’ first attempt to occupy Alcatraz in 1964, the history of their struggles with non-Native settlers and the U.S. government, and the seeds of activism in the […]

Five questions for Deborah Noyes

In The Magician and the Spirits: Harry Houdini and the Curious Pastime of Communicating with the Dead (Viking, 11–14 years), Deborah Noyes homes in on the Spiritualist movement during the turn of the twentieth century (think séances, spirit photography, ectoplasm, etc.) — and on Harry Houdini’s efforts to debunk its claims. 1. What drew you […]

Review of Bound by Ice: A True North Pole Survival Story

Bound by Ice: A True North Pole Survival Story by Sandra Neil Wallace and Rich Wallace Intermediate, Middle School    Calkins/Boyds Mills    192 pp.    g 9/17    978-1-62979-428-0    $17.95 e-book ed.  978-1-62979-915-5    $9.99 Ten thousand people cheered as the steamer Jeannette departed San Francisco, off to the North Pole, in 1879, seeking to expand human knowledge and […]