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Review of The Grand Escape: The Greatest Prison Breakout of the 20th Century

The Grand Escape: The Greatest Prison Breakout of the 20th Century by Neal Bascomb Middle School, High School    Levine/Scholastic Focus/Scholastic    276 pp. 9/18    978-1-338-14034-7    $18.99 e-book ed.  978-1-338-14035-4    $11.99  Bascomb follows his two previous WWII histories for young adults (The Nazi Hunters, rev. 9/13; Sabotage, rev. 7/16) with another gripping work of narrative nonfiction, this time […]

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

Very, Very, Very Dreadful: The Influenza Pandemic of 1918 by Albert Marrin; read by Jim Frangione Middle School, High School    Listening Library    Rev. 3/18 5 CDs    5.75 hrs.    978-1-525-52609-4    $45.00 Marrin’s account of the flu pandemic that killed millions of people during World War I, plus modern-day efforts to identify that strain and prevent a […]

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 […]