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Books mentioned in the May 2019 issue of Nonfiction Notes from the Horn Book

Life skills Alexander, Kwame  The Playbook: 52 Rules to Aim, Shoot, and Score in This Game Called Life Photographs by Thai Neave Gr. 4–6, middle school     172 pp.     Houghton     2017 Trade ISBN 978-0-544-57097-9 Ebook ISBN 978-1-328-69892-6 Groban, Betsy, Editor  Totally Middle School: Tales of Friends, Family, and Fitting In Gr. 4–6, middle school     181 pp.    […]

Sustainable eating

Archer, Joe and Craig, Caroline  Plant, Cook, Eat!: A Children’s Cookbook Gr. 4–6     112 pp.     Charlesbridge Archer and Craig provide an overview of different plant food sources (including roots, leaves, flowers, and stems) and then, with an emphasis on the process, explain how to grow and cook them yourself. Readers are encouraged to try new […]

Evolution

Bonner, Hannah  When Fish Got Feet, When Bugs Were Big, & When Dinos Dawned: A Cartoon Prehistory of Life on Earth Gr. 4–6     128 pp.     National Geographic New ed. Bonner’s excellent trilogy (published between 2004 and 2012) of the evolution of life from 430 to 65 million years ago — the rise and fall of […]

Activists and activism

Easton, Emily  Enough!: 20 Protesters Who Changed America Gr. K–3     48 pp.     Crown Illustrated by Ziyue Chen. Each spread of this book features a person, pair, or group that became known for their change-making actions, which are briefly described in a line of text (e.g., “Colin took a knee”) and ably represented in a large […]

Life skills

Alexander, Kwame  The Playbook: 52 Rules to Aim, Shoot, and Score in This Game Called Life Gr. 4–6, middle school     172 pp.     Houghton Photographs by Thai Neave. Alexander turns motivational speaker in this collection organized like a basketball game, with four quarters and rules. Alexander’s narrative of his early life in sports weaves its […]

Review of Enemy Child: The Story of Norman Mineta, a Boy Imprisoned in a Japanese American Internment Camp During World War II

Enemy Child: The Story of Norman Mineta, a Boy Imprisoned in a Japanese American Internment Camp During World War II by Andrea Warren Intermediate, Middle School    Ferguson/Holiday    214 pp. 3/19    978-0-8234-4151-8    $22.99 Continuing her theme of children in peril because of governmental policies outside of their control, Warren (Surviving Hitler, rev. 3/01; Escape from Saigon, […]

Review of Nine Months: Before a Baby Is Born

Nine Months: Before a Baby Is Born by Miranda Paul; illus. by Jason Chin Primary    Porter/Holiday    32 pp. 4/19    978-0-8234-4161-7    $18.99 e-book ed.  978-0-8234-4213-3    $18.99 A pithy quintain describes the moment a fertilized human egg becomes a two-celled zygote: “Small. / Ball. / The point of a pin. / Then it divides… / Our story begins.” It’s the first […]

Review of Wildheart: The Daring Adventures of John Muir

Wildheart: The Daring Adventures of John Muir by Julie Bertagna; illus. by William Goldsmith Intermediate, Middle School    Yosemite Conservancy    128 pp. 3/19    978-1-930238-94-7    $17.99 This creatively rendered biography-in-comics-format of John Muir (1838–1914) is filled with the naturalist’s adventures, from his childhood in Scotland to his pioneering conservation work and formation of America’s National Parks. Muir’s […]

Review of Beware of the Crocodile

Beware of the Crocodile by Martin Jenkins; illus. by Satoshi Kitamura Primary    Candlewick    32 pp.    g 3/19    978-0-7636-7538-7    $16.99 Heeding the old adage “when introducing a topic to children, start with what they know,” Jenkins initiates his discussion of crocodiles with their most prominent feature: those fascinating and intimidating teeth, which Kitamura depicts in all […]

Review of Two Brothers, Four Hands: The Artists Alberto and Diego Giacometti

Two Brothers, Four Hands: The Artists Alberto and Diego Giacometti by Jan Greenberg and Sandra Jordan; illus. by Hadley Hooper Primary, Intermediate    Porter/Holiday    64 pp.    g 4/19    978-0-8234-4170-9    $21.99 e-book ed.  978-0-8234-4224-9    $16.99 Experts at accessibly describing art and exploring the often-complex lives of its creators, Greenberg and Jordan (most recently Meet Cindy Sherman, rev. […]