"In 1889, a wealthy, young woman named Jane Addams moved into a lovely, elegant house. But instead of moving into a lovely, elegant neighborhood, the house she picked was smack in the middle of one of the filthiest, poorest parts of town. Why would a wealthy, young woman do this when she could have lived anywhere?"
Jane Addams was easily one of the most influential women of the 20th century. In her day, she was as famous as Oprah is today. Learn how the Hull House neighborhood she cultivated in Chicago changed that city, and set an example for the nation.
Published by Henry Holt, 2015, pp. 32.
I've lived in the state of Illinois all my life and I had never heard of this fascinating event associated with our most favorite son and beloved President until I read this engrossing account. Steve Sheinkin writes wonderful narrative nonfiction for middle and high school students. Here, he turns his descriptive talents to one of the strangest crimes in the history of the Land of Lincoln (and we've had our share of crime, weird or run-of-the-mill). The gist: a gang of counterfeiters plot to ransom Abraham Lincoln's body for $200,000 and the release of one of their cohorts, a master engraver who works to produce the "coney" that the gang passes off as real money. Can they snatch the body from its tomb? Can the Secret Service stop them before they do?
Published by Scholastic, 2013, p. 224.
Well, you just know this book is going to be fun... and be enjoyed immensely by elementary students of a certain age. The title alone... and the fact that I, their school librarian, was willing to say it aloud -- in the middle of the library -- was enough to set a gaggle of 4th grade boys into fits of laughter, the kind that makes your belly hurt and leaves you gasping for breath. Well, beyond that ... there's plenty of information to be garnered amidst the hilarity. This is on the 2015 ISLMA Bluestem list and I think it's going to win a lot of votes. Fabulous illustrations kick up the hijinx a double notch...
Published by Penguin, 2004.
This book is currently on both the ISLMA 2015 Bluestem Award list AND the Rebecca Caudill list. 'Nuff said? It's a well-written, solidly researched look at WMDs - Military Working Dogs. It takes the reader through a brief history of the roles dogs have played in aiding soldiers, examines the selection and training processes, and life after war for these canine heroes. The author includes brief vignettes about individual "hero" dogs and their achievements, beginning with "Stubby" in World War I. A natural pick for dog-lovers, but most readers will be caught up in the little-known stories of these previously unsung heroes.
Published by Walker Books for Children, 2012.
This is not your average informational text about butterflies. The story starts out at the Boston Museum of Science. A parcel arrives containing a Blue Morpho butterfly pupa. We then learn the journey that pupa has taken from its origins on a butterfly farm in Costa Rica. The El Bosque Nuevo farm raises butterflies for museums where visitors can see them in live exhibits. Readers learn how farmers at the El Bosque Nuevo farm care for these caterpillars and butterflies. With straightforward text and beautiful , full-page photographs, this book is excellent for both pleasure reading and introducing science concepts. It also includes a glossary, bibliography, index and information about visiting a live butterfly exhibit.
Published by Lerner Publishing Group, 2014.
Wow, all those imaginary zombies stumbling around on TV, in film and in print can't compete with these real-life critters. Meet nature’s zombie makers — including a fly-enslaving fungus, a suicide worm, and a cockroach-taming wasp — and their victims. The author rides the current zombie wave, but brings a lot to the party - apologies for that mixed metaphor. From the witty, well-written text to the in-your-face color photography, this book will enlighten and entertain students in the intermediate and middle school grades looking for a little gross-out reality with their science nonfiction.
Published by Millbrook Press, 2013.
Joanne Zienty is a school librarian, teacher, reader, writer and published author who firmly believes there are so many good books and not enough time to read them!