New Nonfiction Books Summer 2018

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Looking to keep your growing readers reading informational texts? Here are some new nonfiction titles– for preschool up to high-school age kids. Don’t miss ogling the artwork in What Can a Citizen Do? or reading about the determined Grandma Gatewood or learning more about the Syrian situation in the graphic novel, Unwanted.

 

New Nonfiction Books Summer 2018

New Nonfiction Books Summer 2018
So Many Sounds
by Tim McCanna, illustrated by Andy J. Miller
For children learning about the senses including sounds, this rhyming book introduces the sounds and words for those sounds. “Sneakers stamp, and classrooms bustle. Pencils scratch, and papers rustle.


Hats of Faith
by Medeia Cohan, illustrated by Sarah Walsh
It’s a journey through culture and religion as you flip through the pages showing hats and the people who wear them. Starting with a Hijab worn by many Muslim women, you’ll also see a Rasta Hat, Patka, Tichel, Chunni, Topi, Kippah, and a Head Wrap, worn by people of that particular faith. Bright, beautiful illustrations give the book a feeling of celebration.

 

 New Nonfiction Books Summer 2018
 
What Can a Citizen Do? by Dave Eggers, illustrated by Shawn Harris
I see this having BIG Caldecott potential!! (Also, at first I thought this book was about being a citizen of a country as opposed to an immigrant without legal status. It’s NOT.) Shawn Harris’s eye-catching and gorgeous paper collage illustrations perfectly complement the simple text about the concept of global citizenship: What does it mean to be a citizen of the world? “A citizen’s not what you are — / a citizen is what you do.” The idea on each page could be a starting place for more thinking or writing. What does it mean when Eggers writes, “A citizen can right a wrong. / A citizen can turn things round.” Classroom teachers, can’t you just imagine the possibilities?


 New Nonfiction Books Summer 2018 
Girls Can Do Anything
by Caryl Hart, illustrated by Ali Pye
I’m somewhat surprised that I really like this rhyming celebration of girls. Use it an inspiring read aloud or a favorite baby shower gift. Colorful, diverse illustrations show that girls can look, be, feel and do anything. “Girls can have long hair or short hair in spikes. / Girls can ride scooters and skateboard and bikes. / Girls can wear pants or board shorts or dresses. Girls can be neat . . . or make wonderful messes.” Fun!

New Nonfiction Books Summer 2018
Pass Go and Collect $200: The Real Story of How Monopoly Was Invented
by Tanya Lee Stone, illustrated by Steven Salerno
I enjoyed this book both for its interesting history but also for its writing & mentor text possibilities. It’s the little-known story of Lizzie Magie who invented a board game called the Landlord’s Game — basically, Monopoly. History doesn’t remember her name because a man named Charles Darrow improved Lizzie’s game, bought it from her for $500, changed the name to Monopoly, then sold the game to Parker Brothers (who had turned Lizzie down numerous times,) making him a millionaire. The book ends with some questions for you. What you think about what they both did? Do you think it was fair? (Use this to teach research papers and conclusions, among other crafts.)


Grandma Gatewood Hikes the Appalachian Trail
by Jennifer Thermes
After reading this, you’ll admire this independent, fierce, and self-sufficient woman named Emma, or Grandma Gatewood, who hiked about 2,000 miles through 14 states on the Appalachian Trail. You might even be inspired to hike this trail yourself! Or part of it. Her example is an inspiration. Follow along as this determined woman walks the trail with bad weather, epic views, new friends, fatigue, and success. Maps show where she is as she crosses through the different states. I love these the interesting facts inset off to the side of these maps–and adore all the gorgeous, inviting water-color illustrations on every page. You don’t want to miss this story!

 New Nonfiction Books Summer 2018
Flying Machines
by Ian Graham, illustrated by Stephen Biesty
Kids with an interest in avionics will like this illustrated fact-filled, lift-the-flap picture book.

 
Picturing America: Thomas Cole and the Birth of American Art
by Hudson Talbott
While I wouldn’t call this story particularly compelling, it’s a decent introduction to the American artist Thomas Cole. It starts with his early life leading into how he eventually became a successful landscape artist.


Pope Francis: Builder of Bridges
by Emma Otheguy, illustrated by Oliver Dominguez
Jorge was raised in a Catholic home and taught to pray. He always wanted to do good and help the poor. When he was in his thirties, he became a priest, then a bishop, and then a cardinal who valued helping the poor children of the Buenos Aires slums. When he became the Pope, the leader of the Catholic church, he became a beloved world leader who uses laughter, prayer, and well-chosen words to encourage love and caring for others and our planet. It’s a decent read.

If you’re like me, you might be sick to your stomach reading this. It’s hard stuff. But it’s true and happening right now. Which means, in my estimation, we can’t bury our heads in the sand. The creator of this graphic novel shares stories of Syrian refugees in a way that makes the information accessible to middle and high school readers — with short text, dialogue, and illustrations. While I was reading it, I asked my 13-year-old if she knew much about the situation. She didn’t. So guess who will be reading this book next? This is a must-have book about an important topic for classrooms and libraries.

 

Weird But True! Greek Mythology by Sarah Wassner Flynn, illustrated by Chip Wass
From National Geographic Kids, this book is dense, colorful, and info-packed. It’s almost too busy for my tastes but I’m old — kids like this style; they expect it more than me. I do like the writing a lot — it’s kid-appropriate while sticking to the basics of each myth. We know much of the Greek myths aren’t always g or pg (think violence and sex) so I really appreciate the lack of TMI! Added to: The Best Greek Mythology Books for Kids

 

New Nonfiction Books Summer 2018

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    Hi! I’m Melissa Taylor, mom, writer, & former elementary teacher & literacy trainer. I love sharing good books & fun learning resources.

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