Take a look at these exciting nonfiction titles published in August. Enjoy and learn!
Cute as an Axolotl : The World of Weird Animals by Jess Keating. 9781524764470. 2018. Gr 1-4.
Go beyond the books about cute puppies and kittens, rabbits, hamsters, and squirrels, and check out these more unusual critters. You might not find all of these animals “cute” but axolotls, pygmy hippos, pangolins, and the other creatures in this book are certainly interesting.
The Epic Origin of Super Potato (Super Potato, Book 1) by Artur Laperla. 9781512440218. 2018. Gr 1-4.
Super Max is turned into a potato by Doctor Malevolent, but he continues to fight crime.
The Ghostly Carousel : Delightfully Frightful Poems by Calef Brown. 9781512426618. 2018. Gr 1-3.
These 17 poems are about otherworldly things like witches, zombies, vengeful canaries, and the “creeping crud” that invades a house at midnight on Fridays. A bit eerie but always playful and humorous, Brown’s poems would be well received on Halloween.
Hey, Hey, Hay! : A Tale of Bales and the Machines That Make Them by Christy Mihaly (ill. by Joe Cepeda). 9780823436668. 2018. Gr PK-2.
Follow a mother and daughter as they use farm machinery to cut grass, spread it to dry, and make hay bales.
Lobos : A Wolf Family Returns to the Wild by Brenda Peterson (photos by Annie Marie Musselman. 9781632170842. 2018. Gr 1-3.
A litter of Mexican gray wolf pups is born at the Wolf Haven International sanctuary in Washington state. The book follows the pups as they grow and are finally released into the wild in Mexico. Readers will learn about wolves as well as the efforts that are being made to help this endangered breed, as well as the challenges in reintroducing them to the wild.
Mama Dug a Little Den by Jennifer Ward & Steve Jenkins. 9781481480376. 2018. Gr PK-2.
Animals dig many different kinds of dens for their babies, from desert burrows to underground tunnels to caves in the snow. (Also check out Ward’s Mama Built a Little Nest.)
The Sequoia Lives On by Joanna Cooke (ill. by Fiona Hsieh). 9781930238855. 2018. Gr PK-3.
Easy-to-follow text and colorful illustrations showcase the life cycle of the giant sequoia tree from its beginnings as a seed no bigger than an oatmeal flake and growing into largest single trees on the planet.
The Sinking of the Vasa : A Shipwreck of Titanic Proportions by Russell Freedman (ill. by William Low). 9781627798662. 2018. Gr 1-3.
In 1628, the Vasa, the new Swedish warship, capsized and sank a mile into her maiden voyage, resulting in many deaths. Award-winning author Russell Freedman explores the history of the ship, who was to blame for its demise, and its modern discovery and salvage in 1961.
This Is My Eye : A New York Story by Neela Vaswani. 9780763676162. 2018. Gr PK-3.
Photography and point of view are the subjects in this book that follows a young girl with her camera as she travels through New York City.
A Whale’s World (My Great Bear Rainforest) by Ian McAllister & Nicholas Read. 9781459812734. 2018. Gr K-3.
A pod of orcas searches for their next meal in and around the ecosystems of the Great Bear Sea.
Who Eats Orange? By Dianne White & Robin Page. 9781534404083. 2018. Gr PK-2.
This entertaining title explores the different colors of foods and asks readers which animals eat which colors. The text of the book is perfect for preschool and kindergarten, and the extensive back matter will be of interest to older readers as well.
PICTURE BOOK BIOGRAPHIES
Elizabeth Warren : Nevertheless, She Persisted by Susan Wood (ill. by Sarah Green). 9781419731624. 2018. Gr 1-4.
This biography of the first female senator from Massachusetts shows the importance of using words to fight for yourself and those in need.
How to Build a Hug : Temple Grandin and Her Amazing Squeeze Machine by Amy Guglielmo & Jacqueline Tourville (ill. by Giselle Potter). 9781534410978. 2018. Gr PK-3.
Temple Grandin is autistic. She is very sensitive to external stimuli, including being hugged by people. One day, at a ranch, she noticed that cows were placed into squeeze boxes to calm them for the vet, and she built her own personal “hug machine.” Temple has gone on to become a well-known scientist.
Howard and the Mummy : Howard Carter and the Search for King Tut’s Tomb by Tracey Fern (ill. by Boris Kulikov). 9780374303051. 2018. Gr PK-2.
Howard was fascinated with mummies and dreamed of discovering one. When he was seventeen, he went to Egypt to study archaeology and methods of excavation. In 1922, he made the greatest archaeological discovery: the tomb of King Tutankhamun, Egypt’s boy pharaoh.
Mary Who Wrote Frankenstein by Linda Bailey (ill. by Julia Sarda). 9781770495593. 2018. Gr K-3.
This picture book biography of Mary Shelley, author of Frankenstein, describes her as a dreamer who escaped life through stories. When she was sixteen, she ran away with another dreamer, poet Percy Bysshe Shelley, and later introduced to the poet Lord Byron. One stormy evening, Byron suggested a contest to see who could write the best ghost story. Less than two years later, Shelley’s story was published and became a legendary horror story.
Polka Dot Parade : A Book about Bill Cunningham by Deborah Blumenthal (ill by Masha D’yass). 9781499806649. 2018. Gr PK-3.
Bill Cunningham, a fashion photographer, bicycled around New York City taking photos of people on the street noting their fashion. He became very popular and his style became known as street art photography.
Spring After Spring : How Rachel Carson Inspired the Environmental Movement by Stephanie Roth Sisson. 9781626728196. 2018. Gr PK-3.
This picture book biography of environmentalist Rachel Carson describes her childhood as she observed the seasons, sounds, and patterns of nature; her love of writing and biology that led to the publication of Silent Spring; and her legacy as the founder of the modern environmental movement.
Animal Zombies! : And Other Bloodsucking Beasts, Creepy Creatures, and Real-Life Monsters by Chana Stiefel. 9781426331503. 2018. Gr 4-6.
Fictional zombies are gross, gory, and creepy, but so are the real-life animal zombies! Read about 50 creatures, and learn how the real ones adapted these behaviors for survival and where the mythical ones had their origins.
The Atlas of Flags by Rossella Trionfetti (ill. by Federico Silvestri). 9788854412804. 2018. Gr 2-4.
Take a look at the flags of every nation of the world and learn why each one looks the way it does.
A Bunch of Punctuation by Lee Bennett Hopkins (ill. by Serge Bloch). 9781590789940. 2018. Gr 4-6.
Anthropomorphized punctuation marks describe how they look and what they do in a sentence; includes the comma, dash, colon, and exclamation mark.
Charlotte’s Bones : The Beluga Whale in a Farmer’s Field by Erin Rounds (ill. by Allison Carver). 9780884484851. 2018. Gr 2-5.
In 1849 workers building a railroad through Charlotte, Vermont, found strange bones in a farmer’s field. Louis Agassiz, a famous scientist, identified them as belonging to a beluga whale—which raised the question: How did whale bone’s end up so far from the ocean? This book explains animal evolution and geological time scales, and what this discovery tells us about life on earth.
Death Eaters : Meet Nature’s Scavengers by Kelly Milner Halls. 9781512482003. 2018. Gr 4-6.
Read about decomposition (stinky!) and the animals that survive by eating dead bodies (gross!). Readers will find out how and why scientists study rotting bodies and why these animals are essential.
Eat Your Words : A Fascinating Look at the Language of Food by Charlotte Foltz Jones. 9781524766818. 2018. Gr 4-6.
Learn about the history and meaning of all kinds of food-related words and phrases as well as the customs and beliefs about various foods.
Eavesdropping on Elephants : How Listening Helps Conservation by Patricia Newman. 9781541515710. 2018. Gr 4-6.
African elephants are a keystone species, and they are endangered. Scientists have been learning how these majestic animals communicate since 1984, when the Elephant Listening Project began to study all the sounds they make.
Monster Mayhem by Christopher Eliopoulos. 9780735231245. 2018. Gr 4-6.
Zoe loves two things: science and monster movies. After finding a mysterious ring, she puts it on and is enveloped by a burst of light. When she wakes up in the morning, a monster from one of her favorite movies is at her window—and she is in for an adventure! Kids will love this fast-paced, exciting graphic novel.
Phrases of the Moon : Lunar Poems by J. Patrick Lewis & Jori van der Linde. 9781568463117. 2018. Gr 3-5.
The original poems in this anthology are all about the moon, our feelings about Earth’s satellite, and stories told by people throughout the centuries.
MIDDLE SCHOOL NONFICTION
Animals Go to War : From Dogs to Dolphins by Connie Goldsmith. 9781512498042. 2018. Gr 7-9.
Animals have long played a role in human wars. In earlier times, they carried people, supplies, and messages. Today they search both land and sea for mines and bombs and weapons. Readers will find out what animals have been used (even chickens!), how they are trained, and what makes them such good helpers.
D-Day : The World War II Invasion That Changed History by Deborah Hopkinson. 9780545682480. 2018. Gr 5-8.
This narrative describes the people, events, and planning that went into D-Day. Discussing the major players as well as other individuals who made significant contributions to the war effort,it uses official documents, personal narratives, and archival photographs to offer a complex view of the events of 1944 and how they impacted the rest of the war.
Diet for a Changing Climate : Food for Thought by Christy Mihaly & Sue Heavenrich. 9781512481211. 2018. Gr 7-9.
What we eat has an effect on our planet, and our climate changes have also affected what is available to eat. As a result, many parts of the globe are experiencing a hunger crisis. One solution, according to the United Nations, is for everyone to add insects to their table. Insects are plentiful and nutritious. Learn about insects and other food options from regular people who enjoy them and from scientists.
Eleanor Roosevelt, Fighter for Justice : Her Impact on the Civil Rights Movement, the White House, and the World by Ilene Cooper. 9781419722950. 2018. Gr 6-9.
This examination of the civil rights work of former First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt discusses her wealthy childhood and how over the years, she became an icon and voice for the voiceless and underrepresented. Able to influence several presidents, Roosevelt continued her evolution to fight for other important causes well after her life in the White House.
Estranged by Ethan M. Aldridge. 9780062653871. 2018. Gr 4-7.
Childe, a human child, and Edmund, a fae changeling, were switched at birth and live out their lives in realms where they do not belong. When an evil sorceress takes control of the World Below, it is up to the two of them to protect both worlds.
Pandemic : How Climate, the Environment, and Superbugs Increase the Risk by Connie Goldsmith. 9781512452150. 2018. Gr 7-10.
Epidemiologists study past epidemics and pandemics to try to figure out what factors contributed to the spread of disease on a global scale, in the hopes that they can predict and control future outbreaks.
Science Comics : Trees : Kings of the Forest by Andy Hirsch. 9781250143112. 2018. Gr 4-8.
This graphic novel series uses a high-interest format to introduce various science topics. In Trees, when an acorn wonders if it wants to be just a boring old tree, forest creatures assure him that trees are an essential part of the ecosystem—and not boring at all!
Spooked! : How a Radio Broadcast and The War of the Worlds Sparked the 1938 Invasion of America by Gail Jarrow. 9781629797762. 2018. Gr 7-10.
The famous “War of the Worlds” radio broadcast in 1938 launched a nationwide fear that Martians were invading America. Learn about the individuals behind the broadcast, the broadcast itself, and its aftermath. The author examines the effects of “fake news” today, freedom of the press, and modern-day social media hoaxes.
TV Shows the World Freedom as the Berlin Wall Falls (Captured Television History) by Danielle Smith Llera. 9780756558260. 2018. Gr 5-7.
The fall of the Berlin Wall was well-documented on television. This title shows the history of the Wall, why it was built and what led to its collapse.
HIGH SCHOOL & ADULT CROSSOVER NONFICTION
Bonnie and Clyde : The Making of a Legend by Karen Blumenthal. 9780451471222. 2018. Gr 7-12.
Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrow became one of the most enduring outlaw couples in American history. Blumenthal goes step-by-step through the couple’s lives and sets their story against the backdrop of west Texas during the Great Depression.
Fly Girls : How Five Daring Women Defied All Odds and Made Aviation History by Keith O’Brien. 9781328876645. 2018. Gr 11-Adult.
Airplane racing was a popular—and dangerous—sport in the 1920s-30s. And while the male pilots were considered heroes, women pilots were ridiculed and banned from this manly enterprise. Banding together, five women fought for and finally won a chance to race alongside the men.
Google It : A History of Google by Anna Crowley Redding. 9781250148223. 2018. Gr 7-12.
Stanford University students Larry Page and Sergey Brin embarked on a mission to organize the world’s information—and created Google. Read about the history and development of Google from its origins to today, as well as what the future holds for the company.
Illegal by Eoin Colfer & Andrew Donkin (ill. by Giovanni Rigano). 9781492662143. 2018. Gr 7-12.
When his brother Kwame disappears, Ebo leaves Ghana to find him, thinking Kwame might be headed towards Europe. The voyage is dangerous as he searches a Nigerian refugee camp and ends up on the ocean drifting without food or water. This graphic novel chronicles the duel voyage of both Ebo and Kwame.
Our Stories, Our Voices : 21 YA Authors Get Real about Injustice, Empowerment, and Growing Up Female in America edited by Amy Reed. 9781534408999. 2018. Gr 8-12.
A variety of young adult authors write about their experiences of growing up female in America, and how they were affected by race, religion, and ethnicity.
Think Before You Ink : Getting Tattoos (Body Arts) by Nicholas Faulkner & Larry Gerber. 9781508180821. 2018. Gr 9-12.
Tattoos are extremely popular among young people (and those not so young, too! I have four!) today. This book explains the importance of not making rash decisions when it comes to permanently marking one’s body. Those wanting a tattoo should think about their reasons for wanting one, as well as considering how one might feel about it later in life.
This Noble Woman : Myrtilla Miner and Her Fight to Establish a School for African American Girls in the Slaveholding South by Michael M. Greenburg. 9780912777092. 2018. Gr 9-12.
Myrtilla Miner, the daughter of poor white farmers in New York, was insistent on the need for schools for African Americans in the southern states. An abolitionist and feminist, she opened the School for Colored Girls in Washington, DC, to prepare young African American students to be teachers. Despite strong criticism and even attacks, her school flourished and gained national fame.
Unpunished Murder : Massacre at Colfax and the Quest for Justice by Lawrence Goldstone. 9781338239454. 2018. Gr 7-12.
In 1873, a band of white supremacists marched into Grant Parish, Louisiana, and murdered more than one hundred unarmed African Americans who had taken refuge in a courthouse, an act now known as the Colfax Massacre.. The case made its way to the Supreme Court, but the opinion issued by the Supreme Court denied basic human rights to African Americans and paved the way for Jim Crow laws and the next hundred years of racism in America.