Take a look at these exciting nonfiction titles published in February. Enjoy and learn!
All That Trash : The Story of the 1987 Garbage Barge and Our Problem with Stuff by Meghan McCarthy. 9781481477529. 2018. Gr 1-4.
In 1987 a ship full of trash became famous when no state would allow it entry because it smelled so bad. For 45 days the Garbage Barge roamed the waters, traveling 6,000 miles, and finally sitting in New York harbor. This book would make a good read-aloud for Earth Day and is a good conversation starter on the topic of waste and recycling.
The Amazing Collection of Joey Cornell by Candace Fleming & Gerard Dubois. 9780399552380. 2018. Gr PK-3.
When artist/sculptor Joseph Cornell was a child, he collected everything—and kept it all. First it fit in a wagon in his bedroom, but his collections soon spilled over into the barn. As he grew older, he used these odds and ends to make art.
Bloom : A Story of Fashion Designer Elsa Schiaparelli by Kyo Maclear (ill. by Julie Morstad). 9780062447616. 2018. Gr PK-2.
As a young girl in Rome, Elsa Schiaparelli felt ugly, so one day she took flower seeds and tried to plant them in herself. She got sick, but it inspired what would be a lifetime career in fashion that featured bright colors and bold designs that put her at the leading edge of Parisian fashion by the 1930s.
The Boo-Boos That Changed the World : A True Story about an Accidental Invention (Really) by Barry Wittenstein (ill. by Chris Hsu). 9781580897457. 2018. Gr PK-3.
In the 1920s when a farmer wanted a simple way to bandage his accident-prone wife, he conceived the idea of the Band-Aid. In World War II they were distributed to soldiers, but the Band-Aid didn’t become a household name in America until the Boy Scouts got involved.
Did You Hear What I Heard? : Poems about School by Kay Winters (ill. by Patrice Barton). 9780399538988. 2018. Gr PK-2.
These poems about school celebrate kindergarten and first grade. You might also want to check out Winters’ earlier poetry about school, Did You See What I Saw?
Girl Running : Bobbi Gibb and the Boston Marathon by Annette Bay Pimental (ill. by Icha Archer). 9781101996683. 2018. Gr K-3.
The first woman to run the Boston Marathon was Bobbi Gibb. Before 1966, it was considered dangerous for women to run that distance, so Bobbi sneaked into the race to prove everyone wrong—receiving great recognition from athletes and politicians alike. She inspired millions of women to participate in long-distance running.
Grace for Gus by Harry Bliss. 9780062644107. 2018. Gr 1-3.
A young girl named Grace goes out into nighttime Manhattan as a street performer to raise money for her class’s guinea pig named Gus.
Hey-Ho, to Mars We’ll Go! : A Space-Age Version of “The Farmer in the Dell” by Susan Lendroth (ill. by Bob Kolar). 9781580897440. 2018. Gr PK-3.
Sing along to the tune of The Farmer in the Dell and learn about the science of space and space travel and the possible future exploration of Mars.
I Am a Cat by Galia Bernstein. 9781419726439. 2018. Gr PK-2.
Simon the pet cat tells Lion, Puma, Tiger, Cheetah, and Panther that he is a cat like them. They all laugh at him, but when they describe their common characteristics, Simon fits right in with them.
A Seed Is the Start by Melissa Stewart. 9781426329777. 2018. Gr 1-4.
There’s more to the world of seeds than can be seen at a glance. Stewart describes the plant cycle, how seeds grow and travel, and the different ways they sprout. Beautiful photographs accompany the interesting text that is perfect for the elementary curriculum.
Spectacular Spring : All Kinds of Spring Facts and Fun by Bruce Goldstone. 9781250120144. 2018. Gr PK-3.
Following Awesome Autumn and Wonderful Winter, Goldstone now gives us Spectacular Spring. He includes photos, explanations of what happens in spring, and craft activities.
Thank You, Earth : A Love Letter to Our Planet by April Pulley Sayre. 9780062697349. 2018. Gr PK-3.
Photos of the beauty of nature are paired with poems of gratitude to the Earth.
Who Says Women Can’t Be Computer Programmers? : The Story of Ada Lovelace by Tanya Lee Stone (ill. by Marjorie Priceman). 9781627792998. 2018. Gr K-3.
Today, Ada Lovelace is considered to be the first computer programmer. This biography describes her childhood as the daughter of poet Lord Byron, her education in science and math, and her work with Charles Babbage’s Analytical Engine that processed numbers. It focuses on how Lovelace’s imagination helped her make new discoveries in the field of mathematics.
Earth Verse : Haiku from the Ground Up by Sally M. Walker (ill. by William Grill). 9780763675127. 2018. Gr 2-4.
Colorful illustrations of Earth science things—like the Earth’s crust, rocks, fossils, minerals, volcanoes, and glaciers—are accompanied and celebrated by haiku poems.
No Truth Without Ruth : The Life of Ruth Bader Ginsburg by Kathleen Krull (ill. by Nancy Zhang). 9780062560117. 2018. Gr 1-4.
This picture book biography of the second woman to become a U.S. Supreme Court justice focuses on the obstacles she faced in her law school and career. Biographies of RBG are popular now, but this one is worth having on your shelves.
On Our Street : Our First Talk about Poverty (World Around Us) by Dr. Jillian Roberts & Jaime Casap (ill. by Jane Heinrichs). 9781459816176. 2018. Gr 1-4.
Look at poverty and homelessness from a child’s perspective. This book couples a child’s questions about the topics with simple, straightforward answers about how people become homeless, how a child might be able to help, and more. Resources for further information are included.
Rodent Rascals : From Tiny to Tremendous by Roxie Munro. 9780823438600. 2018. Gr 2-4.
Rodents come in a variety around the world, including mice and ground hogs, guinea pigs and capybaras. Life-sized illustrations of each rodent species are included, and text describes their life cycles, physical traits, behaviors, and habitats.
The Secret Kingdom : Nek Chand, a Changing India, and a Hidden World of Art by Barb Rosenstock (ill. by Claire A. Nivola). 9780763674755. 2018. Gr 2-5.
After the partition of India in 1947, Nik Chand fled to India from Pakistan. He began creating a hidden art from river rocks, broken glass, and other discarded items. For 15 years, he kept his Rock Garden a secret to everyone but the local townspeople. When the government found it, they threatened to destroy the beautiful place, but his friends and neighbors fought to save it.
Seeing into Tomorrow : Haiku by Richard Wright (ill. by Nina Crews). 9781512418651. 2018. Gr 2-4.
These twelve haiku poems by Richard Wright, published fifty years ago, are paired with the photo-collage artwork of Nina Crews. The poems focus on everyday life as seen from a young African American boy’s eyes. A brief biography of Wright is included, along with a list of further reading.
Strongheart : Wonder Dog of the Silver Screen by Candace Fleming & Eric Rohmann. 9781101934104. 2018. Gr 4-6.
A German shepherd is transformed from Etzel, a police dog in Berlin, to Strongheart, a silent movie star that will need his best acting skills to prove himself innocent of attacking a girl. This book is based on a true story.
MIDDLE SCHOOL NONFICTION
Becoming Madeleine : A Biography of the Author of A Wrinkle in Time by Her Granddaughters by Charlotte Jones Voiklis & Lena Roy. 9780374307646. 2018. Gr 4-7.
Two of Madeleine L’Engle’s granddaughters use diaries, correspondence, and other memorabilia to narrate the early life of their grandmother, from her childhood through the acquisition of The Wrinkle in Time by Farrar Straus Giroux in 1961.
Clem Hetherington and the Ironwood Race (Clem Hetherington, Book 1) by Jen Breach & Douglas Holgate. 9780545814454. 2018. Gr 4-8.
Clem and her robot brother Dig (short for Digory) live on an alternate earth with dinosaurs, humans, and humanoids. After a run of bad luck, they enter the no-rules Ironwood Race of competitive archaeological site digging. Along the way they hope to find out the truth about their parents’ death.
Fly Girls : The Daring American Women Pilots Who Helped Win WWII by P. O’Connell Pearson. 9781534404106. 2018. Gr 5-8.
During World War II the U.S. Army Airforce had a desperate need for skilled pilots. But only men were allowed to fly military airplanes, even though many were taught by expert female pilots. This book shows how women pilots (WASPs) were finally permitted to ferry planes, to test planes after they were repaired, and more—though their pay and benefits were less than that of their male counterparts.
The Girl Who Drew Butterflies : How Maria Merian’s Art Changed Science by Joyce Sidman. 9780544717138. 2018. Gr 5-8.
Poet Joyce Sidman presents an illustrated biography of naturalist Maria Sibylla Merian, who was one of the first scientists to document butterfly metamorphosis.
Lillian Wald : America’s Great Social and Healthcare Reformer by Paul M. Kaplan. 9781455623495. 2018. Gr 7-10.
Little-known activist Lillian Wald was a social reformer in the early twentieth century, dedicated to helping New York’s poor. She also fought for women’s suffrage, racial integration, and worker’s rights.
Rising Above : Inspiring Women in Sports by Gregory Zuckerman. 9780399547478. 2108. Gr 6-8.
Read the stories of ten female athletes who have overcome the odds and become superstar athletes and role models for young girls, including Serena and Venus Williams, Simone Biles, and Carli Lloyd.
Rising Seas : Flooding, Climate Change and Our New World by Keltie Thomas. 9780228100225. 2018. Gr 4-8.
Photographs of Earth today are set against shocking images of what it might look like in the future if the issue of climate change is not addressed. Included is a section on what young people can do to make a difference.
Words That Built a Nation : Voices of Democracy That Have Shaped America’s History by Marilyn Miller, Ellen Scordato, & Dan Tucker. 9781635651881. 2018. Gr 4-7.
This collection of documents traces the history of the United States, including such areas as human rights, the environment, and immigration. Includes commentary, photographs, and engravings. This is a revised edition from the 1999 original.
HIGH SCHOOL NONFICTION
Americanized : Rebel Without a Green Card by Sara Saedi. 9781524717797. 2018. Gr 8-12.
In 1990s California, thirteen-year-old Sara Saedi keeps a diary of her life as an Iranian American and her discovery that she and her family entered the country illegally.
The Comic Book Story of Baseball by Alex Irvine (ill. by Tomm Coker & C.P. Smith). 9780399578946. 2018. Gr 7-12.
This graphic history of the sport of baseball covers major games, star players, and rule changes both in the U.S. and overseas.
Hope Nation : YA Authors Share Personal Moments of Inspiration edited by Rose Brock. 9781524741679. 2018. Gr 8-12.
Influential young adult authors share essays and stories to offer hope in today’s world.
The Prince and the Dressmaker by Jen Wang. 9781250159854. 2018. Gr 7-12.
In this coming-of-age graphic novel set in nineteenth-century Paris, a prince hires lowly dressmaker Frances to create a line of fabulous gowns for his secret alter ego, Lady Crystallia.
Speak : The Graphic Novel by Laurie Halse Anderson & Emily Carroll. 9780374300289. 2018. Gr 8-12.
A traumatic event near the end of the summer has a devastating effect of Melinda’s freshman year in high school.
Voices in the Air : Poems for Listeners by Naomi Shihab Nye. 9780062691842. 2018. Gr 7-12.
Over 100 free verse poems are compiled by the award-winning poet Naomi Shihab Nye in honor of past and present people who have inspired her. The quiet. sometimes political poems preach peace, diversity, and empathy. The book also features short biographies on the figures behind each poem.
Votes for Women! : American Suffragists and the Battle for the Ballot by Winifred Conkling. 9781616207342. 2018. Gr 8-12.
Explore the nearly eighty-year-battle for women’s suffrage in America that ended with the ratification of the Nineteenth Amendment in 1920. Conkling examines the private and public journeys of noted suffragists including Susan B. Anthony, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Victoria Woodhull, Sojourner Truth, Alice Paul, and Carrie Chapman Catt.
ADULT CROSSOVER NONFICTION
Berlin, 1936 : Sixteen Days in August by Oliver Hilmes. 9781590519295. 2018. Gr 11-Adult.
This account chronicles all sixteen days of the 1936 Summer Olympics held in Berlin at the height of Third Reich. Events in Berlin are described through the lens of a select group of characters as they cope with the rise of an oppressive regime while simultaneously hosting an international community of athletes and delegates.
The Line Becomes a River : Dispatches from the Border by Francisco Cantu. 9780735217713. 2018. Gr 11-Adult.
Francisco Cantú recalls his time as a U.S. Border Patrol Agent on the Mexican border. He details some of the horrors and violence he’s witnessed at the border, as he works to stop traffickers, murder, and drugs.
One Goal : A Coach, a Team, and the Game That Brought a Divided Town Together by Amy Bass. 9780316396547. 2018. Gr 10-Adult.
When many Somali refugees settled in Lewiston, Maine, residents grew uneasy, and the mayor wrote a letter asked the Somalis to stay away from his town. The high school soccer coach, however, integrated his team, which helped to bring the town together.