Take a look at these exciting nonfiction titles published in January. Enjoy and learn!
Brave Ballerina : The Story of Janet Collins by Michelle Meadows (ill. by Ebony Glenn). 9781250127730. Macmillan. 2019. Gr PK-3.
In the 1950s, Janet Collins became the first full-time African American ballerina in the Metropolitan Opera House. Despite suffering widespread racism—her career somewhat limited as a result—Collins nonetheless pioneered through the already competitive art to cement her legacy as a dancer.
Elvis Is King! by Jonah Winter (ill. by Red Nose Studio). 9780399554704. Random House. 2019. Gr 1-4.
This illustrated biography of Elvis Presley introduces young readers to how a blond-haired boy from the Deep South began playing guitar and ended up becoming the King of Rock and Roll.
Fearless Mary : The True Adventures of Mary Fields, American Stagecoach Driver by Tami Charles (ill. by Claire Almon). 9780807523056. IPG. 2019. Gr K-2.
Fields, a former slave, became the first African American stagecoach driver in 1895. Though in her 60s, she got the job by beating all the other applicants by being the fastest in hitching up a team of six horses. With her pet eagle, she drove for many years, and never lost a horse or a package.
Out of This World : The Surreal Art of Leonora Carrington by Michelle Markel (ill. by Amanda Hall). 9780062441096. Harper Collins. 2019. Gr PK-3.
This picture book biography describes the inspirations, themes, and major works of 1930s-era surrealist artist Leonora Carrington, who consistently rejected gender expectations of art.
Planting Stories : The Life of Librarian and Storyteller Pura Belpre by Anika Aldamuy Denise (ill. by Paola Escobar. 9780062748683. Harper Collins. 2019. Gr K-3.
Pura Belpré was New York City’s first Puerto Rican librarian. In 1921, Belpré came to America and slowly became a leading figure in bringing bilingual literature into the mainstream, and was subsequently known as a great puppeteer and prolific storyteller.
Baby Elephant Joins the Herd. 9781454932123. Sterling. 2019. Gr K-3.
Tag along with a baby elephant as she grows up and learns about her world around her.
Billions, Trillions, Quadrillions : Making Sense of Really Big Numbers by Lynn Huggins-Cooper. 9781682974124. Lerner. 2019. Gr 2-4.
Using examples and infographics, this picture book teaches readers about huge numbers by relating them to the word that they know.
Click by Kayla Miller. 9781328707352. HMH. 2019. Gr 3-6.
When Olive’s friends form groups for the school variety show without her, she’s left feeling left out and afraid she’ll miss out entirely on being part of the show. But when she realizes she’d be a perfect host for the show, everything seems to click into place and her sadness is replaced with excitement.
Rotten! : Vultures, Beetles, Slime, and Nature’s Other Decomposers by Anita Sanchez (ill. by Gilbert Ford). 9781328841650. HMH. 2019. Gr 3-6.
Decomposition is necessary part of the life cycle, and readers will learn about the players in the process—including the sights, the textures, and the smells.
MIDDLE SCHOOL NONFICTION
George Washington’s Secret Six (Young Readers Adaptation) by Brian Kilmeade & Don Yaeger. 9780425288986. Penguin. 2019. Gr 4-6.
The Culper Spy Ring may be responsible for winning the revolution for George Washington. Read about the Culper Spy Ring’s history and their actions in the American Revolution, especially in infiltrating New York after the British succeeded in taking the city from the patriots.
Little Monsters of the Ocean : Metamorphosis Under the Waves by Heather L. Montgomery. 9781541528987. Lerner. 2019. Gr 4-8.
Kids learn about metamorphosis mainly by studying frogs and butterflies. But many marine creatures also go through the process. Montgomery takes a hilarious look at the life cycles of some bizarre ocean inhabitants to find out more about metamorphosis.
Never Caught, the Story of Ona Judge : George and Martha Washington’s Courageous Slave Who Dared to Run Away (Young Readers Edition) by Erica Armstrong Dunbar & Kathleen Van Cleve. 9781534416178. Simon & Schuster. 2019. Gr 5-8.
Ona Judge, one of Martha Washington’s slaves, escaped after George and Martha Washington moved to Philadelphia—the nation’s capital at the time—and began interacting with the city’s free black population. The Washingtons went to great lengths in order to recapture Ona. This young readers’ edition explains why and how Ona escaped and describes her life as a free woman.
Running with Wolves : Our Story of Life with the Sawtooth Pack by Jim & Jamie Dutcher. 9781426333583. National Geographic. 2019. Gr 4-7.
After spending six years in the Idaho wilderness with a pack of gray wolves, the authors describe what they have learned from the wolves on the importance of family, leading with kindness, working together, and respecting the elderly.
Taking Cover : One Girl’s Story of Growing Up During the Iranian Revolution by Nioucha Homayoonfar. 9781426333668. National Geographic. 2019. Gr 6-8.
French-Iranian American Nioucha Homayoonfar tells about coming of age during the Iranian Revolution of 1979. At the time, religion classes became mandatory and boys were separated from girls, girls became forced to wear appropriate Muslim clothing, and some of the friends of her parents were even executed. In the midst of all this change, Nioucha still finds a way to grow up and be a teenager.
When Plants Attack : Strange and Terrifying Plants by Rebecca E. Hirsch. 9781541526709. Lerner. 2019. Gr 4-8.
Learn the facts and the legends behind some really scary plants. The Venus fly-trap is familiar to most, but less well- known is the deadly stinging tree and the seeds of the pisonia tree, which can strangle birds. Bright and colorful photos plus plenty of back matter makes this a useful and engaging book for browsing and science class.
HIGH SCHOOL & ADULT CROSSOVER NONFICTION
Dark Sky Rising : Reconstruction and the Dawn of Jim Crow by Henry Louis Gates, Jr. & Tonya Bolden. 9781338262049. Scholastic. 2019. Gr 9-12.
The authors examine the rise of Jim Crow laws in the South. They look at the changing legal rights for African Americans after the Civil War and during the reconstruction, and how white violence and racism affected civil rights progression.
Good Trouble : Lessons from the Civil Rights Playbook by Christopher Noxon. 9781419732355. Abrams. 2019. Gr 9-Adult.
A journalist studies parallels between the Civil Rights Movement and today to find lessons that modern day activists can use to create positive change today.
The Greatest Treasure Hunt in History : The Story of the Monuments Men by Robert M. Edsel. 9781338251197. Scholastic. 2019. Gr 7-12.
A little-known WWII Allied division had the mission to track down European art and treasures that had been looted by the Nazi’s at Hitler’s command.
Locked in Ice : Nansen’s Daring Quest for the North Pole by Peter Lourie. 9781250137647. Macmillan. 2019. Gr 7-12.
Fridtjof Nansen was an early Arctic explorer who had what experts called an insane strategy. He purposefully locked his ship locked into the polar ice and floated along in the ice for two years, thus gathering tremendous amounts of scientific information about the region.
A Thousand Sisters : The Heroic Airwomen of the Soviet Union in World War II by Elizabeth Wein. 9780062453013. Harper Collins. 2019. Gr 8-12.
Female Soviet pilots actually flew in combat in World War II—the only women to serve in this capacity on either side. Led by Marina Raskova, three regiments of all-women flight teams suffered casualties of war along with discrimination on the ground, to make significant contributions to the war effort. Extensive sidebars that place these pilots within the larger context of the Russian war effort and socio-political landscape.
The Untold History of the United States : 2 : Young Readers Edition, 1945-1962 by Oliver Stone & Peter Kuznick (adapted by Eric Singer). 9781481421768. Simon & Schuster. 2019. Gr 9-12.
The second book of this series presents a collection of little-known historical facts about the dark side of American history from the end of World War II through the Cold War to the Cuban Missile Crisis.
We Are Displaced : My Journey and Stories from Refugee Girls Around the World by Malala Yousafzai. 9780316523646. Hachette. 2019. Gr 9-Adult.
Malala Yousafzai presents the stories of girl refugees from around the world, including Yemen, Iraq, the Congo, and Myanmar.
We Are Here to Stay : Voices of Undocumented Young Adults by Susan Kuklin. 9780763678845. Candlewick. 2019. Gr 8-12.
Kuklin profiles nine individuals who came to America as undocumented children. Now as young adults, they reflect on what being an America means and the struggles they’ve endured to survive in an environment that, while harsh, is significantly better than the one they left.