Biography, History, Uncategorized

Amelia And Eleanor Go For A Ride Pam Munoz Ryan

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Back of Book:
On a brisk and cloudless evening in April 1933, Amelia and Eleanor did the unprecedented: They stole away from a White House dinner, commandeered an Eastern Air Transport jet, and took off on a glorious adventure–while still dressed in their glamorous evening gowns!

This picture book tour de force celebrates the pioneering spirit of two friends whose passion for life gave them the courage to defy convention in the name of fulfillment, conviction, and fun. Soaring text, inspired by the known facts of this event, and breathtaking drawings ask readers to dream dreams as big as Amelia and Eleanor’
My Review:
Both Amelia Earhart and Eleanor Roosevelt were strong independent women who leaders of the Great Depression era. I was excited to find a story about their friendship and adventures together. Pam Munoz Ryan is a talented author. Her ability to weave a story about a time in history is incredible. The back of the book has a fantastic author note as well as a recipe of Elanor Roosevelts favorite dessert. The illustrations are done in black and white by Brian Selznick. They are soft and show the beauty of the night flight that the two women took together. The very last page of the book has a photograph of the two women together. This is a perfect nonfiction book to add to any Great Depression or Aviation history unit. It is also a perfect story to share during National Women’s Month in March.
Ages 6 and up
40 Pages

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History

A is for Abigail: An Almanac of Amazing American Women by Lynne Cheney

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Back of Book:

Lynne Cheney and Robin Preiss Glasser collaborated on America: A Patriotic Primer, which captured the imagination of American children and became a national best-seller. Now they turn their hands to A is for Abigail: An Almanac of Amazing American Women and bring the great women of American history to life. Filled to the brim with words and pictures that celebrate the remarkable (although often unmarked) achievements of American women, this is a book to relish and to read again and again.
Mothers, daughters, schoolchildren, generations of families — everyone — will take Abigail Adams’s words to heart and “remember the ladies” once they read the stories of these astonishing, astounding, amazing American women.

My Review:
I was so excited when I stumbled upon this fantastic story by Lynne Cheney. It is the most amazing alphabet story about the American women who played a role in history. Many of the women in this book are ones that I had never heard of. The book is well researched and put together. The beginning of the book has a forward from Lynne that tells readers about the importance of remembering the strong women who walked before us. The illustrations in this book are beautifully drawn. The very talented illustrator is the same creator of the Fancy Nancy series. The details on each page bring these women to life. This is a book that is perfect to use for book reports or research projects. A must read for the month of March.
Ages 6 and up
48 Pages

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History

A Lady Has the Floor: Belva Lockwood Speaks Out for Women’s Rights By Kate Hannigan

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Back of Book:

Activist Belva Lockwood never stopped asking herself the question Are women not worth the same as men? She had big dreams and didn’t let anyone stand in her way–not her father, her law school, or even the U.S. Supreme Court. She fought for equality for women in the classroom, in the courtroom, and in politics. In her quest for fairness and parity, Lockwood ran for President of the United States, becoming the first woman on the ballot. In this riveting nonfiction picture book biography, award-winning author Kate Hannigan and celebrated artist Alison Jay illuminate the life of Lockwood, a woman who was never afraid to take the floor and speak her mind.

My Review:
I think that the story of Belva Lockwood is a perfect example to share with readers during National Women’s month. Before I read this story, I had never heard of the amazing, and strong woman. I loved learning about her fight for equality for women. She earned a law degree and was one of the first women to do so. This story is rich in history and makes it a perfect nonfiction addition to any Civil War History Unit. The illustrations are well drawn and show the strength and determination of one strong woman. The back of the book has a fantastic note from the author and a timeline so readers can see the history behind what Belva accomplished. I am so glad that I got to share this with my students this year.
Ages 7 and up
32 Pages

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History

Sergeant Reckless: The True Story of the Little Horse Who Became a Hero by Patricia McCormick

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Back of Book:

 

When a group of US Marines fighting in the Korean War found a bedraggled mare, they wondered if she could be trained to as a packhorse. They had no idea that the skinny, underfed horse had one of the biggest and bravest hearts they’d ever known. And one of the biggest appetites!

 

Soon Reckless showed herself more than willing to carry ammunition too heavy for the soldiers to haul. As cannons thundered and shells flew through the air, she marched into battle—again and again—becoming the only animal ever to officially hold military rank—becoming Sgt. Reckless—and receive two Purple Hearts.

 

My Review:

 

All I can say about this beautiful picture book is wow! I was amazed by the story of Reckless. This is the story of a little horse who went on to do mighty things. She was instrumental in helping troops win a major victory. There are not many picture books about the Korean War which makes Sargent Reckless even more of a special read. The illustrations in this book are truly spectacular! Iacopo Bruno is a gifted artist and shows readers the strength of the marines and of one horse who become a true hero.  The back of the book has a lovely author note as well as a picture of Reckless. This is a great nonfiction story to add to any war unit.  I truly enjoyed this book!

 

Ages 6 and up

 

40 Pages

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History, Read Your World

Crossing Bok Chitto: A Choctaw Tale of Friendship & Freedom by Tim Tingle

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Back of Book:
Dramatic, quiet, and warming, this is a story of friendship across cultures in 1800s Mississippi. While searching for blackberries, Martha Tom, a young Choctaw, breaks her village’s rules against crossing the Bok Chitto. She meets and becomes friends with the slaves on the plantation on the other side of the river, and later helps a family escape across it to freedom when they hear that the mother is to be sold.
My Review:
Before reading this book, I wasn’t aware that there were Native American Tribes that helped slaves cross into freedom. I was completely immersed in this story from page one. It is a beautiful tale of an unusual friendship that would save a family. Martha Tom shows true courage as she helps her friends cross the river to their freedom. Tim Tingle is a gifted storyteller. He brought this story to readers in a way that they could understand and appreciate. The text is rich in history and tradition. The story of two cultures working together is woven into a tale that allows readers to see the importance of looking beyond race and color. The illustrator painted each scene using colors that matched the mood of the text. There is a note in the back of the book that discusses the Choctaw people then and now. This is a fantastic story to add to any diverse book list.
Ages 7 and up
40 Pages

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History

Dangerous Jane by Suzanne Slade

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Back of Book:
Jane’s heart ached for the world, but what could she do to stop a war?
This energetic and inspiring picture book biography of activist Jane Addams focuses on the peace work that won her the Nobel Peace Prize. From the time she was a child, Jane’s heart ached for others. At first the focus of her efforts was on poverty, and lead to the creation of Hull House, the settlement house she built in Chicago. For twenty-five years, she’d helped people from different countries live in peace at Hull House. But when war broke out, Jane decided to take on the world and become a dangerous woman for the sake of peace.
My Review:
I have learned that when I pick up a book written by Suzanne Slade, I am going to learn something new about an incredible individual. Dangerous Jane is no exception. I had studied a little bit about Jane Addams, but reading this book gave me an entirely new insight on her. I never knew that Jane was a leader for peace in the Neverlands. I also never knew that the FBI considered Jane dangerous. The more I read, the more I wanted to learn. Suzanne writes in a powerful voice and tells the story of one of the greatest woman advocates in history. Alice brings the images to life in an equally strong and positive way. I can’t recommend this book to readers enough. It fulfills to many areas of learning. Every student should leave a classroom with the knowledge of who Jane Addams was to our nation, and the world!
Ages 6 and up
40 Pages

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History, Uncategorized

Patrick and the President By Ryan Tubridy

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Back of Book:
When the beloved president visited Ireland in 1963, he described it as the best four days of his life. And for a generation of Irish people, it was a trip they never forgot. This warmly told, bighearted picture book captures the fevered excitement in the buildup to the president’s visit, all seen through the eyes of a young boy named Patrick who wants to know more than anything what it would feel like to shake the president’s hand.

My Review: I was very excited when I heard that this book was coming out. I had never heard that President Kennedy visited Ireland. This book is a great historical look at how President Kennedy visited the country where his heritage was from. The story follows Patrick, a young boy who is very excited about an upcoming visit with the President. Patrick learns that he will get to preform several songs when the President. He would do just about anything to meet Kennedy. This story was well researched and allows readers to feel like they are there visiting the President. The illustrations are stunning and capture a beautiful moment in history.
40 Pages
Ages 6 and up

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History

Animals Christopher Columbus Saw: An Adventure in the New World By Sandra Markle

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Back of Book: While nothing about Christopher Columbus’ journey was expected, he couldn’t have imagined feasting on roasted lizard! Through nimble writing and beautiful paintings, this series casts the past in a whole new light!
My Review: My students really enjoyed reading this book. I borrowed it from the third grade teacher for my explorer unit. I was very glad I did. Each page shows the type of animals that Columbus encountered on his journey. Animals like camels, and lizards as well as parrots are mentioned. The story also describes the sea life, such as fish, and turtles that the crew would see on their journey. I love that this book tells readers that Columbus was an explorer who helped people to understand that the world was a much bigger place then they had imagined. The author did an excellent job of bringing the details of this story to life. The illustrations are breathtaking and give readers many small details to look at throughout the story.
Ages 6 and up
32 Pages

 

Civil Rights, History, Uncategorized

Climbing Lincoln’s Steps: The African American Journey By Suzanne Slade

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Back of Book: This empowering and emotionally driven story showcases significant moments in African American history that tie back to the Lincoln Memorial by introducing iconic civil rights activists as well as exploring President Abraham Lincoln’s role in abolishing slavery. This book highlights the hardships and triumphs faced while fighting for racial equality in America.
My Review:
I remember walking up the steps to the Lincoln Memorial. There was something unexplainable about the feeling that overcomes you as you take each stair. The history that has been made in that place is astounding. I loved each topic that was discussed in this story. Each page gives readers detailed information about different people who helped the Civil Rights Movement. This book celebrates the changes that have happened over the years. This book inspires readers to make a difference while still remembering those who have already walked the path before us. I plan on adding this book to my Civil Rights reading lit.
Ages 6 and up
32 Pages

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History, Skills Children Learn, Uncategorized

The Coal Thief By Alane Adams

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Back of Book: Brrr! Georgie wakes up to a freezing morning in 1920s Pennsylvania and gets the bad news that there is no coal to heat the farmhouse―and he knows there is no money to buy more, either. Just after he finds this out, along comes his friend Harley, who drags him off on an adventure to find some mysterious “black gold.” Before Georgie can catch his breath, he’s in a pile of trouble―all the way up to his ears! Take a trip back in time and join Georgie in this heartwarming tale of mischief made and lessons learned in America’s storied past.

 

My Review: The Coal Thief is a beautiful story about a little boy who learns a very valuable lesson. Georgie thinks that he is going on an adventure instead, he is asked to steal coal from a train.  This action causes Georgie to end up in trouble, creating a perfect lesson to teach to children. Georgie’s father shows him that if he shares the coal with others, he can bless them. I love that this book combines history, with valuable skills about having integrity and helping others. The story also teaches readers about taking responsibility for their actions, and choosing good friends.  The illustrations are stunning and draw a reader into the story.  The ending is sweet, and allows readers to see an example of doing the right thing.

 

Ages 5 and up

 

32 Pages

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