New Nonfiction

Here are some of the latest nonfiction titles in the CA Library collection; look for them in the New Books section!

42 Is Not Just A Number: The Odyssey Of Jackie Robinson, American Hero by Doreen Rappaport — An eye-opening look at the life and legacy of Jackie Robinson, the man who broke the color barrier in Major League Baseball and became an American hero. “An engaging account of the man’s life and presents enough background information about American racism during the 1930s and 1940s to help young readers understand the depth of his courage and the magnitude of his achievement as a one-person civil rights movement” (Booklist).

Americanized: Rebel Without A Green Card by Sara Saedi — In San Jose, California, in the 1990s, teenaged Sara keeps a diary of life as an Iranian American and her discovery that she and her family entered as undocumented immigrants. “Filled with pop culture references, journal excerpts, photographs, and relatable coming-of-age content, this book will keep readers fully entertained while pushing them to deeper cultural understandings” (School Library Journal).

Born Both: An Intersex Life by Hida Viloria — A candid, provocative, and eye-opening memoir of life, love, and gender identity as an intact intersex person, as well as a call to action for justice for intersex people. “Owing to the dedicated research and advocacy of writers like Viloria, the intersex community is making meaningful progress toward equal rights. This brave and empowering book deserves a wide audience” (Library Journal).

Brazen: Rebel Ladies Who Rocked The World by Pénélope Bagieu — In graphic novel format, looks at the lives of twenty-nine charismatic women in history, including Josephine Baker, Betty Davis, Cheryl Bridges, and many others. “A strikingly original collective biography for casual readers, students, and those looking for inspiration in their own lives” (School Library Journal).

A Brief History Of Feminism by Patu/Antje Schrupp — An engaging illustrated history of feminism from antiquity through third-wave feminism, featuring Sappho, Mary Magdalene, Mary Wollstonecraft, Sojourner Truth, Simone de Beauvoir, and many others. “Powerfully organizes feminism’s many distinct terms, aims, and methods into a concise and savvy series of images…a great overview of a complicated subject” (Publishers Weekly).

Broad Strokes: 15 Women Who Made Art And Made History, In That Order by Bridget Quinn — Art historian Bridget Quinn delves into the lives and careers of 15 brilliant female artists, from the 1600s to the present, in text that’s smart, feisty, educational, and an enjoyable read. “This beautiful volume will inspire artists and delight anyone interested in biographies or art” (School Library J0urnal).

Can Your Outfit Change The World? by Erinne Paisley — Looks at how and where clothes are made, how the people who make the clothes are treated and how the companies who sell the clothes affect the health of our planet. “Will find an audience among readers concerned about how their clothing choices impact their world” (Booklist).

Can Your Smartphone Change The World? by Erinne Paisley — This how-to manual looks at specific ways readers can create social change through the tap of a screen. Filled with examples of successful hashtag campaigns, viral videos and new socially conscious apps, the book provides practical advice for using smartphones a tools for social justice. “Striking a casual but persuasive tone, Paisley demonstrates that fighting for one’s beliefs can be fun, creative, and effective — especially when social media is involved” (Publishers Weekly).

Chasing King’s Killer: The Hunt For Martin Luther King, Jr.’s Assassin by James L. Swanson — James Earl Ray and Martin Luther King, Jr. had two very different life journeys — but their paths fatally collide when Ray assassinates the world-renown civil rights leader. This book provides an inside look into both of their lives, the history of the time, and a blow-by-blow examination of the assassination and its aftermath. “The source notes are copious and clear enough to serve as a guide for continued study…a top pick for YA history collections” (School Library Journal).

Chasing Space by Leland Melvin — In this inspiring memoir, adapted from the simultaneous version for adults, young readers learn about Leland Melvin’s remarkable life story, from being drafted by the Detroit Lions to orbiting our planet in the International Space Station. “Melvin tackles stupendous obstacles with dogged determination, showing you what is indeed possible in life — if you believe” (Neil deGrasse Tyson).

Escape From Syria by Samya Kullab, Jackie Roche & Mike Freiheit — A breathtaking and hard-hitting story of one family’s struggle to survive in the face of war, displacement, poverty and relocation. “In league with Art Spiegelman’s Maus and Marjane Satrapi’s Persepolis, this is a must-purchase for any teen or adult graphic novel collection” (School Library Journal).

I Have The Right To: A High School Survivor’s Story Of Sexual Assault, Justice, And Hope by Chessy Prout, with Jenn Abelson — A young survivor tells her searing, visceral story of sexual assault, justice, and healing in this gut-wrenching memoir. “Readers will take away a deep appreciation and admiration for Prout’s resilience as she transitions into a resolute crusader for the empowerment of victims of sexual violence — and for its prevention” (Publishers Weekly).

Journey: An Illustrated History Of Travel by Simon Adams, R.G. Grant and Andrew Humphreys — An illustrated account of human movement, travel, exploration, and scientific discovery — from the first trade networks in ancient Sumer to the epic Voyager missions. “No other travel book includes discussions covering such a wide range of time and space. From ancient Egypt to the Vikings to Marco Polo to Route 66, this work serves as a testament to our desire to roam the world” (Booklist).

Photographic: The Life Of Graciela Iturbide by Isabel Quintero and Zeke Peña — Graciela Iturbide was born in Mexico City in 1942, the oldest of 13 children. When tragedy struck Iturbide as a young mother, she turned to photography for solace and understanding, setting out on a photographic journey that has taken her throughout her native Mexico, from the Sonora Desert to Juchitán to Frida Kahlo’s bathroom, to the United States, India, and beyond. “Quintero and Peña have set a new standard in artist biographies. A must for teen collections” (School Library Journal).

The Rock & Gem Book: And Other Treasures Of The Natural World by Dan Green — Filled with over 1,200 stunning full-color photographs, this is the perfect encyclopedia for young geologists to consult. From the quartz in watches to the limestone in the Great Pyramids, the earth’s natural treasures are used in architecture, art, and science.

Rookie On Love: 45 Voices On Romance, Friendship, And Self-Care, edited by Tavi Gevinson — A collection of essays, poems, comics, interviews, and illustrations on love from the online magazine “Each voice lends itself to universal truths about love, sometimes in no-holds-barred language, making this a good choice for YA and new adult collections” (Booklist).

This Is Just My Face: Try Not To Stare by Gabourey Sidibe — Oscar-nominated actress Gabourey Sidibe reflects on her life amidst a polygamous father and her rise to fame as a movie star, reflecting on dispatches of friendship, depression, celebrities, haters, fashion, race, and weight. “An immersive, honest, and funny read for fans of Sidibe or celebrity memoirs” (School Library Journal).

“You’re In The Wrong Bathroom!”: And 20 Other Myths And Misconceptions About Transgender And Gender-Nonconforming People by Laura Erickson-Schroth and Laura A. Jacobs — Debunks the twenty-one most common myths and misperceptions about transgender issues. “A timely and worthwhile purchase for libraries as well as middle- and high-school counseling offices, community centers, and places of worship” (Booklist).

10 Great Historical Fiction Titles

Historical fiction is a great way to bring literature into the social studies classroom — see “Why and How I Teach With Historical Fiction” by Tarry Lindquist. Here are 10 outstanding examples of the genre:

Ashes by Laurie Halse Anderson — As the Revolutionary War rages on, Isabel and Curzon are reported as runaways, and the awful Bellingham is determined to track them down. With purpose and faith, Isabel and Curzon march on, fiercely determined to find Isabel’s little sister Ruth, who is enslaved in a Southern state. The final book in Anderson’s ‘Seeds of America’ trilogy. “A rich cast of characters, nonstop adventures, lively dialogue, vivid battlefield descriptions, budding romance, and an informative appendix are hallmarks of this excellent novel and this compelling, must-have historical fiction series” (School Library Journal).

Audacity by Melanie Crowder — A gorgeously told novel in verse written with intimacy and power, this book is inspired by the real-life story of Clara Lemlich, a spirited young woman who emigrated from Russia to New York at the turn of the twentieth century and fought tenaciously for equal rights. “This fictional narrative, based on Lemlich’s real-life experiences, illuminates the labor-union movement, especially the women’s strike known as the Uprising of the 20,000” (Booklist).

Crossing Ebenezer Creek by Tonya Bolden — Freed from slavery, Mariah and her young brother Zeke join Sherman’s march through Georgia, where Mariah meets a free black named Caleb and dares to imagine the possibility of true love, but hope can come at a cost. “This moving and engrossing portrayal of a little-known historical tragedy belongs on all YA shelves” (School Library Journal).

The Girl in the Blue Coat by Monica Hesse — In 1943 Nazi-occupied Amsterdam, teenage Hanneke–a ‘finder’ of black market goods–is tasked with finding a Jewish girl a customer had been hiding, who has seemingly vanished into thin air, and is pulled into a web of resistance activities and secrets as she attempts to solve the mystery and save the missing girl. “Thoroughly researched, this work brings history alive in a clear and concise way that rings true” (School Library Journal).

The Librarian of Auschwitz by Antonio Iturbe — Follows Dita Kraus from age fourteen, when she is put in charge of a few forbidden books at Auschwitz concentration camp, through the end of World War II and beyond. Based on a true story. “Like Markus Zusak’s The Book Thief (2006), it’s a sophisticated novel with mature themes, delivering an emotionally searing reading experience” (Booklist).

My Lady Jane by Cynthia Hand — On the eve of her marriage to a stranger, sixteen-year-old Lady Jane Grey is swept in a conspiracy to usurp the throne from her cousin. “Wonky, offbeat, and happily anachronistic the references run the gamut from Shakespeare to Monty Python, with plenty of nods to The Princess Bride this fantasy adventure politely tips its hat to history before joyfully punting it out of the way” (Booklist).

The Passion of Dolssa by Julie Berry — In mid-thirteenth century Provence, Dolssa de Stigata is a fervently religious girl who feels the call to preach, condemned by the Inquisition as an “unnatural woman,” and hunted by the Dominican Friar Lucien who fears a resurgence of the Albigensian heresy; Botille is a matchmaker trying to protect her sisters from being branded as gypsies or witches–but when she finds the hunted Dolssa dying on a hillside, she feels compelled to protect her, a decision that may cost her everything. “The panic and suspicion of post-Inquisition France is omnipresent, giving the story of a supposed heretic a constant edge of danger” (School Library Journal).

Soldier Boy by Keely Hutton — Follows Ricky from 1987-1991, and Samuel in 2006, as they are abducted to serve as child-soldiers in Joseph Kony’s Lord’s Resistance Army in Uganda. Includes historical notes and information about Friends of Orphans, an organization founded by Ricky Richard Anywar, on whose life the story is partly based. “A must-purchase for teen collections, with the understanding that this text portrays traumatic childhood violence associated with civil war” (School Library Journal).

The Steep & Thorny Way by Cat Winters — A sixteen-year-old biracial girl in rural Oregon in the 1920s searches for the truth about her father’s death while avoiding trouble from the Ku Klux Klan in this YA historical novel inspired by Shakespeare’s ‘Hamlet’. “Winters amplifies the story by weaving Oregon’s troubling true history state-sanctioned discrimination, eugenics, forced sterilization throughout the tale, adding weighty, unsettling context to the slow-burning mystery” (Booklist).

An Uninterrupted View of the Sky by Melanie Crowder — In Bolivia in 1999, when their father is unjustly arrested and their mother leaves, Francisco, seventeen, and his sister Pilar, eight, must move to the dirty, dehumanizing, and corrupt prison. “This hard-hitting, ultimately hopeful story will open readers’ eyes to a lesser-known historical moment and the far-reaching implications of U.S. policy” (Booklist).


She Blinded Me With Science Books!

Every year, for over 40 years, the National Science Teachers Association (NSTA) has published its list of Outstanding Science Trade Books, considered the best science, engineering and design books for students in grades K-12.

These titles would be great choices for science teachers interested in hosting literature circles — “a popular reading strategy that emphasizes student interest and conversation” — in their classrooms. Learn more here: “Literature Circles For Science” (William Straits and Sherry Nichols, NSTA, 30 October 2006).

Here are some highlighted recommendations for high school students (all are available in the CA Library collection):

Terrible Typhoid Mary: A True Story of the Deadliest Cook in America by Susan Campbell Bartoletti — What happens when a person’s reputation has been forever damaged? With archival photographs and text among other primary sources, this riveting biography of Mary Mallon looks beyond the tabloid scandal of Mary’s controversial life. “Expertly weaving together both historical background and contemporary knowledge about disease and public health, Bartoletti enlivens Mallon’s story with engrossing anecdotes and provocative critical inquiry while debunking misconceptions” (Booklist starred review).

A Global Warming Primer by Jeffrey Bennett — Is human-induced global warming a real threat to our future? Most people will express an opinion on this question, but relatively few can back their opinions with solid evidence. But the truth is, the basic science is not that difficult. “Without moralizing, Bennett offers strong evidence for the effects of global warming and urges cooperation and action across political party and international lines to prevent a calamitous future” (School Library Journal).

The Story of Seeds: From Mendel’s Garden To Your Plate, and How There’s More of Less To Eat Around the World by Nancy Castaldo — With a global cast of men and women, scientists and laypeople, and photographic documentation, Castaldo chronicles where our food comes from, and more importantly, where it is going as she digs deeper into the importance of seeds in our world. “This stellar interdisciplinary resource may need hand-selling to get readers beyond its plain packaging, but be prepared to satisfy readers’ thirst for more information about, for instance, protecting Russia’s international seed vaults during WWII, finding Glass Gem corn, and fighting biopiracy. A terrific, engrossing resource” (Booklist starred review).

Radioactive!: How Irène Curie and Lise Meitner Revolutionized Science and Changed the World by Winifred Conkling — Shares the story of how the daughter of Marie and Pierre Curie discovered artificial radioactivity and won a Nobel Prize in spite of being denied an advanced education, inspiring physicist Lise Meitner to make a vital discovery about nuclear fission. “Black-and-white period photos, scientific asides and diagrams, and a time line enhance the well-cited text. A thorough and engaging study of two female scientists worth their weight in radium” (Booklist starred review).

Eyes Wide Open: Going Behind the Environmental Headlines by Paul Fleischman — A summary of today’s environmental challenges also counsels teens on how to decode conflicting information, explaining the role of vested interests while identifying the sources behind different opinions, helping teens make informed choices. “The presentation of facts and the author’s positive message are what shine here. An excellent and thought-provoking take on a well-worn subject” (School Library Journal).

Chocolate: Sweet Science & Dark Secrets of the World’s Favorite Treat by Kay Frydenborg — A fascinating account for teen readers that captures the history, science, and economic and cultural implications of the harvesting of cacao and creation of chocolate. Readers of Chew On This and The Omnivore’s Dilemma will savor this rich exposé. “Covering controversy over labor laws, the chemical makeup of chocolate, and recent attempts to map the cacao genome, Frydenborg offers a wealth of information that will likely encourage students to think critically about the ecological and human cost of their favorite candies and maybe even prompt them to choose sustainable alternatives” (Booklist).

Steve Jobs: Insanely Great, A Graphic Biography by Jessie Hartland — Told through a combination of black-and-white illustrations and handwritten text, this fast-paced and entertaining biography in graphic format presents the story of the ultimate American entrepreneur, the man who brought us Apple Computer, Pixar, Macs, iPods, iPhones, and more. “Luddites and iFans alike should find this volume an illuminating introduction to Jobs’s life and the recent history of consumer electronics” (School Library Journal).

Bubonic Panic: When Plague Invaded America by Gail Jarrow — Traces the efforts of doctors to halt the spread of the plague during the 1900 outbreak in San Francisco, discussing how political leaders tried to keep the epidemic from being publicized and the scientists working to unlock the secrets of the disease. “The intertwined themes of prejudice against Asian Americans, public health officials hampered by politicians, and mistrust of scientific research (which indicated that fleas carried plague from rodents to humans) make the story complex, revealing a good deal about human nature as well as the period and the disease itself” (Booklist).

Magnificent Minds: 16 Pioneering Women in Science and Medicine by Pendred E. Noyce —  Introduces readers to the lives, sayings, and dreams of sixteen women over four centuries and chronicles their contributions to mathematics, physics, chemistry, astronomy, computer science, and medicine. “A wonderful collection of stories…[Noyce provides] explanation and context of both a scientific and a geopolitical nature” (Shirley Malcolm, head of Education and Human Resources, American Association for the Advancement of Science).

Florence Nightingale: The Courageous Life of the Legendary Nurse by Catherine Reef — This riveting biography explores the exceptional life of a woman who defied the stifling conventions of Victorian society to pursue what was considered an undesirable vocation. “Budding scientists will enjoy seeing the changing theories about contagion, such as the later-debunked miasma theory, of which Florence was a staunch believer. A captivating and inspiring study of one woman’s perseverance and the good that came from it” (Booklist starred review).