These exciting nonfiction titles were published in September.
Big Machines : The Story of Virginia Lee Burton by Sherri Duskey Rinker (ill. by John Rocco). 9780544715578. 2017. Gr K-2.
This picture book biography of author and illustrator Virginia Lee Burton describes how she created magical illustrations of big machines for her sons, Aris and Michael. These included her now-famous storybook characters Choo Choo the train, Mary Anne the steam shovel, Katy the crawler tractor, Maybelle the cable car, and Little House. Includes an afterword with biographical information on Burton and black-and-white photographs.
The Doctor with an Eye for Eyes : The Story of Dr. Patricia Bath by Julia Finley Mosca (ill. by Daniel Rieley. 9781943147311. 2017. Gr K-3.
Dr. Patricia Bath overcame racism, poverty, and sexism to achieve her dream of being a doctor and pioneer in the field of laser eye surgery.
Dumpling Dreams : How Joyce Chen Brought the Dumpling from Beijing to Cambridge by Carrie Clickard (ill. by Katy Wu). 9781481467070. 2017. Gr PK-2.
Follow the life of Joyce Chen from her childhood in China, through her marriage and her move to the United States, where she introduced and popularized the dumpling in her new country.
Good Night, Planet (Toon) by Liniers. 9781943145201. 2017. Gr 1-3. (Spanish: Buenos Noches, Planeta). 9781943145218.
A girl’s favorite stuffed animal, Planet, gets up at night and meets Elliot the dog and together they find a cookie to eat. But then Bradley the mouse tells them of an even bigger cookie, the moon, and asks Planet to help bring it out of the sky.
Hello Autumn! by Shelley Rotner. 9780823438693. 2017. Gr PK-2.
Colorful photographs introduce the fall season, with its changes in nature, harvest, and holidays, to young readers.
Her Right Foot by Dave Eggers (ill. by Shawn Harris). 9781452162812. 2017. Gr K-3.
This introduction to the Statue of Liberty tells young readers all they need to know—and a whole lot more! Eggers also gives his opinion of why Lady Liberty’s right foot is raised, as if it is in midstride—she is on the move to welcome all who come to her land.
Imagine That! : How Dr. Seuss Wrote The Cat in the Hat by Judy Sierra (ill. by Kevin Hawkes). 9780553510973. 2017. Gr 1-4.
Take a look at the creative process of Theodor Geisel, or Dr. Seuss, when he was asked to create a funny, interesting first-grade reader to get children to read. Geisel loved inventing nonsense words, but he was told he could only use words from a very strict list! Geisel accepted the challenge and used the rhyme of “cat” and “hat” as a starting point to write his most famous book, “The Cat and the Hat.”
It Starts with a Seed by Laura Knowles (ill. by Jennie Webber). 9781910277263. 2017. Gr 1-4.
A single seed transforms into a giant tree that is home to many animals over the course of several seasons and years.
Living Things and Nonliving Things : A Compare and Contrast Book by Kevin Kurtz. 9781628559859. 2017. Gr K-3.
On the surface, it seems like a simple matter to distinguish between things that are living and not living. Living things grow, reproduce, and move—but sometimes nonliving things can do these, too. Beautiful photos help readers to compare and contrast.
Melvin the Mouth by Katherine Blanc (ill. by Jeffrey Ebbeler). 9781580897143. 2017. Gr PK-3.
Young readers may not think they know who the Melvin in the title is, but if they have ever watched Looney Tunes cartoons, they have heard him speak. Mel Blanc was the voice of Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, Woody Woodpecker, and about 1500 other characters. This fictional biography by his daughter-in-law describes a typical day in the life of young Melvin.
Once Upon an ABC by Sophie Masson (ill. by Chris Nielsen). 9781760128432. 2017. Gr PK-2.
This rhyming picture book gathers 26 folk and fairy tale characters together to teach the alphabet. Most references are well known, but Masson includes some unfamiliar characters as well.
Read, Read, Read! by Ryan O’Rourke. 9781590789759. 2017. Gr K-3.
This collection of over twenty illustrated children’s poems depicts the joy of reading.
See What We Eat! : A First Book of Healthy Eating by Scot Ritchie. 9781771386180. 2017. Gr PK-1.
A diverse group of children search for the ingredients to make an apple crisp for their community’s Harvest Festival. Readers will learn where the items come from as the children visit a farm and a store. The children prepare and bake the apple crisp (a recipe is included), compost the apple peelings, and attend the Festival.
The Shape of the World : A Portrait of Frank Lloyd Wright by K.L. Going (ill. by Lauren Stringer). 9781442478213. 2017. Gr 1-4.
Read about the life of famed architect Frank Lloyd Wright, from his inquisitive childhood through his innovative career. Includes a key to the illustrated images depicting his designs used throughout the book.
When Planet Earth Was New by James Gladstone & Katherine Diemert. 9781771472036. 2017. Gr 1-4.
Simple text and illustrations walk readers through the formation of planet Earth and its development from a molten ball of rock through the earliest stages of evolution up to the present.
42 Is Not Just a Number : The Odyssey of Jackie Robinson, American Hero by Doreen Rappaport. 9780763676247. 2017. Gr 4-6.
Learn about the life and career of baseball icon Jackie Robinson, who in 1946 became the first African American baseball player in the league’s history.
Crazy about Cats by Owen Davey. 9781911171164. 2017. Gr 2-6.
This illustrated nonfiction book describes the natural history of cats, and offers information on the physical traits and behaviors of various breeds. Read about the mythology of cats and the conservation of big cats.
The Dam Keeper (Book 1) by Robert Kondo & Dice Tsutsumi. 9781626724266. 2017. Gr 3-6.
A young pig toils at maintaining the dam and its windmill that keeps a black fog away from creeping back over his town. The unpredictable fog comes in waves, and one day it sweeps away the pig, his fox best friend, and the bully from school. They have only nine days to cross unfamiliar territory before the next wave engulfs the town.
Dangerous Jane by Suzanne Slade (ill. by Alice Ratterree). 9781561459131. 2017. Gr 2-4.
Jane Addams fought for peace through her creation of Hull House, a settlement house in Chicago that welcomed those from all countries and helped them live at peace. Her ideas were dangerous when war broke out. Jane won a Nobel Peace Prize for her activist work.
Dazzle Ships : World War I and the Art of Confusion by Chris Barton (ill. by Victo Ngai). 9781512410143. 2017. Gr 2-5.
British lieutenant-commander Norman Wilkinson had a great idea. Known as “dazzle,” it was a scheme to paint warships in bright colors and patterns designed to puzzle German U-boat torpedo gunners.
From Here to There : The Story of How We Transport Ourselves and Everything Else by H.P. Newquist. 9780451476456. 2017. Gr 4-7.
From sandals that made walking easier to rocket ships and driverless cars, humans have devised many ways to get themselves and their goods around faster and more efficiently.
How to Be an Elephant by Katherine Roy. 9781626721784. 2017. Gr 2-5.
Follow a newborn elephant calf as it grows and learns how to be an elephant. The author draws on the latest scientific research and her expedition to Kenya to discusses the elephant’s habitat, family, physical traits, behaviors, and development. The book also includes an author’s note on the conservation of African elephants.
I’m Just No Good at Rhyming : And Other Nonsense for Mischievous Kids and Immature Grown-Ups by Chris Harris (ill. by Lane Smith). 9780316266574. 2017. Gr 3-8.
As I was reading these silly poems, I thought often of Shel Silverstein. From the topics to the vocabulary and even to the page numbers, this book of poetry is just what the title says.
Revolutionary Rogues : John Andre and Benedict Arnold by Selene Castrovilla (ill. by John O’Brien). 9781629793412. 2017. Gr 3-6.
During the Revolutionary War, British major John André and American major general Benedict Arnold came up with a scheme that almost succeeded in capturing Commander-in-Chief George Washington and the Continental Army, which would have changed history.
Schomburg : The Man Who Built a Library by Carole Boston Weatherford (ill. by Eric Velasquez). 9780763680466. 2017. Gr 3-6.
Arturo Schomburg worked during the Harlem Renaissance to raise awareness of Afro-Latin American and African American achievements and the contributions they made to society.
Sergeant Reckless : The True Story of the Little Horse Who Became a Hero by Patricia McCormick (ill. by Iacopo Bruno). 9780062292599. 2017. Gr 2-5.
Read the true story of a brave little mare who carried artillery shells into battle numerous times with the U.S. Marines she supported throughout the Korean War.
MIDDLE SCHOOL NONFICTION
All’s Faire in Middle School by Victoria Jamiesen. 9780525429982. 2017. Gr 4-8.
After being homeschooled her whole life, Imogene, whose parents work at the Renaissance Faire, is about to enter the epic adventure of middle school. There she will face dragons, ogres, and mystifying creatures—otherwise known as teachers, bullies, and fellow classmates—and must quickly find a way to triumph.
Biometrics : Your Body and the Science of Security by Maria Birmingham (ill. by Ian Turner). 9781771471930. 2017. Gr 6-9.
This simple, illustrated look at the benefits and challenges of biometrics highlights several examples of biometrics today—including fingerprint, retinal, and voice recognition. It describes each one’s history and development, practical use, and drawbacks, and also discusses the future of the field.
The Book of Massively Epic Engineering Disasters : 33 Thrilling Experiments Based on History’s Greatest Blunders by Sean Connolly. 9780761183945. 2017. Gr 5-8.
Explore thirty-three different instances of architectural disasters throughout history, from the Colossus of Rhodes that collapsed in 226 BC to the infamous London “Fryscraper” constructed in a shape that concentrates sunbeams into harmful heat beams. This book also offers hands-on experiments illustrating what went wrong in each of these architectural disasters.
Bound by Ice : A True North Pole Survival Story by Sandra Neil Wallace & Rich Wallace. 9781629794280. 2017. Gr 5-8.
In 1979 an American expedition to the find the North Pole ended in disaster. Information for the narrative was pulled from journals and letters from the crew as well as official documents and archival records from the time.
Castle in the Stars : 1 : The Space Race of 1869 by Alex Alice. 9781626724938. 2017. Gr 6-9.
Searching for the element known in the 1800s as aether, Claire takes her hot air balloon to the edge of Earth’s stratosphere—and never returns. Her engineer husband fears she is gone forever, but her son still has hope. A year later, he finds a letter from someone claiming to have Claire’s logbook, sending both on a mission to a Bavarian castle, where they find a king who wants to fly a ship powered by aether—at any cost.
Engineered! : Engineering Design at Work by Shannon Hunt (ill. by James Gulliver Hancock). 9781771385602. 2017. Gr 4-8.
This book presents an illustrated exploration of what it is like to be an engineer. It discusses the steps of the engineering design process and covers nine stories of real-world engineering ingenuity. Engineering problem-solvers have sent rovers to Mars and made computer circuits small enough to fit in the palm of one’s hands.
Older Than Dirt : A Wild But True History of Earth by Don Brown & Dr. Mike Perfit. 9780544805033. 2017. Gr 5-7.
Using a graphic novel format, a talking beaver gives a biography of Earth’s formation, taking the reader through billions of years of history.
Poison : Deadly Deeds, Perilous Professions, and Murderous Medicines by Sarah Albee. 9781101932247. 2017. Gr 5-8.
Read about poisons and their uses from ancient times to today. This illustrated nonfiction title explores various poisons and who created them, how they were used, and their antidotes. It features profiles of poisons, factual sidebars, and black-and-white photographs.
The Red Bandanna : Young Readers Adaptation by Tom Rinaldi. 9780425287620. 2017. Gr 6-10.
Welles Crowther grew up in Upper Nyack, New York, and always had in his back pocket a red handkerchief his father had given him one Sunday before church. When Crowther grew up, he got a job on the 104th floor of the South Tower of the World Trade Center, and, according to witnesses, he died there saving the lives of others while wearing that handkerchief.
Shadow Warrior by Tanya Lloyd Kyi (ill. by Celia Krampen). 9781554519668. 2017. Gr 3-6.
In 1558, as Japanese warlords battle for territory, the stories of three girls intertwine: a young woman who wants to be a ninja but is doomed to an arranged marriage; a warlord searching for a new weapon to use to battle his enemies, and an orphaned tavern girl. These three become key players in an all-female ninja network in this tale based on a true story.
Shoe Dog : Young Readers Edition by Phil Knight. 9781534401181. 2017. Gr 6-9.
Phil Knight, cofounder of the Nike corporation, offers a young readers edition of his memoir. He describes the many early obstacles to building his brand, and the luck, faith, relationships, and determination that helped him rise to fame and fortune.
Speaking Our Truth : A Journey of Reconciliation by Monique Gray Smith. 9781459815834. 2017. Gr 4-8.
The Residential Schools system created a fissure in the relationship between Canada and its Indigenous people. This history explores the past and current impact of this system, and highlights how lack of understanding and awareness hinders healing as survivors and their families move forward in repairing the relationship between themselves and their country.
Women Who Dared : 52 Stories of Fearless Daredevils, Adventurers & Rebels by Linda Skeers (ill. by Livi Gosling). 9781492653271. 2017. Gr 4-7.
The fifty-two adventurous women profiled here overcame barriers throughout history. The women include swimmers, parachutists, stuntwomen, acrobats, race car drivers, explorers, scientists, cosmonauts, and police officers.
HIGH SCHOOL NONFICTION
Alexander Hamilton, Revolutionary by Martha Brockenbrough. 9781250123190. 2017. Gr 7-12.
Brockenbrough offers an examination of Alexander Hamilton by describing his political contributions to the founding of the United States, as well as his complex and sometimes scandalous personal life. Read about his birth out of wedlock, teen years as an orphan, rise to power, untimely death, and legacy.
Lighter Than My Shadow by Katie Green. 9781941302415. 2017. Gr 9-12.
The author provides an honest and unflinching account of her battle with anorexia.
M.F.K.: 1 by Nilah Magruder. 9781683830047. 2017. Gr 9-12.
Abbie, a young deaf girl, is on a mission to scatter her mother’s ashes. After being lost in a sandstorm, she is rescued by a family in the small desert town of Little Marigold. The town, bullied by ruffians with superhuman powers, is in need of a rescuer and Abbie, who has her own secret powers, might be the answer.
Marco Polo : Dangers and Visions by Marco Tabilio. 9781512430691. 2017. Gr 9-12.
This graphic novel biography is the coming-of-age tale/travelogue of Marco Polo. As a teenager, he journeyed east on the Silk Road with his father and uncle to Khanbaliq (Beijing today), met the young Kublai Khan, and lived there for twenty years before returning to Europe. This story, as well as many others about Marco Polo, is based on his Il Milione, or The Travels of Marco Polo.
Obsessed : A Memoir of My Life with OCD by Allison Britz. 9781481489188. 2017. Gr 9-12.
The author shares her spiral from popular, active teen to obsessed, social outcast when, at the age of fifteen, her mind became fixated with the idea that she was going to be diagnosed with brain cancer. When her fear became an obsession, life as she knew it changed drastically. But when Allison finally accepted that she needed help and learned she had obsessive-compulsive disorder, she was able to start rebuilding the life that had crumbled around her.
Spinning by Tillie Walden. 9781626727724. 2017. Gr 8-12.
Author Tillie Walden offers a graphic novel memoir about her childhood years in figure skating, illustrating how skating helped her escape stress from school, bullies, and family. However, as she came of age, she began to have other passions for art and for another girl, and wondered how figure skating would fit in with her life. When her senior year arrived, Tillie was forced to make important decisions about her future.
ADULT CROSSOVER NONFICTION
Darwin’s Backyard : How Small Experiments Led to a Big Theory by James T. Costa. 9780393239898. 2017. Gr 10-Adult.
Explore the life and work of Charles Darwin against the backdrop of his roles as husband and father of ten children—three of whom died in childhood. Readers can also explore his love of science and the studies he conducted within his own home enlisting the help of his family, friends, and servants as he searched for understanding.
A Disappearance in Damascus : Friendship and Survival in the Shadow of War by Deborah Campbell. 9781250147875. 2017. Gr 10-Adult.
Journalist Campbell’s “fixer” in Damascus was Ahlam, an Iraqi refugee who provided her with contacts and information while she was undercover, reporting on the Iraqis who fled to Syria after the fall of Saddam Hussein. After Ahlam disappeared, she was presumed captured by the Syrian government. Here Campbell tells the story of her attempts to rescue her friend.
Where the Animals Go : Tracking Wildlife with Technology in 50 Maps and Graphics by James Cheshire & Oliver Uberti. 9780393634020. 2017. Gr 10-Adult.
The technology to track wildlife has advanced swiftly in recent years, and we are able to follow their signals from farther afield and in more detail. The authors explain how this technology works and have used the information to create maps that show the wanderings of a variety of animals in the wild.