Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Nonfiction Wednesday

Thanks to Kid Lit Frenzy, I made a goal to read more nonfiction this year which I will be featuring on my blog every Wednesday.

Here are the nonfiction books I read this week:
Almost Astronauts: 13 Women Who Dared to Dream
Accepting the  2009 Boston Globe-Horn Book Honor Award for Nonfiction
This is an excellent book about the thirteen women in the 1960s who proved themselves worthy to go into space but faced terrible discrimination preventing from actually doing so. Stone chronicles the women's grueling tests and their magnificent results. It is heartbreaking that the "Old Boys' Club" (and even one very influentional woman) blocked their way. I know a few 4th grade gifted girls who will be outraged when they read this book! We've been studying the civil rights movement, and this will bring home that other groups of people besides African Americans faced and are facing discrimination. I love Stone's final words, "It seems we are finally ready to acknowledge that there should be no Wrong Time for women with the Right Stuff." We have a long way to go, though. We need to be thankful to the incredible women who have come before us who make the road easier to travel.  We are scheduled to Skype with Tanya Lee Stone during World Read Aloud Day on Wednesday, but a big snow storm is coming our way.  We may have to reschedule.  I really look forward to meeting her with my students - especially during Women's History Month!  Stone has many books dedicated to highlighting the stories of strong women.
Elizabeth Leads the Way: Elizabeth Cady Stanton and the Right to Vote
Elizabeth Leads the Way by Tanya Lee Stone, illustrated by Rebecca Gibbon

Part 1 of an Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony Documentary
I loved the way the questions in the beginning of this book got my 4th grade girls (and some boys, too!) riled up and involved in the story of Elizabeth Cady Stanton. This is a lively and interesting biography of a great mover and shaker. I'm excited to follow up the civil rights unit we've been working on with Women's History Month!
I loved exploring Wendy Anderson Halperin's website and videos about drawing!
This video of Halperin accepting an award for Planting the Wild Garden gives you insight into what she is all about.
This is a beautiful book about promoting peace in your world, your nation, your city, your neighborhood, your school, your home, and your heart. It is filled with quotes about peace from writers, educators, politicians, philosophers, spiritual leaders, and more. The illustrations tell a story of their own. There is one two-page spread featuring student artwork. Students will look at this over and over - there is so much detail that it can't be taken all in during one reading.
Snow School

See snow leopards in Pakistan!
This gorgeously illustrated book is about a family of snow leopards. Twin cubs learn from their mother ways to survive in Pakistan's Hindu Kush Mountains. Alan Marks's watercolors are stunning. I love the last one of the mother and her growing cubs. I like that Sandra Markle teaches children about snow leopards through narrative verse. If they have brothers or sisters, they will be able to relate to the cubs' antics, mistakes, and triumphs.
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What nonfiction books are YOU reading this week?


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