Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Nonfiction Wednesday

I'm excited that Alyson Beecher, at Kid Lit Frenzy, is continuing her Nonfiction Picture Book Challenge for the third year in a row.
This is the nonfiction I read this week:
Sugar Hill: Harlem's Historic Neighborhood
Sugar Hill: Harlem's Historic Neighborhood by Carole Boston Weatherford, illustrated by R. Gregory Christie
"Sugar Hill, Sugar Hill Where Life is Sweet..." Sugar Hill, a Harlem neighborhood where many of the most successful African Americans lived in the early twentieth century, teemed with art, intellectual pursuits, and performances. Cultural icons such as Duke Ellington, Zora Neale Hurston, Miles Davis and Lena Horne lived there, as well as civil rights leaders Thurgood Marshall and W.E.B. Du Bois. I loved the sing-song prose and energetic illustrations.
Mumbet's Declaration of Independence
I didn't know Mumbet's story before this book. What a courageous woman! When she was ordered by her cruel mistress to serve the men in the study food and drink, she overheard them talking about the injustice of Britain's taxes and laws imposed upon Americans. When she heard Colonel Ashley, her owner, say, "Mankind in a state of Nature are equal, free, and independent...," it made her think, "Wasn't she part of mankind?" After that, she approached the young lawyer present at the meeting and asked him to represent her when she declared her right to be free. They won the case, and she was freed. This book would be great to use in my classroom with my sixth graders right now because we're talking about liberty/freedom vs. safety during our dystopian unit. What would you be willing to risk for freedom?

Weeds Find a Way
I love this book because it looks at weeds the way children do - as beautiful. I can remember my girls when they were young being perplexed when we hated the dandelions sprouting all over our spring lawn. The beautiful language and illustrations combine to make a fascinating text about how creative weeds are. Excellent information in the back about adaptation and various weeds. I really enjoyed this book. Be sure to read Alyson Beecher's (Kid Lit Frenzy) interview with Cindy Jenson-Elliott here.
What nonfiction are YOU reading this week?



  1. Hi Holly,

    These are all new titles for us. Thank you so much. We can't wait to read them.

    Tammy and Clare

  2. Holly - I can't wait to pick up both Sugar Hill and Mumbet's. I have to see if my local bookstore or library have them. Thanks for sharing your thoughts on them.