Archive for Nonfiction

Going Home: The Mystery of Animal Migration

Written by Marianne Berkes
Illustrated by Jennifer DiRubbio

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Stories surface from time to time about pets traveling hundreds or even thousands of miles to find their way back home. Even humans have an uncanny ability to find their way home. But what if you had more than one home? Your home could even be someplace you’d never seen before.

Going Home is told in pleasing rhyme. Readers may want to read aloud each page to get the full effect. This is listed as “A Share Nature With Children Book.” Berkes includes information about animals from loggerhead turtles to monarch butterflies to manatees. Other animals discussed are ruby-throated hummingbirds, Pacific salmon, Canada geese, California gray whales, caribou, the Arctic tern, and emperor penguins.
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I Like Mixed-Breed Dogs

Written by Linda Bozzo

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I Like Mixed-Breed Dogs is one book in the “Discover Dogs with The American Canine Association” series. The mission of the ACA is to provide dog owners with the educational support they need for training, caring for and raising healthy pets.

Mixed breed dogs are special pets because each one is different than the other. Often times, mixed breed dogs are available for adoption, maybe older than puppies and may require special care.
This book teaches young people all about mixed breed dogs in a language they can understand. The purpose of the book is to educate children who may want a dog for a pet. The books sets out to let kids and their parents know that owning a dog is a very big responsibility and it is a long term commitment that the entire family takes on.
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Tim Tebow

Written by Jeff Archer

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Even people who don’t follow football have heard of Tim Tebow. For one thing, he’s famous for dropping to one knee on the football field and praying. It’s now called Tebowing. But who is the man behind the quarterback? This volume of the “Amazing Athletes” series attempts to answer that question.

Born in the Philippines and moved to the United States at the age of three, he returned to Asia with his family each summer to work at the orphanage they started. He is known for being home schooled. Despite that, he was allowed to participate in team sports at the local high school, where he was a fantastic player. He worked so hard that his college strength coach limited the amount of weight lifting he was allowed to do. He was the first college sophomore ever to win the Heisman Trophy. When he entered the National Football League (NFL), he was one of the first to point out that he had a lot to learn from the more experienced players. He tries to give back to the fans in many ways. His religious faith is very important to him.
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Bloodsucking Creatures

Written by Ron Knapp

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Load up a book with the ‘ouch’ facts, the ‘yech’facts, and the ‘oh yeah?’ facts. Do away with the blah. Add to that mix magnified photos of the bloodsucking creatures and you have an instant readership – second and third grade readers who delight in the icky and gross and awful.

The vampire bat on the cover looks like it is on its way to the next meal source – you. We learn that the only real vampires in the world are these tiny (three-inch long) vampire bats. Count Dracula with his red cape is a figment of our imagination.
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Butterfly, Flea, Beetle, and Bee: What is an Insect?

Written by Brian P. Cleary
Illustrated by Martin Goneau

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The author of the Words are CATegorical series has done it again.This time he brings us Butterfly, Flea, Beetle, and Bee: What is an Insect? which is part of the new series Animal Groups are CATegorical. The book introduces readers to the world of insects in a clever, rhyme filled, funny manner. The insect names are written in color which makes for easy identification. The colorful illustrations make this book a fun read for any 3nd grade student. The story is zany enough to keep kids engaged and informative enough to provide a learning experience at the same time. The illustration style along with the fun approach to what could otherwise be creepy, off-putting, and gross, makes insects seem interesting and makes a fan out of even the most squeamish third grader.
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It’s Snowing

Written and Illustrated by Gail Gibbons

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In It’s Snowing, Gail Gibbons delivers dozens of facts about snow with cheerful illustrations. Third grade students will read about the precipitation process of snow from evaporation to snowfall.

Though the book does not lend itself to be read aloud from cover to cover, portions of it would, and there are plenty of comprehension activities to use with this book. One of the most enlightening parts of this book is about each continent’s snowfall. The most interesting fact is that Antarctica has less snow fall than any other continent! In response to the initial read of It’s Snowing, students may write a list of ten facts that they learned or remember. Students may also respond to a number of journal prompts: What do you do when you have a snow day from school? Would you rather have more sunny days or snowy days? Why? What is your first memory of playing in the snow? If there is a snow day this school year, what do you want to do?
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Written and illustrated by Nic Bishop

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Magnificent, crisply detailed photographs make possible the difficult feat of looking at snakes with unbiased eyes. Nic Bishop, the author and illustrator of the book, does not gloss over the many dangerous snakes that exist; it is just that the photographs show the reader the beauty and diversity of this misunderstood species of reptiles.

Only some snakes are dangerous, but all snakes share basic common features. The author presents this information in an interesting manner. If you were a snake, he tells us, you would be about four times longer than you are now, and only a few inches thick. The book draws in third grade readers with such imagery. “..if you were like many snakes, you would only have room for one large lung.” Wow! How do they breathe with just one lung?
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Body Actions

Written by Shelley Rotner and David A. White

Outstanding Science Trade Book 2013 from the National Science Teacher’s Association and the Children’s Book Council (click for more info)

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Your body is incredibly well-designed! Rotner’s and White’s book is an easy-to-understand book about the major organ groups of the body. With large, real pictures and clearly written text, this book is well-suited for a third grade class as a read-aloud, especially in a small group setting. Students will find the illustrations overlaying the photographs easy to understand; the ear bones illustration is especially helpful. The x-ray of teeth is also enlightening because students reading this book will be in full swing of tooth loss and replacement, so they will marvel at the sight of the adult teeth growing beneath the baby teeth. For students who are hungry for more information, there is a glossary and a section that further describes the body’s systems.
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A Picture Book of Sam Houston

Written by David A. Adler and Michael S. Adler
Illustrated by Matt Collins

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While Texans know and love Sam Houston and learn about him in school, this American hero may not be as well known to readers in the other 49 states.David and Michael Adler rectify this situation with an informative and exciting picture book that is sure to capture the imagination of third-grade readers, no matter where they live.

Sam Houston was a war hero who went on to become the president of the Republic of Texas and later the state’s governor. The Adlers start their story with one of the most dramatic and dangerous moments of Houston’s life: his surprise victory over the Mexican army at the Battle of San Jacinto in 1836. From there, the book goes back to follow Houston’s life, which was never boring! » Read more

The Wild Parrots of San Francisco

Written by Ellen Leroe

Illustrations by Kathy O’Malley

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“They flash overhead in a burst of color, bright as kites in the sky. They fill the air with joyous shrieks.” No, it’s not Superman and his buddies, it’s the wild parrots of San Francisco!

In her book, The Wild Parrots of San Francisco, author Ellen Leroe shares the story of this famous flock of cherry-red and blue-crowned conures. The flock, believed to have originated from six birds that escaped or were released after being imported from Ecuador decades ago, now numbers 200 or more. The birds have historically spent most of their time on Telegraph Hill, but current news articles suggest that they have moved into suburban areas of the city, too.
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