Archive for Nonfiction

A History of Voting Rights

By Tamra Orr

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The early settlers to this land left their old countries in search for freedom. They wanted a place where they could live as they pleased and make their own decisions. The author, Tamra Orr, makes a very profound point in the first chapter of the book “The right to vote is the right to have a voice in all kinds of decisions, big and small, local and national.”
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Susan B. Anthony

Written and Illustrated by Alexandra Wallner

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We may all have heard of the women’s suffrage movement, but how many of us really know about its leader Susan B. Anthony? Alexandra Wallner does an excellent job of presenting the details of Anthony’s life to young readers.

Anthony’s parents were strict. Early in life she learned to find entertainment by herself, because the children were not allowed to play games, sing songs or paint pictures. But they were fair. Third grade readers may find it hard to believe that there was a time when girls were not required to go to school. Anthony’s parents believed in educating both girls and boys.
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Granny’s Clan: A Tale of Wild Orcas

By Dr. Sally Hodson

Illustrated by Ann Jones

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Can you imagine being a 100 year old Granny? How about a 100 year old Granny that has spent her entire life in the Pacific Northwest Ocean?  This Granny rules as the matriarch of an orca whale pod. She leads the family in searching for salmon, teaches young mothers how to care for their babies, and plays with all the pod.  Third graders will learn about how the orcas live in the ocean with descriptions of daily life. With the help of soft, colorful, and detailed illustrations, the book moves beautifully through the sea with the Orcas.
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A Place for Bats

By Melissa Stewart

Illustrated by Higgins Bond

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There are more than 1100 species of bats on earth. North America has 45 kinds of bats but we really do not know much about them. Maybe it is because they are “creatures of the night”, maybe because we think only of vampire bats and forget all the other species that make our world a better place.
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Rachel Carson and Her Book that Changed the World

By Laurie Lawlor

Illustrated by Laura Beingessner

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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Rachel Carson and Her Book That Changed the World is an excellent resource and biography to include on the third grade reading level list. This book tells of the life of Rachel Carson, pioneering environmentalist.

The subject matter may seem a bit complex at first for third grade readers but the information is written at the third grade level. The book includes many facts about how Rachel Carson became first a biologist and a writer, then a researcher. She became a famous environmentalist and her work had lasting effects on our laws today long after she had died.

Comprehension is enhanced by the water color illustrations throughout the book. There is also a great list of resources and information to enhance the third grade classroom experience. The book gives many of the activities that Ms. Carson did during her career including photography, drawing, writing, and learning all she could about animals and wildlife in and around the ocean. Each of these activities could lead to classroom discussions and activities that mimic Ms Carson’s research giving teachers a spring board for enhancing a science or nature lesson. This book would be excellent to include in science or nature modules in the third grade classroom.

Another positive for teachers is included in the reference section which offers additional details to a number of statements of fact in the story. This allows more ideas for discussion so the third grade reader may comprehend the importance of Rachel Carson and her work and ideas for activities.

  • Rachel CarsonTitle: Rachel Carson and Her Book That Changed the World
  • Author: Laurie Lawlor
  • Illustrator: Laura Beingessner
  • Publisher: Holiday House
  • Reviewer: Terri Forehand
  • Hardcover: 32 pages
  • ISBN: 978-0-8234-2370-5
  • Genre: Juvenile Biography
  • Lexile Score: 820

Those Magical Manatees

By Jan Lee Wicker

Illustrated by Steve Weaver

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Did you know that manatees are also known as “sea cows”?  Those Magical Manatees is filled with interesting facts about this gentle sea giant.

The book is organized in a question and answer format. The author asks and provides the answers to twenty questions, starting with “What is a manatee?” and ending with the question “What can you do to protect the manatees?”  We learn that human activities cause them most injuries. In fact, scientists distinguish one manatee from another by looking at the scars.
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Can We Share the World with Tigers?

Written and Illustrated by Robert E. Wells

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Everyone, even the youngest of readers have heard of tigers. The author wisely uses the tiger as a vehicle to present important conservation-related issues.

We read that the Bengal tiger is in danger of becoming extinct, but falling prey to poachers is not the only reason that they are in danger. Their natural habitat (and that of their prey) is being destroyed to make way for farms and ranches. More than 90% of their original habitat, an astonishing number, has been destroyed.
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Marching with Aunt Susan: Susan B. Anthony and the Fight for Women’s Suffrage

By Claire Rudolf Murphy

Illustrated by Stacey Schuett

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Bessie Keith Pond, a real girl from Berkeley, California, wanted to ride bikes and go on hikes with her father and brothers. But back in 1896, girls were only supposed to stay home and take care of the house.The man of the house, in this case Bessie’s father, was the decision maker of the household.
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Today on Election Day

By Catherine Stier
Illustrated by David Leonard

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Today on Election Day, a book for third graders gives information about what happens on election day. It’s a very exciting time for Bailey and her classmates as they explain what goes on at their school and homes for the elections.  During election time, Bailey’s school is being used as a polling location for the national and local elections. Readers will learn what goes on during the election time and how elections are used to determine who will be the next President, the next Senator, or even just the city mayor.
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Heart on Fire: Susan B. Anthony Votes for President

By Ann Malaspina
Illustrations by Steve James

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   The incident in Susan B. Anthony’s life when she was arrested and tried for the act of voting is highly dramatic and perfect for this lovely picture book biography. Congress passed the 14th Amendment with the intention of giving African-Americans citizenship but the wording is vague and had no reference to gender. » Read more

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