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The Good, the Bad, and the Barbie: A Doll's History and Her Impact on Us
There is something about Tanya Lee Stone's writing that I don't like. The tone, I think. When it comes to non-fiction, I like an authoritative, detach ...more
Dec 22, 2010
Nov 29, 2010
Heart and Soul: The Story of America and African Americans
Five stars for art, no doubt. Kadir Nelson is really a genius illustrator, particularly his portraits, which are captivating and have this epic qualit ...more
Dec 02, 2011
Dec 02, 2011
A Round-Heeled Woman: My Late-Life Adventures in Sex and Romance
I bought this book on a whim because I thought it sounded light and I was in the mood to laugh. I mean, the misadventures of a retired grandma going o ...more
not set
Jun 13, 2007
When the Beat Was Born: DJ Kool Herc and the Creation of Hip Hop
This is a fun picture book biography about one of the first hip hop DJs. It shows how DJ Kool Herc grew up in Jamaica, moved to the Bronx, and found a ...more
Jun 30, 2014
Jun 30, 2014
Life in the Ocean: The Story of Oceanographer Sylvia Earle
I think this book hits an awkward spot in terms of recommending it to kids. It doesn't have enough information to satisfy older readers, but the vocab ...more
Nov 12, 2012
Nov 12, 2012
Chuck Close: Face Book
"Why do you only paint faces?"

"Why doesn't anyone in your art smile?"

"When you were paralyzed, were you afraid you wouldn't be able to paint again?"

Jun 13, 2012
Jun 19, 2012
Parrots Over Puerto Rico
The first part of this book draws parallels between the history of the Puerto Rican parrot the history of Puerto Rico itself. About halfway through th ...more
Feb 19, 2014
Feb 19, 2014
Saint-Saëns's Danse Macabre
Very creepy and not creepy enough at the same time, which may mean this book has struck a balance between the factual story of composer Camille Saint- ...more
Mar 27, 2014
Mar 27, 2014
"The President Has Been Shot!": The Assassination of John F. Kennedy
I read this in one sitting (on an airplane) and cried at the end (flying makes me emotional). Oh, Jackie! I cried for her. I was so moved to learn tha ...more
Nov 20, 2013
Nov 25, 2013
Candy Bomber
After reading some really excellent non-fiction titles (They Called Themselves the KKK and The War to End All Wars), I was prepared to find this medio ...more
Nov 29, 2010
Nov 29, 2010
Almost Astronauts: 13 Women Who Dared to Dream
There were times when I thought Tanya Lee Stone should have let the story speak for itself instead of hammering in the "message" of the book over and ...more
Mar 16, 2010
Mar 16, 2010
Drawing from Memory
Super talented Caldecott Medal winner Allen Say uses photography, his own art, and the art of others to tell the story of how he became an artist. Bor ...more
Nov 22, 2011
Nov 22, 2011
Alex the Parrot: No Ordinary Bird: A True Story
I remember when Alex and Me came out in 2008. The story of the smartest bird in the world was bound to be rewritten for children and I think Stephanie ...more
Oct 29, 2012
Oct 29, 2012
I Do But I Don't: Why the Way We Marry Matters
I have a lot of the same problems with weddings as the author. Namely:

1. When I knew I wanted to marry my boyfriend, why did I feel the need to sit a
Jul 30, 2011
Jul 30, 2011
Wild Boy: The Real Life of the Savage of Aveyron
As I was reading this book, I couldn't stop telling people about it. A casual, "How's it going?" would lead to, "Oh my gosh, I'm reading this book abo ...more
Mar 13, 2013
Mar 12, 2013
Fourth Down and Inches: Concussions and Football's Make-Or-Break Moment
I'm looking for great nonfiction to book talk to upper elementary kids, and I don't think this is going to work for me. I was liking it and then it su ...more
Nov 07, 2013
Nov 07, 2013
There Are No Shortcuts
Rafe Esquith is a brilliant teacher and an incredibly hard-working public servant, but despite all that, he comes off as a total (excuse my language) ...more
not set
Jan 17, 2009
We've Got a Job: The 1963 Birmingham Children's March
Like a lot of people my age and younger, I have trouble trying to imagine what it would've been like to grow up in the South in the 1960s. The injusti ...more
Aug 15, 2012
Aug 09, 2012
Eruption! Volcanoes and the Science of Saving Lives
Another excellent addition to the "Scientists in the Field" series. There are lots of volcano books for kids at the library, but I'd venture to say th ...more
Aug 18, 2013
Aug 09, 2013
Moonbird: A Year on the Wind with the Great Survivor B95
Phillip Hoose is a mighty fine writer. I have almost zero interest in birds and migratory patterns (I get bored just typing "migratory patterns"), but ...more
Aug 23, 2012
Aug 15, 2012
Peaceful Heroes
Allow me to pluck out some lines from this book that gave me pause:

" is important to remember that not all Islamic people are violent." (What if
not set
Oct 21, 2009
Little Rock Girl 1957: How a Photograph Changed the Fight for Integration
A solid NF choice about the battle over integrating Little Rock's schools, told with lots of photos and some broader context. Would pair well with Lio ...more
Aug 06, 2012
Aug 05, 2012
A Black Hole Is Not a Hole
How many books about scientific concepts are funny and fun to read? Not too many, methinks. Carolyn Decristofano explains black holes via excellent an ...more
Apr 19, 2012
Apr 06, 2012
To Be a Slave
If you are looking for primary sources on slavery, look no further. Author Julius Lester provides context for what is basically a compilation of quota ...more
Oct 28, 2013
Oct 28, 2013
The Social Animal: The Hidden Sources of Love, Character, and Achievement
A lot of the stuff in this book is stuff I already believe. For example, good relationships make life worth living, the early childhood years have a p ...more
May 23, 2011
Apr 29, 2011
Flesh and Blood So Cheap: The Triangle Fire and Its Legacy
I don't know what to say about this, except I wasn't very impressed by it and I don't understand why it's on the shortlist for the National Book Award ...more
Nov 06, 2011
Oct 10, 2011
Can We Save the Tiger?
Truly gorgeous drawings of animals + conversational, emotional, fact-filled text = one powerful book about endangered species.

I particularly loved ho
Nov 10, 2011
Nov 10, 2011
Outliers: The Story of Success
I've heard people criticize this book for being too reliant on anecdotes, and as I was listening to it, that struck me as a fair thing to say. Gladwel ...more
Mar 30, 2010
Mar 30, 2010
I think I decided to read this book because it offered an answer as to why two teenage boys decided to attack their school with guns and bombs. I know ...more
Feb 10, 2010
Feb 01, 2010
How Fiction Works
I got about halfway through this before I realized I'd rather actually be reading fiction. No offense, Mr. Wood. You seem pretty smart.
Mar 27, 2009
Mar 24, 2009
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