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Beginning with a list of several hundred books that have earned stars throughout the year, SLJ‘s book review editors commenced the grand task of winnowing down the best of the best.
Gr 2-6 a€“Spare text full of telling detail illuminates the life, intellect, and personality of one of the 20th-centurya€™s greatest scientists in this richly imagined, impressionistic biography. Gr 5-9 a€“Alternating perspectives, abundant primary sources, and a plethora of illustrated archival material draw readers into the maelstrom of one of the most polarizing debates in our nationa€™s history, and the adoption of one of its most important documents. Gr 2-5 a€“Huddled outside Boston in 1775, Washingtona€™s troops had no weapons and little chance against the Redcoats. Gr 3-6 a€“This picture-book biography about a self-taught painter is as dynamic and expressive as the man himself, incorporating his words, his spirit, and his resourcefulness in both the text and the images.
Gr 3-5 a€“A familya€™s 1869 journey from Omaha to Sacramento aboard the just-completed transcontinental railroad provides a compelling and fact-packed look at history. Gr 4-8 a€“Enlightening anecdotes and rich details enliven this biography of the colorful, civic-minded American original who rose from humble origins to become one of our greatest scientists, inventors, and statesmen. Gr 5-8 a€“An eccentric Mississippian who claimed to be the greatest art potter on Earth, George Ohr was also a relentless self-promoter whose stunning legacy proved him correct. Gr 8 Up a€“In this riveting graphic-novel memoir, a hero of the Civil Rights Movement, Congressman John Lewis, recounts his childhood in Alabama and entry into early activism. Gr 1-3 a€“An absorbing look at a bar-tailed godwit, from her first wobbly steps in the Arctic summer to joining the flock of other young birds as they instinctually make their way to the New Zealand mudflats 7000 miles away. Gr 3-6 a€“Martin introduces readers to former basketball player turned urban farmer Will Allen, who teaches children about composting, container gardens, and a€?growing power.a€? Larkina€™s thickly textured illustrations complement the energetic and upbeat verse.
Gr 2-4 a€“Melodious text and soaring illustrations applaud two civil rights trailblazers who raised their voices in a soul-stirring symphony to spread a message of peace, freedom, and hope. Gr 2-5 a€“Theodore a€?Teddya€? Roosevelt was a Rough Rider, the 26th president, and a trailblazing conservationist.
Gr 5-8 a€“Told through the lens of his art, Riveraa€™s love of Mexican culture, and the development of his own artistic style, is presented in this stunning biography. Gr 5-9 a€“a€?Predicting the unpredictablea€? is how scientists describe the work of monitoring the more than 1500 potentially explosive volcanoes worldwide. Gr 5-7 a€“Juxtaposing early-20th-century renderings with modern reconstructions, Thimmesh discusses how information gleaned since the 1960s from fossilized skeletal remains, skin and feather impressions, nests, minute amounts of color pigmentation, and technological advances have aided the work of the paleoartists spotlighted in this fascinating forensic study. Gr 5-9 a€“Filled with stunning color photos and fascinating anecdotes, this title profiles scientist Janet Mann, who has spent more than 25 years studying dolphins in Shark Bay off Australiaa€™s western coast.

By SLJ Book Review Editors: Kiera Parrott, Trevelyn Jones, Luann Toth, Marlene Charnizon, Daryl Grabarek, Chelsey Philpot, Shelley Diaz, and Joy Fleishhacker.
The photos, the research, the author notes – the compelling story weaves insight into the service of African Americans in World War II beyond the Tuskegee Airmen. From the opening page with great quotes to the finish line – you learn so much about this courageous group of men. I have carried this book to every workshop (over 30 and counting) I have done on the Common Core and Nonfiction this past year and when I get done booktalking it – I can see that everyone is paying attention.
Terrific step by step advice for getting your business and life back on track when you are feeling a little trapped or stuck in a rut. In this year’s selection of nonfiction titles, historical giants as well as little-known figures are profiled through the use of rich primary sources, engaging narrative style, and sophisticated design.
Enter Henry Knox, who despite preferring a€?a good meal to a good fight,a€? trekked 300 miles to Fort Ticonderoga, and back, with 58 cannons in tow. The vibrant mixed-media arta€“inspired by Pippina€™s deep, rich colorsa€“brings this marvelous talent to life. A strapping narrative powered by bell-clanging onomatopoeia coalesces with dynamic artwork to portray the enginea€™s workings, the majesty of the passing terrain, and the full-steam-ahead expansion of a young nation.
Lavishly illustrated with quality reproductions of paintings, engravings, sketches, and maps. From candy wrappers and book covers to newspaper ads and labels, this eye-opening exploration considers the concepts and decisions that guide visual problem solving.
From depictions of nonviolent protests to Lewisa€™s office on Capitol Hill, Powella€™s black-and-white illustrations convey the turmoil and hope of the times. The naturalistic cut-paper collages are rich and textured in detail and showcase the beauty and endurance of these long-distance fliers.
Informative and affecting, multifaceted and meaningful, this visually compelling book parallels the paths of Dr. But this powerful biography makes clear that he was also a€?Teedie,a€? a sickly boy who loved nature and dreamed of being fearless. The persistence of scientists enabled the colorful fowl to make a slow but triumphant return. Attention-grabbing quotes, a sensuous design, and the straightforward narrative make for a visually pleasing and compelling read.

A dramatic narrative follows volcanologists on high alert in the shadow of Indonesiaa€™s Mount Merapi in 2010. Mann and her colleaguesa€™ groundbreaking discoveries will enthrall budding marine biologists. Especially helpful for women in middle age like myself who find themselves wondering how to take the next steps towards career goals or what the next steps even are. From classroom connections to research assignments to pure pleasure reading, these titles will educate and inspire. Henrya€™s indomitable spirit and improbable journey are rendered in elegant line-and-watercolor art.
Both ubiquitous and unfamiliar images come under discussion, illuminating basic design theory for young creatives.
She convinced the factory girls to form a union and organized her coworkers to go out on strike, the largest in U.S. Intertwined with the birdsa€™ plight are descriptions of the islanda€™s human history and diaspora.
It’s a fascinating and very powerful read that has the potential to be a life changer. Here’s a sampling of the ten best nonfiction books that have lingered as the first half of the year draws to a close. And they still won every battle they fought in, left an indelible legacy in the country, and were a force in the development of jazz. Rotha€™s vibrant paper collage illustrations give life to the rainforest setting and enhance the tone of hopefulness in this environmental story.
Markel and Sweet stitch together vivid words and images to create an uplifting and empowering slice of American history. The best selling novels on this list were the most popular books in the United States during the 40's, so you can be sure they're well written and enjoyable (depending, of course, on your preferred literary genre). This list is intended to help long-time readers and newcomers alike with discovering (and rediscovering) some of the best selling novels of all time.

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