2001 Summer/Fall Non-Fiction

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Nancy's picks for the best non-fiction of Summer/Fall  2001 and ideas for using them in the classroom. Compiled by Nancy Polette 2001.
Last updated: Tuesday, October 07, 2008
Atwell, Debby. PEARL. Houghton-Mifflin, 2001. Gr 2-4 
A little girl named Pearl, takes readers on a journey through the history of the United States as she recounts her family's ups and downs, each moment accented by a historical landmark from the hardships of the Civil War to the Wright brothers' first flight, to the Great Depression and eventually to the first walk on the moon.
 
Bial, Raymond. GHOST TOWNS OF THE AMERICAN WEST. Houghton-Mifflin, 2001. Gr. 4-8 
A history of abandoned towns, why the people left and their stories: of bustling muddy streets, of large mercantile stores, and, ultimately, of short-lived dreams of gold, fertile land, or a good place to call home. 
 
Banks, Kate. A GIFT FROM THE SEA. Illus by Gerog Hallensleben. Farrar 2001 Gr 2-4 
When the boy found the rock he did not know that it had made a journey through time to reach him. From the beginning of time through the earliest civilizations to the present day, here is a simply told history of the Earth for young students.
 
Chorlton, Windsor. WOOLLY MAMMOTH: LIFE, DEATH, AND REDISCOVERY. Scholastic, 2001. Gr 3-6 
A look into the prehistoric past to recreate the lives of these creatures, where they lived, what they looked like and how they spent their days.
 
Edwards, Pamela Duncan. BOSTON TEA PARTY. Illus. by Henry Cole. Putnam, 2001 
A recounting of the Boston Tea Party following a "house that Jack built" pattern.
 
Frank, John. THE TOMB OF THE BOY KING. Illus. by Tom Pohry. Farrar, 2001. Gr 4-6 
The strange unfolding of events encompassing one of the most remarkable archeological discoveries of the twentieth century-the tomb of King Tutankhamen. The tale unfolds in verse and is excellent for reading aloud. Challenge students to retell another incident from history in verse.
 
Geisert, Bonnie and Arthur. DESERT TOWN. Houghton-Mifflin, 2001. Gr 2-4 
A desert town, once the end of the line for shipping cattle, is no longer a stopping point for the railroad. The town endures blazing heat throughout the summer months, and everyone must find a way to stay cool. Some do their work at night, some take refuge in an air-conditioned store and everyone moves at a slow pace. The wonder and personality of everyday life in a small town.
 
George-Warren, Holly, SHAKE, RATTLE & ROLL: THE FOUNDERS OF ROCK AND ROLL. Illus. by Laura Levine. Gr 3-6 
A fun and fact-filled introduction to the pioneers of rock & roll. From Bill Haley and His Comets to James Brown and his Famous Flames read about fourteen of the original stars who inspired many of today's most important musicians.
 
Kerley, Barbara. THE DINOSAURS OF WATERHOUSE HAWKINS. Illus. by Brian Selznick. Scholastic, 2001. Gr 4-8
The true story of a Victorian artist who brought dinosaurs to life through his drawings and models.
 
Lasky, Kathryn. BORN IN THE BREEZES. Illus. by Walter Krudop. Orchard, 2001. Gr 3-6 
The seafaring life of Joshua Slocum, who when his services were no longer needed, planned to sail around the world alone.
 
Leacock, Elspeth and Susan Buckly. PLACES IN TIME: A NEW ATLAS OF AMERICAN HISTORY. Illus. by Randy Jones. Houghton-Mifflin, 2001.Gr 4-8 
An atlas, a book of maps and a storybook with thousands of visual and verbal facts about twenty sites that have shaped our national story. The reader will find out just what it was like to live in one place on one day in history.
 
Leacock, Elspeth and Susan Buckly. JOURNEYS IN TIME: A NEW ATLAS OF AMERICA HISTORY. Illus. by Rodica Prato. Houghton-Mifflin, 2001 Gr 4-8 
Join Dame Shirley, a New England woman on her way to the gold rush. Orlando Fench, a Union soldier mourning dead comrades in the Civil War and follow in the footsteps of other real people who made American history.
 
Lewis, J. Patrick. A BURST OF FIRSTS. Illus by Brian Ajhar. Dial, 2001. Gr 3-6 
Amazing firsts told in verse including the first moon landing and the first parachute wedding.
 
 
Meltzer, Milton. CASE CLOSED: THE REAL SCOOP ON DETECTIVE WORK. Orchard, 2001. Gr 6-10.
The history, technologies and current challenges of detective work in an eye-opening exploration of this profession.
 
Miller, David. JUST LIKE YOU AND ME. Dial, 2001. Gr K-2 
"Do you race like a cheetah, huddle like a penguin, dance like a crane?" People and animals are alike in all sorts of way though sometimes we may seem to be very different. Here is a book of simple, yet funny and apt comparisons.
 
Martin, Jacqueline Briggs. THE LAMP, THE ICE, AND THE BOAT CALLED FISH. Illus. by Beth Krommes. Houghton-Mifflin, 2001. Gr 3-6 
In 1913, a boat called Fish, part of the Canadian Arctic Expedition, became stuck in the Arctic ice. The odds for survival of those aboard were not good. This a true story, authentically illustrated.
 
Morrison, Taylor. THE GREAT UNKNOWN. Houghton-Mifflin, 2001. Gr 3-6 
200 years ago, farmers discovered giant bones in the peat bogs of the Hudson Valley in New York. The called the creature The Great Unknown. Here is the story of the efforts to recover, assemble the bones and identify the creature, a mastodon.
 
Pringle Laurence. GLOBAL WARMING: THE THREAT OF THE EARTH'S CHANGING CLIMATE. Sea Star, 2001. Gr 3-6 
An introduction to an urgent environmental problem, carefully researched with color photographs. 
 
Ransom, Jeanie Franz. I DON'T WANT TO TALK ABOUT IT. Illus. by Kathryn Kunz Finney. Magination Press, 2001. 
When a child's parents tell her they have decided to divorce, she wants to escape to a fantasy world where she can roar like a lion or hide her tears in the sea. Eventually she learns that the one thing her parents do agree on is their love for her.
 
Simon, Seymour. ANIMALS NOBODY LOVES. Sea Star, 2001. Gr 3-6 
From the deadly black widow spider to a twenty five foot long man-eating crocodile, many of the animals that nobody loves deserve their fearsome reputations. Here is the truth about nature's most misunderstood animals.
 
Waters, Kate. GIVING THANKS: THE 1621 HARVEST FEAST. Photographs by Russ Kendall. Scholastic, 2001. Gr. K-3.
The story of what might have happened during the days of the first harvest as told by Wampanaog boy and an English boy.
 
Watkins, Richard. SLAVERY: BONDAGE THROUGHOUT HISTORY. Houghton-Mifflin, 2001. Gr 6-8 
Watkins not only chronicles the terrible legacy of human oppression, but also champions those who fought against it, helping to shape slave-free nations for future generations to inherit.
 
Zaunders, Bo. FEATHERS, FLAPS & FLOPS. Illus by Roxie Munro. Dutton, 2001. 
A history of trailblazers in flight that led to mastery of the sky.