Search Results for -
Product Type: Books
Age: Late Elementary School Years
Categories: History

 


2014 Awards
Mr. Ferris and His Wheel
(by Kathryn Gibbs Davis/ illus G. Ford, Houghton Mifflin $17.99 Score:)

Before the Chicago World's Fair in 1893, the world was still in awe of the Eiffel Tower that had been built for the previous World’s Fair in 1889 in Paris. A young engineer had an idea that most thought was forgettable. But George Ferris believed in his idea and in spite of all the doubters and roadblocks he encountered, he managed to build a contraption that is still spinning today in cities all over the world. For young history buffs, Mr. Ferris and his Wheel is a memorable story-especially in this season when kids are likely to take a spin on ferris wheels at state fairs and elsewhere. Handsome illustrations capture time and place with watercolors and playful cartoon bubbles that carry the story along. They say 4-8, we’d say a better choice for 6-9.

Age: Early School Years, Later School Years. Award Year: 2014. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2014 Award
The Mayflower
(Holiday House $16.98 Score:)

In unadorned and simple words, Mark Greenwood tells the story of the Pilgrims who sailed on the Mayflower seeking religious freedom. The folk art style illustrations fit the telling of a tale that many school no longer cover in their history lessons. Unlike older books on the subject, this does not glorify their arrival, yet it does place them in the history of the "new" world and even gives a nod to the first Thanksgiving and the Native Americans who helped them. 5-8

Age: Early School Years, Later School Years. Award Year: 2014. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2013 Awards
Cathedral
(Houghton Mifflin $19.99 Score:)

Though fond memories of the original black and white illustrations linger, David Macaulay's revised text with full color illustrations will have a new life with another generation of readers. Reborn with felt-tip markers and colored pencils, Macaulay's work remains a visual feast that shows readers how builders of the 12th, 13th and 14th century created such timeless triumphs of beauty. Cathedral, originally published in 1973 won the Caldecott Honor, NY Times Best Illustrated Book of the Year and ALA Notable Book awards. If you have the originals, they are treasures to keep. For new history and architecture buffs, this and his revised Castle are special gifts for 10 and up.

Age: Later School Years, Tweens, Teens, Adult. Award Year: 2013. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2013 Awards
Castle
(By David Macaulay, Houghton Mifflin $19.99 Score:)

Though fond memories of the original black and white illustrations linger, David Macaulay's revised text with full color illustrations will have a new life with another generation of readers. Reborn with digital drawings drawn with felt-tip markers and colored pencils, Macaulay's work remains a visual feast. Castle, originally published in 1977 brings us once again to Lord Kevin's fictional castle and retraces its planning and construction. If you are lucky enough to have the originals, they are treasures to keep.  For new history and architecture buffs, this and his revised Cathedral are special gifts for 10 and up.

 

Age: Later School Years, Tweens. Award Year: 2013.

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2013 Award
Miss Moore Thought Otherwise
(by Jan Pinborough/ illus. Debby Atwell, HMH $16.99 Score:)

Though it's hard to believe, there was a time when there were no children's rooms in public libraries; in fact, children were not welcome inside. But, Anne Carroll Moore, a spunky young woman who loved books thought otherwise. This wonderful biography for young listeners combines history with good storytelling that children can relate to and enjoy. 6-9

Age: Early School Years, Later School Years. Award Year: 2013. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2012 Award
Noah Webster & His Words
(by Jeri Chase Ferris/ illus Vincent X. Kirsh, Houghton Mifflin $16.99 Score:)

What an interesting and entertaining young people’s biography about the man who wrote that iconic book, Webster's Dictionary! It is well told in straight-forward prose that captures the boy, Noah's confidence and clarity. It does seem most appropriate for 7 & up, for children who know what a dictionary is and can begin to appreciate that someone had to come up with the idea of writing a uniquely American dictionary. Oddly enough it is marked for 4-8, though it is hard to think of many 4's who know or care what a dictionary is.

Age: Early School Years, Later School Years. Award Year: 2012. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2012 Awards
Helen's Big World, The Life of Helen Keller
(by Doreen Rappaport/ illus. Matt Tavares, Hyperion $17.99 Score:)

A new generation will marvel at the inspiring story of Helen Keller who was unable to hear, see, or speak due to an illness that struck in childhood. Combining a narrative with direct quotes from Helen Keller, Doreen Rappaport has woven the familiar story of Helen and her teacher, Annie Sullivan, with a quiet elegance. Add to this the painterly illustrations by Matt Travares. Though this is a picture book format, it is definitely an inspiring story for older children 7-9.

Age: Early School Years, Later School Years. Award Year: 2012. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2012 Award
I, Too, Am America
(by Langston Hughes/ Bryan Collier, Simon & Schuster $16.99 Score:)

Langston Hughes powerful poem speaks to both the despair and hopes of African Americans and the pain of being treated as less than others. Written in 1925, the poem still resonates as Bryan Collier’s illustrations travel through history from the train porters of yesterday to today’s youth, who are still looking for their place in America. While it is true the book reflects how far we have come, it also reminds us of how much further we need to go. Three-time Caldecott winner, Collier's illustrations capture a range of emotions that speak as powerfully as the words. A meaningful blend of art and poetry! 

Age: Early School Years, Later School Years. Award Year: 2012. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2011 Award
Never Forgotten
(by Patricia C. McKissack/illus.Leo & Diane Dillon, Schwartz & Wade, Random House $18.99 Score:)

Magnificent art and storytelling are blending in this moving tale of the Taken; those who whose freedom was stolen and sold into slavery. It is the story of Musafa, the son of Dinga, a blacksmith, who takes with him the memory of his father and the skills he taught the boy. This beautiful story speaks to the big idea, that "Loved ones are never forgotten when we continue to tell their stories." Though it is done in a picture book format, this is an epic tale told poetically and illustrated with a power to match. The problem may be that older students who are ready for the story are often reluctant to open a picture book. That would be a serious loss for them.   8 & up.

Age: Later School Years, Tweens, Teens. Award Year: 2011. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2011 Award
Franklin and Winston, A Christmas that Changed the World
(by Douglas Wood/ illus. by Barry Moser, Candlewick $16.99 Score:)

Children of the Greatest Generation are likely to be drawn to this handsome picturebook, wanting to bring their grandchildren a story of two of the most famous leaders of WWII. Barry Moser's watercolor images of that time are full of vitality and capture the relationship that bloomed as the two iconic figures to plan how they would join forces and win the war that would go on for three and a half more years. It begins soon after America was attacked by Japan and Winston Churchill finds a way to cross the war torn Atlantic to reach the man who would be his staunchest ally in the trials ahead. There is not really much story here for typical kids of picturebook age and slightly older kids who may be learning about WWII for the first time will not generally want to do so in a picture book. So it remains, who is this book for anyway? If you are a WWII buff, it will be for you. Why not?

Age: Later School Years, Tweens. Award Year: 2011. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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