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

 


2010 Award
Jack's Path of Courage
(by Doreen Rappaport/illus. by Matt Travares, Hyperion $16.99 Score:)

A picture book biography that gives young readers the story of John F. Kennedy far too brief life. It follows his days from boyhood to the White House. As she has done with her young people's biographies of Martin Luther King Jr., Abraham Lincoln, and Eleanor Roosevelt, Doreen Rappaport combines quotes from her subject with a narrative that binds the story together. She does not overlook some of the unpopular choices made by JFK, but tells of his successes, as well. Matt Travares's paintings of the president are based on familiar photos.

Age: Early School Years, Later School Years. Award Year: 2010. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2010 Award
Wonder Horse
(by Emily Arnold McCully, Henry Holt $16.99 Score:)

Giving children stories about the past is an art form and Emily Arnold McCully is one of the best artists in this field. This time she has chosen to write about a former slave who believed that animals needed to be treated with kindness. Although many claimed "Doc" Keys used tricks to make his horse, Jim Keys, able to read, sing, and do math, that was not the case. This true story is based on the big idea that much can be accomplished by people and animals when they are kind, caring, and show patience. 5-8

Age: Early School Years. Award Year: 2010. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2010 Award
My Uncle Martin's Big Heart
(by Angela Farris Watkins/illus. Eric Velasquez, Abrams Books $ Score:)

Written by the niece of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., this handsome picture book makes the connection between a man of history and a dear relation. Though she was only four when he was assassinated, this personal memoir captures the love he shared with his family and this little niece who loved getting hugs in church from her dear uncle. The paintings are warm and capture the big historic moments along with the more intimate and child centered moments that are so memorable to the author and the reader. The artist has taken one liberty in making the little niece look a bit older than four. But we can accept that since this is a book slightly older children will appreciate. It's sometimes hard to find biography for the very young, but this is an exception. 5 & up.

Age: Early School Years. Award Year: 2010. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2010 Award
It's a Book
(by Lane Smith, Roaring Brook Press $12.99 Score:)

We shared this with a college intern who thought this was an angry book. To those of us who are devoted to books and think of them as indispensable--this is a pretty funny, if bittersweet message we'd like to share. It is definitely a generational divide kind of book. Our intern was not sure that little kids would even get it. He may be right. Do they know what it means to blog, text, wi-fi, tweet? For the under 6 crowd, let's hope not. For too many of our college intern's age group, the book is already 'old media' that has arrived or will rapidly land on the trash heap with buggy whips, hoop skirts, and music written before last week. If you love books, forget the kids---buy it for yourself.

Age: Early School Years. Award Year: 2010. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2010 Award
The Extraordinary Mark Twain (According to Susy)
(by Barbara Kerkey/ illus. by Edwin Fotheringham, Scholastic $17.99 Score:)

Although the audience for this sparkling book will not really know Mark Twain, parents and teachers might introduce his Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County story before or after sharing this picture book biography. It is in fact told largely in the voice of his daughter, Susy, who began writing a biography of her famous father when she was just 13 years old. The bold big pages of the picture book narrative are stitched together with slender and often amusing pages of Susyís writing. Her cursive penmanship is laced with misspelled words and amusing anecdotes that are direct quotes from her original diary.

Age: Early School Years, Later School Years. Award Year: 2010. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2010 Award
Signer Abiah Rose
(by Diane Browning, Tricycle Press $15.99 Score:)

A bit of women's history is told in this charming tale about a talented girl who loved to paint, but was told that serious painting was not girlís work. Reflecting the custom of 18th and 19th century life, this story captures the way artists worked before the invention of the camera, by painting portraits as well as bible scenes. Although she is discouraged from signing her name, Abiah managed to sign her paintings with a small rose that children can hunt for in the illustrations. 

Age: Early School Years. Award Year: 2010. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2010 Award
Emma's Poem, The Voice of the Statue of Liberty
(by Linda Glaser/ illus. by Claire A. Nivola, Houghton Mifflin $16 Score:)

Emma's Poem celebrates the caring person, Emma Lazarus, who wrote the famous poem inscribed at the base of Lady Liberty. The idea of the Statue of Liberty as a welcoming symbol she has become, was not a given in 1883. It was a gift from France to America, to represent the two country's shared love liberty. Yet, it was Emma's poem that gave the gift new and fuller meaning. Her poem, which was used to raise funds for the pedestal, succeeded in changing the minds and hearts of many who had given little thought to the immigrants who were "yearning to breathe free." Emma Lazarus' words defined the majestic statue that holds the welcoming torch of liberty to light the way for all who come to our shores. 5-8

Age: Early School Years. Award Year: 2010. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2010 Award
First Kids
(by Gibbs Davis/ illus. Sally W. Comport, Random House $3.99 Score:)

How would your kids like living in the White House? This Step Into Reading book tells the stories of several First Kids and their adventures living in the President's house. It begins with a chapter about the Lincoln boys and how they rode their pet goats through the house, sold lemonade outside the President's office and rang for help in every room of the mansion. Their lively story is followed by one about Grant's son, Teddy Roosevelt's children, the Coolidge boys, Caroline and John-John Kennedy, Chelsea Clinton and finally, the cover kids, Malia and Sasha. Although this is marked as easy to read, it is also level 4 book, designed for kids who are ready for reading chapters. So, it's not really all that easy. Young history buffs will find it interesting. Grades 2-4.

 

Age: Early School Years. Award Year: 2010. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2009 Award
Sojourner Truth's Step-Stomp Stride
(by Andrea Davis Pinkney/ illus. Brian Pinkney, Disney Jump At the Sun $16.99 Score:)

The story of Sojourner Truth is told here in a lively storyteller voice that addresses young listeners with warmth and illustrations that match the spirited text. With her "hands like hams" and size 12 shoes that could stomp on beetles...this Sojourner Truth comes across as larger than life!  She is like a folktale hero--but one who was no work of fiction. The Pinkneys have captured the story of this giant of a woman in words and images that bring her to life for a new generation of children who will come to know more about this legend who fought the chains of slavery and the rights of women.

Age: Early School Years, Later School Years. Award Year: 2009. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2009 Award
Outlaw: The Legend of Robin Hood
(by Tony Lee, Sam Hart & Arthur Fujita, Candlewick $21.99 Score:)

Remember your old Classic Comics? This graphic novel is a lot heftier and is likely to make a hit with the same audience that found their way into old classics frame by frame. This 21st Century version is darker and far more elaborate than the newsprint comics, which were considered a cut above the regular super-hero comics.  Still, even in the olden days, when your parents were reading comics there was concern that kid would never really read if they became accustomed to the graphic form. That simply was not true. In fact, the comics were one path into the ‘great’ books.  Besides, the graphic novel has become something of an art form unto itself and although we have reviewed few of them, this just might grab the interest of some otherwise reluctant readers. It is full of action, suspense and adventure. Not a bad combination for kids who need to be enticed with visual treats.  

 

Age: Early School Years, Later School Years. Award Year: 2009. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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