A Storm Too Soon: A Remarkable True Survival Story in 80 Foot Seas (True Storm Rescues)
by Michael J. Tougias
Nominated by: MotherReader
From the author of The Finest Hours, comes another true survival tale. This young readers’ edition is the account three sailors caught in a devastating storm. The book features the perspectives of both the rescuers and the sailors which helps to fill in gaps in the narrative. The book was compelling, full of action, and a real page turner. Fans of “on the edge of your seat” adventures are sure to eat this up.
The plague didn’t go away with the middle ages. Jarrow’s in-depth look at the third plague pandemic includes its visit to the US and how politics and racism stymied doctor’s best efforts to prevent its spread. A fascinating introduction to the medical and social history of a disease we often think is in the distant past, but is still with us today.
Fashion Rebels: Style Icons Who Changed the World through Fashion
by Carlyn Cerniglia Beccia
Nominated by: Becky L.
When we think of fashion we might not think of it as a way to rebel or change the world. Yet, in this book, we find twenty five women who used fashion to make their mark. From hairstyles to accessories and everything in between, these women, from Cleopatra to Madonna, changed perceptions and created revolutions. The layout of the book is bright and colorful and the “do it yourself” sections will appeal to budding fashionistas.
On August 9, 1945, Sachiko Yasui’s life changed forever. She was a survivor of the nuclear bomb dropped on Nagasaki. Stelson’s book is the story of Sachiko’s life before, during, and after the disaster, wrapped in an appealing, at times breath-taking, package. Where so many books focus on the damage done by Germany during World War II, this one takes a look at the impact of the US’s involvement. This survivor’s story is engaging, compelling, and will stick with readers long after they turn the last page.
Ten Days a Madwoman: The Daring Life and Turbulent Times of the Original “Girl” Reporter, Nellie Bly
by Deborah Noyes
Viking Books for Young Readers
Nominated by: Kelly Jensen
Nellie Bly was not a “madwoman,” despite what many who came to know her during her life may have thought. Bly rose to fame during a time women weren’t given the same opportunities as men in most career fields, and in her trade of choice, journalism, women were rarely ever seen, let alone heard. But when Bly takes on a story, wherein she investigates Blackwell’s Island, her name become more and more known in the world of print — and it was from there that this book showcases some of the wildest adventures she had and the hardest stories on which she reported. This book is packed with appealing sidebars and further insights into Bly, including letters from contemporaries who did and did not think she was doing women good in her career. Readers will find this story of a woman defying the odds, as well as her round-the-world adventures, exciting and compelling. For as far as we’ve come socially, the number of challenges Bly encountered that mirror today’s challenges for so many women and people of color is hard to overlook.
This Land Is Our Land: A History of American Immigration
by Linda Barret Osborne
Harry N Abrams
Nominated by: VikingAcademy
An unbiased look that is sometimes hard to read about America and her actions towards immigrants and refugees. This overview focuses on the years between 1800 and 1965 although the issues discussed are still very much at the forefront of the news cycle today. America has a history of exclusion, discrimination, and strife and we repeat the cycle over and over with each new wave of immigrants despite calling ourselves a melting pot. An excellent overview of our entire history it contains a timeline, endnotes and an extensive bibliography which makes this a great research tool.
We Will Not Be Silent: The White Rose Student Resistance Movement That Defied Adolf Hitler
by Russell Freedman
Nominated by: Linda Baie
Growing suspicious of Hitler and his regime the Scholl siblings along with a few friends formed the White Rose. Like all young Germans they had joined Hitler’s youth and soon were disillusioned by the Nazi’s controlling ways. They wrote pamphlets of resistance in secret all while going about their daily lives knowing that the penalty if caught would be death. The many photos add to this engaging story that seems more like fiction than the true story of bravery that it is.
Blood Brother: Jonathan Daniels and His Sacrifice for Civil Rights
by Rich Wallace
Calkins Creek Books
Nominated by: Sherry Early
On August 20, 1965 Jonathan Daniels was murdered in Lowndes County Alabama, protecting fellow civil-rights activist Ruby Sales. This gorgeously designed book tells of the theology student’s life and the conviction he felt to fight the injustices he saw in his own country. With several other clergy members, Daniels went to Selma for the March to Montgomery but when others returned North, Daniels stayed to work and became part of the community. An inspirational look at a surprisingly little known civil rights martyr.
Blood, Bullets, and Bones: The Story of Forensic Science from Sherlock Holmes to DNA
by Bridget Heos
Balzer + Bray
Nominated by: Becky L.
Not just for fans of police procedurals, this engaging look at the history of forensic science is filled with examples covering the late nineteenth century to the present day. A fascinating exploration of how forensics developed and how they’ve been used, and misused, throughout history. Readers will gain a new appreciation and insight into how we solve crimes in real life and on TV.
Every Falling Star: The True Story of How I Survived and Escaped North Korea
by Sungju Lee
Nominated by: Patricia Tilton
In this intense and at times violent memoir, Sungju Lee takes readers into the heart of being a child living in North Korea, as well as the lengths one will go to find freedom. This part-war, part-survival story is fast paced, heartbreaking, and a powerful look inside one of today’s most tyrannical governments. Sungju’s experiences and insights into life as a refugee are frighteningly timely and powerfully insightful.
In the Shadow of Liberty: The Hidden History of Slavery, Four Presidents, and Five Black Lives
by Kenneth C. Davis
Nominated by: Stephanie Charlefour
Many of our founding fathers were slave owners. This book tells the stories of some of the slaves that were in the households of Washington, Jefferson, Madison, and Jackson. These men that were well known for their beliefs of equality and independence enslaved other human beings. This well researched book contains some of the only surviving interviews with these slaves. People that should have had their stories told long ago.
Radioactive!: How Irène Curie and Lise Meitner Revolutionized Science and Changed the World
by Winifred Conkling
Algonquin Young Readers
Nominated by: Adrienne Gillespie
We might be familiar with The Manhattan Project and other nuclear physics happening on this side of the world during World War II, but what do we know about Europe? Conkling’s excellent dual biography highlights the achievements of two females that science can too easily overlook: Iréne Curie and Lise Meitner. While both women were brilliant and contributed to the world’s understanding of radioactivity and nuclear fission, the way their stories intersect and diverge from one another make this a fascinating and engaging read. These women’s stories are being shared and reclaimed in this book, but more, these women’s stories are being told without shying away from the ways that their accomplishments were overshadowed by men. A powerful read about history, about two important female scientists, all wrapped in a beautiful, appealing package.
The Borden Murders: Lizzie Borden and the Trial of the Century
by Sarah Miller
Schwartz and Wade Books
Nominated by: Sara Ralph
Lizzie Borden took an axe And gave her mother forty whacks. When she saw what she had done, She gave her father forty-one.
An infamous crime from over 100 years ago can still captivate a reader. Did she or didn’t she? Though acquitted, no one still really knows whether Lizzie Borden killed her parents. This well-balanced and well-researched account presents the facts and follows the story from the event itself and on through the trial and aftermath. The pacing, photographs, and formatting draw the reader in. The fact that we will probably never know for sure keeps the reader thinking.
The Plot to Kill Hitler: Dietrich Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Spy, Unlikely Hero
by Patricia McCormick
Balzer + Bray
Nominated by: Heidi G.
Why would an avowed pacifist be involved in a plot to assassinate a world leader? Dietrich Bonhoeffer was a pastor who believed the church could be a force for good and should be involved in the problems facing ordinary people. It was this faith that led him urge his fellow clergymen to speak out against Hitler. He then became a spy and helped Jewish people escape before being arrested and executed by the Gestapo. Short chapters help draw the reader into this fascinating story about a man determined to do everything he could to save his country from an evil government.