2008 Non-Fiction MG/YA Finalists

11 Planets: A New View of the Solar System
written by David Aguilar
National Geographic Children’s Books

My Very Exciting Magic Carpet Just Sailed Under Nine Palace Elephants (10-year-old Maryn Smith’s winning entry for the National Geographic
Children’s Book Planetary Mnemonic Contest). So begins this engaging introduction to the newly classified solar system. Stunning artwork,
cool facts on how the planets are named after different gods and goddesses, simple explanations and an informative glossary make this a
book young astronomers will enjoy reading.

–Vivian Mahoney, HipWriterMama

Ain’t Nothing but a Man: My Quest to Find the Real John Henry
written by Scott Reynolds Nelson
National Geographic Children’s Books

A field trip into the mind of a historian. Historian Scott Reynolds
Nelson invites readers to follow him as he uses artifacts,
photographs, and other documents to put together the pieces of a real-
life historical mystery.

–Carol Wilcox, Carol’s Corner

Body Drama: Real Girls, Real Bodies, Real Issues, Real Answers
written by Nancy Amanda Redd
Gotham Books

Leave your embarrassment at the door, because this book combines refreshing candor with no-holds barred topics, untouched photos, and
information backed by a leading physician to help empower teen girls. The photos are somewhat shocking, but important for girls to see so
they know their body is normal. Don’t let your teens get the wro ng information from their friends…let them get empowered with real
information and love the body they’re in.

–Vivian Mahoney, HipWriterMama

King George: What Was His Problem?: Everything Your Schoolbooks Didn’t Tell You About the American Revolution
written by Steve Sheinkin
Roaring Brook

Historian and textbook author Steve Sheinkin provides a factual, fun chronicle that traces the American Revolution from start to finish.
Humorous chapter titles and illustrations, entertaining facts, and labeled maps make learning history lots of fun.

–Jill Tullo, The Well-Read Child

Lincoln Through the Lens
written by Martin Sandler
Walker Books for Young Readers

John F. Kennedy may have been the first television president, but Lincoln Through the Lens makes a strong case for recognizing Abraham
Lincoln as the first photographic president. From the earliest known photo of Lincoln to the only one taken after his death, Martin Sandler
shows how the sixteenth president was captured on film, and how he used the images to his advantage.

–Sarah Rettger, Archimedes Forgets

Swords: An Artist’s Devotion
written and illustrated by Ben Boos
Candlewick Press

Ben Boos’ well written and visually stimulating book was a pleasure to read. The illustrations were detailed and the history fascinating. Children of all ages will pore over this book as they trace the sword designs through the ages. Ben relayed the use of the sword throughout the ages including the Middle Ages and the age of the Samurai. Ben’s drawings illuminated not only the variety of swords used but his love for this “formidable tool”.

–Kathy Burnette, The Brainlair

The Year We Disappeared: A Father-Daughter Memoir
written by Cylin Busby
and John Busby
Bloomsbury USA

In summer, 1979, Cylin Busby was nine years old, living with her parents and two older brothers on Cape Cod, Massachusetts when her
life changed in a matter of minutes. Cylin’s father, John Busby, a policeman, was on his way to work when a car pulled up next to him and
shot off the bottom half of his jaw. THE YEAR WE DISAPPEARED is a memoir, told by Cylin Busby and her father John, in alternating
chapters, of the terrible year following Busby’s shooting. A terrific real life crime read!

–Carol Wilcox, Carol’s Corner

We Are the Ship: The Story of the Negro League Baseball
written and illustrated by Kadir Nelson

Kadir Nelson connects with readers in his history of Negro League baseball told from the first person point of view of an “everyman”
player. The engaging narrative combined with stunning oil paintings capture the joy and passion of the players who were surrounded by hatred and inequality.

–Jill Tullo, The Well-Read Child

–Mindy Rhiger, organizer