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(Back to Index of Recommended Book Genres)

About Lexile Levels




Armstrong – Shipwreck at the Bottom of the World L1090

Farrell – Invisible Enemies:. . . Infectious Disease L1200

Hawking – A Brief History of Time L1290

Ritter – The Story of Baseball

Wilson – The Ingenious Mr. Peale

Northup, Solomon -- Stolen Into Slavery: The True Story of Solomon Northup, Free Black Man  1060L



Students recommend:

Agent Bishop by Mike McPheters

A Child Called It



Try these links to find more:








PDF -- http://www.ala.org/ala/mgrps/divs/yalsa/newsandeventsb/BooktalkingArnold.pdf






Here are some nonfiction recommendations from a librarian at the Pleasant Grove Library.  She hasn't read all of them, but they are all books that have been widely recommended.




Children of the Great Depression-  by Russell Freedman   118 p.  -- in the media center

Life was hard for children during the Great Depression: kids had to do without new clothes, shoes, or toys, and many couldn't attend school because they had to work. Even so, life still had its bright spots. Take a closer look at the lives of young Americans during this era. (grades 5-8)



Claudette Colvin: Twice Toward Justice - by Philip Hoose   133 p.

In Montgomery, AL, in March 1955, 15-year-old Colvin refused to give up her bus seat to a white passenger. She was arrested, and although she received some help from local civil rights leaders, they decided that the sometimes-volatile teen was not suitable to be the public face of a mass protest. Later that year, Rosa Parks sparked the famous bus boycott. Colvin was left with a police record and soon faced the additional problems of an unwed pregnancy and expulsion from school. In spite of those troubles, she consented to be named as a plaintiff in the court case that eventually integrated Montgomery's buses. Thus Colvin played a central role in the city's civil rights drama, but her story has been largely lost to history. Hoose, who had been curious about the often-unidentified teen who first defied bus segregation, persuaded her to tell her story. His book puts Colvin back into the historical record, combining her reminiscences with narrative about her life and the tumultuous events of the boycott. He includes background about segregated Montgomery and places Colvin's story into the context of the larger Civil Rights Movement. The text is supplemented with black-and-white photos, reproductions of period newspapers and documents, and sidebars. While virtually all students know Rosa Parks's story, this well-written and engaging book will introduce them to a teen who also fought for racial justice. (grades 5-up)



Good Brother, Bad Brother: The Story of Edwin Booth and John Wilkes Booth-  by James Cross Giblin   244 p.   -- in the media center

Most people know the name John Wilkes Booth, but few likely have heard of his elder brother Edwin. Find out about the brothers through first-hand accounts. Learn how alike and how different they were, and how each made a lasting impression on American history. (grades 6-9)



Guinea Pig Scientists: bold self-experiments in science and medicine- by Leslie Dendy   213 p.

Presents ten fascinating, inspiring, and at times disturbing stories, which open a window onto not only the scientific and medical ground these men and women explored, but also the very lives they led in search of such monumental discoveries. Spanning from the 1770s to the present, these accounts uncover the science behind digestion, the spread of yellow fever, the development of the first heart catheter, and more. (ages 9-12)



The Journey that Saved Curious George: the true wartime escape of Margret and H.A. Rey- by Louise Borden   72 p.

The book is divided into two parts: the first gives background on the couple's childhoods and early life together; the second half is devoted to their dramatic escape from World War II-torn Europe. Husband and wife were both Jewish, born in Hamburg. After serving in the German army during World War I, Hans sailed to Brazil, where he wore a big hat and sailed down the Amazon. Margaret, an old family friend, joined him in 1935, and they soon married. Their honeymoon in Paris lasted four years. It was here that they began writing children's books about a curious little monkey named Fifi. By May of 1940 it was clear they must flee. So begins the second part. Tirelessly cycling by day, they boarded train after train as the Nazis occupied Paris, finally sailing to Rio. From there, it was on to New York, and within a year, Curious George was published. An afterword describes the balance of their lives. Borden spent years going through personal papers, notebooks, and photographs, and contacted people who knew the Reys. (ages 9-12)



Shipwrecked: True Story of a Japanese Boy- by Rhoda Blumberg   79 p.

In 1841, rescued by an American whaler after a terrible shipwreck leaves him and his four companions castaways on a remote island, fourteen-year-old Manjiro learns new laws and customs as he becomes the first Japanese person to set foot in the United States.   (ages 9-12)



Soul Surfer: A True Story of Faith, Family and Fighting to Get Back on the Board- by Bethany Hamilton   222 p.

Readers may not recall the name Bethany Hamilton, but after a glance at the cover photo, they'll recognize her as the girl who lost her arm to a shark while surfing. Hamilton tells her own story, though in many places the narrative sounds more like it's from an adult's perspective--perhaps from an adult coauthor. It begins with the moment a giant white shark chomps off her arm. She then goes back to discuss the events leading up to the attack and to describe what her life was like before the tragedy--home-schooling in a strong Christian household and lots of competitive surfing. Hamilton's account is suffused with her feelings for God and His impact in her life. Perhaps because of this relationship, she never seems depressed about her situation; in fact, she is surfing again.  (ages 11-14)



Three Cups of Tea (youth version)- by Greg Mortenson   209 p.

One man's campaign to build schools in the most dangerous, remote, and anti-American reaches of Asia: in 1993 Greg Mortenson was an American mountain-climbing bum wandering emaciated and lost through Pakistan's Karakoram. After he was taken in and nursed back to health by the people of a Pakistani village, he promised to return one day and build them a school. From that rash, earnest promise grew one of the most incredible humanitarian campaigns of our time--Mortenson's one-man mission to counteract extremism by building schools, especially for girls, throughout the breeding ground of the Taliban. In a region where Americans are often feared and hated, he has survived kidnapping, fatwas issued by enraged mullahs, death threats, and wrenching separations from his wife and children. But his success speaks for itself--at last count, his Central Asia Institute had built fifty-five schools. (young adult)



Truce: the Day the Soldiers Stopped Fighting- by Jim Murphy   116 p.

On July 29th 1914, the world’s peace was shattered as the artillery of the Austria-Hungary Empire began shelling the troops of the country to its south. What followed was like a row of falling dominoes as one European country after another rushed into war. Soon most of Europe was fighting in this calamitous war that could have been avoided. This was, of course, the First World War. But who could have guessed that on December 25 the troops would openly defy their commanding officers by stopping the fighting and having a spontaneous celebration of Christmas with their "enemies"?

In what can only be described as a Christmas Miracle, this beautiful and heartrending narrative will remind everyone how brotherhood and love for one another reaches far beyond war and politics. (grades 4-8)



We are the Ship: the Story of Negro League Baseball-by Kadir Nelson   88 p.

Using an "Everyman" player as his narrator, Kadir Nelson tells the story of Negro League baseball from its beginnings in the 1920s through the decline after Jackie Robinson crossed over to the majors in 1947. (ages 9-12)





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