In honor of Black History Month here is a list of many outstanding children’s non-fiction books that tell the amazing stories of so many amazing people; it is certainly not exhaustive, and it is not limited to the Civil Rights Movement or slavery. These titles are definitely worth seeking out regardless of the month.
Picture Books (For ALL Ages):
- A Splash of Red: the Life and Art of Horace Pippin by Jen Bryant and illustrated by Melissa Sweet.
- All Together Now: Juneteenth, the First Day of Freedom by Angela Johnson and illustrated by E. B. Lewis
- Dave the Potter: Artist, Poet, Slave by Laban Carrick Hill and illustrated by Bryan Collier.
- Freedom in Congo Square by Carole Boston Weatherford and illustrated by R. Gregory Christie
- Henry’s Freedom Box: A True Story from the Underground Railroad by Ellen Levine and illustrated by Kadir Nelson.
- Rosa by Nikki Giovanni and illustrated by Bryan Collier. (about Rosa Parks)
- Schomburg: the Man Who Built a Library by Carole Boston Weatherford and illustrated by Eric Velasquez
- Steamboat School by Deborah Hopkinson and illustrated by Ron Husband
- Step Right Up by Donna Janell Bowman and illustrated by Daniel Mintner
- Swing Sisters: The Story of the International Sweethearts of Rhythm by Karen Deans and illustrated by Joe Cepeda
- Whoosh! Lonnie Johnson’s Super-Soaking Stream of Inventions by Chris Barton and illustrated by Don Tate
Continue reading Black History Month: A List of Non-Fiction Titles For Children
"The simplicity of winter has a deep moral. The return of Nature, after such a career of splendor and prodigality, to habits so simple and austere, is not lost either upon the head or the heart. It is the philosopher coming back from the banquet and the wine to a cup of water and a crust of bread." ~John Burroughs, "The Snow-Walkers," 1866
While we eagerly await the returning warmth, let us attempt to appreciate the unique beauty of our current season, particularly of the wondrous snowflake. Maybe take some time this winter to read about Mr. Wilson Bentley in SNOWFLAKE BENTLEY, who was the first to photograph snowcrystals(flakes) using photomicrography. You can also learn more about him, his work, and snowflakes in general at the following links:
“Is there no play, To ease the anguish of a torturing hour?”
– from A Midsummer Night’s Dream
In the non-fiction section at Schmaling, in the 812’s and 822’s, you will discover a wide array of plays for your reading enjoyment. Shakespeare is the classic choice, of course, and we have guides and essays enough to escort you through; however, I feel just plunging in and not caring if you get every word is the best path for enjoyment.
Requesting a “No Fear Shakespeare” edition of one of his plays over inter-library loan (ILL) is also a beneficial route since it shows the modern English side by side with the original wordage.
We also offer several movie versions of some of the plays: recordings of actual performances, feature films, and adaptations. Downstairs in the Children’s Room we have (again in the 822’s) several resources including biographies, and edited and illustrated versions of the plays. There are some outstanding anthologies of the plays for children that include some of the original language that can be requested over inter-library loan (ILL); look for such authors as Charles and Mary Lamb (probably age 10+), E. Nesbit (under 10), Jeanie Lang, Leon Garfield, Roger Lancelyn Green and Bruce Coville. Upstairs in the YA section, there are graphic novels, biographies, adaptations, and an acclaimed historical fiction novel by Gary Schmidt called The Wednesday Wars. Continue reading Highlight: Plays