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      My Survival: A Girl on Schindler’s List

      by Rena Finder

      Apr 2020

      Nonfiction Middle Plus

      Rena Finder was only eleven when the Nazis forced her and her family—along with all the other Jewish families—into the ghetto in Krakow, Poland. Rena worked as a slave laborer with scarcely any food and watched as friends and family were sent away.

      Then Rena and her mother ended up working for Oskar Schindler, a German businessman who employed Jewish prisoners in his factory and kept them fed and healthy. But Rena's nightmares were not over. She and her mother were deported to the concentration camp Auschwitz. With great cunning, it was Schindler who set out to help them escape. Here in her own words is Rena's gripping story of survival, perseverance, tragedy, and hope.

      Beetle Battles: One Scientist's Journey of Adventure and Discovery

      by Douglas J. Emlen

      Mar 2020

      Nonfiction Middle Plus

      Doug Emlen is a scientist. He studies beetles. Specifically, he studies the evolution of beetle weapons—how their horns and armor change to better suit them in different environments.

      This book starts with a mystery: Doug wanted to know why a particular type of beetle developed a massive evolutionary weapon. He wanted to know how these changes happened and what advantages these enormous weapons gave the tiny dung beetles. So, he went to visit.

      Part travel diary and part scientific exploration, Beetle Battles takes you deep into the South American rainforest to monitor beetles in their own habitat.

      Epilogue. Resources. Index. Full-color photographs, maps, diagrams, and illustrations.

      Nazi Saboteurs: Hitler's Secret Attack on America

      by Samantha Seiple

      Feb 2020

      Nonfiction Middle Plus

      In 1942, amid a growing German threat, Nazi agents infiltrated the United States in hopes of destroying American infrastructure and sowing panic throughout the nation. Nazi Saboteurs tells the nail-biting tale of this daring plot, buried in history, for young readers for the first time. Black-and-white historical photos throughout paint a picture of a nation on edge, the FBI caught unawares, and the incredible capture of eight dangerous criminals. A thrilling historical narrative for WWII buffs, reluctant readers, and adventure junkies.

      Sources. Index. Black-and-white photographs.

      No Map, Great Trip: A Young Writer's Road to Page One

      by Paul Fleischman

      Jan 2020

      Nonfiction Middle Plus

      Newbery Medalist Paul Fleischman considers how growing up with a father who was an award-winning author helped to shape and inspire his own career. Paul and Sid Fleischman are the only father-son Newbery pair in history, and life in the Fleischman home was extraordinary. Readers will feel like part of the family in this humorous and aspirational chronicle.

      Part memoir, part travelogue (young Paul travels from California to New Hampshire by himself), part writing book, and part reflection on art and creativity, this inspirational book includes black-and-white photographs, as well as writing tips and prompts just right for budding authors. No Map, Great Trip is a great gift for young writers, language arts teachers, and for fans of Jack Prelutsky’s Pizza, Pigs, and Poetry, and Ralph Fletcher’s A Writer’s Notebook.

      Black-and-white photographs.

      Torpedoed: The True Story of the World War II Sinking of "The Children's Ship"

      by Deborah Heiligman

      Dec 2019

      Nonfiction Middle Plus

      Amid the constant rain of German bombs and the escalating violence of World War II, British parents by the thousands chose to send their children out of the country: the wealthy, independently; the poor, through a government relocation program called CORB. In September 1940, passenger liner SS City of Benaresset out in a convoy of nineteen ships sailing for Canada. On board were ninety CORB children, chaperones, and crew, along with paying passengers. When the war ships escorting the Benares to safe waters peeled off, and the way forward seemed certain, a German submarine attacked and torpedoed the Benares. What followed is an amazing example of all that people are capable of—the worst, and the best.

      Author’s note. List of people in the book. “After the Voyage.” Select bibliography. Endnotes. Index. Black-and-white illustrations, photographs, and reproductions.

      What Linnaeus Saw: A Scientist's Quest to Name Every Living Thing

      by Karen Magnuson Beil

      Nov 2019

      Nonfiction Middle Plus

      In What Linnaeus Saw, Karen Magnuson Beil chronicles Linnaeus’s life and career in readable, relatable prose. As a boy, Linnaeus hated school and had little interest in taking up the religious profession his family had chosen. Though he struggled through Latin and theology classes, Linnaeus was an avid student of the natural world and explored the school’s gardens and woods, transfixed by the properties of different plants. At twenty-five, on a solo expedition to the Scandinavian Mountains, Linnaeus documented and described dozens of new species. As a medical student in Holland, he moved among leading scientific thinkers and had access to the best collections of plants and animals in Europe. What Linnaeus found was a world with no consistent system for describing and naming living things—a situation he methodically set about changing. The Linnaean system for classifying plants and animals, developed and refined over the course of his life, is the foundation of modern scientific taxonomy, and inspired and guided generations of scientists.

      Map. Time line. Glossary of botanical and scientific terms. Source notes. Source list. Index. Full-color reproductions.

      Tooth & Claw: The Dinosaur Wars

      by Deborah Noyes

      Oct 2019

      Nonfiction Middle Plus

      Today we take for granted the idea that dinosaurs once roamed the earth. But two hundred years ago, the very concept of an extinct species did not exist. When an English scientist proposed in 1841 that Dino Saurs (“terrible lizards”) had come and gone, it was only a theory, a new way of explaining the “dragon” and “giant” bones scattered across the globe. But when proof turned up seventeen years later, it was not only incontrovertible; it was massive.

      Tooth and Claw tells the story of the feverish race between two brilliant, driven, and insanely competitive scientists—Edward Drinker Cope and Othniel Charles Marsh—to uncover more and more monstrous fossils in the newly opened Wild West. Between them, they discovered dozens of major dinosaur species and established the new discipline of paleontology in America. But their bitter thirty-year rivalry—a “war” waged on wild plains and mountains, in tabloid newsprint, and in Congress —dramatically wrecked their professional and private lives even as it brought alive for the public a vanished prehistoric world.

      Map. Time line. Source notes. Bibliography. Index. Black-and-white photographs and reproductions.

      Bringing Down a President: The Watergate Scandal

      by Andrea Balis

      Oct 2019

      Nonfiction Middle Plus

      In this middle-grade retelling of one of the biggest scandals to rock our nation, a "fly on the wall" narrator takes us through the trials and tribulations of the Nixon Administration.

      Comprised almost completely of primary source quotes (good thing Nixon's recorder was on) and interspersed with contextual narrative, this middle-grade nonfiction tells the story of the Watergate scandal in an extraordinarily immediate way. Written in screenplay format and highly designed, this book is not only easy to read, but also compelling, and a useful study on how to research and use primary source material.

      Cast of characters. “Where They Are Now.” Time line. Source notes. Bibliography. Index. Black-and-white illustrations.

      George Washington's Secret Six (Young Readers Adaptation)

      by Brian Kilmeade

      Sep 2019

      Nonfiction Middle Plus

      The American Revolution is well under way in 1776, but things are looking bleak for General George Washington and his Continental Army. With Washington’s hasty retreat from New York City in August, many think the war might soon be over. After all: how on earth is this ragtag group going to defeat its enemy, the well-trained and well-funded military of the largest empire in history?

      But Washington soon realizes he can’t win with military might. Instead, he must outsmart the British, so he creates a sophisticated intelligence network: the top-secret Culper Spy Ring. Drawing on extensive research, Brian Kilmeade and Don Yaeger tell the fascinating stories of these long unrecognized spies: a reserved merchant, a tavern keeper, a brash young longshoreman, a curmudgeonly Long Island bachelor, a coffeehouse owner, and a mysterious woman.

      This vivid and accessible young readers adaptation of the New York Times bestseller features an exclusive new introduction, extensive back matter, and eye-catching art throughout. Chronicling a crucial moment in American history, this historical thriller will excite and inspire the next generation of patriots.

      Author’s note. Appendices. Time line. Selected sources. Index. Black-and-white photographs, illustrations, and reproductions.

      Deadly Aim: Civil War Story of Michigan's Anishinaabe Sharpshooters

      by Sally M. Walker

      Sep 2019

      Nonfiction Middle Plus

      More than 20,000 American Indians served in the Civil War, yet their names remain largely unknown. Sibert Award–winning author Sally M. Walker uncovers their untold tales with gripping firsthand accounts from the frontlines.

      Filled with archival photographs, maps, and diagrams, Deadly Aim features dramatic stories about soldiers like Company K, the elite group of sharpshooters, and Daniel Mwa-ke-we-naw, an Anishnaabek who killed more than 32 rebels in a single battle despite having been wounded three times.

      Sally M. Walker provides a fascinating look at the Civil War through the perspective of the American Indian soldiers. With nuance and care, the book portrays the experiences of these soldiers who were subjected to broken treaties, loss of tribal lands, and racism, yet still served with honor and heroism in the line of duty.

      Foreword. Note on the book’s treatment of Native American languages. List of characters. Epilogue. Author’s note. Appendices. Glossary. Selected bibliography. Source notes. Index. Black-and-white photographs, illustrations, and reproductions.

      The Magnificent Migration: On Safari with Africa's Last Great Herds

      by Sy Montgomery

      Aug 2019

      Nonfiction Middle Plus

      Sibert medalist Sy Montgomery takes readers on a staggering, emotional journey alongside the greatest land migration on earth—that of the wildebeest across the Serengeti—to provide a you-are-there account of one of nature’s most fascinating occurrences. Montgomery explores the wonder of migration, asking questions like, how do migration patterns sculpt the environment? Why do animals migrate? And how do they know where to go?

      Selected bibliography. Online resources. Index. Full-color photographs.

      An Invisible Thread: The New York Times Bestseller Adapted for Young Readers

      by Laura Schroff

      Jul 2019

      Nonfiction Middle Plus

      On one rainy afternoon, on a crowded New York City street corner, eleven-year-old Maurice met Laura. Maurice asked Laura for spare change because he was hungry, and something made Laura stop and ask Maurice if she could take him to lunch. Maurice and Laura went to lunch together, and also bought ice cream cones and played video games. It was the beginning of an unlikely and magical friendship that changed both of their lives forever.

      Postscript. List of suggested acts of kindness. Black-and-white photographs.
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