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Texas Topaz Nonfiction Gems 2018

The purpose of the Nonfiction Reading List is to provide children and adults with recommended nonfiction titles that stimulate reading for pleasure and personal learning. It is intended for recreational reading and is not designed to support any particular curriculum. Due to the diversity in age range and topics, Texas librarians should consider titles on this list in accordance with their own local collection development policies.
*Denotes unanimous vote for title’s inclusion on the list.

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      Just Like Us!: Birds

      by Bridget Heos

      Jan 2018

      Nonfiction Early Elementary

      2018 Reading List, Youth Titles
      $14.99  $12.75  Member Price
      Which animals compose music, decorate their homes, weave, and even give gifts? BIRDS!

      Sergeant Reckless: The True Story of the Little Horse Who Became a Hero

      by Patricia McCormick

      Nov 2017

      Nonfiction Elementary Plus

      2018 Reading List, Youth Titles*
      When a group of US Marines fighting in the Korean War found a bedraggled little mare, they wondered if she could be trained to as a packhorse. They had no idea that the skinny, underfed horse had one of the biggest and bravest hearts they'd ever known. Author's note with photograph. Selected bibliography. Full-color illustrations were drawn with pencil and colored digitally.

      Danza!: Amalia Hernández and Mexico’s Folkloric Ballet

      by Duncan Tonatiuh

      Oct 2017

      Arts Elementary Plus

      2018 Reading List, Youth Titles
      As a child, Amalia Hernández watched a group of dancers in the town square. The way they stomped and swayed and moved to the rhythm of the beat inspired her. She knew she would become a dancer one day. Author's note. Glossary. Bibliography. Index. Full-color hand-drawn illustrations, collaged digitally.

      The Quest for Z: The True Story of Explorer Percy Fawcett and a Lost City in the Amazon

      by Greg Pizzoli

      Sep 2017

      Nonfiction Elementary Plus

      2018 Reading List, Youth Titles*
      Get lost in this unusual and irreverent twist on a picture-book biography. Think: Indiana Jones for eight-year-olds. "Fawcett Hunters." Glossary. Selected sources. Author's note. Art note. Photograph of Percy Fawcett. Full-color mixed-media illustrations.

      Word by Word: The Secret Life of Dictionaries

      by Kory Stamper

      Jun 2017

      Adult Crossover Nonfiction Plus

      2018 Reading List, Adult Titles
      Brimming with intelligence and personality, this vastly entertaining account of how dictionaries are made is a must-read for word mavens. Notes. Bibliography. Index.

      The Music of Life: Bartolomeo Cristofori & the Invention of the Piano

      by Elizabeth Rusch

      Jun 2017

      Arts Elementary Plus

      2018 Reading List, Youth Titles
      Bartolomeo Cristofori longs to create an instrument that can be played both soft and loud. Could hammers be the key to the new instrument? Time line of the life of Bartolomeo Cristofori and the piano. Information about the three surviving Cristofori pianos and about modern pianos. Classical and modern piano music suggestions. Notes about primary and secondary sources. Bibliography. Sources for quotations. Full-color illustrations rendered in gouache and ink.

      Strong Inside: The True Story of How Perry Wallace Broke College Basketball’s Color Line: Young Readers’ Edition

      by Andrew Maraniss

      Jun 2017

      Sports Middle Plus

      2018 Reading List, Youth Titles
      This thought-provoking biography digs deep beneath the surface to reveal a complicated, profound, and inspiring story of an athlete turned civil-rights trailblazer. Author's note. Bibliography. Index. Black-and-white photographs.

      Isaac the Alchemist: Secrets of Isaac Newton, Reveal’d

      by Mary Losure

      May 2017

      Biography Middle Plus

      2018 Reading List, Youth Titles*
      This surprising true story of Isaac Newton's boyhood suggests his intellectual development owed as much to magic as to science. Excerpts from Newton's notebooks. Notes on the study of chemistry. Excerpts from science books written in Newton's era. Source notes. Bibliography. Index. Black-and-white photographs and reproductions.

      Ready, Set . . . Baby!

      by Elizabeth Rusch

      May 2017


      2018 Reading List, Youth Titles
      Big kids Anna and Oliver give young readers the inside scoop on what to expect when a new baby is expected. Further resources. "Tips for parents on life with big kids and new babies." Full-color illustrations.

      The Whydah: A Pirate Ship Feared, Wrecked, and Found

      by Martin W. Sandler

      Apr 2017

      History High

      2018 Reading List, Youth Titles
      Explore the exciting true story of the captaincy, wreck, and discovery of the Whydah —the only pirate ship ever found—and the incredible mysteries it revealed. Source notes. Bibliography. Index. Black-and-white photographs and reproductions of historical documents, illustrations, and maps.
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