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      Grow a Garden!: Maker Comics

      by Alexis Frederick-Frost

      Apr 2020

      High-Interest Nonfiction Middle Plus

      Violet, Will, and Basil must be the unluckiest students at the Garden Gnome Academy. They've been stuck with Mr. Butternut, the school's most unpopular (and unusual) teacher. They have to learn about soil and compost while their classmates get to study exotic plants and butterflies. Although things get a little messy (and stinky) in his class, Mr. Butternut knows the secret to growing a great garden. Read along to get all the dirt on your favorite vegetables, from seed to harvest!

      Follow the easy step-by-step instructions in this book and learn to make:
      •A compost bin
      •A seed pot
      •Potting mix
      •A growlight shelf
      •A cold frame
      •A container garden 

      Catching a Russian Spy: Agent Les Wiser Jr. and the Case of Aldrich Ames: FBI Files

      by Bryan Denson

      Mar 2020

      High-Interest Nonfiction Middle Plus

      Aldrich H. "Rick" Ames was a thirty-one-year veteran of the CIA. He was also a Russian spy. By the time Ames was arrested in 1994, he had betrayed the identities of dozens and caused the deaths of ten agents. The notorious KGB (and later the Russian intelligence service, SVR) paid him millions of dollars.

      Agent Leslie G. “Les” Wiser Jr. ran the FBI's Nightmover investigation tasked with uncovering a mole in the CIA. The team worked night and day to collect evidence—sneaking into Ames's home, hiding a homing beacon in his Jaguar, and installing a video camera above his desk. But the spy kept one step ahead, even after agents followed him to Bogota, Colombia. In a crazy twist, the FBI would score its biggest clue from inside Ames's garbage can.

      Key characters. Epilogue with photographs. Author’s note. “The Wall of Honor.” Time line of Aldrich Ames’s life. Map. Glossary. Sources. Index.

      Into the Blizzard: Heroism at Sea During the Great Blizzard of 1978 (The Young Readers Adaptation)

      by Michael J. Tougias

      Feb 2020

      High-Interest Nonfiction Middle Plus

      In the midst of the Blizzard of 1978, the tanker Global Hope floundered on the shoals in Salem Sound off the Massachusetts coast. When the Coast Guard heard the Mayday calls, they immediately dispatched a patrol rescue boat. But within an hour, the Coast Guard rescue boat was in as much trouble as the tanker—both paralyzed in unrelenting seas. Enter Captain Frank Quirk, who was compelled to act. Gathering his crew of four, Quirk plunged his forty-nine-foot steel boat, the Can Do, into the blizzard.

      Perfect for fans of the I Survived series, this middle-grade adaptation of an adult nonfiction book chronicles the harrowing journey between Captain Quirk and the Coast Guard as they struggled in the holds of a radical storm. It's an epic tale of heroism and bravery at sea.

      “Key Vessels and Crewmembers.” Maps. Epilogue. Glossary. Author’s note. Black-and-white photo insert.

      The First Dinosaur: How Science Solved the Greatest Mystery on Earth

      by Ian Lendler

      Jan 2020

      High-Interest Nonfiction Middle Plus

      Dinosaurs existed. That’s a fact we accept today. But not so long ago, the concept that these giant creatures could have roamed Earth millions of years before humans was unfathomable. People thought what we know as dinosaur bones were the bones of giant humans. Of large elephants. Of angels, even.

      So, how did we get from angel wings to the T-Rex? The First Dinosaur tells the story of the idea of dinosaurs, and the chain of fossil discoveries and advances in science that led to that idea. Be prepared to meet eccentric men and overlooked women who uncovered the pieces to a puzzle so much bigger than themselves, a puzzle far stranger and more spectacular than they could have ever imagined.

      Epilogue. Bibliography. Index. Full-color photographs, reproductions, and illustrations rendered in pen, ink, and digitally.

      Monstrous: The Lore, Gore, and Science behind Your Favorite Monsters

      by Carlyn Beccia

      Dec 2019

      High-Interest Nonfiction Middle Plus

      An encyclopedia of monsters delves into the history and science behind eight legendary creatures, from Bigfoot and the kraken to zombies and more. Find out each monster's origin story and the real-world history that informed it, and then explore the science of each creature in fun and surprising ways. Tips and infographics—including monster anatomy, how to survive a vampire attack, and real-life giant creatures of the deep sea—make this a highly visual and fun-to-browse book.

      Author’s note. Source notes. Selected bibliography. Glossary. Index. Full-color mixed media illustrations.

      Caught!: Nabbing History's Most Wanted

      by Georgia Bragg

      Nov 2019

      High-Interest Nonfiction Middle Plus

      Outlaw, assassin, art thief, and spy, these fourteen troublemakers and crooks—including Blackbeard the pirate, Typhoid Mary, and gangster Al Capone—have given the good guys a run for their money throughout the ages. Some were crooked, some were deadly, and some were merely out of line—but they all got caught!, as detailed in this fascinating and funny study of crime, culture, and forensic science.

      FEATURING HISTORY'S MOST WANTED: Joan of Arc, Sir Walter Raleigh, Caravaggio, Blackbeard, John Wilkes Booth, Jesse James, Billy the Kid, Mata Hari, Typhoid Mary, Rasputin, Vincenzo Peruggia (Mona Lisa thief), Bernard Kuehn (Pearl Harbor spy), Anna Anderson (Anastasia impersonator), and Al Capone.

      Bibliography. Index. Black-and-white illustrations.

      Leo Thorsness: Vietnam: Valor in the Sky

      by Michael P. Spradlin

      Oct 2019

      High-Interest Nonfiction Middle Plus

      Lieutenant Colonel Leo K. Thorsness was a Wild Weasel pilot in the Vietnam War, targeting enemy missile sites. On a 1967 mission, when his wingmen ejected from their burning aircraft, Thorsness initiated attacks on enemy planes and other daring maneuvers in order to protect them. Two weeks later, he was shot down and would become a P.O.W. for the next six years.

      This is the third nonfiction middle-grade book in the Medal of Honor series, which profiles the courage and accomplishments of recipients of the Medal of Honor, the highest and most prestigious personal military decoration, awarded to recognize U.S. military service members who have distinguished themselves through extraordinary acts of valor.

      Note on the Medal of Honor. List of US Air Force ranks. Map. Leo Thorsness Medal of Honor citation. Glossary. Source notes. Selected bibliography. Black-and-white photographs.

      The Unabomber: Agent Kathy Puckett and the Hunt for a Serial Bomber: FBI Files

      by Bryan Denson

      Oct 2019

      High-Interest Nonfiction Middle Plus

      The Unabomber was a lone-wolf terrorist who carried out fourteen bombings that left three people dead and another twenty-three injured. A cunning genius, he dodged his FBI pursuers for nearly two decades, terrifying Americans from coast to coast.

      Agent Kathy Puckett, a spy hunter and highly trained psychologist, served as the turning point in the FBI's efforts to understand the mind of the faceless killer. Her insights helped send more than a hundred agenst to a remote cabin in the mountains of western Montana on April 3, 1996.

      There the FBI captured Theodore J. Kaczynski, engineer fo the most notorious bombing spree in U.S. history.

      This is the story of the FBI's investigation of the Unabomber and the agent who brought him to justice.

      Key characters. Epilogue. Author’s note. Time line of bombings. The Unabom case by the numbers. “A Lesson in Persistence.” Note on domestic terrorism. Sources. Index. Black-and-white photographs.

      From an Idea to LEGO: The Building Bricks Behind the World's Largest Toy Company

      by Lowey Bundy Sichol

      Sep 2019

      High-Interest Nonfiction Middle Plus

      Today, LEGO is one of the biggest toy companies in the world, but a long time ago, a Danish carpenter, Ole Kirk Christiansen, started with just an idea. Find out more about LEGO’s origins, those famous bricks, and their other inventive toys and movie ventures in this illustrated nonfiction book!
      • Find out the origin the name “LEGO.” (Hint: it combines two Danish words)
      • See how LEGO grew from a carpentry shop to a multi-platform toy company.
      • Discover how LEGO bricks are made and how they came up with their design.


      Time line of LEGO. How LEGO bricks are made. Source notes. Bibliography. Web sources. Black-and-white illustrations.

      Extreme Abilities: Amazing Human Feats and the Simple Science Behind Them

      by Galadriel Watson

      Sep 2019

      High-Interest Nonfiction Middle Plus

      Join author Galadriel Watson as she takes us on a journey of discovery—a tour of the human body's amazing abilities, featuring masters of muscle, speed demons, brain bosses, and more! Extreme Abilities is a fun and fascinating survey of what humans are capable of, with examples from around the world and throughout history. Short sketches of famous individuals, such as Louis Cyr and Usain Bolt, mixed with stories about the amazing physical feats of others not-so-famous, draw readers in and bring these astounding abilities to life in vivid color. Each chapter also features a section on how young readers can work at improving their own skills (and a section on how not to get hurt in the process), plus bitesized related fast facts and sidebars.

      Index. Selected sources. Full-color photographs and illustrations.

      Don't Read This Book Before Dinner: Revoltingly True Tales of Foul Food, Icky Animals, Horrible History, and More

      by Anna Claybourne

      Aug 2019

      High-Interest Nonfiction Middle Plus

      From wretched rodents and beastly bugs to putrid plants and muck-filled moats, step right in to find out more about the icky, sticky world around you. Gloriously gross stories of decaying delicacies, foul fashion, horrible history, awful animals, and more are paired with eye-popping pictures, fun facts, and hilarious quizzes in this fun book. Topics go way beyond food to include art, plants, animals, fashion, pop culture, medicine, the human body, and beyond. It’s a hot mess to digest, but it’s sure to leave kids disgusted and delighted. Read if you dare, but don’t say we didn’t warn you! Sometimes you CAN judge a book by its cover!

      Full-color photographs, illustrations, and reproductions.

      Running with Wolves: Our Story of Life with the Sawtooth Pack

      by Jim Dutcher

      Jul 2019

      High-Interest Nonfiction Middle Plus

      Adventure, friendship, and family come together in this riveting memoir as two award-winning filmmakers take you through the experience of the years they spent living in the wild with a real-life wolf pack. Jim and Jamie set out to show the world that instead of fearsome beasts, wolves are social, complex, and incredible creatures that deserve our protection. Deep in the mountain wilderness of Idaho, they set up Wolf Camp, where they spent years capturing the emotional, exciting, and sometimes heartbreaking story of their pack.

      Meet Kamots, the fearless leader. Learn from wise Matsi. Explore the forest with shy Lakota. And watch as adorable pups grow from silly siblings to a devoted pack. See how these brave wolves overcome all odds, battling mountain lions and frigid temperatures. Most of all, discover the surprising kindness, compassion, and devotion that Jim and Jamie discovered by living with wolves.

      Authors’ note. Maps. Note about keystone species. Suggestions for how readers can protect wolves. Time line. Black-and-white and full-color photographs. Black-and-white illustrations.
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