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      An Inconvenient Alphabet: Ben Franklin & Noah Webster's Spelling Revolution

      by Beth Anderson

      Dec 2018

      Nonfiction Elementary Plus

      Once upon a revolutionary time, two great American patriots tried to make life easier. They knew how hard it was to spell words in English. They knew that sounds didn’t match letters. They knew that the problem was an inconvenient English alphabet.
      In 1786, Ben Franklin, at age eighty, and Noah Webster, twenty-eight, teamed up. Their goal? Make English easier to read and write. But even for great thinkers, what seems easy can turn out to be hard.
      Children today will be delighted to learn that when they “sound out” words, they are doing eg-zakt-lee what Ben and Noah wanted.
      Author’s note. Research note. Illustrator’s note. Quotation sources. Bibliography. Full-color illustrations rendered using a mix of traditional and digital media.

      Countdown: 2979 Days to the Moon

      by Suzanne Slade

      Nov 2018

      Nonfiction Elementary Plus


      Powerful verse and stunning illustrations tell the true story of the American effort to land the first man on the Moon. More about Team Apollo. “Bringing Apollo 11 Home.” Author’s note. Illustrator’s note. Selected bibliography. Online resources. Quote sources. Full-color illustrations were rendered in pastel, colored pencil, and airbrush.

      Memphis, Martin, and the Mountaintop: The Sanitation Strike of 1968

      by Alice Faye Duncan

      Oct 2018

      Nonfiction Elementary Plus

      $12.75  $10.00  Member Price
      In February 1968, two African American sanitation workers were killed by unsafe equipment in Memphis, Tennessee. Outraged at the city’s refusal to recognize a labor union that would fight for higher pay and safer working conditions, sanitation workers went on strike. The strike lasted two months, during which Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was called to help with the protests. While his presence was greatly inspiring to the community, this unfortunately would be his last stand for justice. He was assassinated in his Memphis hotel the day after delivering his “I’ve Been to the Mountaintop” sermon in Mason Temple Church. Inspired by the memories of a teacher who participated in the strike as a child, author Alice Faye Duncan reveals the story of the Memphis sanitation strike from the perspective of a young girl with a riveting combination of poetry and prose.
      Memphis sanitation strike time line. Museum to visit. Sources. Source notes. Full-color gouache illustrations.

      The Sinking of the Vasa: A Shipwreck of Titanic Proportions

      by Russell Freedman

      Oct 2018

      Nonfiction Elementary Plus

      This is the saga of the great Swedish warship, the Vasa. Built to be the crown jewel of the Swedish Navy, the Vasa capsized not a mile into her maiden voyage in 1628—a tragedy resulting in many deaths and great loss. But who was to blame? Award-winning author Russell Freedman explores the history of this ship, and her resurrection from the seas in 1961. William Low’s gorgeous illustrations bring this story to life.
      Sources. Full-color illustrations created digitally.

      Pass Go and Collect $200: The Real Story of How Monopoly Was Invented

      by Tanya Lee Stone

      Sep 2018

      Nonfiction Elementary Plus

      A nonfiction picture book history of Monopoly, one of the world's most famous games.
      In the late 1800s lived Lizzie Magie, a clever and charismatic woman with a strong sense of justice. Waves of urban migration drew Lizzie’s attention to rising financial inequality. Suddenly she had an idea: create a game about the landlord-tenant relationship. But Lizzie’s initial game vilified the monopolist. Enter Charles Darrow—a marketer and salesman with a keen eye for what Lizzie’s creation could become: an enticing board game, and a staple of family entertainment in households across America.
      Boldness, imagination, and ruthless competition combine in this riveting story that sets the record straight on the history of Monopoly's origins. Features back matter that includes "Monopoly Math" word problems and equations. Excellent STEM connections and resources.
      Monopoly trivia. Monopoly math. Author’s note. Sources. Full-color illustrations were created with crayon, ink, gouache, and pastel, then scanned and finished digitally in Adobe Photoshop.

      Up & Down: The Adventures of John Jeffries, First American to Fly

      by Don Brown

      Sep 2018

      Nonfiction Elementary Plus


      The incomparable Don Brown chronicles the ballooning misadventures of JohnJeffries, scientist and aviation pioneer. Endnote. Bibliography. Quotation sources. Author’s note. Full-color illustrations done in oil-base pencil and watercolor.

      Fairy Spell: How Two Girls Convinced the World That Fairies Are Real

      by Marc Tyler Nobleman

      Aug 2018

      Nonfiction Elementary Plus

      This isthe true story of British cousins who fooled the world for more than 60 years with a remarkable hoax, photographs of "real" fairies. Exquisitely illustrated with art and the original fairy photographs.

      Abraham Lincoln’s Dueling Words

      by Donna Janell Bowman

      Jun 2018

      Nonfiction Elementary Plus

      When Abraham Lincoln became frustrated with the actions of James Shield, a political rival, he came up with a plan. It was silly. It was clever. And it was a great big mistake!

      The Triumphant Tale of the House Sparrow

      by Jan Thornhill

      May 2018

      Nonfiction Elementary Plus

      Behold the most despised bird in human history! Map. Life cycle of the house sparrow. Glossary. List of other animals that have adapted to humans. Resources. Selected references. Full-color illustrations were created digitally.

      Itch!: Everything You Didn’t Want to Know About What Makes You Scratch

      by Anita Sanchez

      Apr 2018

      Nonfiction Elementary Plus

      $16.99  $12.75  Member Price
      Scratch the itch to discover the history, anatomy, botany, and biology behind what makes everyone . . . itch! Author’s note. Glossary. Notes. Bibliography. Recommended online resources. Index. Full-color illustrations.

      Made for Each Other: Why Dogs and People Are Perfect Partners

      by Dorothy Hinshaw Patent

      Mar 2018

      Nonfiction Elementary Plus

      Dog lovers everywhere will enjoy this insightful, adorable, and fact-filled exploration of why dogs really are a man's best friend. Resources. Source notes. Additional sources. Index. Black-and-white and full-color photographs.

      Fallingwater: The Building of Frank Lloyd Wright’s Masterpiece

      by Marc Harshman

      Feb 2018

      Nonfiction Elementary Plus

      In Bear Run, Pennsylvania, a home unlike any other perches atop a waterfall.This is Fallingwater, a masterpiece equally informed by meticulous research and unbounded imagination, designed by the lauded American architect Frank Lloyd Wright.
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