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      Sprouting Wings: The True Story of James Herman Banning, the First African American Pilot to Fly Across the United States

      by Louisa Jaggar

      Mar 2021

      Nonfiction Elementary Plus

      The inspirational and true story of James Herman Banning, the first African American pilot to fly across the country, comes to life in this picture book biography perfect for fans of Hidden Figures and Little Leaders. Includes art from a Coretta Scott King award-winning illustrator.

      James Herman Banning always dreamed of touching the sky. But how could a farm boy from Oklahoma find a plane? And how would he learn to fly it? None of the other pilots looked like him.

      In a journey that would span 3,300 miles, take twenty-one days, and inspire a nation, James Herman Banning proved that you can't put barriers on dreams. Louisa Jaggar incorporates over seven years of research, including Banning's own writings and an interview with the aviator's great-nephew. She teams up with cowriter Share Becker and award-winning illustrator Floyd Cooper to capture Banning's historic flight across the United States.

      Guantanamo Voices: An Anthology: True Accounts from the World's Most Famous Prison

      by Sarah Mirk

      Mar 2021

      Biography High Plus

      An anthology of illustrated narratives about the prison and the lives it changed forever.

      In January 2002, the United States sent a group of Muslim men they suspected of terrorism to a prison in Guantánamo Bay. They were the first of roughly 780 prisoners who would be held there—and 40 inmates still remain. Eighteen years later, very few of them have been ever charged with a crime.

      In Guantánamo Voices, journalist Sarah Mirk and her team of diverse, talented graphic novel artists tell the stories of ten people whose lives have been shaped and affected by the prison, including former prisoners, lawyers, social workers, and service members. This collection of illustrated interviews explores the history of Guantánamo and the world post-9/11, presenting this complicated partisan issue through a new lens.
       Twenty-first century US history.  

       

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      Attacked at Sea: A True World War II Story of a Family's Fight for Survival

      by Michael J. Tougias

      Mar 2021

      High-Interest Nonfiction Middle Plus

      A riveting WWII account of survival at sea—Book 4 in the True Rescue series from Michael J. Tougias, the author of the New York Times bestseller The Finest Hours. On May 19, 1942, during WWII, a U-boat in the Gulf of Mexico stalked its prey fifty miles from New Orleans. The submarine set its sights on the freighter Heredia. Most onboard were merchant seamen, but there were also civilians, including the Downs family: Ray and Ina and their two children. Fast asleep in their berths, the Downs family had no idea that two torpedoes were heading their way. When the ship exploded, chaos ensued—and each family member had to find their own path to survival.

      This inspiring historical narrative tells the story of the Downs family as they struggle against sharks, hypothermia, drowning, and dehydration in their effort to survive the aftermath of this deadly attack off the American coast. For fans of Refugee and Unbroken.

      The Pig War: How a Porcine Tragedy Taught England and America to Share

      by Emma Bland Smith

      Feb 2021

      Nonfiction Elementary Plus

      In 1859, the British and Americans coexist on the small island of San Juan, located off the coast of the Pacific Northwest. They are on fairly good terms—until one fateful morning when an innocent hog owned by a British man has the misfortune to eat some potatoes on an American farmer’s land. In a moment of rash anger, Lyman Cutlar shoots Charles Griffin’s pig, inadvertently almost bringing the two nations to war. Tensions flare, armies gather, cannons are rolled out…all because of a pig! Emma Bland Smith’s humorous text and Alison Jay’s folksy illustrations combine in this whimsical nonfiction picture book that models the principles of peaceful conflict resolution.

      Race Against Time: The Untold Story of Scipio Jones and the Battle to Save Twelve Innocent Men

      by Sandra Neil Wallace

      Feb 2021

      Nonfiction High Plus

      Scipio Africanus Jones-a self-taught attorney who was born enslaved—leads a momentous series of court cases to save twelve black men who’d been unjustly sentenced to death.

      In October 1919, a group of black sharecroppers met at a church in an Arkansas village to organize a union. Bullets rained down on the meeting from outside. Many were killed by a white mob, and others were rounded up and arrested. Twelve of the sharecroppers were hastily tried and sentenced to death. Up stepped Scipio Africanus Jones, a self-taught lawyer who’d been born enslaved. Could he save the men’s lives and set them free? Through their in-depth research and consultation with legal experts, award-winning nonfiction authors Sandra and Rich Wallace examine the complex proceedings and an unsung African American early civil rights hero.

      Separate No More: The Long Road to Brown v. Board of Education

      by Lawrence Goldstone

      Feb 2021

      History High

      Since 1896, in the landmark outcome of Plessy v. Ferguson, the doctrine of "separate but equal" had been considered acceptable under the United States Constitution. African American and white populations were thus segregated, attending different schools, living in different neighborhoods, and even drinking from different water fountains. However, as African Americans found themselves lacking opportunity and living under the constant menace of mob violence, it was becoming increasingly apparent that segregation was not only unjust, but dangerous.

      Fighting to turn the tide against racial oppression, revolutionaries rose up all over America, from Booker T. Washington to W. E. B. Du Bois. They formed coalitions of some of the greatest legal minds and activists, who carefully strategized how to combat the racist judicial system. These efforts would be rewarded in the groundbreaking cases of 1952-1954 known collectively as Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka, in which the US Supreme Court would decide, once and for all, the legality of segregation -- and on which side of history the United States would stand.

      From Here to There: Inventions That Changed the Way the World Moves

      by Vivian Kirkfield

      Feb 2021

      Science Nonfiction Elementary Plus

      Celebrating the invention of vehicles, this collective biography tells the inspiring stories of the visionaries who changed the way we move across air, water, and land. Perfect for fans of Mistakes that Worked and Girls Think of Everything.

      In a time when people believed flying was impossible, Joseph and Etienne Montgolfier proved that the sky wasn’t the limit. When most thought horseback was the only way to race, Bertha and Karl Benz fired up their engines. From the invention of the bicycle and the passenger steam locomotive, to the first liquid-fuel propelled rocket and industrial robot, inventors across the world have redefined travel. Filled with informative sidebars and colorful illustrations, this collective biography tells the story of the experiments, failures, and successes of visionaries who changed the way the world moves.

      The Eighty-Dollar Champion: The True Story of a Horse, a Man, and an Unstoppable Dream

      by Elizabeth Letts

      Feb 2021

      Sports Middle Plus

      On a bleak winter afternoon, Harry de Leyer first saw the horse he would name Snowman between the slats of a rickety truck bound for the slaughterhouse. Noting a spark in the horse’s eye, the Dutch immigrant bought the beaten-up animal for only eighty dollars and took him to the family’s modest farm on Long Island.

      Though Snowman thrived in his new home, Harry needed money. Reluctantly, he sold Snowman to another farm a few miles down the road. But the shaggy horse had other ideas.

      When he turned up back at Harry’s barn, dragging an old tire and a broken fence board, Harry knew that he had misjudged the horse. Snowman then began his extraordinary path to stardom as Harry trained him to show jump, taking Snowman all the way to the very top of the sport.

      This dramatic and inspiring rise to stardom of an unlikely duo is based on the insight and recollections of the Flying Dutchman himself. Snowman and Harry’s story captured the heart of Cold War-era America—a story of unstoppable hope, inconceivable dreams, and the chance to have it all. Elizabeth Letts’s message is simple: Never give up, even when the obstacles seem sky-high. There is something extraordinary in all of us.

      My Wild Life: Adventures of a Wildlife Photographer

      by Suzi Eszterhas

      Jan 2021

      Nonfiction Elementary Plus

      As a young girl, Suzi Eszterhas knew she wanted to be a wildlife photographer. But how did she go from snapping pictures of cats in her backyard to taking photos of cheetah cubs in Kenya? In this nonfiction picture-book biography, Eszterhas invites readers to find out what her life is like behind the lens.

      Spectacular photographs of animals paired with compelling anecdotes will instantly draw readers in. Each section of the book explores a unique part of Eszterhas’s job with energetic and engaging language. Along with photography tips and stories about life in the field, Eszterhas’s sections on conservation and treating animals with respect will enhance readers’ awareness of these issues. End matter includes answers to common questions Suzi has been asked.

      Filled with adorable animals, stories from the field, and subtle lessons on resilience and female empowerment, the story of Eszterhas’s wild life asks readers to pursue their passions, while treating the natural world with curiosity, kindness, and respect.

      Blood and Germs: The Civil War Battle Against Wounds and Disease

      by Gail Jarrow

      Jan 2021

      Nonfiction Middle

      Acclaimed author Gail Jarrow, recipient of a 2019 Robert F. Sibert Honor Award, explores the science and grisly history of U.S. Civil War medicine, using actual medical cases and first-person accounts by soldiers, doctors, and nurses.

      The Civil War took the lives of hundreds of thousands of Americans and left countless others with disabling wounds and chronic illnesses. Bullets and artillery shells shattered soldiers’ bodies, while microbes and parasites killed twice as many men as did the battles. Yet from this tragic four-year conflict came innovations that enhanced medical care in the United States. With striking detail, this nonfiction book reveals battlefield rescues, surgical techniques, medicines, and patient care, celebrating the men and women of both the North and South who volunteered to save lives.

      The Black Friend: On Being a Better White Person

      by Frederick Joseph

      Jan 2021

      Nonfiction High Plus

      “We don’t see color.” “I didn’t know Black people liked Star Wars!” “What hood are you from?” For Frederick Joseph, life as a transfer student in a largely white high school was full of wince-worthy moments that he often simply let go. As he grew older, however, he saw these as missed opportunities not only to stand up for himself, but to spread awareness to those white people who didn’t see the negative impact they were having.

      Speaking directly to the reader, The Black Friend calls up race-related anecdotes from the author’s past, weaving in his thoughts on why they were hurtful and how he might handle things differently now. Each chapter features the voice of at least one artist or activist, including Angie Thomas, author of The Hate U Give; April Reign, creator of #OscarsSoWhite; Jemele Hill, sports journalist and podcast host; and eleven others. Touching on everything from cultural appropriation to power dynamics, “reverse racism” to white privilege, microaggressions to the tragic results of overt racism, this book serves as conversation starter, tool kit, and invaluable window into the life of a former “token Black kid” who now presents himself as the friend many readers need. Backmatter includes an encyclopedia of racism, providing details on relevant historical events, terminology, and more.

      Wild Girl: How to Have Incredible Outdoor Adventures

      by Helen Skelton

      Jan 2021

      High-Interest Nonfiction Middle Plus

      From kayaking the length of the Amazon to biking to the South Pole and running an ultramarathon across the Namib desert, Helen Skelton shares the stories of her most daring feats of endurance and grit in some of the world’s most extreme wildernesses—overcoming challenges, embracing her fears, and finding the positives in the toughest situations. Alongside each exciting account are ideas for outdoor adventures readers can have closer to home, as well as gear lists, information about Helen’s support teams, statistics, tips for physical and mental preparation, and a Wild Girl Wall of Fame featuring the diverse women who inspired Helen with their own achievements. A likable, no-nonsense tone paired with a combination of photographs and fun art will inspire young people to get outside and dream big.
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