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"Clean" Titles for Middle and High School

These are titles that can be enjoyed by any middle or high school reader, with no sensitive areas.

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      One Iguana, Two Iguanas : A Story of Accident, Natural Selection, and Evolution

      by Sneed B. Collard III

      Dec 2018

      Science Nonfiction Elementary Plus

      Natural selection and speciation are all but ignored in children’s nonfiction. To help address this glaring deficiency, award-winning children’s science writer Sneed Collard traveled to the Galapagos Islands to see for himself, where Charles Darwin saw, how new species form. The result is this fascinating story of two species of iguana, one land-based and one marine, both of which developed from a single ancestor that reached the islands millions of years ago. The animals evolved in different directions while living within sight of one another. How is that possible?
      Collard uses the iguanas to explore Charles Darwin’s great discovery.
      Glossary. Author’s note. Suggestions for further information. Full-color map, illustrations, and photographs.

      Lights! Camera! Alice!: The Thrilling True Adventures of the First Woman Filmmaker

      by Mara Rockliff

      Dec 2018

      Arts Elementary Plus

      Meet Alice Guy-Blaché. She made movies—some of the very first movies, and some of the most exciting! Blow up a pirate ship? Why not? Crawl into a tiger's cage? Of course! Leap off a bridge onto a real speeding train? It will be easy! Driven by her passion for storytelling, Alice saw a potential for film that others had not seen before, allowing her to develop new narratives, new camera angles, new techniques, and to surprise her audiences again and again. With daring and vision, Alice Guy-Blaché introduced the world to a thrilling frontier of imagination and adventure, and became one of filmmaking's first and greatest innovators. Mara Rockliff tells the story of a girl who grew up loving stories and became an acclaimed storyteller and an inspiration in her own right.
      Author’s note. List of sources. Full-color illustrations rendered in dry media.

      Death Eaters: Meet Nature’s Scavengers

      by Kelly Milner Halls

      Oct 2018

      Science Nonfiction Elementary Plus

      What happens to the bodies of animals and humans after death? Nature's army of death eaters steps in to take care of clean up. Without these masters of decomposition, our planet would be covered in rotting bodies. This high-interest science text dives into the science behind how bodies decompose.
      Source notes. Glossary. Selected bibliography. Further reading. Index. Full-color diagram and photographs.

      Picturing America: Thomas Cole and the Birth of American Art

      by Hudson Talbott

      Oct 2018

      Arts Elementary Plus

      Thomas Cole was always looking for something new to draw. Born in England during the Industrial Revolution, he was fascinated by tales of the American countryside, and was ecstatic to move there in 1818. The life of an artist was difficult at first, however Thomas kept his dream alive by drawing constantly and seeking out other artists. But everything changed for him when he was given a ticket for a boat trip up the Hudson River to see the wilderness of the Catskill Mountains. The haunting beauty of the landscape sparked his imagination and would inspire him for the rest of his life. The majestic paintings that followed struck a chord with the public and drew other artists to follow in his footsteps, in the first art movement born in America. His landscape paintings also started a conversation on how to protect the country’s wild beauty.
      Reproductions of Thomas Cole paintings. Full-color illustrations done in watercolors, colored pencil, and ink.

      Eavesdropping on Elephants: How Listening Helps Conversation

      by Patricia Newman

      Oct 2018

      Science Nonfiction Elementary Plus

      Can understanding how forest elephants communicate help scientists find ways to protect this vulnerable species? Researcher Katy Pane and others involved with Cornell University's Elephant Listening Project believe it can. Patricia Newman takes readers behind the scenes to see how scientists are making new discoveries about elephant communication and using what they learn to help these majestic animals.
      QR codes. Source notes. Glossary. Selected bibliography. Suggestions for further information. Index. Full-color map, diagrams, and photographs.

      Mason Jar Science: 40 Slimy, Squishy, Super-Cool Experiments

      by Jonathan Adolph

      Sep 2018

      Science Nonfiction Elementary Plus

      Metric conversion chart. Barometric pressure chart. Index. Full-color photographs and illustrations.
      Glossary.

      Rosa’s Animals: The Story of Rosa Bonheur and Her Painting Menagerie

      by Maryann Macdonald

      Sep 2018

      Arts Elementary Plus

      Painter and sculptor Rosa Bonheur led a highly nontraditional life.Her artistic work habits, including visiting slaughterhouses to sketch an animal's anatomy and wearing men's clothing to gain access to places like a horse fair, helped her become one of the most beloved female painters of her time.

      Epilogue. Author’s note. Notes. Bibliography. Where to see Rosa Bonheur’s work. Index. Black-and-white and full-color illustrations, photographs, artifacts, and reproductions.

      The Key to Every Thing

      by Pat Schmatz

      Aug 2018

      Upper Elementary & Junior High

      For eleven-year-old Tash, Cap'n Jackie isn't just the elderly next-door neighbor—she's family. When she disappears, only Tash holds the key that might bring her back.

      Becoming Madeleine: A Biography of the Author of A Wrinkle in Time by Her Granddaughters

      by Charlotte Jones Voiklis

      Jun 2018

      Biography Middle Plus

      Madeleine L'Engle's granddaughtershave written her biography with never-before-seen archival materials—includingphotographs, letters, and journal entries—from throughout the writer's life.

      The Disappearing Spoon: And Other True Tales of Rivalry, Adventure, and the History of the World from the Periodic Table of the Elements (Young Readers Edition)

      by Sam Kean

      Jun 2018

      Nonfiction Middle

      Why did Gandhi hate iodine? How did radium nearly ruin Marie Curie's reputation? A chronicle of the extraordinary stories behind one of the greatest scientific tools in existence: the periodic table.

      The Hyena Scientist

      by Sy Montgomery

      Jun 2018

      Nonfiction Middle Plus

      Zoologist Kay Holecamp has made it her life's work to understand hyenas: fascinating, complex creatures that are playful, social, and highly intelligent—almost nothing like the mangy monsters of pop culture lore.

      Voices in the Air: Poems for Listeners

      by Naomi Shihab Nye

      May 2018

      Nonfiction High Plus

      A collection of almost one hundred original poems writtenin honor of artists, writers, poets, historical figures, ordinary people, and diverse luminaries from past and present. Introduction. Biographical notes. Index of first lines. Black-and-white illustrations.
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