Sunday, August 1, 2010

Nonfiction Monday

We are excited to be hosting this week's Nonfiction Monday, a round-up of blog posts about great nonfiction books for kids! To add yours, just post the link in the comments area, and we'll get it up as soon as possible!

This week we have been reviewing books currently on sale at our Scholastic Book Fair, so we thought we'd combine the two:

Just what every young boy (or girl) needs: advice and how-tos on making noises with body parts, or using a shirt-egg-slingshot! In fact, we just gave this as a gift to a young man, bookmarking the pages we liked best with $1 bills.
The first volume of this 'encyclopedia' is already in our collection, and has been fairly popular, despite its Dewey classification in the no-man's land of "indoor amusements". Librarians know; there are certain sections of nonfiction that get used so often, everyone has the Dewey numbers memorized (quick, where are dinosaurs? You didn't even have to think about it, did you?) Then there are the areas that have great books, but seem to grow cobwebs (i.e. the entire first half of the 300's, unless it's Martin Luther King, Jr.'s birthday).
So, we book talk, we have special displays, we put them on recommended reading lists. That brings us to our challenge for Nonfiction Monday: if the book you are reviewing just wasn't flying off the shelves, what would you suggest to draw attention to it? It doesn't have to be anything complicated or involving movie stars and world records. We have had an easel with chart paper up all summer, inviting people to suggest free or cheap activities to answer the "I'm bored" complaints. When we type up the final compilation, we will include book titles like this one at the end.
So, what do you think? Help out some librarians who have had their brains fried by summer reading! And don't forget to check out the links to everyone else's blogs!

Angela at Bookish Blather is first up this morning with a review of Hungry by Crystal Renn (and, Angela, when we say "first up", we mean, whatever time zone you are in, that is still way too early to be up!)

Charlotte at Charlotte's Library (who was also awake before us) has Do Not Open: an Encyclopedia of the World's Best-Kept Secrets by DK.

Jennifer at the Jean Little Library has The Smart Aleck's Guide to American History by Adam Selzer. We are sensing a theme of boy-friendly books today.

Laura has a book I've been wanting to read, Saving the Baghdad Zoo, as well as some great ideas in her comment that we are totally going to borrow.

Abby the Librarian has Kindergarten Day: USA and China by Trish Marx and Ellen B. Sinsei, to get us ready for the start of school (two more weeks here!), and another great advertising idea.

Coming to us live from the School Library Journal, A Fuse #8 Production has Ballet for Martha: Making Appalachian Spring

The Fourth Musketeer has No Easy Way: the Story of Ted Williams and the Last .400 Season, fourth installment in her Boys of Summer series.

Time to check our links then open up the library (oh, yeah, our actual job). More great reviews to come!

Check out Face to Face with Manatees at Bookends (we SO want a manatee playmate, but our tank is just a bit too small.)

Escape! The Story of the Great Houdini at proseandkahn (love that blog title!)

Pop! the Invention of Bubblegumon Carrie's Comfy Cozy Reading Nook, complete with a link to help you make your own bubble gum.

Drive over to NC Teacher Stuff for Dump Trucks

We could have used a copy of Ocean Soup this summer. Cute pictures, and Shirley at SimplyScience includes some fun activities.

Wild About Nature has Animal Baths: Wild and Wonderful Ways Animals Get Clean, another one that would have been great this summer (isn't that the way it always happens?!) Oh, and they have largely the same page setup/colors that we do, so you know they have good taste.

Learn How Baseball Managers Use Math at All About the Books.

Read aboutSummer Birds: the Butterflies of Maria Merianat Picture Book of the Day. (We won't tell you how we like to 'study' butterflies. And caterpillars. Yum.)

We have to ask Wendie at Wendie's Wanderings: does Lots of Spots include any turtles? We love Ehlert's illustrations!


  1. What a funny sounding book - and what a great way to try to bring attention to it!

    This week at Bookish Blather, I review plus-size model Crystal Renn's memoir Hungry about her modeling career and battle with anorexia.

    I'm not a librarian, but if I were (a dream come true!), I think I would make a fashion week display during the big fashion show seasons. Include other books where characters are interested in fashion or entertainment careers, and maybe even have a "book fashion show" highlighting books with really arty/fashionable covers!

  2. I have Do Not Open: an encyclopedia of the world's best kept secrets, from DK

    thanks for hosting!

  3. I have Adam Selzer's The Smart Aleck's Guide to American History

  4. Thanks for hosting (love your blog name). I've got Saving the Baghdad Zoo this week at

    I think one idea to highlight a book that's not flying off the shelves is to find one short, engaging anecdote from it and enlarge it (with a picture, if possible) and put it on the review board. Or maybe post up a question. "How many camels fit in a Humvee?" or whatever, and then say, "Find the answer in Saving the Baghdad Zoo!" (I don't remember whether it was actually camels, but they did transport some unlikely animals in military vehicles!)

  5. Thanks for hosting! In honor of school starting up soon (our kids go back next week!), I've got a review of Kindergarten Day: USA and China by Trish Marx and Ellen B. Sinsei -

    I haven't actually done this myself, but I saw it at a school library: The librarian created computer screen savers with rotating pictures of book covers on the state book award list. It was very eye-catching and I think would draw a lot of attention to whatever books you wanted to feature (as long as they had decent covers!).

  6. More thanks for hosting! I've Ballet for Martha: Making Appalachian Spring by Jan Greenberg and Sandra Jordan, illustrated by Brian Floca:

  7. Thanks for hosting! I've got another in my summer series of picture book biographies of baseball greats from the past, this one of Ted Williams. It's called No Easy Way: The Story of Ted Williams and the last .400 Season, by Fred Bowen. Here's the link:

  8. Bookends has Face to Face with Manatees today. It is part of a great series that pairs fabulous pictures from a wildlife photographer and well-written information. Great for the 3-5th grade set!

    Our link is:


  9. Thanks for hosting today! I wrote about my thoughts of an older biography, Escape! The Story of the Great Harry Houdini over at Proseandkahn. I read this one with my ears, something I don't do a lot with non-fiction. Here's the link.

    (I'm commenting with my google identity since Livejournal has been flukey with comment boxes.)

  10. Thanks for hosting! Lots of great books reviewed this week. I have a fun addition with Pop! The Invention of Bubble Gum by Megan McCarthy.


  11. Thank you for hosting! At NC Teacher Stuff, I have posted a review of Dump Trucks by Amanda Doering Tourville.

  12. Thanks for hosting. I have Ocean Soup, a poetry and tide pool combination at SimplyScience.


  13. This week at Wild About Nature blog we have a review of Animal Baths: Wild and Wonderful Ways Animals Get Clean by Beth Fielding.

    Thanks so much for hosting this week!


  14. How Baseball Managers Use Math by John C. Bertoletti and Rhea A. Stewart is one of a series of books that delve into how various occupations: race car driving, deep sea diving, etc. utilize mathematics in their professions.

  15. Thanks for hosting today! I'm in with Summer Birds: The Butterflies of Maria Merian by Margarita Engle (Author) and Julie Paschkis (Illustrator).

  16. Yes, how do you get those great, but lost, books to circulate?

    Wendie Old over at Wendie's Wanderings has a post up about Lois Ehlert's new book, Lots of Spots.

  17. What a fun blog name!

    I reviewed a reader this week, Ants by Melissa Stewart, at


  18. For Non-Fiction Monday I have Anne Frank Her Life in Words and Pictures at


  19. I'm in today with a review of 100 Ways to Celebrate 100 Days by Bruce Goldstone.

    Thanks for hosting this shindig!