Sunday, October 19, 2014

NONFICTION MONDAY: Ordinary People Change the World series by Brad Meltzer


ABOUT THE BOOK

We can all be heroes. That’s the inspiring message of this lively, collectible picture book biography series from New York Times bestselling author Brad Meltzer. Kids always search for heroes, so we might as well have a say in it, Brad Meltzer realized, and so he envisioned this friendly, fun approach to biography for his own kids, and for yours. Each book tells the story of one of America’s icons in an entertaining, conversational way that works well for the youngest nonfiction readers, those who aren’t quite ready for the Who Was series. Each book focuses on a particular character trait that made that role model heroic. For example, Abraham Lincoln always spoke up about fairness, and thus he led the country to abolish slavery. This book follows him from childhood to the presidency, including the Civil War and his legendary Gettysburg Address. This engaging series is the perfect way to bring American history to life for young children, and to inspire them to strive and dream.

REVIEW

Not only does this book have delightfully appealing illustrations but there is a remarkable amount of content for a book aimed at young children.  I thoroughly enjoyed this book and the picture it presented of one of our most influential presidents.  These books would be a great way to introduce biographies to young readers. There were even some stories about Lincoln that I hadn't heard before which is great considering how much I've read about the man.  The only thing I might have wished for is a bibliography or works cited at the end of the book, but considering the age the book is aimed at that's not too surprising.  Although, the author does acknowledge the help of the Lincoln Studies Center at Knox College.  And I recognized the several of the quotes used as words that Lincoln actually used. Overall, an informative and delightfully useful new series.

18554575I AM ROSA PARKS
by Brad Meltzer, illustrated by Christopher Eliopoulos
Dial Books for Young Readers, 2014
ISBN: 978-0-8037-4085-3
Picture Book Biography
Source: purchased
All opinions expressed are solely my own.

ABOUT THE BOOK

Rosa Parks dared to stand up for herself and other African Americans by staying seated, and as a result she helped end public bus segregation and launch the country’s Civil Rights Movement.

REVIEW

 I've long admired Rosa Parks and her courage in standing up for herself and others by sitting down.  What amazes me most about this new biography series for young readers is how in only a few words the author manages to convey the spirit of the person.  In this story of Rosa Parks the picture of a person determined to stand up for herself becomes very clear.  The author combines Rosa's story with a bit of the Civil Rights story as well, a great way to introduce the importance of standing up for the right to young readers.  A fabulous addition to a fabulous new series perfect for young readers.

17987502I AM AMELIA EARHART
by Brad Meltzer, illustrated by Christopher Eliopoulos
Dial Books for Young Readers, 2014
ISBN: 978-0-8037-4085-3
Picture Book Biography
Source: purchased

All opinions expressed are solely my own.

ABOUT THE BOOK

Amelia Earhart refused to accept no for an answer; she dared to do what no one had ever done before, and became the first woman to fly a plane all the way across the Atlantic Ocean. This book follows her from childhood to her first flying lessons and onward to her multi-record-breaking career as a pilot.

REVIEW

I have to say that the cartoon Amelia's cries of, "That was awesome!" made me laugh out loud, especially the excited look on her face.  This is a story of pursuing one's dreams despite the doubts of others.  The book does not go into her disappearance or some of the other things that happened in her life which is appropriate for the age group this is aimed at.  The inclusion of photographs at the end of the book makes the story all the more realistic.



ABOUT THE BOOK

Even when he was a kid, Albert Einstein did things his own way. He thought in pictures instead of words, and his special way of thinking helped him understand big ideas like the structure of music and why a compass always points north. Those ideas made him want to keep figuring out the secrets of the universe. Other people thought he was just a dreamer, but because of his curiosity, Einstein grew up to be one of the greatest scientists the world has ever known.

REVIEW

This book is as awesome as the other three but adds a couple of features that I am very happy to see.  First there is the inclusion of a bibliography.  Also the addition of a timeline is very useful for teachers and parents. The humorous jokes about the hair that Einstein was so well known for made me smile.  These books are sure-fire winners for parents, teachers, and especially young readers.  I especially liked the emphasis on the power of thinking and not being afraid to be different even when the world doesn't understand.  A great introduction to the power of biography in the lives of young readers.

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