Library Column for October 29, 2021

@ Your Library

What a beautiful October we have had. I have relished the warm days, the rainy days and the cooler nights. I love watching the trees along the edge of the Backus parking lot turn their vibrant colors.

I talked with a couple of classes at the high school last week about books and found myself falling in love with non-fiction for youth again. The range of titles is so amazing and the stories are so fascinating. I love the series Scientists in the Field and have talked about it often in this column. But there are so many other wonderful titles.

We have some straight forward factual books about the statue of Liberty that are interesting and useful if you are doing a report, but if you want story then try either Her Right Foot by Dave Eggers or Saving Lady Liberty: Joseph Pulitzer’s Fight for the Statue of Liberty by Claudia Friddell.

How many grew up playing cowboys and Indians? But reading about the Vaqueros is thrilling too in Russell Freedman’s In the Days of the Vaqueros: America’s First Cowboys. Another fascinating historical story is Breakthrough: How three people saved ‘blue babies’ and changed medicine forever by Jim Murphy. John Hopkins Hospital in 1944 was segregated, and Vivien Thomas was an African American whom many believed was just a janitor. But he was the person to have conceived of the procedure to save ‘blue babies’ and successfully done the procedure on an animal in a lab. But he wasn’t suppose to be in the operating room, so he stood on a stool in the back of the room, directing the other two physicians as they operated on young Eileen Saxon’s heart, saving her life.

Some additional historical titles that would be great to share. Nicky & Vera by Peter Sis is a story of the quiet hero of the Holocaust and the Children he rescued. Box by Carole Boston Weatherford is the story of Henry Brown and how he mailed himself to freedom. And Murder on the Baltimore Express by Suzanne Jurmain is for older kids about the ‘plot to keep Abraham Lincoln from becoming president.’

Team Moon by Catherine Thimmesh is a wonderful account of the 400,00 people it took to land Apollo 11 on the Moon. While Beyond by Miranda Paul explores discoveries from the outer reaches of space.

If your kids prefer doing and making to learn then be sure and borrow Maker Camp: Heritage crafts and skill-building projects for kids by Delanie Holton-Fessler. These twenty projects divided into heritage skills, fiber arts, wood-working and tinker, build and play will provide hours of activities and teach great skills of use the rest of their lives.

And of course what could be more fun than meeting the Greek gods in LEGO form? Brick Greek Myths by Amanda Brack, Monica Sweeney and Becky Thomas shares the stories of Heracles, Athena, Pandora, Poseidon and other ancient heroes of Mount Olympus told in comic book style with LEGO characters.


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