Staff Picks Youth Nonfiction

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March 2023

The Elephants Come Home: A True Story of Seven Elephants, Two People, and One Extraordinary Friendship

by Kim Tomsic

This touching true story portrays conservationist Lawrence Anthony’s relationship with a frightened, hunted elephant herd that found a home at his reserve in South Africa, Thula Thula. Anthony and his wife, Françoise, had a no-hunting rule at Thula Thula, but still the uneasy rescued elephants broke out of their enclosure. When they came back, a gentle Anthony carefully reassured the animals that they were safe, and they came to love their new home and him.

Recommended by: Joan Stoiber, Youth Services Reference Librarian

Posted in: Youth Nonfiction

October 2022

The Spirit of Springer: The Real-Life Rescue of an Orphaned Orca

by Amanda Abler

This is a true story about Springer, an orphaned orca, who was found alone in Puget Sound in 2002. She was in poor health due to skin sores, starvation, and loneliness- since her call was not what other orcas in the area responded to. Scientists found where orcas like her were living. After being healed, she was released near them with the hope that they would accept her into the pod.

Recommended by: Joan Stoiber, Youth Services Reference Librarian

Posted in: Youth Nonfiction

June 2022

The Woman in the Woods and Other North American Stories

by Kate Ashwin

Several indigenous authors and illustrators, who identify as trans, binary or other, have created a collection of stories based on folklore from Indigenous North American Nations, such as Navajo or Odawa. These short stories are in a graphic novel format with panels of black and white illustrations. This is the fifth book in the Cautionary Fables and Fairy Tales series.

Posted in: Youth Nonfiction

Alphabreaths: The ABCs of Mindful Breathing

by Christopher Willard

Do you and your little one need a short break to recharge or calm down? Practice your ABCs while doing super simple and adorable breathing exercises. Each page presents a letter and a beautiful illustration with an exercise evoking playful visual imagery. Have your child pick their favorite letters or do them all if they are enjoying the mindfulness connection. A great resource to take a moment to be present and enjoy a book together.

Recommended by: Fanny Camargo, Youth Services Reference Librarian I

Posted in: Youth Nonfiction

December 2021

Unconventional Vehicles: forty-five of the strangest cars, trains, planes, submersibles, dirigibles, and rockets ever

by Michael Hearst

This is not the average transportation book. These vehicles are unconventional indeed. A detailed, yet eye-catching and far from overwhelming read that presents some unimaginable works of engineering and ingenuity, as well as some silly and kind of ridiculous inventions. From the rudimentary such as the handcar or ostrich carriage, to the straight-out-of-Sci-Fi walking truck. Author Michael Hearst uses a very approachable attention-grabbing and humorous writing style. Jensen’s illustrations are intricate and crisp. Each vehicle is introduced in a two-page aesthetically pleasing spread with information divided by clean lines. One side provides manufacturer, date of production, and overview data, while the other side includes fun and interesting facts for all curious minds. A good pick for transportation enthusiasts, as well as non-fiction reluctant readers.

Recommended by: Fanny Camargo, Youth Services Reference Librarian I

Posted in: Youth Nonfiction

September 2021

The Wild World Handbook Habitats

by Andrea Debbink

A great book for budding environmentalists and nature lovers. This book visits multiple types of habitats and gives facts and mini stories about them. There are also stories about famous activists, photographers, environmentalists and more. In between the stories you’ll find different activities to try out that relate to what you’ve just read. We only have one Earth and it’s our job to help protect it. This book might help middle graders take a step in the right direction.

Recommended by: Erin Faxel, Youth Services Teen Librarian

Posted in: Youth Nonfiction

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

by Gail Jarrow

Jarrow takes the reader back to the Civil War and explains the effects of disease and unsanitary conditions on the soldiers. Unbeknownst to doctors, microbes and parasites took the lives of more soldiers than battle wounds. Fortunately, this led to innovations that enhanced medical care going forward. 

Recommended by: Becky McCormack, Youth Services Assistant Director

Posted in: Youth Nonfiction

If the World Were 100 People: a Visual Guide to Our Global Village

by Jackie McCann

An eye-opening written and visual account using 2021 statistics as if the 8 billion people populating the Earth were only 100 people. Numbers that we can wrap our heads around as to who speaks what language, who is hungry, who has clean water, etc.

Recommended by: Joan Stoiber, Youth Services Reference Librarian I

Posted in: Youth Nonfiction

August 2021

Flint Water Crisis

by Julie Knutson

What happens when the water supply for a large city becomes unsafe? Considered a major environmental catastrophe, this book investigates the causes and impacts of using a new water resource for the city of Flint, MI.

Recommended by: Joan Stoiber, Youth Services Reference Librarian I

Posted in: Youth Nonfiction

July 2021

Where is the Taj Mahal?

by Dorothy and Thomas Hoobler

As one of the most beautiful buildings in the world, the Taj Mahal is designated as “the Jewel of Muslim Art in India”. The Taj Mahal tomb was built from a blend of Persian, Mongol and Islamic styles that includes a mosque and lovely gardens. The most interesting fact behind the reason for this magnificent building is a true love story. I suggest reading this book if you want to know more about the Taj Mahal’s history. It is a good read for ages 8 and up, as well as adults.

Recommended by: Ghada Rafati, Patron Services Clerk

Posted in: Youth Nonfiction

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