The Nonfiction Picture Book event 10 for10 is a wonderful event hosted by Cathy at Reflect and Refine , Julie of Write at the Edge, and Mandy , of Enjoy and Embrace Learning.
Everyone participating has to ask themselves the following questions:
- What are 10 nonfiction books you cannot live without in your classroom?
- What books do your students love?
- What nonfiction books would you suggest for other educators?
Here, in no particular order, is my list:
1. Cynthia Levinson's We've Got a Job: The Birmingham Children's March - the inspiring story of the children of Birmingham, Alabama, who decide to stand up and march in for civil rights.
Told from the "then and now" perspective of three students who participated in the march - Audrey Faye Hendricks (9), Washington Booker (14), James Stewart (15), and Arnetta Streeter (16) - this is an eye-opening account of their courage in facing the infamous segregationist Bull Connor and his posse of brutal law enforcement officers. Levinson's website has marvelous activities for students and resources for teachers to extend research and learning about this important era in our nation's journey to civil rights for all its citizens.
2. A Black Hole is Not a Hole by Carolyn Cinami DeCristofano and Michael Carroll:
How awesome is it to pick up a science book and be invited in with this line: In outer space, mysterious entities called black holes seem up to no good. Of course, one wants to read on! The engaging text is informative and entertaining, and the many nonfiction visual clues (illustrations, diagrams, font styles and sizes, maps, and so on) are exactly what I'd hoped to find in a mentor text.
3. And the Soldiers Sang written by J. Patrick Lewis and illustrated by Gary Kelly is a stunning account of a real life miracle. On Christmas of 1914, soldiers on both sides of the long stretch of the Western Front set down their guns to celebrate one night of peace and hope. Owen Davies, the fictional narrator of this true episode in history, raises his beautiful voice to sing "First Noel" across the battle weary expanse of no-man's land. A German soldier sings in response, inviting an evening of camaraderie. As Owen dares to wonder if this truce is able to stop the fighting for good, his life is claimed by a sniper, "carrying me from the earth on that voyage all creatures must take." Poetically written and illustrated with hauntingly beautiful paintings, this is a powerful book.
4. When The Wolves Returned by Dorothy Hinshaw Patent:
The story of why the wolves were removed in the first place, and the resulting disappearance of badgers, birds and certain species of trees from Yellowstone between 1926 and 1995, is nothing short of remarkable. It really is a story of what happens when man interferes with nature's balance. With the re-introduction of wolves, Yellowstone seems to be returning to the way it was when first discovered. The wild life photographs are remarkable - there are wide angle shots to give the reader a sense of the majestic expanse of the park, and close ups for revealing views of baby elk, owls and badgers. Patent's text is engaging and informative, and I think my kids will fascinated to learn how fragile nature's balance really is. This is a wonderful book to launch a photo essay unit of study.
5. Looking Back: A Book of Memories by Lois Lowry:
This is another book I love using for our memoir genre study. Lowry shares photographs from her childhood and the stories that lie behind the pictures. The writing is just so beautiful and evocative.
6. I have a Dream: Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. written and illustrated by Kadir Nelson: