Nonfiction

Many of these nonfiction titles include actual digging, but others just dig up the facts. Many could be used to earn your Make History badge instead. 

True stories can be especially compelling, but if nonfiction's not your thing, try a different format. Graphic novels can put a new spark in real life events. The following suggestions are either straight nonfiction or based on true stories. 

Human body theater by Maris Wicks

A humorous and informative skeleton introduces each system of the human body, gaining a layer of her "costume" by the end of each act, becoming a fully formed human by the end of the play.

Journey into Mohawk Country by Harmen Meyndertsz van den Bogaert
Dear Mr. You by Mary-Louise Parker

This unique work renders the singular arc of a woman's life through letters Mary-Louise Parker composes to the men, real and hypothetical, who have informed the person she is today. Beginning with the grandfather she never knew, the letters range from a missive to the beloved priest from her childhood to remembrances of former lovers to an homage to a firefighter she encountered to a heartfelt communication with the uncle of the infant daughter she adopted.

Traces the life of beloved film comedienne Thelma Todd, who worked alongside the Marx Brothers, Laurel and Hardy, and dozens of others, and offers fresh evidence regarding Todd's mysterious death at age twenty-nine>

Maggie Smith : a biography by Michael Coveney

Michael Coveney's absorbing biography, written with the actress's blessing and drawing on personal archives, as well as interviews with immediate family and close friends, is a portrait of one of the greatest actors of our time.

 

Explore this selection of books either about Michigan or written by authors with ties to Michigan. Books are suggested for Third Grade, but remember that each reader is different and might find something interesting at another level.

Catastrophe in Caseville by Johnathan Rand

When Shelby McConnell and her family travel to Caseville, Michigan, for the annual cheeseburger festival, she knows she's going to have to have a great time. After all, thousands of people travel to Caseville for this special annual event every year.  But this year, the first day of the festival is marred by the appearance of a mysterious, giant cheeseburger that sets out to destroy the festival and the entire town!

An eleven-year-old New York farm girl travels with her parents to the Michigan Territory in 1836 by way of the Erie Canal, encountering unknown dangers and incredible hardships.

 

Explore this selection of books either about Michigan or written by authors with ties to Michigan. Books are suggested for Second Grade, but remember that each reader is different and might find something interesting at another level.

The legend of Michigan by Trinka Hakes Noble

An old warrior and a young boy travel through the frigid cold of the north to teach the fierce North Wind how to live peacefully with his brothers, allowing the formerly uninhabitable land of Michigan to be settled.

The log cabin wedding by Ellen Howard

Although it was her idea to bring together her family and that of a neighboring widow woman to reap the harvest, Elvirey feels her heart "squeeze tight" at the thought of the widow and her Pap getting married.

In a profound work that pivots from the biggest questions about American history and ideals to the most intimate concerns of a father for his son, Ta-Nehisi Coates offers a powerful new framework for understanding our nation's history and current crisis. Americans have built an empire on the idea of "race," a falsehood that damages us all but falls most heavily on the bodies of black women and men — bodies exploited through slavery and segregation, and, today, threatened, locked up, and murdered out of all proportion. What is it like to inhabit a black body and find a way to live within it? And how can we all honestly reckon with this fraught history and free ourselves from its burden? Between the World and Me is Ta-Nehisi Coates's attempt to answer these questions in a letter to his adolescent son. Coates shares with his son — and readers — the story of his awakening to the truth about his place in the world through a series of revelatory experiences, from Howard University to Civil War battlefields, from the South Side of Chicago to Paris, from his childhood home to the living rooms of mothers whose children's lives were taken as American plunder. Beautifully woven from personal narrative, reimagined history, and fresh, emotionally charged reportage, Between the World and Me clearly illuminates the past, bracingly confronts our present, and offers a transcendent vision for a way forward. This kit contains 10 copies of the title.

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