Nonfiction

Reaching for the Moon book cover

 

Katherine Johnson was a talented mathematician in a field dominated by white men.

After graduating high school at the age of 15 in the midst of the Great Depression, she earned a full scholarship to West Virginia State Institute's math department. Johnson briefly taught high school and then in 1940 was one of the first Black graduate students chosen to integrate West Virginia University.

In 1953 she began work as a research mathematician for what would become NASA. Katherine Johnson shattered barriers for all women, but particularly for Black women, earning the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2015.

To celebrate the inspirational life of Katherine Johnson, check out the resources below or explore NASA's website. Learn about her and other amazing barrier-breaking mathematicians and scientists.

This is Johnson's autobiography, but there are many books to introduce readers to her life in the Children's Biography collection.

The highest-rated drama in BBC history, Call the Midwife will delight fans of Downton Abbey. Viewers everywhere have fallen in love with this candid look at post-war London. In the 1950s, twenty-two-year-old Jenny Lee leaves her comfortable home to move into a convent and become a midwife in London's East End slums. While delivering babies all over the city, Jenny encounters a colorful cast of women--from the plucky, warm-hearted nuns with whom she lives, to the woman with twenty-four children who can't speak English, to the prostitutes of the city's seedier side. An unforgettable story of motherhood, the bravery of a community, and the strength of remarkable and inspiring women, Call the Midwife is the true story behind the beloved PBS series, which will soon return for its sixth season. CPL's Lunch and a Book Group gave this title 3.6 stars out of 5. This kit contains 10 copies of the title.

 

The American Library Association just announced the top youth books and media of 2019, including the Sibert Awards. The Sibert Award is given by the Association for Library Service to Children to the most distinguished informational book for children. 

For more information about this award and its recipients, check the ALA website.

Help us recognize these honorees and winners by checking one out today.

2019 Sibert Award Winner

 

Today the American Library Association just announced the top youth books and media of 2018, including the Sibert Awards. The Sibert Award is given by the Association for Library Service to Children to the most distinguished informational book for children. 

For more information about this award and its recipients, check the ALA website.

Help us recognize these honorees and winners by checking one out today.

2018 Sibert Award Winner

Twelve Days in May Book Cover

Browse this list to find titles with more in-depth information on real people who have impacted history. To find other biographies, you can do a Shelf Location search for "JBIO."

How did Jon Scieszka get so funny? He grew up as one of six brothers with Catholic school, lots of comic books, lazy summers at the lake with time to kill, babysitting misadventures, TV shows, and jokes told at family dinner.

In graphic novel format, a young girl describes her experiences growing up in China, beginning with the death of Chairman Mao in 1976.

Read about the lives of everyday superheroes who have made history. For more true stories of real people, browse our biography section, or do a Shelf Location search for "JBIO." Maybe one day there will be a book about YOU on our biography shelves.

Frankie liked to sing by John Seven

Tired of boring nonfiction? Try one of these titles:

"The story of Daniel Ellsberg and his decision to steal and publish secret documents about America's involvement in the Vietnam War"--.

Describes how the writer and naturalist set about recording in both word and image the birds of North America, and details the legacy his work has left behind.

 

Truth is sometimes stranger than fiction. Explore these fascinating stories about real people. Books are suggested for Sixth Grade, but remember that each Reader is different, and might find something interesting at another level.

In this graphic novel-style biography, discover how Annie Sullivan, who was visually impaired herself, bridged the seemingly insurmountable communication gulf for the deaf and blind Helen Keller. The dynamic interplay between words and images conveys how someone could learn to communicate without access to either.

Also available in: audiobook

Sonia's dream of becoming an actress keeps her afloat among the turbulence of her life and times. Spiced with culture, heartache, and humor, this memoir paints a lasting portrait of a girl's resilience as she grows up to become an inspiration to millions - Maria from Sesame Street.

Truth is sometimes stranger than fiction. Explore these fascinating stories about real people. Books are suggested for Fifth Grade, but remember that each Reader is different, and might find something interesting at another level.

This book presents humorous anecdotes from the author's childhood, including summer vacations in Norway and an English boarding school. You may also be interested in his quirky writings.

Michel Chikwanine was five years old when he was abducted from his school-yard soccer game in the Democratic Republic of Congo and forced to become a soldier for a brutal rebel militia. Against the odds, Michel managed to escape and later immigrated to Canada.  This book is part of Michel's effort to raise awareness about child soldiers around the world.

Truth is sometimes stranger than fiction. Explore these fascinating stories about real people. Books are suggested for Fourth Grade, but remember that each Reader is different, and might find something interesting at another level.
 

This book for young readers tells the story of Washington, D.C. through the story of an African American man, Michael Shiner.  Shiner lived there from approximately 1804 to 1880 and kept a journal, excerpts of which are interspersed throughout this book's heavily illustrated text.

This autobiography describes the author's artistic life, including the creative processes he uses in the studio and his struggles with his disabilities. There is also a self-portrait mix-and-match section, with divided pages to flip, that demonstrates his techniques and images.

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