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Product Type: Books
Age: Late Elementary School Years
Categories: History

 

 
2013 Awards
Cathedral
(Houghton Mifflin $19.99 Score:)

Though fond memories of the original black and white illustrations linger, David Macaulay's revised text with full color illustrations will have a new life with another generation of readers. Reborn with felt-tip markers and colored pencils, Macaulay's work remains a visual feast that shows readers how builders of the 12th, 13th and 14th century created such timeless triumphs of beauty. Cathedral, originally published in 1973 won the Caldecott Honor, NY Times Best Illustrated Book of the Year and ALA Notable Book awards. If you have the originals, they are treasures to keep. For new history and architecture buffs, this and his revised Castle are special gifts for 10 and up.

Age: Later School Years, Tweens, Teens, Adult. Award Year: 2013. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2013 Awards
Castle
(By David Macaulay, Houghton Mifflin $19.99 Score:)

Though fond memories of the original black and white illustrations linger, David Macaulay's revised text with full color illustrations will have a new life with another generation of readers. Reborn with digital drawings drawn with felt-tip markers and colored pencils, Macaulay's work remains a visual feast. Castle, originally published in 1977 brings us once again to Lord Kevin's fictional castle and retraces its planning and construction. If you are lucky enough to have the originals, they are treasures to keep.  For new history and architecture buffs, this and his revised Cathedral are special gifts for 10 and up.

 

Age: Later School Years, Tweens. Award Year: 2013.

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2013 Award
Miss Moore Thought Otherwise
(by Jan Pinborough/ illus. Debby Atwell, HMH $16.99 Score:)

Though it's hard to believe, there was a time when there were no children's rooms in public libraries; in fact, children were not welcome inside. But, Anne Carroll Moore, a spunky young woman who loved books thought otherwise. This wonderful biography for young listeners combines history with good storytelling that children can relate to and enjoy. 6-9

Age: Early School Years, Later School Years. Award Year: 2013. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2012 Award
Noah Webster & His Words
(by Jeri Chase Ferris/ illus Vincent X. Kirsh, Houghton Mifflin $16.99 Score:)

What an interesting and entertaining young peopleís biography about the man who wrote that iconic book, Webster's Dictionary! It is well told in straight-forward prose that captures the boy, Noah's confidence and clarity. It does seem most appropriate for 7 & up, for children who know what a dictionary is and can begin to appreciate that someone had to come up with the idea of writing a uniquely American dictionary. Oddly enough it is marked for 4-8, though it is hard to think of many 4's who know or care what a dictionary is.

Age: Early School Years, Later School Years. Award Year: 2012. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2012 Awards
Helen's Big World, The Life of Helen Keller
(by Doreen Rappaport/ illus. Matt Tavares, Hyperion $17.99 Score:)

A new generation will marvel at the inspiring story of Helen Keller who was unable to hear, see, or speak due to an illness that struck in childhood. Combining a narrative with direct quotes from Helen Keller, Doreen Rappaport has woven the familiar story of Helen and her teacher, Annie Sullivan, with a quiet elegance. Add to this the painterly illustrations by Matt Travares. Though this is a picture book format, it is definitely an inspiring story for older children 7-9.

Age: Early School Years, Later School Years. Award Year: 2012. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2012 Award
I, Too, Am America
(by Langston Hughes/ Bryan Collier, Simon & Schuster $16.99 Score:)

Langston Hughes powerful poem speaks to both the despair and hopes of African Americans and the pain of being treated as less than others. Written in 1925, the poem still resonates as Bryan Collierís illustrations travel through history from the train porters of yesterday to todayís youth, who are still looking for their place in America. While it is true the book reflects how far we have come, it also reminds us of how much further we need to go. Three-time Caldecott winner, Collier's illustrations capture a range of emotions that speak as powerfully as the words. A meaningful blend of art and poetry! 

Age: Early School Years, Later School Years. Award Year: 2012. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2011 Award
Never Forgotten
(by Patricia C. McKissack/illus.Leo & Diane Dillon, Schwartz & Wade, Random House $18.99 Score:)

Magnificent art and storytelling are blending in this moving tale of the Taken; those who whose freedom was stolen and sold into slavery. It is the story of Musafa, the son of Dinga, a blacksmith, who takes with him the memory of his father and the skills he taught the boy. This beautiful story speaks to the big idea, that "Loved ones are never forgotten when we continue to tell their stories." Though it is done in a picture book format, this is an epic tale told poetically and illustrated with a power to match. The problem may be that older students who are ready for the story are often reluctant to open a picture book. That would be a serious loss for them.   8 & up.

Age: Later School Years, Tweens, Teens. Award Year: 2011. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2011 Award
Franklin and Winston, A Christmas that Changed the World
(by Douglas Wood/ illus. by Barry Moser, Candlewick $16.99 Score:)

Children of the Greatest Generation are likely to be drawn to this handsome picturebook, wanting to bring their grandchildren a story of two of the most famous leaders of WWII. Barry Moser's watercolor images of that time are full of vitality and capture the relationship that bloomed as the two iconic figures to plan how they would join forces and win the war that would go on for three and a half more years. It begins soon after America was attacked by Japan and Winston Churchill finds a way to cross the war torn Atlantic to reach the man who would be his staunchest ally in the trials ahead. There is not really much story here for typical kids of picturebook age and slightly older kids who may be learning about WWII for the first time will not generally want to do so in a picture book. So it remains, who is this book for anyway? If you are a WWII buff, it will be for you. Why not?

Age: Later School Years, Tweens. Award Year: 2011. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2011 Award
Big Wig: A Little History of Hair
(by Kathleen Krull/ illus. Peter Malone , Scholastic $18.99 Score:)

Did you know cavewomen dyed their hair blonde to attract a caveman? It seems there was a lot of competition for a caveman, since so many perished while hunting. But that is just one of dozens of entries with amusing illustrations that comb through the ages and the strange ways and reasons people did what they did to their hair. That blonde looks strangely like Marilyn Monroe. But that is just one of the odd ways that hair styles tell about the times. It's not just about women and their hair styles. There are all kinds of oh-so-strange remedies such as goat pee and pigeon poop that men chose to cure baldness. As non-fiction books go, this one tries hard to be "hip" and informative with large dollops of humor added, like styling mousse or glittery highlights for a bit of sparkle. 

Age: Later School Years, Tweens. Award Year: 2011. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2011 Award
Ancient Egypt, Tales of Gods and Pharaohs
(retold and illus. Marcia Williams, Candlewick $16.99 Score:)

Using her comic strip style, Marcia Williams make these ancient tales of Egypt totally accessible to young Egyptologists. She retells nine tales that introduce readers to Ra rising from the waters of the Nile, the curse of Tut's tomb, and Cleopatra's story along with many others. Like her collection of Greek Myths for Children, this is a good starting place before a visit to one of the many great museum collections or a traveling Tut show. Putting some of the stories in place gives the art and history a fuller dimension. They say 6 & up--we'd say more like 8 & up.

Age: Early School Years, Later School Years. Award Year: 2011. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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