Search Results for -
Product Type: Books
Age: Late Elementary School Years
Categories: History
Subcategories: Biography

 


2014 Awards
Mr. Ferris and His Wheel
(by Kathryn Gibbs Davis/ illus G. Ford, Houghton Mifflin $17.99 Score:)

Before the Chicago World's Fair in 1893, the world was still in awe of the Eiffel Tower that had been built for the previous World’s Fair in 1889 in Paris. A young engineer had an idea that most thought was forgettable. But George Ferris believed in his idea and in spite of all the doubters and roadblocks he encountered, he managed to build a contraption that is still spinning today in cities all over the world. For young history buffs, Mr. Ferris and his Wheel is a memorable story-especially in this season when kids are likely to take a spin on ferris wheels at state fairs and elsewhere. Handsome illustrations capture time and place with watercolors and playful cartoon bubbles that carry the story along. They say 4-8, we’d say a better choice for 6-9.

Age: Early School Years, Later School Years. Award Year: 2014. 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 people’s 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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2009 Award
John Brown, His Fight for Freedom
(by John Hendrix, Abrams Books $18.95 Score:)

Although the mournful folk song of John Brown’s Body is familiar to many, the story of his fight to free the slaves is often over simplified to the events at Harper’s Ferry. This account, illustrated with larger than life folk legend style paintings, tells his story with greater clarity than most. His struggle to convince others to give up slavery turned violent and John Brown became a violent rebel with a cause that others could not support. Hendrix chose not to skip over the many layers of this story and as a result his narrative might have fit a small chapter book better. The content is heavy for a picture book, but well worth sharing with youngsters who are about to study the Civil War. The problem is that many older students who are ready for this story often resist reading or listening to picture books.

Age: Later School Years. Award Year: 2009.

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2001 Awards
Mr. Lincoln's Whiskers
(by Karen Winnick, Boyds Mills $7.99 Score:) Based on a true story, a small girl writes a letter to Abe Lincoln suggesting that he grow whiskers. He stops on his way to Washington after his election to thank her for her letter and to show off his whiskers. May inspire some young letter writers. 5–9

Age: Early School Years,Later School Years. Award Year: 2001.

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2001 Award
You Forgot Your Skirt, Amelia Bloomer!
(by Shana Corey/illus. by Chesley McLaren, Scholastic $16.95 Score:) Amelia Bloomer (a friend of Elizabeth Cady Stanton) was a rebel who believed that most rules for being a proper woman were foolish. She had the courage to change the kinds of clothes she wore and left her name and mark on the women's rights movement. 5–9.

Age: Early School Years,Later School Years. Award Year: 2001.

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2003 Award
Champion: The Story of Muhammad Ali
(Jim Haskins/ill By Eric Velasquez, Walker Books $17.95 Score:) Starting with his childhood and following his rise to fame and the downturns along the way, this young people's biography does not sugar-coat the tough times as well as the triumphs in Ali's career. Haskins gets into the spiritual as well as political side of the Ali, who became more than an athlete- a larger than life icon and role model for young black men and women. 6-10.

Age: Early School Years,Later School Years. Award Year: 2003.

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2004 Award
The Queens Progress, An Elizabethan Alphabet
(by Celeste D. Mannis/ illus. by Bagram Ibatoulline, Viking $16.99 Score:) A stunning picture book. It’s not really an alphabet for those who are learning their letters so much as it is an amazing pictorial introduction to Elizabethan England. More particularly, it shows and tells the story of the annual journey Elizabeth took into the countryside to be with her people during the summer. Stunning paintings capture the clothing, feasts, and festivities of the “Progress”, as her annual trip was called. We are not exactly sure of the audience for this book, but it is a beauty. 9 & up.

Age: Early School Years,Later School Years. Award Year: 2004.

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2004 Award
Passage to Freedom, the Sugihara Story
(by Ken Mochizuki/illus. By Dom Lee, Lee & Low $6.95 Score:) A simple, but eloquent telling of the true and heartening Sugihara story. Chiune Sugihara, a Japanese diplomat in Lithuania in 1940, disregards his governments’ orders and issues visas to thousands of Jewish refugees who were trying to escape the Nazis. Told in the first person, Ken Mochizuki, manages to convey the voice of Sugihara’s son, Hiroki, who lived through the events. 7 & up.

Age: Early School Years,Later School Years. Award Year: 2004.

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2005 Award
The Flag Maker
(Susan Campbell Bartoletti/illus. by Claire A. Nivo, Houghton Mifflin $16 Score:) Here's the back story for the flag that inspired Francis Scott Key to write "The Star-Spangled Banner." Told through the eyes of the flag maker's daughter, this story reminds us of the real bravery and courage the flag embodies. 7 & up.

Age: Early School Years,Later School Years. Award Year: 2005.

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2007 Award
John, Paul, George & Ben
(by Lane Smith, Hyperion $16.99 Score:) A preamble to the Founding Fathers, Lane Smith does a witty send up, playing on the celebrated stories of each. He takes us back to their boyhoods, showing how they were each destined to their greatness. This is a funny book for those who know the legends about these American icons. That said, one has to wonder how many kids today will see the joke. This just might be a book for grownups of a certain age. History in schools these days often skips these old chestnuts about honest George and Clever Ben. 8 & up.

Age: Later School Years. Award Year: 2007.

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