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Newest Children's Non-fiction Book:
The Girl from the Tar Paper School: Barbara Rose Johns and the Advent of the Civil Rights Movement by Teri Kanefield
[book cover]

Before the Little Rock Nine, before Rosa Parks, before Martin Luther King Jr. and his March on Washington, there was Barbara Rose Johns, a teenager who used nonviolent civil disobedience to draw attention to her cause.

In 1951, witnessing the unfair conditions in her racially segregated high school, Barbara Johns led a walkout, the first public protest of its kind demanding racial equality in the U.S., jumpstarting the American civil rights movement. Ridiculed by the white superintendent and school board, local newspapers, and others, and even after a cross was burned on the school grounds, Barbara and her classmates held firm and did not give up. Her school's case went all the way to the Supreme Court and helped end segregation as part of Brown vs. the Board of Education.

Barbara Johns grew up to become a librarian in the Philadelphia school system. The Girl from the Tar Paper School mixes biography with social history and is illustrated with family photos, images of the school and town, and archival documents from classmates and local and national news media. The book includes a civil rights timeline, bibliography, and index.

More New Children's Non-Fiction:
A Boy and a Jaguar by Alan Rabinowitz
[book cover]

Alan loves animals, but the great cat house at the Bronx Zoo makes him sad.

Why are they all alone in empty cages? Are they being punished? More than anything, he wants to be their champion, their voice, but he stutters uncontrollably.

Except when he talks to animals... Then he is fluent.

Follow the life of the man TIME Magazine calls, the Indiana Jones of wildlife conservation as he searches for his voice and fulfills a promise to speak for animals, and people, who cannot speak for themselves. This real-life story with tender illustrations by Catia Chien explores truths not defined by the spoken word.

Park Scientists: Gila Monsters, Geysers, and Grizzly Bears in America's Own Backyard by Mary Kay Carson
[book cover]

The national parks have been called America's best idea, and some of the best scientific ideas are happening right now inside these protected places that welcome 270 million plus visitors each year.

Meet up with scientists studying geysers, grizzlies, salamanders, cacti, and fireflies in some of America's most treasured places, our national parks.

Plants Feed Me by Lizzy Rockwell
[book cover]

Watermelons are fruits. Cabbages are leaves. Walnuts are seeds. Carrots are roots. People eat many parts of plants, sometimes even the flowers.

Detailed illustrations teach new readers about the edible parts of different plants, including leaves, flowers, stems, roots, and seeds. Labeled diagrams explain how an apple seed can grow into a new plant, reveal how a walnut is contained within its shell, and show how wheat seeds make flour.

An elegant, easy-to-read text and beautiful illustrations describe the parts of plants that humans eat.

Zoobots : Wild Robots Inspired by Real Animals by Helaine Becker
[book cover]

Innovations in the world of robotics are multiplying, with many cutting-edge breakthroughs, and this exciting and timely new book for young readers explores one particularly intriguing area: the world of robo-animals, or zoobots.

In an attempt to design robots that can solve problems or perform tasks that humans can't, or just can't do easily, roboticists have been looking at the unique skills some animals have. Using something called mechatronics (mechanical and electrical engineering combined with computer science) they are finding ways to closely mirror those skills in robot form.

Fascinating examples from the book of what zoobots can do include: finding survivors of a fire using sensitive, computerized whiskers; scaling skyscraper walls using super stickiness; or delivering drugs deep within the human body using microscopic whiptails for locomotion. Twelve zoobots are described, each on its own two-page spread.

Stone Giant: Michelangelo's David and How He Came to Be by Jane Sutcliffe
[book cover]

Michelangelo saw something--someone--special in the stone.

No one wanted the giant. The hulking block of marble lay in the work yard, rained on, hacked at, and abandoned—until a young Michelangelo saw his David in it.

This is the story of how a neglected, discarded stone became a masterpiece for all time. It is also a story of how humans see themselves reflected in art.

Mysterious Patterns : Finding Fractals in Nature by Sarah C. Campbell
[book cover]

We see familiar shapes in nature all around us: this orange looks like a sphere, that icicle a cone, those cucumbers are almost cylinders. But trees, clouds, or broccoli, what shapes are they?

In this photo-filled conceptual picture book, young readers will not only get an introduction to those amazing and naturally repeating patterns called fractals, but they will also learn about what makes fractals unique. Curious kids will leave with a sense of wonder about the intricacies of the natural world and the many shapes around us.

The Cart That Carried Martin by Eve Bunting
[book cover]

The strength and spirit of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. permeates this picture book about the funeral of Dr. King in Atlanta, Georgia, in 1968.

Quiet yet affecting, The Cart That Carried Martin is a unique tribute to the life of a man known world-wide for his outstanding efforts as a leader of the African-American Civil Rights Movement.

Older Children's Non-Fiction: