Moses — When Harriet Tubman Led Her People To Freedom: Carole Boston Weatherford

Moses: When Harriet Tubman Led Her People To Freedom

Author: Carole Boston Weatherford
Illustrator: Kadir Nelson
Publisher: Hyperion
Publication Year: 2006
Brief Summary: The story of Harriet Tubman as she escapes the life of slavery and eventually comes to guide others to freedom.

Awards, Honors and Prizes:

Ideas for using this book in classroom or library and/or brief notes on curriculum connections/content learning standards/Common Core, etc.:

  • Discuss Harriet and what she thinks is her calling in life.  Why did people call her Moses?  Why does Harriet’s husband not want to escape?
  • Social studies: discuss this period of time in history; discuss the Civil War and why it broke out.
  • Discuss slavery and the types of hardships slaves endured.
  • On a map, trace the route Harriet possibly took.
  • Read a biography of Tubman’s life at  http://www.nyhistory.com/harriettubman/life.htm; create a timeline of major events of her life during this period.
  • Read about the Underground Railroad.

Special features included (if applicable) — index; timeline; author’s notes; further reading; etc.  

Accessed at: Capilano Library

Life in the Ocean: Claire A. Nivola

Life in the Ocean: The Story of Oceanographer Sylvia Earle 

Author/Illustrator: Claire A. Nivola

Publisher: Frances Foster Books, Farrar Straus Giroux
Publication Year: 2012
Brief Summary:  The story of Sylvia Earle’s childhood love for adventure and how her curiosity led her to a life of ocean exploration and environmentalism.
Awards, Honors and Prizes:

Ideas for using this book in classroom or library and/or brief notes on curriculum connections/content learning standards/Common Core, etc.:

  • Science: What does an oceanographer do?
  • Why do you think Sylvia wants everyone to spend at least one day in deep ocean?
  • What are some ways humans are affecting the ocean?  What are some ways the ocean can become damaged, and what can we do to help?  Have students make posters with key facts and ways we can help.
  • What are some other ways we damage the environment?  What can we do to change this?
  • Discuss some of Sylvia’s accomplishments and make a timeline.

Special features included (if applicable) — index; timeline; author’s notes; further reading; etc.  Extended author’s note and bibliography in the back.

Accessed at: Capilano Library

Electric Ben: Robert Byrd

Electric Ben: the Amazing Life and Times of Benjamin Franklin

Author/Illustrator: Robert Byrd
Publisher: Penguin
Publication Year: 2012
Brief Summary: Byrd’s beautiful and colorful illustrations and detailed text take readers through the life and times of Benjamin Franklin.
Awards, Honors and Prizes:

Ideas for using this book in classroom or library and/or brief notes on curriculum connections/content learning standards/Common Core, etc.:

  • Discuss some of the quotes found on the endpapers of the book.  Older students can pick one and write a short essay about it, or write a fable based on it.
  • Discuss the life of Benjamin Franklin and some of the important facts in the book.  Have students pick 10 events from the timeline that particularly stood out.
  • Pair with more traditional informational books on Ben Franklin.  Which appeals more to the students?
  • Good for older readers.

Special features included (if applicable) — index; timeline; author’s notes; further reading; etc. 

Accessed at: Capilano Library

Amelia and Eleanor Go For a Ride: Pam Muanoz Ryan

 

Amelia and Eleanor Go for a Ride: Based on a True Story

Author/Illustrator: Pam Muanoz Ryan
Publisher: Scholastic
Publication Year: 1999
Brief Summary: A glimpse into the friendship between Amelia Earhart and Eleanor Roosevelt.

Awards, Honors and Prizes: 

Ideas for using this book in classroom or library and/or brief notes on curriculum connections/content learning standards/Common Core, etc.:

  • Social Studies: Discuss the lives of Amelia Earhart and Eleanor Roosevelt; pair with informational books.  What are some key events in their lives?
  • Why do you think the two women were such good friends?

Special features included (if applicable) — index; timeline; author’s notes; further reading; etc.

Accessed at: Thrasher Elementary Library

Lincoln Tells a Joke: Kathleen Krull & Paul Brewer

 

Lincoln Tells a Joke: How Laughter Saved the President (and the Country)

Author: Kathleen Krull & Paul Brewer
Illustrator: Stacy Innerst
Publisher: Harcourt Children’s Books/Houghton Mifflin
Publication Year: 2010
Brief Summary: A light-hearted biography of President Lincoln that looks at how he uses humor and wit in even the direst situations.

Awards, Honors and Prizes:

 Ideas for using this book in classroom or library:
  • Discussion of President Lincoln; pair with another informational book on his life — maybe one that looks more formal, with charts, timelines, and other typical features of non-fiction book.  Which one do the children prefer?
  • How have you used laughter in your life?  Have you ever used jokes to help lighten the mood or help make a serious situation less stressful or upsetting?
  • Discuss some of President Lincoln’s jokes included in this book…what do they mean?
  • People teased the president about his height but he made light of it by making jokes about himself.  Is there something about you that people teased you about?  How does that make you feel?

Brief notes on curriculum connections/content learning standards/Common Core/etc.

  • Social studies: presidents
  • informational books and features
  • Language arts — telling jokes, word play

Special features included (if applicable) — index; timeline; author’s notes; further reading; etc. References in the back

Accessed at: Thrasher Elementary Library

John, Paul, George & Ben: Lane Smith

 

John, Paul, George & Ben 

Author/Illustrator: Lane Smith
Publisher: Hyperion
Publication Year: 2006
Brief Summary: A tongue-in-cheek look into the idiosyncrasies of the 5 little boys who were to become America’s Founding Fathers.

Awards, Honors and Prizes:

 Ideas for using this book in classroom or library:
  • Who are John, Paul, George, Ben, and Tom?  (John Hancock, Paul Revere, George Washington, Benjamin Franklin, and Thomas Jefferson)  Discuss the term “Founding Fathers” and why we called them this.  Discuss the history surrounding the revolution.
  • Declaration of Independence
  • What are the boys’ individual traits?  How did their particular personality help during America’s road to independence, according to the book?
  • Fact vs. fiction: look up some of the details in the book to see if they are true or false (some are provided in the back)

Brief notes on curriculum connections/content learning standards/Common Core/etc.

  • Social studies: American Revolution, Declaration of Independence, Founding Fathers, first president, etc.
  • Informational vs. narrative books/facts vs. fiction

Special features included (if applicable) — index; timeline; author’s notes; further reading; etc. Facts vs. fiction notes at the end of the book
Accessed at: Thrasher Elementary Library

So You Want to Be President: Judith St. George

So You Want to Be President

Author: Judith St. George
Illustrator: David Small
Publisher: Chronicle Books
Publication Year: 2000
Brief Summary: Children learn interesting and fun facts/trivia about past presidents (from George Washington to Bill Clinton).

Awards, Honors and Prizes:

Ideas for using this book in classroom or library:

  • Unit on presidents — surprising/fun facts
  • Make a chart about the advantages and disadvantages of being a president…can you think of other ones that the author didn’t mention?
  • How many of you think you might want to be president?  If not, what do you want to be when you grow up?  What do you do in that occupation?  What do you think you’ll need to do to prepare for that role?  Write about your dream job.

Brief notes on curriculum connections/content learning standards/Common Core/etc.

  • Social studies: occupations, presidents
  • Text-to-self connections

Special features included (if applicable) — index; timeline; author’s notes; further reading; etc.
Accessed at: Thrasher Elementary Library