Five favorite nonfiction books

It’s hard to narrow the list down to five; I love nonfiction, and there were a lot of good books to choose from in 2018.

They Lost Their Heads: What Happened to Washington’s Teeth, Einstein’s Brain, and Other Famous Body Parts by Carlyn Beccia

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I think it was the story of Elvis’s wart that really won me over.  I’ll say this: it’s an easy book to book talk.


Saving Fiona: The Story of the World’s Most Famous Baby Hippo by Thane Maynard

Published by HMH Books for Young Readers

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The story is engaging, the photos are adorable, and readers can research hippos while learning about real scientists working in the field…what’s not to like?


Proud: Living My American Dream by Ibtihaj Muhammad

Published by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers

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I loved this memoir by Ibtihaj Muhammad, who became the first Muslim American woman to compete in the Olympics wearing hijab, and who continues to pursue her dreams on her own terms.


The Girl Who Drew Butterflies: How Maria Merian’s Art Changed Science by Joyce Sidman

Published by HMH Books for Young Readers

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This gorgeously illustrated biography shines a light on Maria Merian, a 17th-century German woman who defied the expectations of her time and became a scientist and artist.  It’s not the easiest book to sell to kids, but I loved the story and the artwork.


Every Month Is a New Year by Marilyn Singer, illustrated by Susan L. Roth

Published by Lee and Low Books

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Designed like a calendar, this book can be used for poetry, geography, or teaching about different cultures, and the collage illustrations add plenty of color and texture.



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