Momentum – Survival Stories

New to the market this year is a series from The Child’s World publishing – “Momentum – Survival Stories.” Librarians and parents will want to examine these volumes and consider purchasing them for readers in upper elementary to middle school grades.

The authors of these books dive deep into the human side of natural disasters, weaving scientific explanations seamlessly into the narratives of those who lived through them. Through vivid photographs and detailed explanations, readers are guided through the events’ origins and development. Each disaster’s intensity is conveyed using various scales, from the Richter scale for earthquakes to storm categories for hurricanes. What truly sets these books apart is its presentation of multiple personal accounts within each disaster, offering a rich tapestry of perspectives across different times and locations. This diversity of experiences fosters a deeper understanding of the human toll of such calamities and the enduring effects on survivors.

For fans of fictional survival series like “I Survived,” this nonfiction exploration of real-life survival stories is sure to captivate and enlighten. A note for librarians: although this is certainly not “narrative” nonfiction, it lends itself to interesting literature that will stimulate thought, as well as be great research material.

The Little Regent – Yewande Daniel Ayowade & Ken Daley

The Little Regent” is a wonderful new picture book with the flavors of both Aesop and Hans Christain Andersen. What I mean is – while the tale is set in modern Africa, there is a lot to be learned by implementing both fairy tale and a fable with a viable moral. I’m including this with my nonfiction list, as I believe it has great value.

Abioye is the eight-year-old princess of an African tribe, and becomes regent upon the death of her father, the king. And she remembers her father’s words: “Those who rule must first learn to serve.” So, while she awaits the decision of the tribal chieftains on who will succeed her father as king, she uses her newfound power to improve the lives of her subjects. She actually listens to them! And she makes improvements – that in turn improves their day-to-day lives. In the end, she becomes King.

It’s refreshing to me to find a beautifully illustrated picture book with a deeper meaning lying just below the surface. For those of us who remember politicians who “feel our pain,” Abioye’s wisdom is a pleasant reminder of how power can be used to help folks!

This book will make a great storytime readaloud, especially in multicultural settings. Check it out! And check out our excellent pricing…

Missouri “Dogwood Award” Titles

For the past several years the Missouri Association of School Librarians has sponsored an unusual new award – the “Dogwood Readers Award,” which attempts an unusual service, long ignored. These are recommended lists of nonfiction books for school libraries. I believe that this is a real service to all libraries, and those lists can be found right here on DJWBookworm!

They are:

2024 Dogwood Nonfiction Award List (K-2)

2024 Dogwood Nonfiction Award List (3-5)

2024 Dogwood Nonfiction Award List (6-8)

2024 Dogwood Nonfiction Award List (9-12)

83 Days in Mariupol: A War Diary

January 2024 – ’83 Days in Mariupol: A War Diary’

I think that we can discover a few valuable new titles just by delving into the Missouri Dogwood lists. For this blog entry, I want to look at a high school entry, 83 Days in Mariupol: A War Diary. This is a “graphic nonfiction” book, written and illustrated by Don Brown. Although it’s not a standard narrative, I believe that the author displays magnificent storytelling abilities while moving through the series of events chronologically. He also wastes no time placing blame squarely on the Russian authoritarian regime. From the aspect of illustration, Brown uses stark black and white illustrations. Their intent and effect is very plain. The written narrative is also very powerful. Although I’m not very fond of the use of sentence fragments, they make their point very succinctly. (Even so, please teach our kids to communicate in complete sentences!)

The reviewer in SLJ notes that this is “history in progress.” I’m in full agreement. This is a key piece of nonfiction for high school collections as well as home book collections for the home. Please use the link above to purchase your own copy!

Encounter: Narrative Nonfiction Stories (Capstone)

January 2024  Encounter: Narrative Nonfiction Stories (Capstone Press) Information becomes indelibly etched in the minds of readers when presented as a compelling narrative. Encounter Books employs potent storytelling methods to convey nonfictional material in a manner that captivates the reader. Dive beyond the mere act of reading – immerse yourself in the narratives that unfold … Read more