Exciting new nonfiction books at libraries

Posted: Friday, November 24, 2006

We've got many new and exciting nonfiction books for kids on the shelves at the Juneau Public Libraries.

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"Pacific Halibut: Flat or Fiction?" written by Lauri Sadorus, illustrated by Birgit Soderlund. This awesome little book, published by the International Pacific Halibut Commission, uses bright, cartoony drawings to show the life cycle of halibut. Want to know what halibut slime is good for? Wonder how big a halibut can get? Look here for all this and much more. (grades 1-3)

"Aliens are Coming!" written and illustrated by Meghan McCarthy. On Oct. 30, 1938, radio listeners were stunned to hear their music interrupted by a news announcement - Martians had landed in New Jersey. Many people panicked at the descriptions of alien soldiers coming out of their ships and setting fire to the landscape, but in the end, it turned out to be a hoax. Watch for clues about what's really happening and what's just part of Orson Welles' great Halloween joke in the black-and-white and colored illustrations. (grades 1-4)

"Surrounded by Sea," written and illustrated by Gail Gibbons. Set on an idyllic island of the coast of New England, this quiet book chronicles the rhythms of life on a remote island through the four seasons. Spring begins with the arrival of the ferry, and fishermen readying their boats for the season. Then summer visitors arrive, and so does the long-awaited Fourth of July lobster bake. In the fall, after the summer visitors leave, children go back to school, but the fishermen are still working hard. When winter snows come, the islanders find plenty of things to do, both outside and in, until spring comes around again. (preschool and up)

"Hawaii," written by Shelley Gill, illustrated by Scot Goto. Take a tour of our 50th state with Patrick, a young Hawaiian boy who is on a kayak trip around the islands with his father. Patrick's adventures snorkeling, hiking, and paddling are well-matched by the dramatic paintings, and his colloquial language is inviting. Learn a lot about life on the islands, pick up a little slang, and daydream about heading someplace warm. (grades 4-8)

"How to Survive in Antarctica," written and photographed by Lucy Jane Bledsoe. Part memoir, part travelogue, part survival tip collection, this is a distillation of Bledsoe's three trips to Antarctica, the coldest, driest, windiest continent on Earth. She covers everything from making snow shelters in Happy Camper school and life at McMurdo Station to why fish don't freeze solid and how to tell the different kinds of penguins apart. Life in the Antarctic isn't easy, but Bledsoe makes it sound like an adventure. (middle school readers and older)

"The North Pole Was Here," by Andrew Revkin. Revkin shares his excitement at being at the North Pole as he shadows researchers studying climate change and the Arctic world. This is a fairly comprehensive overview of the history and science of the North Pole, well-written and enthusiastically presented, and full of photos, maps, and diagrams to help readers fully understand and appreciate the world's northernmost point. (middle school readers and older)

"Team Moon," by Catherine Thimmesh. This gorgeous book covers old news from a new perspective - one that will give readers a feel for the immense scope of the moon project. Three men went to the moon, but it was a team of more than 400,000 people that put them there, got them home safely, and let the rest of the world see the event - all while computers were just about as powerful as calculators are today. Thimmesh includes interviews with engineers who designed heat shields, seamstresses who sewed the space suits, and researchers who discovered how to disinfect camera film. Added to the wealth of information is an enormous number of high-quality photographs, making this a must-see book for space aficionados of all ages, middle school readers and older.

Join us at 7 p.m. Monday at the downtown library for readings by Andrew Hope III, Ishmael Hope, Ernestine Hayes, Nora Dauenhauer and Richard Dauenhauer in honor of American Indian Heritage Month.

As always, placing a hold on our material is easy: Call the Juneau Public Library at 586-5249, or, if you have Internet access, your library card and a PIN, you may place your own holds by going to our Web site, www.juneau.org/library, and looking at our catalog or at the In the Stacks column on our site. The columns are linked to the catalog: Simply click on the title you want, and you will be ready to place a hold.

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