Happy Nonfiction 10 for 10 Day! Thank you for joining us. Cathy and I are thrilled to have you stop by and read our favorite nonfiction books right now, today at this very moment.
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Teaching second grade this year has been an exciting daily adventure in reading and selecting books to use with and for my students. I've rediscovered my own childhood favorite genre - biographies! I loved reading about people in history when I was in elementary school. They make history come alive and provide so much information about how our life today came to be. The world of biographies has certainly changed since the late 70s and here are my top 10 favorites as of today at this very moment, in no particular order.
Snowflake Bentley by Jacqueline Briggs Martin. Combining snow, passion, and photography is a winning combination in my book. Wilson Bentley was a pioneer in studying snowflakes and preserved when others didn't see value in his work.
I am Amelia Earhart by Brad Meltzer is about one of my childhood idols. I had never been on a plane until I was married and 24 years old but the idea of a girl taking adventures and flying far distances to set records was inspirational then and I find her still intriguing how. I love the adventure stories Brad collected to tell within this biography and how following your dreams is possible.
Star Stuff Carl Sagan and the Mysteries of the Cosmos by Stephanie Roth Sisson is a story embracing imagination and wonders. His inquisitive nature led him to create mechanical explorers that were sent to space including Voyager spacecrafts that captured information to help us understand what is beyond Earth.
Wangari's Trees of Peace A True Story of Africa by Jeanette Winter tells the story of Wangari Maathai, a winner of the Nobel Peace Prize and her quest to rebuild forests near Mount Kenya. Her project began by replanting 9 baby trees and sharing her idea with other woman who started planting baby seedlings too.
Balloons Over Broadway by Melissa Sweet is about puppeteer Tony Sarg who was creative and willing to try new ideas. I grew up watching Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade each year and now my girls and I watch it as we prepare for Thanksgiving. I never thought to wonder about how it all started. I never thought about there being a time when there wasn't enormous balloons that were walked by lots of people. I am still in awe of the beginning of something I have taken for granted for so many years. It's important to learn about how things came to be.
Me...Jane by Patrick McDonnell is about Dr. Jane Goodall and really captures her young childhood in a simple direct story like format. Jane follows her dreams and makes discoveries to share with others. I find this a great book to peak interest in reading biographies for students who are not nonfiction fans. For those students who are fact finding hounds they will enjoy the more indepth information in the back of the book.
Mr. Ferris and His Wheel by Kathryn Gibbs Davis is the story about George Washington Gale Ferris Jr. and how he created the ferris wheel for the World's Fair to out shine the year before when France built the Eiffel Tower. George made observations of a water wheel and wanted to enhance the concept of a circle spinning and added the idea of creating a ride. The project had some set backs and George kept persevering until the end.
So there we have it. Five biographies about women and five biographies about men to equal ten nonfiction picture books on February 19 ( aka 1 + 9 = 10). Happy Reading and Sharing!