Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Nonfiction Picture Book Wednesday - books about our nation 3.22.17

Every Wednesday I join Alyson Beecher from kidlitfrenzy and other
kidlit bloggers to share wonderful nonfiction picture books.
The intention of today's blog post is to give professionals that work in the
education field new nonfiction reading material and ideas to use 
with students to promote a love of reading nonfiction materials.

The history of our nation is full of interesting stories.  Make these stories come alive in the minds of students with these books!

Introduced in historical order:

Alexander Hamilton: From Orphan to Founding Father
Alexander Hamilton: From Orphan to Founding Father 
by Monica Kulling

Even our youngest students are becoming familiar with Mr. Secretary Treasurer Hamilton!  A biography that introduces Alexander Hamilton, as well as some of the events of the American Revolution.

Soldier Song by Debbie Levy
Soldier Song: A True Story of the Civil War
written by Debbie Levy
illustrated by Gilbert Ford

Debbie Levy certainly knows how to write nonfiction.  Another fascinating story - and one that offers so much for teachers to use as a mentor text.  A book that concentrates on an unfamiliar story to many readers - how music and a song made soldiers stop for a moment and remember the men they were and their common goal of going home.  Take a closer look at this book to closely read some primary resources of actual letters sent from soldiers. Or look at how these men were at war, yet Levy found ways to highlight the soldiers' similarities.

The Secret Project
The Secret Project
written by Jonah Winter
illustrated by Jeanette Winter

When I first heard about this book I didn't know what it was even about.  I eventually found out it was about the secret project "Gadget" - which was the creation and testing of the atomic bomb in the United States.  This picture book gives readers a basic idea of how secret this project was, some of the precautions that were taken to keep it secret, the duration, the deserted area it was created and tested in and how scientists needed to go underground to test it.  The words "atomic bomb" are never used until the author's note at the end of the book.

This is definitely a picture book that is meant to be used with older readers.  I think of a child picking up this this book and I'm pretty sure they would have no idea what the secret project really is. The end pictures show the atomic bomb blowing up, but without background knowledge, I'm not sure they would really understand that.

What's the Big Deal about First Ladies by Ruby Shamir
What's the Big Deal About First Ladies
written by Ruby Shamir
illustrated by Matt Faulkner

After reading this book, I wish we spent more time spending the First Ladies, and maybe less on some of the crazy politics and happenings of past (and current) presidents!  This book is just a quick window into the lives of past First Ladies, but I definitely added information to what I knew.

Any new books about US history I've missed?


  1. All look great, Michele. I love the idea of the Soldier Song, hope I can find it at the library! One of my mother's cousins worked on "The Secret Project". When he was alive he could never talk about it, said that more info would be shared in the years to come. I'm looking forward to this book, have read other longer ones about that time. Thanks!

  2. I desperately wish we had books like this about my country's history! I studied history in college, so I'm always glad to see history being presented to young people in such engaging and exciting ways - history is actually super exciting, it's textbooks that make it boring!!!

    The whole concept of "First Ladies" is fascinating to me - our leader's wives are rarely in the public eye, and certainly don't have an official title or responsibilities.

  3. I've suggested our library buy Soldier Song. Thanks for the recommendation!