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Stand Up and Sing!

Stand Up and Sing!: Pete Seeger, Folk Music, and the Path to Justice
by Susanna Reich (Author) and Adam Gustavson (Illustrator)

Booktalk: Pete Seeger was born with music in his bones. Coming of age during the Great Depression, Pete saw poverty and adversity that would forever shape his worldview, but it wasn’t until he received his first banjo that he found his way to change the world. It was plucking banjo strings and singing folk songs that showed Pete how music had the incredible power to bring people together.

Using this gift throughout his life, Pete encouraged others to rally behind causes that mattered–fighting for Civil Rights, ending the Vietnam War, or cleaning up the Hudson River. For Pete, no challenge was too great, and what started out as a love for music turned into a lifetime of activism and change. His greatest talent–and greatest passion–would become an unforgettable part of American history.

Snippet: On a trip to Tennessee in 1957, Pete introduced Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. to the song “We Shall Overcome.”

“That song really sticks with you, doesn’t it?” Dr. King said.

“We Shall Overcome” spread throughout the country. In churches and community halls, at civil rights gatherings and protest marches, people stood arm in arm, their voices forming a bond of hope and determination.

Nonfiction Monday

It’s Nonfiction Monday!

Copyright © 2017 Anastasia Suen All Rights Reserved.

Look, a Shark!

Look, a Shark!
by Tessa Kenan (Author)

Booktalk: Look out! There’s a shark! Learn all about this famous predator and see full-color photographs of the variety of types, from a small pup (baby shark) to a Great White. Diagrams will help beginning readers identify the body parts of sharks.

Snippet:
There are many kinds of sharks.
One is longer than a bus.
One is shorter than a ruler.

Also available in Spanish as Mira, Un Tiburon!

Nonfiction Monday

It’s Nonfiction Monday!

Copyright © 2017 Anastasia Suen All Rights Reserved.

The Secret Project


The Secret Project
by Jonah Winter (Author) and Jeanette Winter (Illustrator)

Booktalk: Go behind the scenes of one of the most secretive scientific projects in history–the creation of the atomic bomb–in this nonfiction picture book.

At a former boy’s school in the remote desert of New Mexico, the world’s greatest scientists have gathered to work on the “Gadget,” an invention so dangerous and classified they cannot even call it by its real name. They work hard, surrounded by top security and sworn to secrecy, until finally they take their creation far out into the desert to test it, and afterward the world will never be the same.

Snippet:

Nonfiction Monday

It’s Nonfiction Monday!

Copyright © 2017 Anastasia Suen All Rights Reserved.

Lift Your Light a Little Higher


Lift Your Light a Little Higher: The Story of Stephen Bishop: Slave-Explorer
by Heather Henson (Author) and Bryan Collier (Illustrator)

Booktalk: Grab your lantern and follow the remarkable and world-famous Mammoth Cave explorer–and slave–Stephen Bishop as he guides you through the world’s largest cave system in this remarkable homage to the resilience of human nature.

Welcome to Mammoth Cave. It’s 1840 and my name’s Stephen Bishop. I’ll be your guide, so come with me, by the light of my lantern, into the deepest biggest cave in all of the United States. Down here, beneath the earth, I’m not just a slave. I’m a pioneer. I know the cave’s twists and turns. It taught me to not be afraid of the dark. And watching all these people write their names on the ceiling? Well, it taught me how to read too. Imagine that. A slave, reading. But like I said, down here I’m not just a slave. I’m a guide. I’m a man. And this is my story.

Snippet:

Nonfiction Monday

It’s Nonfiction Monday!

Copyright © 2017 Anastasia Suen All Rights Reserved.

Strange Fruit

Strange Fruit: Billie Holiday and the Power of a Protest Song
by Gary Golio (Author) and Charlotte Riley-Webb (Illustrator)

Booktalk: The audience was completely silent the first time Billie Holiday performed a song called “Strange Fruit.” In the 1930s, Billie was known as a performer of jazz and blues music, but this song wasn’t either of those things. It was a song about injustice, and it would change her life forever.

Discover how two outsiders–Billie Holiday, a young black woman raised in poverty, and Abel Meeropol, the son of Jewish immigrants–combined their talents to create a song that challenged racism and paved the way for the Civil Rights movement.

Snippet:

Nonfiction Monday

It’s Nonfiction Monday!

Copyright © 2017 Anastasia Suen All Rights Reserved.

A Spy Called James


A Spy Called James: The True Story of James Lafayette, Revolutionary War Double Agent
by Anne Rockwell (Author) and Floyd Cooper (Illustrator)

Booktalk: Told for the first time in picture book form is the true story of James Lafayette, a slave who spied for George Washington’s army during the American Revolution. But while America celebrated its newfound freedom, James returned to slavery. His service hadn’t qualified him for the release he’d been hoping for. For James the fight wasn’t over; he’d already helped his country gain its freedom, now it was time to win his own.

Snippet: The war officially ended in 1783 with American victory, but there was no victory for James. While he received credit for his spying during the war, these activities didn’t earn James the freedom he expected. Such freedom was reserved for black soldiers in the American army, not spies.

Nonfiction Monday

It’s Nonfiction Monday!

Copyright © 2017 Anastasia Suen All Rights Reserved.