Nonfiction

Spice Up Your Holidays: Cookbooks for Middle Graders to Celebrate

As the northern part of the Western Hemisphere is blanketed with snow and the December holidays approach, it’s a great time to celebrate by cooking some special recipes. From Hanukkah to Christmas to Kwanzaa, kids can join in the fun by trying some of these recipes on their own. The scent of gingerbread baking, latkes frying in oil, or bacon and onion seasoning collard greens—traces of these delicious dishes linger in the air and on the tongue. What better time to connect with family and friends than by cooking special meals and treats together? These cookbooks may help to make your holiday celebrations more festive.

HANUKKAH (December 22–30, 2019)

 

 

The Children’s Jewish Holiday Kitchen

By Joan Nathan

 

Cooking activities from around the world, includes various holiday dishes, both traditional and new.

 

 

Bubbe and Me in the Kitchen

By Miri Rotkovitz

A kosher cookbook of family recipes from spending time in the kitchen with grandma; includes holiday menus.

 

 

 

 

Kosher by Design Kids in the Kitchen

 

By Susie Fishbein

Simple, kid-friendly recipes and helpful tips that introduce young cooks to kosher techniques.

 

 

 

CHRISTMAS (December 25, 2019)

American Girl Holiday Baking

By Weldon Owen

Features photos and step-by-step instructions, along with holiday plans for festive celebrations.

 

 

 

A World of Cookies for Santa: Follow Santa’s Tasty Trip Around the World

By M.E. Furman

Make some tasty treats as you learn about how countries around the globe celebrate Santa.

 

 

The Ultimate Kids’ Baking Book: 60 Easy and Fun Dessert Recipes

for Every Holiday, Birthday, Milestone and More

By Tiffany Dahle

 

Master baking and decorating while preparing holidays treats.

 

 

 

 

KWANZAA (December 26–January 1, 2019)

 

 

Hello! 60 Kwanzaa Recipes: Best Kwanzaa Cookbook Ever for Beginners

By Mr. Holiday

Share a strong family bond and stay connected by working together to prepare these holiday meals.

 

 

 

Fruits of the Harvest: Recipes to Celebrate Kwanzaa

and Other Holidays

By Eric V. Copage

 

Treasured recipes from people of African descent all over the world.

 

 

 

 

 

Kwanzaa Crafts: Gifts & Decorations for a Meaningful and Festive Celebration

By Marcia McNair

Stories, crafts, and recipes that introduce the seven principles and their symbolism.

 

 

Enjoy the holidays as you cook up some special foods together.

 

December New Releases

December is for holidays, hot chocolate, and a whole lot of great middle-grade books. So take a look and decide which ones you might want to put on your wish list!

 

Major Impossible (Nathan Hale’s Hazardous Tales #9) by Nathan Hale

This ninth book in the bestselling series tells the story of John Wesley Powell, the one-armed geologist who explored the Grand Canyon John Wesley Powell (1834-1902) always had the spirit of adventure in him. As a young man, he traveled all over the United States exploring. When the Civil War began, Powell went to fight for the Union, and even after he lost most of his right arm, he continued to fight until the war was over. In 1869 he embarked with the Colorado River Exploring Expedition, ten men in four boats, to float through Grand Canyon. Over the course of three months, the explorers lost their boats and supplies, nearly drowned, and were in peril on multiple occasions. Ten explorers went in, only six came out. Powell would come to be known as one of the most epic explorers in history! Equal parts gruesome and hilarious, this latest installment in the bestselling series takes readers on an action-packed adventure through American history.

 

Who Is Ruth Bader Ginsburg by Patricia Brennan Demuth, illus. Jake Murray

You’ve probably seen her on T-shirts, mugs, and even tattoos, well, now that famous face graces the cover of our latest Who Is? title. Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg is famous for her stylish collars (called jabots) and her commanding dissents. This opera-loving New Yorker has always spoken her mind; as a young lawyer, RBG advocated for gender equality and women’s rights when few others did. She gained attention for the cases she won when arguing in front of the Supreme Court, before taking her place on the bench in 1993. Author Patricia Brennan Demuth answers all the questions about what makes RBG so notorious and irreplaceable.

 

Mac Cracks the Code (Mac B., Kid Spy) by Mac Barnett, illus. Mike Lowery

Mac B. and his arch-nemesis are facing off at the Video Game World Championships! But first, Mac B. needs to crack an unbreakable secret code. Can he solve it in time to defeat his enemy? Find out in this kid spy adventure from New York Times bestselling author, Mac Barnett! The Queen of England calls on Mac B. once again! This time, Mac must crack a secret code that has been recovered from a double agent. A series of clues leads Mac to France, and then to Japan, where he comes face-to-face with his arch-nemesis, the KGB man . . . and the world headquarters of Nintendo! Is the KGB Man secretly behind all of this? And are Mac’s video game skills good enough to face down his enemy at the Video Game World Championships? With Mike Lowery’s signature illustrations on every page, historical facts woven throughout, and of course intrigue, history, hilarity and more, catch the latest in this totally smart, wholly original, side-splittingly funny series.

 

Night of Dangers (Adventurer’s Guild, Book 3) by Zack Loran Clark, illus. Nick Eliopulos

After falling victim to a vile betrayal, Zed is cut off from Brock and their friends and unable to warn them about a dangerous enemy on the move. The Adventurers Guild may have defeated the evil that cast the elves from their home, but that doesn’t keep them in the Freestoners’ good graces for long. An ordinary day at the market comes to a fatal end when a rare Danger infiltrates the city, leaving over a dozen dead. Tensions come to a boil as the city is threatened by upheaval from within and becomes alight with terror. Brock finds himself frustratingly unable to utilize his underground contacts . . . though the mysterious Lady Grey may not be finished with him yet. To come together to save their city from a timeless evil looking to settle a score, the young adventurers must learn to trust in each other again and be willing to do whatever it takes to stop the tragedy of the Day of Dangers from happening again.

 

Bad Kitty Joins the Team by Nick Bruel

See Kitty as you’ve never seen her before: EXERCISING (reluctantly) in Bad Kitty Joins the Team, the latest installment of Nick Bruel’s phenomenally successful New York Times bestselling series. Kitty is terribly out of shape―she can barely torment Puppy without needing a break to huff and puff! When Kitty’s owner catches her wheezing, Kitty is told it’s time to EXERCISE. It takes some serious convincing, a high-stakes competition, and a little bit of trickery but eventually Kitty gets into the competitive spirit . . . albeit reluctantly. What did you expect? Will our favorite feline friend learn what it means to be a good sport? Find out in this hilarious addition to the Bad Kitty series.

 

 

Don’t Tell the Nazis by Marsha Forchuk Skrypuch

The year is 1941. Krystia lives in a small Ukrainian village under the cruel—sometimes violent— occupation of the Soviets. So when the Nazis march into town to liberate them, many of Krystia’s neighbors welcome the troops with celebrations, hoping for a better life. But conditions don’t improve as expected. Krystia’s friend Dolik and the other Jewish people in town warn that their new occupiers may only bring darker days. The worst begins to happen when the Nazis blame the Jews for murders they didn’t commit. As the Nazis force Jews into a ghetto, Krystia does what she can to help Dolik and his family. But what they really need is a place to hide. Faced with unimaginable tyranny and cruelty, will Krystia risk everything to protect her friends and neighbors?

 

The Winterhouse Mysteries by Ben Guterson, illus. Chloe Bristol

Danger, intrigue, and the power of family combine in The Winterhouse Mysteries, the fast-paced conclusion to Ben Guterson and Chloe Bristol’s illustrated, enchanting Winterhouse middle grade trilogy. It’s springtime at Winterhouse and Elizabeth is settling into the joyful chaos of her new home. But it isn’t long before she and Freddy are drawn into an ominous new mystery. Guests at the hotel start behaving oddly, and Elizabeth’s powers manifest in thrilling―sometimes frightening―new ways. As unnatural tremors shake the foundations of Winterhouse, Elizabeth hears cries for help from Gracella Winters, a villain she’d thought dead and gone for good. Elizabeth’s discovery of a rare book containing secrets of an ancient ritual leads to a tragic realization: someone at the hotel is trying to help Gracella rise again. Can Elizabeth and Freddy banish these threats and protect the future of Winterhouse once and for all?

 

Dog Driven by Terry Lynn Johnson

From the author of Ice Dogs comes a riveting adventure about a musher who sets out to prove her impaired vision won’t hold her back from competing in a rigorous sled race through the Canadian wilderness. Perfect for fans of Gary Paulsen. McKenna Barney is trying to hide her worsening eyesight and has been isolating herself for the last year. But at the request of her little sister, she signs up for a commemorative mail run race in the Canadian wilderness—a race she doesn’t know if she can even see to run. Winning would mean getting her disease—and her sister’s—national media coverage, but it would also pit McKenna and her team of eight sled dogs against racers from across the globe for three days of shifting lake ice, sudden owl attacks, snow squalls, and bitterly cold nights. A page-turning adventure about living with disability and surviving the wilderness, Dog Driven is the story of one girl’s self-determination and the courage it takes to trust in others.

 

Sisterland by Salla Simukka, translator, Owen Frederick Witesman

Fall under the spell of this contemporary fairy tale that’s perfect for fans of Emily Winfield Martin’s Snow & Rose and the Chronicles of Narnia series. Alice thought it was unusual to see a dragonfly in the middle of winter. But she followed it until she fell down-down-down, and woke up in a world unlike any other. Welcome to Sisterland, a fantastical world where it is always summer. The most enchanting magic of all, though, is Alice’s new friend Marissa. But as the girls explore the strange land, they learn Sisterland’s endless summer comes at a price. Back on Earth, their homes are freezing over. To save their families, Alice and Marissa must outwit the powerful Queen Lili. But the deeper they go into Sisterland, the less Alice and Marissa remember about their homes, their lives before, and what they are fighting for. This is a wondrous tale about heroism, loyalty, and friendship from one of the most celebrated Finnish children’s authors.

 

What Were the Negro Leagues? by Varian Johnson, illus. Stephen Marchesi

This baseball league that was made up of African American players and run by African American owners ushered in the biggest change in the history of baseball. In America during the early twentieth century, no part was safe from segregation, not even the country’s national pastime, baseball. Despite their exodus from the Major Leagues because of the color of their skin, African American men still found a way to participate in the sport they loved. Author Varian Johnson shines a spotlight on the players, coaches, owners, and teams that dominated the Negro Leagues during the 1930s and 40s. Readers will learn about how phenomenal players like Satchel Paige, Josh Gibson, and of course, Jackie Robinson greatly changed the sport of baseball.

 

The Love Pug: A Wish Novel by J.J. Howard

J.J. Howard, author of Pugs and Kisses and Pugs in a Blanket, delivers more puppy love and friendship mix-ups. Emma’s pug, Cupid, has a hidden talent: He is a master at matchmaking! Her pet seems to have a nose for spotting which two people belong together. With the big school dance coming up, Emma decides to use Cupid’s powers to find her best friend, Hallie, a date. But as Emma tries to navigate crushes and secrets, she finds that things are a lot more complicated than they seem. And what if Cupid also has a surprising match in mind . . . for Emma herself?

 

 

 

My Survival: A Girl on Schindler’s List by Joshua M. Greene and Rena Finder

Rena Finder was only eleven when the Nazis forced her and her family—along with all the other Jewish families—into the ghetto in Krakow, Poland. Rena worked as a slave laborer with scarcely any food and watched as friends and family were sent away. Then Rena and her mother ended up working for Oskar Schindler, a German businessman who employed Jewish prisoners in his factory and kept them fed and healthy. But Rena’s nightmares were not over. She and her mother were deported to the concentration camp Auschwitz. With great cunning, it was Schindler who set out to help them escape. Here in her own words is Rena’s gripping story of survival, perseverance, tragedy, and hope. Including pictures from Rena’s personal collection and from the time period, this unforgettable memoir introduces young readers to an astounding and necessary piece of history.

 

Veterans Day Reads

The United States has been observing Veterans Day since Germany signed an armistice with Allies during World War I on November 11, 1918. Now a federal holiday, and always observed on November 11, it is a day that we as civilians should honor and reflect upon the significance of our veterans. Schools are closed today, but most libraries are open, and many may have a display with books to encourage young readers to learn about, and honor veterans today. Here are some new, awesome nonfiction choices that will help middle grade readers strengthen their understanding of military life and experiences.

Smoky, The Dog That Saved My Life: The Bill Wynne Story by Nancy Roe Pimm
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World War II soldier Bill Wynne met Smoky while serving in New Guinea, where the dog, who was smaller than Wynne’s army boot, was found trying to scratch her way out of a foxhole. After he adopted her, she served as the squadron mascot and is credited as being the first therapy dog for the emotional support she provided the soldiers. When they weren’t fighting, Bill taught Smoky hundreds of tricks to entertain the troops. Smoky became a war hero herself at an airstrip in Luzon, the Philippines, where she helped save forty airplanes and hundreds of soldiers from imminent attack.

Infinite Hope: A Black Artist’s Journey from World War II to Peace by Ashley Bryan
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In May of 1942, at the age of eighteen, Ashley Bryan was drafted to fight in World War II. For the next three years, he would face the horrors of war as a black soldier in a segregated army.

He endured the terrible lies white officers told about the black soldiers to isolate them from anyone who showed kindness—including each other. He received worse treatment than even Nazi POWs. He was assigned the grimmest, most horrific tasks, like burying fallen soldiers…but was told to remove the black soldiers first because the media didn’t want them in their newsreels. And he waited and wanted so desperately to go home, watching every white soldier get safe passage back to the United States before black soldiers were even a thought.

For the next forty years, Ashley would keep his time in the war a secret. But now, he tells his story.

Ski Soldier: A World War II Biography by Louise Borden
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Ski Soldier is a true-life adventure story for readers ages 10 to 14 by noted nonfiction writer Louise Borden. It tells the story of Pete Seibert, a ski soldier severely wounded in World War II who went on to found the Vail Ski Resort in Colorado.

Ever since he first strapped on his mother’s wooden skis when he was seven, Pete Seibert always loved to ski. At 18, Pete enlisted in the U.S. Army and joined the 10th Mountain Division, soldiers who fought on skis in World War II. In the mountains of Italy, Pete encountered the mental and physical horrors of war. When he was severely wounded and sent home to recover, Pete worried that he might never ski again. But with perseverance and the help of other 10th Mountain ski soldiers, he took to the slopes again and fulfilled his boyhood dream–founding the famous ski resort in Vail, Colorado.

Code Girls: The True Story of the American Women Who Secretly Broke Codes in World War II (Young Readers Edition) by Liza Munday
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More than ten thousand women served as codebreakers during World War II, recruited by the U.S. Army and Navy. While their brothers and boyfriends took up arms, these women moved to the nation’s capital to learn the top secret art of code breaking.

Through their work, the “code girls” helped save countless lives and were vital in ending the war. But due to the top secret nature of their accomplishments, these women have never been able to talk about their story—until now.

Through dazzling research and countless interviews with the surviving code girls, Liza Mundy brings their story to life with zeal, grace, and passion. Abridged and adapted for a middle grade audience, Code Girls brings this important story to young readers for the first time, showcasing this vital tale of American courage, service, and scientific accomplishment.

Deadly Aim: The Civil War Story of Michigan’s Anishinaabe Sharpshooters by Sally M. Walker
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An engaging middle-grade nonfiction narrative of the American Indian soldiers who bravely fought in the Civil War from Sibert Award-winning author Sally M. Walker.

More than 20,000 American Indians served in the Civil War, yet their stories have often been left out of the history books.

In Deadly Aim, Sally M. Walker explores the extraordinary lives of Michigan’s Anishinaabe sharpshooters. These brave soldiers served with honor and heroism in the line of duty, despite enduring broken treaties, loss of tribal lands, and racism.

Filled with fascinating archival photographs, maps, and diagrams, this book offers gripping firsthand accounts from the frontlines. You’ll learn about Company K, the elite band of sharpshooters, and Daniel Mwakewenah, the chief who killed more than 32 rebels in a single battle despite being gravely wounded.

Walker celebrates the lives of the soldiers whose stories have been left in the margins of history for too long with extensive research and consultation with the Repatriation Department for the Little Traverse Bay Bands of Odawa Indians, the Eyaawing Museum and Cultural Center, and the Ziibiwing Center of Anishinaabe Culture and Lifeways.

Secret Soldiers: How the U.S. Twenty-Third Special Troops Fooled the Nazis by Paul B. Janeczko
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What do set design, sound effects, and showmanship have to do with winning World War II? Meet the Ghost Army that played a surprising role in helping to deceive — and defeat — the Nazis.

In his third book about deception during war, Paul B. Janeczko focuses his lens on World War II and the operations carried out by the Twenty-Third Headquarters Special Troops, aka the Ghost Army. This remarkable unit included actors, camouflage experts, sound engineers, painters, and set designers who used their skills to secretly and systematically replace fighting units — fooling the Nazi army into believing what their eyes and ears told them, even though the sights and sounds of tanks and war machines and troops were entirely fabricated. Follow the Twenty-Third into Europe as they play a dangerous game of enticing the German army into making battlefield mistakes by using sonic deceptions, inflatable tanks, pyrotechnics, and camouflage in more than twenty operations. From the Normandy invasion to the crossing of the Rhine River, the men of the Ghost Army — several of whom went on to become famous artists and designers after the war — played an improbable role in the Allied victory.