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Brainjuice: American History, Fresh Squeezed!

Carol Diggory Shields (2005), 80 pages
Illustrated by Richard Thompson
Audience: 2nd Grade - 6th Grade
Category: Historical, Nonfiction, Poetry
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If you want to combine history and poetry, this is the book for you! All the way from the dinosaurs to September 11, American history is summarized into 41 short poems. It begins appropriately with, 'The First,' a ditty about dinosaurs ('The first Americans who roamed the prairie/ Were kind of big and kind of scary'), and ends with 'The Lady,' a salute to the Statue of Liberty, which Shields casts as witness to the destruction of the World Trade Center. Poems about the Wright brothers, the San Francisco earthquake of 1906, and 'The Great War' (WWI) are among those that fall along the timeline running across the top of the pages. Richard Thompson, a political cartoonist, offers appropriate doses of humor and poignancy in his illustrations accompanying the poems.
Similar books: Mural on Second Avenue, and Other City Poems by Lilian Moore; Heroes and She-roes: Poems of Amazing and Everyday Heroes by J. Patrick Lewis
Reviewed by: sc
Date read: 4/13/2009
ISBN-10: 1593541201
ISBN-13: 9781593541200
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Brave Dogs, Gentle Dogs: How They Guard Sheep

Cat Urbigkit (2005), 32 pages
Audience: K - 4th Grade
Category: Nonfiction
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These are not service dogs, seeing-eye dogs, police dogs or herding dogs. They are guardian dogs.Their sole duty is to protect their herd of sheep from predators such as grizzly bears and wolves. The dogs receive very little training, instead they are raised with the livestock in a process called socialization. When the guardian puppies are born, fleece is placed in their bedding, not only for warmth but to get them used to the smell of sheep. After a few weeks of this, the pups go out to meet the lambs, and after they are used to them, the older sheep. As the pups grow, they want to be with their sheep, to guard them and keep them safe. The guardian dogs bond with their lambs and can tell 'their' herd from another one. This book also has wonderful pictures.
Similar books: Only One Woof by James Herriot
Reviewed by: sc
Date read: 4/13/2009
ISBN-10: 1590783174
ISBN-13: 9781590783177
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Bravest Dog Ever: The True Story of Balto

Natalie Standiford (2003), 48 pages
Illustrated by Donald Cook
Audience: Preschool - 2nd Grade
Category: Adventure, Animal, Easy Reader, Historical, Nonfiction
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Read this true life adventure story about courage and determination. You'll learn about Balto, the sled dog, who against all odds, saved the lives of the sick people of Nome, Alaska by carrying medicine 53 miles in the snow during a 30 degree below zero blizzard.
Similar authors: Peter Roop
Similar books: Keep the Lights Burning, Abbie by Peter Roop; Sled Dogs: Artic Athletes by Elizabeth Ring; Mush! Across Alaska in the World's Longest Sled-Dog Race by Patricia Seibert
Reviewed by: mb
Date read: 7/3/2009
ISBN-10: 039499695X
ISBN-13: 9780394996950
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Brigadier: Gentle Hero

Judy Andrekson (2009), 96 pages
Illustrated by David Parkins
Audience: 4th Grade - 8th Grade
Category: Animal, Nonfiction
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This moving book tells the story of how Brigadier was selected, trained and served as a horse in the Mounted Unit of the Toronto Police Department. From the time he came to Toronto for training, his gentleness and sense of horse humor made him a favorite of the officers in the unit. That same gentleness made him a favorite among the civilians he met while on patrol. Thus the loss of this majestic horse to a senseless act of violence was felt by the people of Toronto both police officers and civilians. The book also relates how the fate of this wonderful animal has impacted the Canandian Laws concerning the treatment of all animals.
Reviewed by: caroll
Date read: 1/29/2010
ISBN-10: 0887769047
ISBN-13: 9780887769047
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Bright Path: Young Jim Thorpe

Don Brown (2006), 40 pages
Illustrated by Don Brown
Audience: Preschool - 3rd Grade
Category: Biography, Especially for Boys, Nonfiction, Picture Books, Sports
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Bright Path: Young Jim Thorpe by Don Brown is a picture book biography of, 'the greatest athlete in the world,' Jim Thorpe. Born in Oklahoma in 1888, Jim's real name was Wa-tho-huck meaning Bright Path. Each day, he worked hard tending the crops, feeding the livestock, and taming wild horses. He loved his life until he was sent away to a school that taught Indian children how to live in the white man's world. Jim hated being kept in a schoolroom instead of being able to run free in the open fields. Many times, Jim would run away only to be caught and brought right back to school. One day, Jim Thorpe's life changed dramatically. After watching many of the school athletes fail at making a high jump, he asked to try. Jim cleared the bar with room to spare. With the help of his school coach, Jim joined the school team and learned to play different types of sports. This eventually earned him a spot in the 1912 Olympic Games in Stockholm. At the Olympics, Jim Thorpe won the decathlon event and set a world's record that wasn't broken for 16 years. Read this amazing story of how Thorpe's life started down a rocky path but eventually led him to greatness.
Similar authors: Ron Knapp; Jack Kavanagh: Glen Macnow; George Sullivan
Similar books: Thorpe!: The Sports Career of James Thorpe by James Hahn; Jim Thorpe: Orginal All-American by Joseph Bruchac; Jim Thorpe's Bright Path by Joseph Bruchac; Sports Great by Nolan Ryan; Great Lives: Sports by George Sullivan
Reviewed by: mb
Date read: 7/12/2010
ISBN-10: 1596430419
ISBN-13: 9781596430419
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