J Non-Fiction

Stay: The True Story of Ten Dogs

Author: 
Michaela Muntean
Illustrator: 
K.C. Bailey and Stephen Kazmierski

Reading Level: Grades 2 - 5

After he was seriously injured in a fall from a high wire, Luciano Anastasini needed to come up with a new circus act for himself. That is when five, unwanted "problem" dogs on death row in the pound (and later five more) came along and together they found what their purpose in life was meant to be.

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Dreadful Fates: What a Shocking Way to Go!

Author: 
Tracey Turner
Illustrator: 
Sally Kindberg

Reading Level: Grades 4 - 8

Have you ever wondered about all the strange ways people have died? Being shoved into a grinding machine by a robot, jumping off the Eiffel Tower with a non-functioning parachute, and being hit by a thrown turnip are just three of the unusual deaths highlighted in this darkly amusing book.

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A Donkey Reads: Adapted from a Turkish Folktale

Author: 
Muriel Mandell
Illustrator: 
André Letria

Reading Level: Grades 3 - 5

When an evil Mongol invader demands tribute from everyone in a small Turkish town one family can only offer an old donkey. Nasreddin Hoca saves the day by promising to teach the donkey to read in one month. How is that possible?

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Trapped: How the World Rescued 33 Miners from 2,000 Feet Below the Chilean Desert

Author: 
Marc Aronson

Grades 4+

In August of 2010, a Chilean mine collapsed suddenly, trapping thirty-three men in the dark mine over a mile beneath the earth with limited supplies. After the collapse, the men were able to get to a shelter point, but had no way to communicate with the ground above.  All routes to the surface were blocked by the accident.

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The Boy Who Bit Picasso

Author: 
Antony Penrose

Reading Level: Age 6 - 10

Most children bite someone when they are little. Tony Penrose bit the world famous artist, Pablo Picasso (who bit him back.) Now grown Antony shares his memories of a close family friend. Tony's parents are photographer, Lee Miller, and artist, Roland Penrose which explains the close connectin between the Penrose and Picasso families. The book is filled with artworks by Picasso, old photographs by Tony's mother, and drawings by modern day children.

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Inkblot: Drop, Splat, and Squish Your Way to Creativity

Author: 
Margaret Peot

Reading Level: Grades 3 - 6

Inkblots: a messy, awesome project with fascinating techniques for such a seemingly random piece of art - and they aren't just used for Rorschach tests, either! After reading this, I want to buy gallons of India Ink and rolls of parchment!

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Saving Audie: A Pit Bull Puppy Gets a Second Chance

Author: 
Dorothy Hinshaw Patent
Illustrator: 
William Muñoz

Reading Level: Ages 4 - 10

In 2007 Michael Vick's horrific dog fighting kennel was discovered and broken up. The dogs were all taken as "evidence" and held for six months when they were released for rehab and rehoming. This inspiring book follows the story of #86 from his rescue, through his rehab by BAD RAP, to his current life.

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Queen of the Falls

Author: 
Chris Van Allsburg

Reading Level: Grades K-3

Retirement isn’t for everyone – especially not sixty-two year old Annie Edson Taylor. Schoolteaching in the late 1800s was not a high paying job, and after retirement, Annie needed a way to earn some money so she could live out the rest of her days in comfort and happiness. She knew that stuntmen and daredevils often made good money from their bravado, and so she decided to become the first person ever to go over Niagara Falls… in a barrel. Chris Van Allsburg’s typical old-timey illustrations are a perfect pairing with this biography.

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Fatty Legs: A True Story

Author: 
Cristy Jordan-Fenton

Reading Level: Grades 3-6

Be careful what you wish for.

After her older half-sister reads her part of Alice's Adventures in Wonderland but refuses to tell why Alice followed the rabbit down the hole, nine-year-old Olemaun nags her parents to send her to the school of the white outsiders. Even though her father warns her that they will cut her hair, give her a new name and not allow her to speak their language , Olemaun so desperately wants to read that she persists until she gets her way.

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