New Biographies

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

Initial rescue attempts did not prove successful - maps of the mine were not updated and were somewhat inaccurate; rescue drilling routes that were, on the maps, clear shots to the miners were unable to bypass the sediment.

A gripping and inspirational survival and rescue tale of teamwork and determination, Trapped may make you claustrophobic at times, but ultimately will fill you with optimism.  A must-read non-fiction account of recent history for kids and adults alike.

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Drawing From Memory by Allen Say

Reading Level: Grade 5-7

Caldecott Medal winner Allen Say 's memoir of his improbable childhood is told in an equally unique manner. The book is part graphic novel with sketches, classic Japanese comics and original photographs.

Allen knew from an early age that he wanted to become a cartoonist, but his father didn't think this was a profession for a proper Japaese boy. The war changed things for Allen and he was able to work at his art. At the age of twelve, he approached Noro Shinpei, the most famous cartoonist in Japan. Shinpei became his sensei, which means "teacher" or "master." It was a relationship that would change Allen's life.

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The Boy Who Bit Picasso by 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.

One the the great joys of this book is seeing the original subject and then Picasso's Interpretation of that subject. The reader can compare pictures of William, the Penrose family bull, Picasso's wife and his two youngest children, and, best of all, Tony's mother with the Picasso's paintings. See if you agree or disagree with Tony's friends at school.

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