High School Non-fiction

All posts tagged High School Non-fiction

Titanic: Voices from the Disaster, by Deborah Hopkinson

Published June 28, 2013 by Dagmar

TitanicThe story of the sinking of the Titanic in 1912 on its maiden voyage has fascinated so many.  The Titanic’s story never really captured my attention, but that ended when I listened to the audio version of this book last year.  I decided to read the book myself when I saw the number of pictures and side bars the author included in the book.  Although I liked the audio edition, I think you lose something if you don’t actually read the book.  The additional content is really great.

Titanic: Voices from the Disaster was published in 2012 on the 100th anniversary of the loss of the Titanic at sea.  It tells the story of the Titanic from the time it was built to the day of the disaster and, finally, its discovery at the bottom of the ocean in September 1985.   The author weaves in an incredibly suspenseful story from the recollections and pictures of different survivors, passengers and crew alike, pictures of the Titanic’s incredibly luxurious accommodations and details about the construction of the boat.  I couldn’t put this book down.  It moved quickly, and the side bars and pictures were really interesting.

I’d recommend this book to middle school, high school and adult readers, especially those interested in the story of this great ship.  This book won a 2013 Silbert Medal honor.

Thanks to Junior Library Guild for introducing me to this great book.

Bomb! The Race to Build – and Steal – the World’s Most Dangerous Weapon

Published December 28, 2012 by Dagmar

BombMoving from the recruitment of Robert Oppenheimer to the building of Los Alamos to the testing of the bombs and Hiroshima and the eventual arms race between the United States and the Soviet Union, this excellent non-fiction book cleverly interweaves three story lines.  The first is the Americans’ attempt to build the atomic bomb.  The second is the Soviets’ attempt to steal the plans for the bomb.  The third is an attack on Germany’s heavy water plants in an attempt to prevent Hitler from building an atomic bomb.  Full of material that illuminates a period of history few middle school and high school students may be familiar with, this engaging read will keep them interested.  I’ve also recommended it to adults, because it provides real insight into the scientists that built the bomb, their motivations for building it and the motivations of some scientists to ensure that the United States wasn’t the only country in the world with this most powerful weapon.  Photographs are included.

Winner of YALSA Award for Excellence in Non-fiction for Young Adults, the Silbert Medal, a Newbery honor and a National Book Award finalist.