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February 15, 2016 BOOKLIST
Find more Top 10 Series Nonfiction
Besides a preponderance of series beginning with the letter M, there’s little rhyme or reason to this list of the top 10 nonfiction series launched in the past year. For every basic concept (cartography, biographies), there’s something kinda weird (apocalypse, serial killers). Well, let’s call it “well-rounded.”
Look at This! (Frances Lincoln)
PreS–Gr. 1. It’s the simplest of ideas—basic objects photographed and named—but author Ifeoma Onyefulu’s decision to exclusively use photos from Mali turns the concept on its head, so that readers will find themselves appreciating how different, but ultimately similar, people are everywhere.
Makers as Innovators (Cherry Lake)
Gr. 4–7. Here’s a series many librarians need as much as their readers. Digging into such newfangled topics as maker faires, 3-D printing, and digital badges, the volumes in this cutting-edge series communicate a level of energy that elevates the challenging material into need-to-know-right-now stuff.
Map It Out (Lerner)
PreS–Gr. 2. Cartography is introduced to the youngest in a canny, clear fashion, as the author suggests simple mapmaking (and map-reading) tasks for the home, neighborhood, state, and more. The kid-like illustrations make the material eminently approachable.
Medical Marvels (ABDO)
Gr. 6–9. Compact but jam-packed with important information, these brainy examinations of organ transplants, gene therapy, and more include real-life stories, history lessons, scientific processes, and ethical dilemmas, with the whole shebang wrapped in a handsome, unobtrusive package.
Modern American Conflicts (Morgan Reynolds)
Gr. 9–12. This high-school-level, e-book only series is a master class in compelling, insightful, and, best of all, rousing history, taking readers step-by-step into the whys, whos, wheres, and hows of often-thorny modern wars.
Pop Histories (Black Rabbit)
Gr. 5–8. Whether your jam is punk, hip-hop, soul, or techno, this series—written by Matt Anniss, who clearly has a passion for music—will give you an EP-size guided tour of each genre’s major acts and developments, not to mention copious playlists. Readers, prepare to download.
SI Kids Rookie Books (Capstone)
PreS–Gr. 1. This budding sports fan’s guide to beginning concepts (colors, shapes, etc.) has one major weapon: a huge trim size that allows for gargantuan photos of nearly impossible sharpness and dazzling color, all taken from the Sports Illustrated collection.
A True Book: Biographies (Scholastic/Children’s Press)
Gr. 3–6. A True Book has solidified itself as a trusted brand, and this latest offshoot, focusing on luminaries such as Hillary Clinton, Steve Jobs, and Bill and Melinda Gates, continues to succeed with crystal-clear writing and bounteous colorful photos.
True Crime Library (Eldorado Ink)
Gr. 8–11. Pirates, serial killers, terrorists, and cartels—if they are badder than bad, then this thorough and intelligent series has got them under the microscope. Though not for the gentle-hearted, this is exhaustive, analytical, and almost shockingly current.
The World After (Heinemann/Raintree)
Gr. 7–10. This unsettling but wildly entertaining series imagines life on earth following any number of horrific events: an asteroid strike, nuclear meltdown, super-plague, etc. Imaginative and surprising—rarely does series nonfiction feel like a summer blockbuster.
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