El Deafo

el deafo cover

Written & Illustrated by: Cece Bell

Color by: David Lasky

Published in 2014

Genre: Graphic Novel, Humor, Autobiography

Grade Level: 2-6

Newbery Honor Book 2015

Eisner Award for Best Publication for Kids (ages 8-12) 2015

Summary: El Deafo is a autobiographical memoir of the author’s experiences growing up deaf, including the imaginary superhero she created to fight her battles. Cece was born hearing, but became deaf at age four after an illness. The book tells the story of the struggles she faced, the friends she made (and lost), and the “super powers” she gained with the use of her Phonic Ear.

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Chameleons Are Cool

CAC cover

Written by: Martin Jenkins

Illustrated by: Sue Shields

Published in 1997

Genre: Nonfiction

Grade Level: K-3

Summary: Chameleons Are Cool was written by Martin Jenkins, a conservation biologist who first encountered wild chameleons while in Madagascar. The book talks about chameleons and their traits, describing them as “pocket-sized, bad-tempered, color-changing, swivel-eyed, snail-paced, long-tongued sharpshooters.”

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The Giant of Seville

TGoS cover

Written & Illustrated by: Dan Andreasen

Published in 2007

Genre: Biography, Historical Fiction (this story is based on the real life of Martin Van Buren Bates)

Grade Level: K-3

Summary: The Giant of Seville is a “tall” tale based on a true story. Captain Martin Van Buren Bates was a real giant who lived during the 19th century. This book tells the story of his arrival in Seville, Ohio as he searches for a new home.

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100 Things You Should Know About Nocturnal Animals

100TYSKANA cover

Written by: Camilla de la Bedoyere

Consultant: Steve Parker

Published in 2008

Genre: Nonfiction

Grade Level: 3-6

Summary: 100 Things You Should Know About Nocturnal Animals is a fascinating book about nocturnal animals and their habits. Each set of facing pages has a theme (such as “Light at night” and “Whoo’s there?”) and three to five facts about the topic. Mini quizzes and activities are also included throughout the book, and beautiful photographs and illustrations complete the package.

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A Wizard from the Start

AWftS cover

Written & Illustrated by: Don Brown

Published in 2010

Genre: Nonfiction, Biography

Grade Level: 2-4

Summary: A Wizard from the Start tells the story of Thomas Edison, the famous inventor who boasted 1,093 patents throughout his lifetime. This book covers Edison’s story, from childhood to his adult years, highlighting the education he received and some of his well-known inventions.

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Hooray for Inventors!

HfI cover

Written & Illustrated by: Marcia Williams

Published in 2005

Genre: Nonfiction, Picture Book

Grade Level: 3-5

Summary: Hooray for Inventors! presents information on over 100 inventors in comic book format. Marcia Williams tells the stories of several famous inventors, and highlights the inventions of many lesser known inventors as well.

Cover: The cover on this book was really interesting to me. It’s bright and colorful, and the illustrations are really attention catching. I was looking for an informational book to review, and the cover of this book made it pop out to me.

Illustrations: Taken individually, the illustrations in this book are fantastic. The comic book style is interesting and is certain to grab the attention of students, particularly boys who enjoy comic books. (Not to say that girls don’t like comic books too. I for one loved manga and graphic novels when I was growing up!) Unfortunately, the pages in this book are way too busy with the comic strips, text, and animals talking in the margins.

HfI page example

There is so much going on that it’s difficult to focus on just one thing. I had to come up with a system of what to look at (text first, then comics, then margin animals) just to get through each page.

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