If by David J. Smith

The world is so big, I can understand my son not understanding some concepts. I tried to explain the amount of snow that recently covered Buffalo, New York, and he just shook his head. How can he possibly understand the distance to the moon? The extent of the universe?

If by David J. Smith and illustrated by Steve Adams (Kids Can Press, August 2014) is a nonfiction picture book that tries to give kids perspective. By comparing huge concepts to concepts that a child understands, the author makes the things that we cannot quite comprehend a little bit more real. Continue Reading

Bomb by Steve Sheinkin

Do you see all the award stickers on there? Yes, this book is a good one!

I love history but given my busy schedule these days, I feel I have limited time to read. A 400+ page book about history just is not going to get read in a timely manner. A Young Adult book, however, is often just the thing I need!

Bomb by Steve Sheinkin (Roaring Brook Press, 2012) is just such a book. It reads like a fun novel, with spies and intrigue. The author does not shy away from the complexities of the people involved, and I love hearing the first hand accounts from the people involved. Continue Reading

Whatever Happened to the Metric System? by John Bemelmans Marciano


Whatever Happened to the Metric System?: How America Kept Its Feet by John Bemelmans Marciano (Bloomsbury, August 5, 2014) is a glimpse into the complicated history behind the rise of the metric system, especially the impact of the metric system on America. Why is America the only country in the world who has not converted to a base-ten system of measurement? Why are Americans resistant to the fact?

Marciano’s text only tries to answer those questions in the final chapter. The rest of the book provides an historical overview of the metric situation, from it’s birth in revolutionary France to the current status quo as the dominant measurement system of the world.Continue Reading

A Timeline History of the Thirteen Colonies by Mary K. Pratt

Happy Independence Day! To celebrate America’s special holiday, I thought I’d review a patriotic and historical book.

Visual learning is best for many young kids. A Timeline History of the Thirteen Colonies by Mary K. Pratt (Lerner, November 2014) provides a visual understanding of history by representing some of the main events in the development of the American colonies via timeline.Continue Reading