The nonfiction picture book Rooting for Plants by Janice N. Harrington and illustrated by Theodore Taylor III (Calkins Creek, August 2023) tells the story of, as the subtitle states, “The Unstoppable Charles S. Parker, Black Botanist and Collector.” This unknown-to-me Black scientist provided many insights into plants and fungi over the course of his lifetime,

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We’re entering an era where the beginning of COVID-19 is actually a part of history, which feels incredibly weird to me. Nevertheless, it’s clear that the world’s success in overcoming the dangerous beginning stages of the virus was in motion long before the virus showed up. In Never Give Up by Debbie Dadey, illustrated by

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The middle-grade volume Native Americans in History by Jimmy Beason (Rockridge Press, 2021) shares the powerful stories of Native American leaders, artists, activists and athletes from history and today. The ninety-page volume is easily readable and nicely formatted for either reference or a straight readthrough. The fifteen people discussed receive about 5 pages of text

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Ruth Bader Ginsburg Couldn’t Drive? by Dan Gutman (Norton Young Readers, 2022) is a part of the Wait! What? series by the creator of the popular My Weird School series (and a number of other fun middle-grade books). In this kid-friendly middle-grade biography, two kids, named appropriately Paige and Turner, teach the reader all about

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Breaking Through the Clouds: The Sometimes Turbulent Life of Meteorologist Joanne Simpson by Sandra Nickel, illustrated by Helena Perez Garcia (Abrams Books for Young Readers, 2022) teaches readers about an unknown young woman who went into a unique STEM field in the mid-1900s, this time the study of meteorology. Her interest in clouds began even

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One series I’ve been reading over the past two months are books from the Childhood of Famous Americans series. I found them to be a mixed series. Some of the books are fabulous, while others are a slog. For the most part, each book in the Childhood of Famous Americans series has 15 chapters. The

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