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Exploring Lives

Have you ever wondered where your interests and passions might lead? Explore how individuals changed the history of women's basketball, wrote poetry that touched lives, saved a brave dog from a dismal life, created museums, and more - much more.

Quotable Quotes: The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more you learn, the more places you'll go. -- Dr. Seuss

Basketball Belles: How Two Teams & One Scrappy Player Put Women's Hoops on the Map

By: Sue Macy
Illustrated by: Heather Collins
Age Level: 6-9
Reading Level: Independent Reader

Women and girls haven't always played basketball. In fact, it was a struggle to play while acting "lady-like" in the late 1800s. Readers will enjoy learning about Agnes Motley and the competition that launched women into basketball through vivid prose and lively illustration.

Jim Henson: The Guy Who Played with Puppets

By: Kathleen Krull
Illustrated by: Steve Johnson
Age Level: 6-9
Reading Level: Independent Reader

Perhaps it was growing up in a time before television that fueled Jim Henson's creativity, fondness for puppets, and love of invention that resulted in his lasting contributions. Henson's life (including the Muppets) is presented in clear text and spirited illustrations.

Liberty's Voice: The Story of Emma Lazarus

By: Erica Silverman
Illustrated by: Stacey Schuett
Age Level: 6-9
Reading Level: Independent Reader

Emma Lazarus, a prolific and skilled poet, only once wrote a poem on request. It is the one for which she is best known: the poem is mounted on the base of the Statue of Liberty. Emma's story is sprinkled with her writing, complemented by expressive illustrations.

Miss Dorothy and Her Bookmobile

By: Gloria Houston
Illustrated by: Susan Condie Lamb
Age Level: 3-6
Reading Level: Beginning Reader

Dorothy became a librarian to share her love of books and reading. How she started a library service first on a bookmobile and later inspired a building — touching many lives in her North Caroline town — is based a real person that the author knew. Gentle language and soft illustration present Miss Dorothy's story and the impact of one individual.

Pablo Neruda: Poet of the People

By: Monica Brown
Illustrated by: Julie Paschkis
Age Level: 3-6
Reading Level: Beginning Reader

Neftali always loved nature and words. This fondness allowed Neftali — better known as Pablo Neruda — to create poetry in a "voice [that] was heard across nations and ocean." Rich language and lush illustrations that incorporate words in Spanish and English are sure to enthuse young writers while introducing this Nobel-winning poet.

Strange Creatures: The Story of Walter Rothschild and His Museum

By: Lita Judge
Age Level: 6-9
Reading Level: Independent Reader

Walter was a shy child and son of a wealthy banker, who found companionship in myriad exotic animals. This unique look at a how a child's loneliness and passion created a museum and contributed to the study of wildlife is told in energetic illustrations and accessible language.

The Bravest Woman in America

By: Marissa Moss
Illustrated by: Andrea U'Ren
Age Level: 6-9
Reading Level: Independent Reader

Ida Lewis grew up on the sea as she and her parents kept the Lime Rock Lighthouse in Rhode Island. The story of how Ida saved numerous seafarers in the period before modern technology is revealed in dramatic illustration and readable text — ideal for sharing aloud.

The House Baba Built: An Artist's Childhood in China

By: Ed Young
Age Level: 6-9
Reading Level: Independent Reader

With war approaching, Baba (the author's father) builds a sturdy home for his family in Shanghai. The family, their activities, and house unfold in stunning, varied art and lyrical language in an expansive format to reveal a glimpse of an historical time through the lens of one family.

The Incredible Life of Balto

By: Meghan McCarthy
Age Level: 6-9
Reading Level: Independent Reader

A dog saved the people of Nome, Alaska in 1925 when a sled team was the only way to fetch essential diphtheria serum during a blizzard. Balto led that team, but his story continues in this engagingly told and illustrated book when the brave canine is in turn helped by America's children.

The Little Plant Doctor: A Story About George Washington Carver

By: Jean Marzollo
Illustrated by: Ken Wilson-Max
Age Level: 3-6
Reading Level: Beginning Reader

George Washington Carver was always curious and grew into a recognized scientist in spite of the challenges of the time in which he lived. His life and accomplishments become accessible to younger children through the voice of a tree planted by young George, augmented by child-like full color illustrations.

The Watcher: Jane Goodall's Life with the Chimps

By: Jeanette Winter
Age Level: 6-9
Reading Level: Independent Reader

Jane watched animals. Her ability to quietly observe allowed her to learn about animals up close, from childhood to her adult life as a respected scientist watching chimpanzees in the wild. Brief text and textured illustrations chronicle Goodall's work which "opened a window for us to the world of chimpanzees."

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Maria Salvadore
Maria Salvadore
April 7, 2014
March 27, 2014
Start with a Book: Read. Talk. Explore.
"To learn to read is to light a fire; every syllable that is spelled out is a spark." — Victor Hugo, Les Miserables