Books by Theme

Brave and Bold: Real Life Heroines (and Heroes)

Bravery comes in lots of shapes and sizes. Sometimes it’s just doing your best, other times it means doing what’s right, sometimes it means putting yourself in harm’s way. Meet some heroes from the past in these tales of people from the past whose influence is still felt.

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

As Fast as Words Could Fly

By: Pamela Tuck
Illustrated by: Eric Velasquez
Age Level: 6-9
Reading Level: Independent Reader

Mason is quietly determined to do his best in spite of the obstacles he faces. One of the few African American students in his school, Mason wins a typing contest on a manual typewriter. The author based this quietly triumphant story on her father's experiences growing up in the 1960s. Realistic illustrations evoke the period and the place.

Brave Girl: Clara and the Shirtwaist Makers' Strike of 1909

By: Michelle Markel
Illustrated by: Melissa Sweet
Age Level: 3-6
Reading Level: Beginning Reader

In the early 20th century, Clara Lemlick and her family immigrated to the United in search of a better life. The tough garment work in New York City didn't deter Clara who persevered and helped better life for both women and men workers. A simple text combines with mixed media illustrations for a glimpse into early activism and unions.

Dare the Wind: The Record-breaking Voyage of Eleanor Prentiss and the Flying Cloud

By: Tracey Fern
Illustrated by: Emily Arnold McCully
Age Level: 6-9
Reading Level: Independent Reader

Ellen Prentiss "was born with saltwater in her veins" whose father taught her to sail and navigate on his trading schooner. When she married a man who also loved the sea, Ellen's tenacity, her ability to read the sea and dare the win allowed them to sail from New York to San Francisco in 1851 in record-breaking time. A brief note about Ellen includes source notes.

Florence Nightingale

By: Demi
Age Level: 6-9
Reading Level: Independent Reader

Florence Nightingale was the daughter of a wealthy English family who was drawn to medicine and helping others. Her name has become synonymous with nursing and care for the unfortunate. Delicate, stylized illustrations and straightforward text chronicle her life, mitigating the wars and hardships she confronted while still suggesting them. 

Mary Walker Wears the Pants

By: Cheryl Harness
Illustrated by: Carlo Molinari
Age Level: 6-9
Reading Level: Independent Reader

Like her father, Mary Walker became a medical doctor. Unlike her father, however, Mary horrified people because she wanted to serve in the Union Army to help wounded soldiers as a doctor and wore pants. Mary's story is dramatically presented in words and illustration, brought up to date in an afterward.

Miss Moore Thought Otherwise: How Anne Carroll Moore Created Libraries for Children

By: Jan Pinborough
Illustrated by: Debby Atwell
Age Level: 6-9
Reading Level: Independent Reader

Here's the true story of how Anne Carroll Moore created the first children's room at the New York Public Library — a bright, welcoming room filled with art, reading nooks, and (most importantly) borrowing privileges to the world's best children's books. The folk art style illustrations capture a sense of history in the making. In the end notes, you can learn more about Moore and other pioneering children's librarians.

Revolutionary Friends

By: Selene Castrovilla
Illustrated by: Drazen Krozjan
Age Level: 6-9
Reading Level: Independent Reader

The friendship between Lafayette and Washington is dramatically told for sophisticated readers in a handsome picture book format. It began while the fledgling United States fought for its independence from Britain though it continued after the war. Additional information about the two men and the time in which they lived is included.

Rutherford B., Who Was He? Poems About Our Presidents

By: Marilyn Singer
Illustrated by: John Hendrix
Age Level: 6-9
Reading Level: Independent Reader

Sophisticated readers will appreciate the snippets of presidential history presented in a variety of poetic forms. Illustrations, reminiscent of political cartoons, range in tone from serious to silly. Additional information about the office and the individual presidents concludes this appealing and surprisingly informative collection (which includes the sitting POTUS).

Thomas Jefferson Builds a Library

By: Barb Rosenstock
Illustrated by: John O'Brien
Age Level: 6-9
Reading Level: Independent Reader

This lively look at Thomas Jefferson's lifelong obsession with books and reading is told with verve and humor. How Jefferson's sizeable book collection came to reside at the Library of Congress brings both the man and his time into focus. Additional information about the man and his legacy as well as additional resources conclude this brief, fact-filled, engaging book.

To Dare Mighty Things

By: Doreen Rappaport
Illustrated by: C. F. Payne
Age Level: 6-9
Reading Level: Independent Reader

As a young, sickly child, "Teedie" Roosevelt dreamed of becoming an adventurer like in the books he gobbled up. Lush, expressive illustrations, well-chosen quotes, and a lucid text brings the life of the boy who grew into a remarkable man whose biggest adventure may have been that of the 26th President of the United States.

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"Oh, magic hour, when a child first knows she can read printed words!" — A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, 1943