Saturday, May 26, 2007

Delicious-Looking Nonfiction for 2007

There is something so wonderful about discovering new nonfiction books. I love fiction, but I love nonfiction too. And sometimes it seems that there is less publicity about nonfiction. I am always finding new fiction titles that I want to read, but it seems I really have to search to see what is new in nonfiction. The list isn't exhaustive, but I may post again later with other findings for the year.

The Warmest Room in the House: How the Kitchen Became the Heart of the American Home, 1584 to the Present by Steven Gdula. Published by Bloomsbury USA. Will be released December 26, 2007.
Thomas Jefferson once wrote that if you really want to understand the workings of a society, you have to “look into their kettles” and “eat their bread.” Steve Gdula gives us a view of American culture from the most popular room in the house: the kitchen. Examining the relationship between trends and innovations in the kitchen and the cultural attitudes beyond its four walls, Gdula creates a lively portrait of over 350 years of American domestic life. The Warmest Room in the House explores major historic themes, including the challenges of procurement in the seventeenth century, preservation in the eighteenth century, industrialization and enlightenment in the nineteenth century, and modernization in the twentieth. Gdula traces the evolution of American foods, recipes, trends, and styles of cooking, beginning with the exchanges that took place between the Powhatan Indians and the Jamestown settlers about nutrition through today’s polyglot international cuisine. Filled with fun facts about food trends, from Hamburger Helper to The Moosewood Cookbook, and food personalities, from Catherine Beecher to Martha Stewart, The Warmest Room in the House is the perfect addition to any well-rounded kitchen larder.

The Wall: Growing Up Behind the Iron Curtain by Peter Sis. Published by Farrar, Straus and Giroux. Will be released August 21, 2007. “I was born at the beginning of it all, on the Red side—the Communist side—of the Iron Curtain.” Through annotated illustrations, journals, maps, and dreamscapes, Peter Sís shows what life was like for a child who loved to draw, proudly wore the red scarf of a Young Pioneer, stood guard at the giant statue of Stalin, and believed whatever he was told to believe. But adolescence brought questions. Cracks began to appear in the Iron Curtain, and news from the West slowly filtered into the country. Sís learned about beat poetry, rock ’n’ roll, blue jeans, and Coca-Cola. He let his hair grow long, secretly read banned books, and joined a rock band. Then came the Prague Spring of 1968, and for a teenager who wanted to see the world and meet the Beatles, this was a magical time. It was short-lived, however, brought to a sudden and brutal end by the Soviet-led invasion. But this brief flowering had provided a glimpse of new possibilities—creativity could be discouraged but not easily killed. By joining memory and history, Sís takes us on his extraordinary journey: from infant with paintbrush in hand to young man borne aloft by the wings of his art.

Many Rides of Paul Revere by James Cross Giblin. Published by Scholastic. Will be released October 1, 2007. Paul Revere is commonly remembered in the Longfellow legend of his Midnight Ride before the 1775 Battles of Lexington and Concord. In this bright, informative biography, Giblin follows Revere's life from his humble beginnings as a French immigrant's son to his work as a silversmith and a horse messenger amid the mounting pressures of revolution. In precise, accessible prose, Giblin chronicles Revere's daring acts -- both the famous and the overlooked. Along the way, he portrays a brave, compassionate, multitalented American patriot. Paul Revere had a wide range of activities: Besides being a rider for the Revolution, he was a famed silversmith, engraved cartoons and paper money, and practiced dentistry. He was an early American manufacturer, and his silver business is still thriving today. Connections to contemporary times can be drawn from his being the son of a French immigrant, and from his activities in the American insurgency against Britain in the Revolution. James Cross Giblin's major awards include: Sibert Medal 15 ALA Notables 4 Best Books for Young Adults 5 Orbis Pictus Honors 2 Boston Globe/Horn Book Honors for Nonfiction Washington Post Body of Work Award National Book Award 3 Golden Kite Awards 2 Ohio State Awards.

Take-Off: American All-Girl Bands During World War II by Tonya Bolden. Published by Random House (Knopf Books for Young Readers). Released May 8, 2007. The 1940's was a time when society thought it improper for women to make a sax wail or let loose hot licks on skins, but with the advent of World War II and many men away fighting the war, women finally got their chance to strut their stuff on the bandstand. These all-girl bands kept morale high on the homefront and on USO tours of miltary bases across the globe while also helping to establish America's legacy in jazz music."Take-off?" Oh, yeah. Several all-girl bands did.This book includes a hip swing CD.

The Real Benedict Arnold by Jim Murphy. Published by Houghton Mifflin (Clarion). Releases September 17, 2007.

Who Was First? by Russell Freedman. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company (Clarion). Releases October 15, 2007.

Marie Curie by Kathleen Krull. Published by Penguin Group USA (Viking Juvenile). Releases October 4, 2007.
Talk about a “glowing reputation”! Marie Curie, the woman who coined the term radioactivity, won not just one Nobel prize but two—in physics and in chemistry, both supposedly girl-phobic sciences. As with her previous star-studded biographies of Leonardo da Vinci, Isaac Newton, and Sigmund Freud—all three chosen as ALA Notable Books—Kathleen Krull offers readers a fascinating portrait of this mythic “giant of science” who abhorred publicity. And she also places Curie’s ground-breaking discovery of two elements within the framework of science at that time.

Pocahontas: Princess of the New World by Kathleen Krull. Published by Walker & Company. Released March 20, 2007. She was the favored daughter of the Chief of the Powhatan Indians, and a girl in motion; always laughing, teasing, and dancing. But from the moment John Smith and the colonists of Jamestown set foot into her world in 1607, her life would change forever. She soon became an ambassador and peace keeper between the Powhatan and the colonists. Because of her curiosity and courage, Pocahontas became the bridge between the two worlds. Four hundred years after this world-changing clash of cultures, the true story about America’s original “Founding Mother” is finally revealed. Reunited for the first time since Wilma Unlimited, Kathleen Krull and David Diaz deliver a visually stunning, fascinating birth-to-death account of this true American Princess.

The Flag Maker by Susan Campbell Bartoletti. Published by Houghton Mifflin. Released May 14, 2007. Here in lyrical prose is the story of the flag that inspired Francis Scott Key to write the words that became the national anthem of the United States. This flag, which came to be known as the Star-Spangled Banner, also inspired author Susan Campbell Bartoletti, who, upon seeing it at the Smithsonian Institution, became curious about the hands that had sewn it.Here is her story of the early days of this flag as seen through the eyes of young Caroline Pickersgill, the daughter of an important flag maker, Mary Pickersgill, and the granddaughter of a flag maker for General George Washington's Continental Army. It is also a story about how a symbol motivates action and emotion, brings people together, and inspires courage and hope.

Down the Colorado: John Wesley Powell, the One-Armed Explorer by Deborah Kogan Ray. Published by Farrar, Straus and Giroux. Will be released October 16, 2007. Although John Wesley Powell’s minister father always wanted his son to follow in his footsteps, young Wes had different plans for his future. Enraptured by the wonders of the natural world, he was determined to take the path of science. Even after losing his right arm below the elbow in battle during the Civil War, Wes would not be deterred from his dream of leading the first scientific expedition down the Colorado River and through the Grand Canyon. Braving treacherous rapids and perilous waterfalls, Major Powell would surpass all expectations and return home a national hero. With breathtaking illustrations and excerpts from Powell’s own journals, Deborah Kogan Ray brings to vivid life the exploits and explorations of one of America’s greatest conservationists.

The Signers: 56 Stories Behind the Declaration of Independence by Dennis Brindell Fradin. Published by Walker & Company. Will be released May 29, 2007. “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness.”For more than 225 years these words have inspired men and women in countries the world over to risk everything in pursuit of these lofty ideals. When they first appeared in our nation’s birth certificate, the Declaration of Independence, they were a call to action for a colony on the brink of rebellion. The 56 men who dared to sign their names to this revolutionary document knew they were putting their reputations, their fortunes, and their very lives on the line by boldly and publicly declaring their support for liberty and freedom. As Benjamin Franklin said as he signed his name, “We must all hang together, or most assuredly we shall all hang separately!”Who were these men who are the first heroes of our nation? Award-winning team of author Dennis Brindell Fradin and illustrator Michael McCurdy bring their considerable talents together to illuminate the lives of these valiant men, ranging from the poorest farmers to the wealthiest merchants, whose dauntless courage inspired thousands of colonists to risk all for freedom.


Consider these titles to be all on my wishlist; in other words, I'd love to review them for the site and would gladly accept review copies from the publishers.

2 comments:

L. Diane Wolfe 2:09 PM  

I'd love to hear about Down The Colorado and The Warmest Room in the House!
(Of course, many young people would think the warmest room is the one housing the TV screen on which they play video games.)

Becky 2:55 PM  

I can't wait to read The Warmest Room in the House. Just reading that short description alone made me want to read it right then. I was drawn to it immediately!

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