Monday, November 13, 2017

Nonfiction Monday: This is Our Constitution and Innocent Heroes

36357413Khan, Khizr. This is Our Constitution: Discover America with a Gold Star Father
October 24th 2017 by Knopf Books for Young Readers
Copy provided by the publisher

Bookended by notes about Mr. Khan's personal experiences with the Constitution as well as immigration, current politics, and being a Gold Star father, this overview of this important US document has several things to recommend it. The book is a good length for middle grade readers, and nicely formatted. It is laid out in a logical fashion, and the explanations of different portions of the Constitution are well explained in language that young readers can understand, and contain relevant examples to support understanding. Speech bubbles accompanying the explanations address Khan's personal concerns. The full texts of the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution are included at the back.

This is easier to read than the Levinson's Fault Lines in the Constitution: The Framers, Their Fights, and the Flaws That Affect Us Today but offers a lot of good information. I don't think that too many students will pick this up for pleasure reading, but it is a good addition to any elementary or middle school library. I can see readers picking this up for research and spending more time than they expected delving into the intricacies of the Constitution because of the readability of the book.

30269106Brouwer, Sigmund. Innocent Heroes: Animals in War and the Battle of Vimy Ridge
February 14th 2017 by Tundra Books (NY)
Copy provided by the Publisher

This mix of connected stories about WWI and nonfiction information about the animals that inspired them was an interesting collection. This was nominated for the Cybils awards, and I had to think about whether it belonged in fiction or nonfiction, but I think fiction is a good fit. Like some of the Dear America titles, it helps to have nonfiction accounts to support the more action packed stories. Brouwer was known to me mainly for his sports books, and he infuses these historical accounts with some of the same excitement he uses to bring his hockey and football stories to life. Having pictures from 100 years ago will make the War to End All Wars more accessible to modern readers. A very impressive work, with an appealing cover on a topic which many readers seek out, Innocent Heroes is a great collection to middle school and high school libraries.

1 comment:

  1. I have so much respect for Kahn and I remember hearing about a book he's written. Didn't realize that it's for MG. Sounds like an important read and a great classroom read.

    Innocent Heroes sounds like a great perspective for youth. Like that it is nonfiction, but reads more like fiction. Haven't read enough about WW I. Enjoyed your reviews of both books.