Tag Archives: JFK

YALSA Morris/Nonfiction Challenge Check-in #3

4 Jan

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I transitioned from nonfiction to fiction this week. I still have 1 more NF book to go, but I am still waiting for it to be processed by the library.

The President Has Been Shot! The Assassination of John F. Kennedy by James L. Swanson  gives the back story on both the target as well as the assassin, then follows the order of events to the finite detail and then the conclusion and epilogue to the story. It is a fast-paced read, full of photos and illustrations that help the reader understand what happened. Swanson is unapologetically a believer in the “long gunman” theory, but adds a section about conspiracy theories. If you think you know a lot about JFK’s assassination, you should read this, because I suspect you will learn even more.

Dr. Birds’s Advice for Sad Poet’s by Evan Roskos tell the story of Walt Whitman loving, tree-hugging James Whitman. James is struggling with anxiety and depression. In telling us of his claustrophobic life, James writes verse in Whitman’s style, hugs trees to maintain his sanity, and talks to an imaginary pigeon therapist. He is looking for help, a way out,  information to explain why his sister was kicked out of the house and expelled from school, but no one seems willing to talk to him.  This could be a very dark book, and it is at times, but there is a thread of humor throughout. The book doesn’t have a happy ending, but it has a realistic ending, which I think is far more important.

Morris/Nonfiction Reading Challenge, Part 2

6 Dec

The 2014 YALSA Nonfiction Award Finalists were announced yesterday. My goal is to read all the books on both lists by January 27th. Will you join me? If not, wish me luck? Here’s the nonfiction list.

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The Nazi Hunters: How a Team of Spies and Survivors Captured the World’s Most Notorious Nazi written by Neal Bascomb, published by Arthur A. Levine Books, an imprint of Scholastic Inc.

At the end of World War II, Adolf Eichmann, the Nazi leader responsible for organizing the deportation and imprisonment of millions of Holocaust victims, went into hiding under an assumed identity.  Eventually he fled to Argentina where he lived and worked under a false name for 10 years.  Bascomb tells the story of Eichmann’s crimes, his years in hiding, and his eventual capture and trial with rich detail and riveting suspense.  At the same time, Bascomb introduces readers to the courageous Israeli agents, Holocaust survivors, and their families who worked together to track down, capture, and bring Eichmann to justice.

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Go: A Kidd’s Guide to Graphic Design written by Chip Kidd, published by Workman Publishing Company.

This innovative book offers an introduction to the history and basic concepts of graphic design from one of the most successful designers working today. Using real world examples and rich visual aids, Kidd teaches readers how effective design can communicate ideas and messages, and he suggests ways to think critically about the design elements that infuse the media around us. Kidd invites readers to experiment with design themselves by ending the book with a series of 10 design challenges and offers a venue to share their work online.

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Imprisoned: The Betrayal of Japanese Americans During World War II written by Martin W. Sandler, published by Walker Books for Young Readers, an imprint of Bloomsbury Publishing, Inc.

After the Japanese military bombed Pearl Harbor, President Roosevelt signed Executive Order 9066, forcing the internment of over 100,000 Japanese-Americans. This detailed and compassionate chronicle of the internment years incorporates many first-hand accounts and photographs. Sandler skillfully provides context for the internment and also examines its lasting legacy by examining anti-Japanese sentiment in America before World War II and then the redress movement, which advocated for compensation and formal apologies for internees after the war.

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Courage Has No Color: The True Story of the Triple Nickles, America’s First Black Paratroopers written by Tanya Lee Stone, published by Candlewick Press.

“What is it like to jump out of an airplane? Imagine.” From these opening sentences, Stone chronicles the courage and persistence that were the hallmarks of the Triple Nickles, the African-Americans who pushed through military barriers to become the first black paratroopers. Their individual efforts, the eventual recognition of the 555th Parachute Infantry Battalion, and the broader issues of segregation during the war period are illustrated with a with a rich collection of interviews, letters, and photos. Stone’s afterword, the timeline, and the detailed source notes offer valuable insights into her research methods. Ashley Bryan’s foreword and artwork add personal insight and extend the power of this skillfully told story.

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The President Has Been Shot! The Assassination of John F. Kennedy written by James L. Swanson, published by Scholastic Press, an imprint of Scholastic Inc.

James Swanson takes readers back in time with a thoroughly researched and tightly written narrative of John F. Kennedy’s assassination.  Beginning with a succinct introduction to Kennedy’s early life and presidential administration, Swanson sets the scene for a detailed and engaging examination of the events before, during, and after November 22, 1963, when JFK and Lee Harvey Oswald crossed paths in Dallas with tragic results.  The book brings events to life with extensive photographs, diagrams, and primary documents, and illuminates Swanson’s research and writing process with detailed source notes, an extensive bibliography, suggestions for further reading, and a comprehensive index.

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