Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Twelve Days of Giving: When I Was Your Age

Is there a history buff on your gift-buying list this year? These are some of my favorite nonfiction history books for kids.

Sally M. Walker's Secrets of a Civil War Submarine is one that I love to booktalk at every chance I get. The Confederate sub H.L. Hunley was the first submarine to sink an enemy ship, but something went wrong and the sub never resurfaced. Both Confederate and Union soldiers searched for it, but the H.L. Hunley was lost for over 100 years. Really beautifil photos and a captivating story make this a great choice for kids interested in history.

World War II and the Holocaust are a perpetually interesting topic for many teens and tweens and books about Jewish kids during the Holocaust abound. Consider exploring the time from a different perspective with Susan Campbell Bartoletti's Hitler Youth: Growing Up in Hitler's Shadow. The experiences of the kids who led underground resistance are especially interesting to me. Consider this one for fans of The Diary of a Young Girl who are interested in learning more about the time.

Peg Kehret's Small Steps: The Year I Got Polio is an autobiographical tale of the author's experiences surviving polio as a girl. Kehret is a popular author of children's fiction and this true account reads like a novel. This is an absorbing story that will appeal to kids who like to read about real people.

For younger elementary school kids who like history, consider the You Wouldn't Want To... series. Each book in this series examines a historical time or event in a really funny way with cartoon illustrations. They are a huge hit with the second- and third-grade classes that come to visit the library.

Sports fans will be interested in We Are the Ship: The Story of Negro League Baseball by Kadir Nelson. Gifted athletes weren't allowed to play in the Major Leagues simply because of the color of their skin. With tons of historical information and really gorgeous illustrations, kids who love history and baseball will devour this book!

Need more ideas? Check out the rest of my 12 Days of Giving posts!