Non Fiction Review: Ensnared in the Wolf’s Lair

Ensnared in the Wolf's Lair by Ann Bausum

Ensnared in the Wolf’s Lair: Inside the 1944 Plot to Kill Hitler and the Ghost Children of His Revenge
by Ann Bausum
4 out of 5 stars

In the midst of Nazi Germany, a group of men attempt to assassinate Hitler. Their plan fails, and their families pay the price. Hitler is merciless in his revenge on the families and children of the men who tried to kill him. But a few of the children survive, and they are nicknamed the Ghost Children.

I appreciate this clear look at a complicated time in history, and how the nuances of the political climate in Germany were so much more complex than we can understand today. I think history tends to remember all Germans as being evil people who were complicit with Hitler’s plans, but so many of the German people were actively fighting against him from within.

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Non Fiction Review: Kid Innovators

Kid Innovators by Robin Stevenson

Kid Innovators: True Tales of Childhood from Inventors and Trailblazers
by Robin Stevenson (Goodreads Author), Allison Steinfeld (Illustrator)
4 out of 5 stars

All inventors start out as curious kids who love to learn and explore. This book gives short biographies of some famous innovators and how their childhood shaped their dreams. The bios include the stories of Steve Jobs, Jacques Cousteau, Florence Nightingale, Walt Disney, the Wright brothers, and many others.

There are sections about technology, exploring, codes, medicine, and trailblazers. It’s not just about inventing something new. It’s about revolutionizing how something is used, how art is created, or how people think. The history of computer codes, airplanes, wind turbines, rockets, nursing, hair products, entertainment, and a dozen other fields are explored.

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Book Review: Timeline Science and Technology

Timeline Science and Technology by Peter Goes

Timeline Science and Technology
by Peter Goes
4 out of 5 stars

This book gives an interesting timeline of human history, following the Stone Age, the Bronze Age, Ancient Civilizations, the Greek and Roman Empires, Chinese emperors, the Byzantine Empire, the Middle Ages, the Renaissance, the Reformation, the Industrial Revolution, up to the present time. The last pages are divided into each decade of the 1900s, giving more details about each year, right up to the year 2020.

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Non Fiction Book Review: Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin

The Autobiography and Other Writings by Benjamin Franklin
The Autobiography and Other Writings
by Benjamin Franklin

3 out of 5 stars

This is an interesting look at Benjamin Franklin’s life. The first part is his autobiography, which he never finished. It tells mostly of his early life and his beginnings in the printing business. Then there are collections of his letters, scientific writings, and political writing. These are divided by topic, with short explanations from the editor giving general information surrounding those letters or publications. It shows his work as a scientist and inventor, his gradual assent into public life as a statesman and politician, and his personal life as a husband and father and his personal relationships.

I found it very interesting and readable, and I loved seeing how meticulous and sensible Franklin was in ordering and organizing his life. He had some excellent ideas and some crazy ideas. He was a person always searching and wondering and puzzling through the mysteries of life. He must have had a terrific amount of energy, since he often writes about diligence and industry. He was a rare personality.

I enjoyed this close look into American history!

Non Fiction Review: The Story of Abraham Lincoln

The Story of Abraham Lincoln by Carla Jablonski
The Story of Abraham Lincoln: A Biography Book for New Readers
by Carla Jablonski

5 out of 5 stars


This children’s book tells the history of Abraham Lincoln, from his childhood to his death.
I like that the story is told with a simple writing style, easy for a child to understand, and there is a glossary at the back from some of the bigger or unfamiliar words. This would be a great book for 7-10 year old readers.

There are fun cartoon illustrations showing Abe as a young boy on the farm, as a young politician, as a family man, and finally as President of the United States. I really like the bright colors and design of the book! Continue reading

Non Fiction Review: Turn It Up!

Turn It Up! by National Geographic Kids
Turn It Up!: A Pitch-Perfect History of Music That Rocked the World
by National Geographic Kids

5 out of 5 stars

This book gives an overview of the history of music and how music developed over time to include different styles. With paintings and photographs showcased in a colorful design, this book is sure to capture the attention of anyone interested in music!

I really love how the information is organized in easy-to-read text boxes. Each chapter focuses on one era of music history, covering Ancient, Medieval, Renaissance, Baroque, Classical, Romantic, Impressionist, Modern, and Post-Modern music.

This book has biographies and songs of music styles like Jazz, Pop, Big Band, Blues, Rock, Reggae, Heavy Metal, and a dozen more, featuring music stars, composers, singers, musicians, conductors, and influencers who created the music we know today. Continue reading

Non Fiction Review: Breaking Through

Breaking Through by Sue Macy
Breaking Through: How Female Athletes Shattered Stereotypes in the Roaring Twenties
by Sue Macy

5 out of 5 stars


“We play for the love of the game, and we are determined to carry on.” – Alice Kell, Captain of the Dick Kerr Ladies soccer team, 1921.

In the 1920s there were few opportunities for women in sports, either as part of the education system in schools or in the professional realm. This book tells about the women and girls who pushed for more sports education, better equipment and access, and for recognition in professional competitions.

I am not an athlete by any means, but I was inspired to see these stories of women who broke the barriers and strove for excellence in their sports. This book has stories, biographical accounts, sports stats, newspaper articles from the 1920s, quotes from famous athletes of the era, and even the stories of people who opposed women’s involvement in sports.

With stunning black and white photographs, this book captures the fiery spirit of these early athletes!

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Non Fiction Review: Harriet Tubman

Harriet Tubman by Barbara Kramer
Harriet Tubman
by Barbara Kramer

5 out of 5 stars


Harriet Tubman was born as a slave and escaped to freedom. She worked tirelessly to free other slaves and even served as a spy during the American Civil War. She is best known for her work as a “conductor,” guiding slaves to freedom through the “Underground Railroad,” a series of safe houses called “stations” that allowed slaves to travel undetected to the Northern United States and Canada.

I loved the simple writing style, easy for a beginner to understand. There are fact boxes in the corners that explain the meanings of words, and give direct quotes from Tubman. Continue reading

Non-Fiction Review: Susan B. Anthony

National Geographic Readers by Kitson Jazynka
National Geographic Readers: Susan B. Anthony
by Kitson Jazynka

5 out of 5 stars

Susan B. Anthony worked tirelessly to secure votes and liberty for women in the United States. This book gives an overview of her life and her work, with explanations about petitions, laws, newspaper articles, and how these things influenced Anthony’s work. There is also interesting information about clothing styles, employment, habits, and how people lived in at the turn of the century.

I loved the simple writing style, easy for a beginner to understand. There are sections for an adult to read aloud, and then a smaller section with easier words and larger font for the child to read. It’s a great way to teach a child new words, and get them involved in reading together!

The colorful design and old-timey photos captured my attention. There are also activities and questions that get the reader engaged and make them think carefully about the ideas in the book. I appreciated how thoughtful the questions are and how much goes into the design! Continue reading