New Nonfiction

Fatty Legs: A True Story by Cristy Jordan-Fenton

Reading Level: Grades 3-6

Be careful what you wish for.

After her older half-sister reads her part of Alice's Adventures in Wonderland but refuses to tell why Alice followed the rabbit down the hole, nine-year-old Olemaun nags her parents to send her to the school of the white outsiders. Even though her father warns her that they will cut her hair, give her a new name and not allow her to speak their language , Olemaun so desperately wants to read that she persists until she gets her way.

Once in the clutches of the dark-cloaked nuns, Olemaun realizes what a horrible mistake she has made. Somehow she must hold onto who she is until she can finally return to her people.

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More narratives of Indian boarding schools include:

Sweetgrass Basket by Marlene Carvell and

Indian School: Teaching the White Man's Way by Michael Cooper

Amelia Lost: the Life and Disappearance of Amelia Earhart by Candace Fleming

Reading Level: Grades 3-5

Amelia Earhart was one of the most formidable female pilots of her time, spurring her decision to be the first woman to fly around the world - alone. But a few hours into her flight, Amelia's plane lost radio contact with the ground and became lost. She was never found. Fleming's new biography of Earhart is great for younger readers interested in both the story and the time period.

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Other fascinating biographies:

The Great and Only Barnum by Candace Fleming

Sir Charlie: Chaplin, the Funniest Man in the World

Claudette Colvin: Twice Toward Justice by Phillip M. Hoose

Carry On, Mr. Bowditch by Jean Lee Latham

Reading Level:  Grades 4 and up

Our story begins in 1775. Nat Bowditch, a small boy for his age, loves arithmetic more than anything because the answers always come out the same. His eldest brother has just signed on with a ship leaving for the open ocean and Nat’s father, deciding that his son needs to begin a trade, has pulled Nat out of school.

Nat is apprenticed to a ship chandlery as their bookkeeper for nine years, squashing all dreams he had of studying at Harvard University. But, Nat remembers his brother’s parting words to him – boys don’t blubber - and keeps his head held high. Nat grows up quickly; his raw determination to learn coupled with the difficulties of Revolutionary life made him seem mature far beyond his young years.

Carry On, Mr. Bowditch is an ultimate nautical adventure story, sharing the tale of a young boy, who never thought his dreams could ever be reached, becoming a widely educated man – despite never continuing school past the age of ten. Written in 1956 by Jean Lee Latham, Carry On, Mr. Bowditch is a must-read for all adventurous young boys.

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