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Margaret, Frank, and Andy: Three Writers' Stories

Cynthia Rylant (1996), 48 pages
Audience: 3rd Grade - 8th Grade
Category: Biography, Nonfiction
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Rylant wrote this collective biography of three well-loved children's authors, Margaret Wise Brown, L. Frank Baum, and E. B. White. Margaret Wise Brown began writing for children in the 1930s. She wrote so many books that she needed to use the name Golden MacDonald so that publishers had room for all her books on their lists! L. Frank Baum grew up in the late 1860s. The Oz stories grew out of stories he told his children. He was inspired to name the country, 'Oz,' by a label on a file cabinet: 'O - Z.' Elwyn Brooks White was known as Andy. He only began writing for children after he moved back to the country from the city. Charlotte (the spider) was probably based on his own life. Some little-known details are included about each of these well-known authors.
Reviewed by: sc
Date read: 4/14/2009
ISBN-10: 0152010831
ISBN-13: 9780152010836
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Martin's Big Words: The Life of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Doreen Rappaport (2001), 30 pages
Illustrated by Bryan Collier
Audience: Preschool - 3rd Grade
Category: Biography, Historical, Multicultural, Nonfiction, Picture Books
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In this historic book, 'Martin's Big Words', the author, Doreen Rappaport, simply and dynamically shows us how Dr. Martin Luther King used powerful words to change the world. He transformed people's heart as he spoke of: Freedom, Peace, Together, Love, and Courage. Bryan Collier's dynamic and realistic illustrations also give readers a true sense of history with the inspiration to follow Dr. Martin Luther's example to 'Have a Dream' of their own.
Similar authors: Pat McKissack; Mary Kay Carson; Kitson Jazynka; Barbara M. Linde; Shane Evans
Similar books: Martin Luther King, Jr: Civil Rights Leader by Pat McKissack; Belle, The Last Mule At Gee's Bend: A Civil Rights Story by Calvin A. Ramsey; What Was Your Dream, Dr. King?: And Other Questions about Martin Luther King, Jr. by Mary Kay Carson
Awards won: Caldecott Honor Book 2002
Reviewed by: mb
Date read: 7/29/2013
ISBN-10: 078682591X
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Marvelous Thing that Came from a Spring: The Accidental Invention of the Toy that Swept the Nation

Gilbert Ford (2016), 32 pages
Audience: K - 3rd Grade
Category: Nonfiction, Picture Books
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When a torsion spring fell onto Richard James's desk one day and its coils took a walk, he just had to show someone! See how that spring's walk and a trip through the dictionary led to the invention and marketing of a famous toy, the Slinky.
Reviewed by: mec
Date read: 4/6/2017
ISBN-13: 9781481450652
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Mary Anning: Fossil Hunter

Sally M. Walker (2000), 48 pages
Illustrated by Phyllis V. Saroff
Audience: 1st Grade - 4th Grade
Category: Biography, Nonfiction
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Mary Anning lived during the early 1800's. Women were seldom allowed to go to University. Mary learned the technique of fossil hunting from her father and continued to look for them with her brother after her father died. Joseph, her brother, finally decided to follow another path. Mary continued her interest in fossils by asking questions, reading, and studying fossils. She was very poor and sold her fossils to help pay the rent and buy food. Mary received little credit for her work at the time, but letters, journals and scientific articles from her time have helped us know about her.
Book Series: On My Own Biography
Reviewed by: cj
Date read: 2/8/2010
ISBN-10: 1575054256
ISBN-13: 9781575054254
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5 out of 5 books5 out of 5 books5 out of 5 books5 out of 5 books5 out of 5 booksIvy and Bean Fans May Like This One!
Commenter: Emily, grade 18
Fans of Ivy and Bean may know of Mary Anning from the book Ivy and Bean Break the Fossil Record. There, she is introduced as the first person in the world to find an entire ichthyosaur fossil when she was only twelve years old (her brother actually discovered the skull, and she found the rest of the fossil). She went on to find many other important fossils, including several plesiosaurs, a pterosaur, and a chimaera. The information in Ivy and Bean varies somewhat from the information about Mary Anning in the biography. This may be because, as the biography notes, it has been difficult to piece together an accurate picture of Mary's life from historical information about her, since she didn't receive much recognition for the work she did in her lifetime. As a woman in the 1800s, it was hard to earn respect from the scientific community. This account, which has many helpful illustrations, tells us how Mary came to be a fossil hunter and about the many important fossils she discovered in her lifetime.
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Mary Todd Lincoln

Joanne Mattern (2007), 32 pages
Audience: 2nd Grade - 4th Grade
Category: Biography, Nonfiction
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Mary Todd was born in Kentucky on December 13, 1818. She met Abraham Lincoln in 1840. They had very different backgrounds, but their love of politics brought them together. In 1861, Abraham became president. The country was at war, and divided over slavery. She was from the South, but favored the North's view. The South considered her a traitor, and the North considered her a spy. People disliked her, and the expensive social gatherings that she hosted. A little known fact is that she was the first president's wife to be called 'First Lady' by the newspapers, in 1863. Mary did not have an easy life. Three of her sons died while they were still children, and on April 14, 1865, Abraham Lincoln was assassinated at Ford's Theatre. Mary was overcome with grief. Following the death of her youngest son, she acted strangely and her son, Robert, tried to declare her insane. On July 16, 1882, she died of a stroke.
Book Series: First Ladies
Reviewed by: sc
Date read: 4/13/2009
ISBN-10: 1599287978
ISBN-13: 9781599287973
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