#NFPB2017- January 4, 2017

04 Jan

Happy 2017, NFPB’ers!


For my first post of the new year, I wanted to spotlight the Who Was? book series.

Encourage yourself- and others, especially kids- to read more biographies in 2017! Get inspired with their stories. Think about your own narrative and the impact you can have on people and the world.

These are the books I’ve read in the series. They have also branched out to include Where Is? and What Was?

Who Was Dr. Seuss?Who Was Dr. Seuss? by Janet B. Pascal
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
A couple years ago, I decided to read all of Dr. Seuss’s books. I felt I had been missing something by not having done so sooner. The whole experience just cemented the fact he was a literary genius and no wonder he’s such a favorite of kids and grown-ups!

I had been wanting to read more juvenile non-fiction and last year took on the Non-fiction Picture Book (NFPB) challenge, which I enjoyed very much. I wanted to continue it this year and extend it to include MG and YA.

The Who Was/Is…? series has been something I’ve been interested in trying- and Dr. Seuss seemed like the best one to start with. (Plus, this particular title was on We Give Books, a great site where you read a book online and they donate a book to a kid.)

I felt they did a great job capturing not only his life but his personality. I also learned a few more interesting things about Dr. Seuss like he and his wife Helen had an imaginary daughter named Chrysanthemum Pearl!

I will definitely read more in this series. I can see kids enjoying the short chapters and the included illustrations. Adults can enjoy the rather comprehensive research done for each of their subject.
View all my reviews

Who Was Martin Luther King, Jr.?Who Was Martin Luther King, Jr.? by Bonnie Bader
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
The Who Was/Is…? series continues to impress me with their accessible and informative biographies.

After recently reading multiple books about Martin Luther King, Jr., I never realized how much he fought against hate and injustice through love and nonviolence. That’s quite a feat and very admirable.

With the current chaos that’s happening, I also see how valuable it is to look into the past of how change can be done successfully. His actions and his words are inspiring but we are still very far from making his dream a reality.
View all my reviews

Who Was Gandhi?Who Was Gandhi? by Dana Meachen Rau
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
I’ve been inspired to read about people who’ve made differences in times of adversity- particularly using nonviolence means but still managing to accomplish something. Of course, I’ve read books about Martin Luther King, Jr. and Nelson Mandela and my favorite book is John Lewis’s March trilogy. I hadn’t really read about Gandhi.

The first two picture books I ended up reading about him were coincidentally about the Salt March incident. A Taste of Freedom: Gandhi and the Great Salt March was told through the eyes of a boy who was intrigued and inspired by Gandhi and his actions. Gandhi: A March to the Sea is a beautiful nonfiction picture book, very lyrical in its storytelling.

Demi’s picture book gave an overview of Gandhi’s life. I felt it was lacking even though I had nothing to compare it to and since I wasn’t even all that familiar with him.

Who Was Gandhi? provided a more comprehensive look. I can’t say enough good things about this series!

I definitely want to know more about Gandhi and to practice his beliefs.

View all my reviews

Who Was Nelson Mandela? (Who Was...?)Who Was Nelson Mandela? by Meg Belviso
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Alongside Gandhi and MLK, I wanted to learn more about Nelson Mandela and his practice of nonviolent protests and noncooperation. I’ve really been impressed with the Who Was…? series so this was a great way to read about him. Great to pair with the picture book Nelson Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom.
View all my reviews

Who Was Anne Frank?Who Was Anne Frank? by Ann Abramson
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
With our current political climate, it was rather hard to read this since I couldn’t help but compare the situation Anne Frank, her family, and Jews found themselves in during Hitler’s reign (and all the victims of World War II, particularly the Japanese Americans being sent to internment camps) as what could happen if we don’t stand up to hate and abuse of power. This provided a broad look at the times and the legacy of Anne Frank’s diary.
View all my reviews

Who Is Malala Yousafzai?Who Is Malala Yousafzai? by Dinah Brown
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
I can’t say enough good things about this series.

I’m sure everyone has heard about Malala right now. I’m sure everyone’s been inspired by her strength and determination to ensure that education is a right for everyone, especially girls. I’ve read plenty of picture books about her but, because of all her accomplishments, it was kind of hard to imagine her as a real person. After watching the outstanding documentary- He Named Me Malala-, I saw she was just an ordinary girl forced into extraordinary circumstances. I’m glad kids- and adults- have someone like her to look up to!
View all my reviews

What Was the March on Washington?What Was the March on Washington? by Kathleen Krull
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
An absolutely inspiring read that’s a must-have for any library.

It introduces readers to this important event in American history and human decency. What I appreciated was that it went into detail about the actual program and some of the speeches that were made.

Again, certain figures were mentioned like Bayard Rustin and A. Philip Randolph, who I want to read more about.
View all my reviews


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2 responses to “#NFPB2017- January 4, 2017

  1. Michele

    January 5, 2017 at 7:19 am

    This is a series that surprised me in how well organized it is. The format is very simple and predictable for young readers, which is a plus. They are always popular to read!

  2. Elisabeth Ellington

    January 5, 2017 at 8:57 am

    I really appreciate this series too. The writing can be a bit dry for my taste, but they’re so well-organized and informative. My son and I read the Gandhi book for a research project he had to do, and he was really engaged by it.


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