Biographies & Non-Fiction Stories

Disclosure: We were sent copies of these books in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are our own. 

Today Hazel and I are writing a joint post. She is going to review half the books. All of the books we have put together are biographies and non-fiction stories. Two are novels of stories about war. Let's start with the two picture books. The first book is Doctor Esperanto and the Language of Hope by Mara Rockliff and illustrated by Zosia Dzierzawska. 

This book is recommended for ages 7 to 9. It is about Leyzer Zamenhof who became Doctor Esperanto. He is known for creating a world language which people from around the world could understand. His language was one of hope and with it he hoped to find world peace. This book shares a bit of his life and how he got started with this project and how he succeeded. 

It is an interesting story that I didn't know. I had never heard of Doctor Esperanto and I love the message of looking for hope and world peace. In our crazy world this is a message we all need to hear and especially our children. 

Our next book is Smile: How Young Charlie Chaplin Taught the World to Laugh (and Cry) by Gary Golio and illustrated by Ed Young. Now I am guessing we all know of Charlie Chaplin, but kids probably do not. This book shares the life of Charlie Chaplin from when he was a child to his career taking off in America. It also has post notes with facts about him and how he changed the way movies were being made--as in acting. He brought many people laughs but also made them cry in the same movie. He was a talented young man that took the world by storm and worked hard to become who he was.

This book is an interesting look at the life of Charlie Chaplin. Its illustrations are not as defined as some picture books but they make the book interesting and help the reader focus on the words and the wonder of Charlie Chaplin. This book is recommended for ages 8 to 12.

Our next book is for ages 10 to 14. It is about World War II and the U.S. Twenty-Third Special Troops. The book is Secret Soldiers: How the U.S. Twenty-Third Special Troops Fooled the Nazis by Paul B. Janeczko. Do you know about the Twenty-Third Special Troops? Perhaps you have heard of them by their other name--Ghost Army? This book tells the tale of how they became to be and how they worked. This group of "soldiers" was made up of actors, engineers, set designers and more and they were able to trick the Nazi soldiers into believing what they heard rather than what was real. What an amazing story to this war. 
This book is perfect for war buffs, kids interested in learning about the war as well as any unit on World War II. It brings a whole new light to part of the war that many do not know.

Our next book is for ages 12 and up. It is Take Cover: One Girl's Story of Growing Up During the Iranian Revolution by Nioucha Homayoonfar.  Nioucha shares her story. At the age of 5 she left her life in the United States and moved to Iran. As she was adjusting to the new culture and country the war began and life changed. What an interesting story she has to tell. Life of a child caught in a war and culture where freedoms are being taken away. 

The book is well written and tells a tale we all need to hear. The culture and climate of Iran and Nioucha's life is an important tale and relevant in today's current events. The book includes photographs from Nioucha's family album. It also has a timeline of Iranian history. 

Now Hazel is going to share four biographical graphic novels for ages 8 to 12. 
This is the Show Me History Series is about many important people in History. These graphic novels teach about the lives of four model figures, from Alexander Hamilton to Amelia Earhart. These books tell lots of facts  about these four figures in a fun way.

    I liked that these books were funny, exciting, and factually correct. These books were very easy to read, and I read them multiple times. They were easy to read I think they are perfect for ages 7-12. They are a wonderful read!

I love how some graphic novelists have gone non-fiction. It is a wonderful way to introduce the reluctant reader to biographies and help them discover the world of non-fiction and how entertaining it can be. This series introduces kids to the lives of Alexander Hamilton, Abraham Lincoln, Amelia Earhart, and Martin Luther King, Jr. What an amazing list to begin teaching kids. We hope you will check them out!