Monday, February 13, 2012

Extraordinary Nonfiction by Kelly Milner Halls

I've discovered a new author, Kelly Milner Halls. Halls has been writing for years but I just hadn't known about her. She writes the most wonderful nonfiction books about all sorts of subjects: horses, dinosaurs, science fair projects, mummies…

Although the text is often fairly challenging – most books are at a middle school reading level – just the pictures and captions give a ton of information. If you find the reading is a bit too difficult, why not share the books with your parents or siblings? They are definitely worth it.

After much research and technical support (thank you Nathan Halter from Indie Bound), I have figured out how to put book links into my posts. Yay! Clicking on the cover will send you to an Indie Bound page, in case you'd like to order a book.

Here is a sampling of Kelly Milner Halls’ wonderful books.

Wild Horses
 I never knew there were so many different kinds of wild horses. This book introduces the horse family tree and includes the relatives of today's modern horse that are now extinct. It also includes the types of zebras and asses that still live in the wild.

In Search of Sasquatch
Sasquatch, also known as Bigfoot, is a cryptid – a creature of cryptozoology. Cryptozoology is the study of creatures not recognized by traditional science. Kelly Milner Halls interviews cryptozoologists, other experts, and regular people like us who have seen, heard, or maybe stumbled across evidence leading them to believe that Sasquatch is real. This book really makes you think.

Tales of the Cryptids: Mysterious Creatures That May or May Not Exist
As stated above, cryptozoology is the study of animals that may or may not be real, such as Bigfoot and the Loch Ness Monster. This book introduces the reader to cryptozoology and tells about a whole bunch of wildly interesting beings. There is a terrific dictionary at the end of the book that gives a quick description of each creature and ranks it as to whether it is real, leaning toward real, unknown, leaning toward hoax or a downright hoax.

Mysteries of the Mummy Kids 
I've read a little about mummies and have always found them to be quite interesting. But I’d never thought about mummy kids. This book explores mummies around the world and tells about famous child mummies. It describes the reasons behind mummification and explains how bodies become mummified. It’s a little creepy but fascinating.

Science Fair Projects: Forces and Motion [sorry, no link for this book]
Thinking about entering a science fair? Having trouble coming up with an idea? This book could be very helpful. It suggests some possible projects and gives step-by-step instructions as to how to set your project up. It tells you how go through the scientific process but it doesn't tell you what to expect.

Dinosaur Parade
 Although all of today’s books have lots of pictures, this is the only picture book in the bunch. It shows what it might be like to stand next to a real, live dinosaur. The illustrations show a parade of children marching alongside an array of dinosaurs, from Sauropods to Therizinosaurs. At the bottom of each page are facts about over 60 dinosaurs, including their names, when they lived, and where they were found. I know if this book had been written when my son was little, it would have been a favorite.

Dinosaur Travel Guide
Are you really into dinosaurs? If you are, this book is for you. Each state and Canadian province has its own chapter and lists all the places you can go to find stuff about dinosaurs. Included are museums, fossil collections, parks, petrified forests and paleontological societies. In the last pages you’ll find a Dinosaur Shopping Guide and a section of Dinosaur Links.

Wild Dogs: Past& Present
Every continent in the world except Antarctica has wild dogs. Wild dogs include wolves, foxes and jackals, plus others you've probably never heard of. This book follows wild dogs wherever they live, telling about their lives and struggles.

Saving the Baghdad Zoo
In 2003, Army Major William Sumner undertook a mission to save the Baghdad Zoo in Iraq, a country being torn apart by war. This book tells of the challenges of rebuilding the Baghdad Zoo after its near destruction. Due to the work of Sumner and others, the zoo has been changed into a place of peace for Iraqi families and the zoo's animals.

Albino Animals
Albino Animals
Albino animals are regular animals that have one special trait – they have no pigment. Pigment is what gives animals their color. So, without pigment, albino animals are usually white. There's something quite special about these animals. This book is full of gorgeous pictures of all kinds of albino animals - reptiles, mammals, birds and others. There's also lots of interesting information.
It’s always wonderful to discover a new author. I hope you enjoy these books as much as I did. Click here and here to visit her websites.

This Week's free online story from Bob Brooks: Signs of Spring.

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