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Reviews by Category: Non-fiction

Teen Review
Dreamland Cover
Thursday, Jun 20, 2019

Dreamland tells the tale of America's opiate epidemic in a way that feels as though you are hearing it firsthand; it weaves the stories of addicts and activists alike into a novel that is enticing and shocking. Quinones writes a novel that shows the behind the scenes of an epidemic that hits close to the heart of many Americans, yet he tells it in a way that takes you on an adventure rather than a report.

I think the cover is really creative and perfectly ties to the title-showing America as a swimming pool connects perfectly to the novel's emphasis that the opiate epidemic...

Teen Review
The Electric War Cover
Mike Winchell
Reviewer's Rating: 
5
Thursday, May 16, 2019

In The Electric War, readers dive into the initial application of electricity in late 19th century America and the substantial struggle that sprung from it. A decade-long conflict is waged on the effectiveness, danger, and control of direct and alternating current. Great minds such as George Westinghouse, Nikola Tesla, and Thomas Edison utilize their knowledge and prowess of electricity to compete in the race of lighting the world. 

The most compelling aspect of The Electric War is the focus on the false portrayal of alternating current by Thomas Edison and the extent that these...

Teen Review
We Are Here to Stay Cover
Susan Kuklin
Reviewer's Rating: 
4
Thursday, May 9, 2019

This book encompasses the stories of multiple teens who made the journey to America through hardships and struggles in order to live a better life for themselves and their families. The book is written in first person and through short stories that allow the reader to get to know the subjects of the story and from the mouths of the immigrants themselves, without influencing the reader to think a certain way about the issue. I think that the cover was really powerful because It draws the attention directly to the title, which is ultimately the message of the book. I would say that it is...

Teen Review
https://jocolibrary.bibliocommons.com/item/show/1573904036
Wednesday, Aug 8, 2018

Everyone knows about the Black Plague in Europe during the Middle Ages. But not everyone knows about the 1918 influenza pandemic. It was the worst virus that ever struck mankind. Not even the Black Death comes close to the number of lives it took. No war, natural disaster, or famine has ever claimed so many people. From 1918 to 1919, one third of the global population (500 million) became infected, with an estimated 100 million deaths. This book chronicles the cause and impact of this deadly virus throughout history.

This book was so interesting! I had never known about this history...

Staff Review
Book cover
Dashka Slater
Reviewer's Rating: 
5
Monday, Jul 23, 2018

What labels define you? Which boxes contain you? No middle ground. No grey. Keep it simple. Describe yourself with categories. Binaries. Either-ors. Extremes.

Once you tell me, do I know you?

Or do you want to say, "Wait, that's not really me. I'm much more complicated and nuanced than that. Those are mere ideas. I'm a person."?

Teen Review
https://jocolibrary.bibliocommons.com/item/show/1445933036
Robert Weintraub
Reviewer's Rating: 
4
Tuesday, Jul 10, 2018

This book tells the extraordinary story of survival and friendship between a man and his dog during war. This is the story of the dog Judy, the only official prisoner of war in World War ll. It details how she and flight technician Frank Williams met in a POW internment camp in the Pacific theater. Their story of an unbreakable bond during the worst circumstances is one of the great undiscovered stories during the war.

This book is amazing and inspiring. It shows what it was like to live in a POW work camp and gives a great overall view of the Pacific theater. It was obviously well-...

Teen Review
https://jocolibrary.bibliocommons.com/item/show/1463631036_misunderstood
Friday, Jun 1, 2018

This book serves as both a moving memoir about the author’s relationship with her pet rat and a brilliant nonfiction book about domesticated rats in general. This book blends history and science with stories of  interesting people while at the same time sets the record straight on this amazing animal. Readers will come away with a deep appreciation and a better understanding of rats. You might even be convinced to adopt a rat after reading this wonderful book. Highly recommended for people afraid of rats!

I'm happy to see a book about the joys of rat ownership (I used to have one...

Teen Review
https://jocolibrary.bibliocommons.com/item/show/165789036_maus_i
Art Spiegelman
Reviewer's Rating: 
4
Tuesday, Mar 27, 2018

This book tells the story of a Jewish survivor of Hitler’s Europe, and his son, a cartoonist trying to come to terms with his father’s story and the death of his mother. This book follows the story of his father’s experiences in Poland and Auschwitz, as well as that of his entire family. It tells of the romance between his father and mother during this time and their struggles to stay together despite the circumstances. This book shows the relationship between the author and his father throughout. This graphic novel portrays the Jews as mice and the Nazis as cats during the Holocaust....

Teen Review
https://jocolibrary.bibliocommons.com/item/show/1248402036_how_to_fake_a_moon_landing
Darryl Cunningham
Reviewer's Rating: 
3
Monday, Mar 5, 2018

This book was written to build a case for critical thinking and the scientific process. It explores homeopathy, chiropractic principles, vaccination naysayers, and deniers of evolution and climate change. The author uses a mix of his own drawings and photographs to demonstrate science denial. He sheds light on how conspiracy theories and strange beliefs get started. He also explains how large corporations manipulate data to their own advantage.

An outstanding cartoon presentation for middle school aged kids to adults. Cunningham takes on pseudo-science, global warming deniers, the...

Teen Review
Elena Vanishing by Elena Dunkle
Elena Dunkle
Reviewer's Rating: 
5
Thursday, Jul 23, 2015

Elena has been struggling since a young age, shutting people out and retreating into herself. By 17, she is diagnosed with anorexia and is continually in and out of treatment centers. This is about her journey, the ups and the downs of her eating disorder.

This was an incredible retelling of what Elena went through from her teen years into her adult years. The amount of emotion in this book was stunning and I felt myself brought to tears in several places. Elena was a strong person for finding a way to get out of the strong grip anorexia had on her, and though it took her a long...

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