#QP2018 Nominees Round Up: Nonfiction Edition

Cat Tales: True Stories of Kindness and Companionship with Kitties by Aline Alexander Newman
National Geographic
Publication Date: April 11, 2017
ISBN: 9781426327346

In this adorable and fascinating book readers learn about the true stories of amazing cats and their owners. Each story is short and features National Geographic quality pictures. Standout tales include: Dodger, a cat who learned to ride the bus, Humphrey, the official government mouser for the United Kingdom, Pudditat, a cat that became a seeing eye cat for a blind dog, and Bubba, a cat who attended school so often he got his own ID card. In between stories are fun facts and cat information. The short sections, captivating pictures, and interesting stories make this a perfect quick read. Recommended for fans of animals, National  Geographic fact books, and Animal Planet TV shows.

–Jessica Ormonde


Creative Pep Talk: Inspiration from 50 Artists by Andy J. Miller
Chronicle Books
Publication Date: April 4, 2017
ISBN: 9781452152080

Do you enjoy creative ideas and projects? This beautiful book is full of ideas AND lots of encouragement, too! Creative Pep Talk provides words of wisdom from 50 of today’s leading creative professionals. Readers are encouraged to stay excited, experiment boldly, and conquer fear: “Create curiosity,” “Learn to say no,” and “If you can’t be good, be different.”

Teen artists will find inspiration and plenty of pep talks. Browsing readers will also enjoy the art and design of Creative Pep Talk.

Heavy use of illustrations and sparse text are major selling points for reluctant readers.

Recommended for any reader who enjoys art or creative pursuits. Great for those thinking of a career as an artist, graphic designer, or animator.

–Kay Hones


Undefeated: Jim Thorpe and the Carlisle Indian School Football Team by Steve Sheinkin
Roaring Brook Press/Macmillan
Publication Date: January 17, 2017
ISBN: 9781596439542

Steve Sheinkin has done it again! Ever popular with reluctant readers for his pacing and his exposure of little known facts, this time his focus is football and two indomitable forces in the development of the game as we know it: Jim Thorpe and Pop Warner.

Jokes about lousy reffing take on new meaning as Sheinkin sets the historical context not only of the game of football, but also for the prejudice that was leveled at the Carlisle Indian School players when they made the decision to take on the “Big Four”: Harvard, Yale, Princeton, and the University of Pennsylvania. In a struggle that can only be defined as epic, Pop Warner and the Native Americans who made up the Carlisle Indian School football team changed how the game was played. The squabbles of the Bowl Championship Series (BCS) in determining which college football team is the greatest will pale in comparison to the down and dirty game played in Thorpe’s time. Diehard fans of football will relish Sheinkin’s descriptions of plays that seem commonplace today, but were revolutionary when unrolled by Pop Warner and Jim Thorpe.  Readers will come away with a whole new appreciation for the courage and tenacity demonstrated by the Carlisle Indian School Indians.

Short chapters supported by fascinating historical photos, illustrations, and play diagrams keep the story moving. Reluctant readers may not be as entranced with the exhaustive end noting, bibliography, and end matter as educators and librarians, but it is reassuring to know that Sheinkin has grounded this historical analysis of the good, the bad, and the deadly of football and some of the most influential men in the game in solid research.

–Jodi Kruse


Sandwiches! : More Than You’ve Ever Wanted to Know About Making and Eating America’s Favorite Food by Alison Deering, illustrated by Bob Lentz
Capstone Young Readers
Publication Date: August 1, 2017
ISBN: 9781623708160 

Illustrated, easy-to-follow sandwich recipes, accompanied by fun facts will make stomachs growl! From simple Level 1 “Plate and Knife” to Level 2 “Toaster and Microwave”, on up to “The Big Time” Level 5, teen chefs of all skill levels will be satiated.

The bold, colorful cover design is first to grab audience attention, followed by the amazingly vibrant and detailed food images on each page. The introduction includes an illustrated table of contents, along with tools and safety tips. The leveled format from one through five makes this book very accessible for beginners, skilled chefs, and everyone in between.  Fun facts such as History of the PB&J, along with “We Dare You” add-in ingredients make even the most basic sammies more special. Other culinary delights include a Chicken and Waffles sandwich, “The Gobbler” for turkey leftovers, and even a sampling of dessert sandwiches. Over fifty recipes contain ideas for many customizable add-ins, along with allergy-friendly substitutions and vegetarian options. Hand this to Food Network fans and teens wanting to start simple and build their confidence in cooking.

Lisa Krok


Tie & Dye by Lizzie King
Publication Date: March 7, 2017
ISBN: 9781910904749

In this how to Tie Dye book Lizzie King leads readers through a variety of tie dye projects. An introduction includes a brief cultural history of tie dye in Japanese culture, info about the dyes, different ways to fold the cloth, how the color wheel works etc. Projects range from dying socks, to plant hangers, to shoes. Each project includes a visual representation of what materials are needed, and step by step photos and instructions are included making each project easily accessible for readers. King’s light and friendly tone help to make the instructions even more engaging. This book acts as a great intro to tie dye with a little extra depth for those who want to explore different techniques.

Great for fans of DIY culture, and tie dye.

–Jessica Ormonde

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Quick Picks

Quick Picks for Reluctant Readers Blogging Team @ YALSA's The Hub.