This Month in History: May

picture of a globe in the foreground, shelves in the background


black and white picture of the Lusitania

If you'd like to read about the Lusitania:

Remember the Lusitania! by Diana Preston - An account of the World War I German torpedo attack on and sinking of the passenger liner, the Lusitania, describing the experiences of some of those involved. - (Baker & Taylor)


If you'd like to read about boats:

The Lights & Types of Ships at Night by Dave Eggers - You may have heard of ships. You may have also heard of the sea and the night. But did you realize there's nothing more beautiful than a ship and its lights on the sea at night? In warm and witty prose, this picture book's narrator asks the reader to consider the splendor of glowing lights cast by ships on a shimmering waterway. Meet a trawler, a steamship, a RoRo, an exploratory vessel and more across richly illustrated pages, alive with the glowy, otherworldly nighttime scenes of boats as seen from a child's perspective. Includes a 29" X 18" full-color fold-out poster. - (Bookmasters)

Ships & Boats: Sail, Navigation, Radar, Anchor, and Keel by Chris Oxlade - Looks at the development of ships and boats, how they work, their various parts, different types of watercraft, and related topics, with corresponding experiments. - (Baker & Taylor)

Ships & Boats by John Hudson Tiner - An introduction to the history of transportation on the water and to various ships and watercraft. - (Baker & Taylor)



picture of a steam train

If you'd like to read about the transcontinental railroad:

Connecting the Coasts: the Race to Build the Transcontinental Railroad by Norma Lewis - Examines the Transcontinental Railroad by discussing why it was needed and the immediate and lasting effects it had on the nation as well as the people and places involved. -- Provided by publisher.

Iron Rails, Iron Men, and the Race to Link the Nation: the Story of the Transcontinental Railroad by Martin W. Sandler - Documents the story of the two determined railroad companies that braved environmental and industrial dangers to build the first cross-country railroad in the mid-19th century, tracing their fierce competition involving tens of thousands of workers. - (Baker & Taylor)


If you'd like to read about trains:

My Best Book of Trains by Richard Balkwill - Introduces all sorts of trains from around the world, covering different types of trains, how they are constructed, how they run, and who drives them. - (Baker & Taylor)

Terrific Trains by Dennis R. Shealy - Few travel by trains today, but kids regardless are fascinated by the freight train, passenger trains, the conductor, and even the caboose. Terrific Trains will mix both illustrations and photographs to bring the railroad to life! - (Baker & Taylor)

Trains by Cari Meister - From passenger trains to subways, get young readers in preK-2 on the right track to understanding the different types of trains they see in their community and in their world. Cover the basics of how trains work, along with a brief history. Bold photographs and energetic text are perfect for read-alouds or introductions to transportation units. A short photo timeline in the back will reinforce how technology has changed over time. - (Capstone Press)




black and white portrait - Clara Barton, American Red Cross logo

If you'd like to read about Clara Barton:

Brave Clara Barton by Frank Murphy - A skill-building reader introduces the life and achievements of American Red Cross founder Clara Barton, describing in straightforward text how her brother's injury inspired her work, her important battlefield contributions during the Civil War and her enduring legacy as a role model for young women. - (Baker & Taylor)

Who Was Clara Barton by Stephanie Spinner - Clarissa “Clara” Barton was a shy girl who grew up to become a teacher, nurse, and humanitarian.  At a time when few women worked outside the home, she became the first woman to hold a government job, as a patent clerk in Washington, DC. In 1864, she was appointed “lady in charge” of the hospitals at the front lines of the Union Army, where she became known as the “Angel of the Battlefield.” Clara Barton built a career helping others.  She went on to found the American Red Cross, one of her greatest accomplishments, and one of the most recognized organizations in the world. - (Random House, Inc.)


If you'd like to read about CPR/first aid (which are classes the Red Cross offers):

Emergency! Be Prepared by Lisa Greathouse - Explains the importance of being prepared for emergencies, and discusses calling for help, first aid, CPR, choking, food poisoning, water safety, fires, natural disasters, and emergency supply kits for both people and pets. - (Baker & Taylor)

First Aid Basics by Rebecca Weber - Discusses basic first aid measures to follow in the event of accidents, including bee stings, cuts and scrapes, and choking. - (Baker & Taylor)




black and white picture of a hand using a telegraph machine

If you'd like to read about Samuel Morse and the telegraph:

Samuel Morse and the Telegraph by David Seidman - In this compelling graphic novel, follow the amazing life of Samuel Morse, who developed a working telegraph in 1844 and changed the way people communicated. With comic book-style illustrations and engaging, easy-to-read text, this biography will inspire, entertain, and inform young readers about an individual who made a significant contribution to society. An additional information section provides key facts and further understanding, making this graphic novel a must-have in any home, classroom, or library. - (Capstone Press)

Samuel Morse, That's Who!: the Story of the Telegraph and Morse Code by Tracy Maurer - Back in the 1800s, information traveled slowly. Who would dream of instant messages? Samuel Morse, that’s who! Who traveled to France, where the famous telegraph towers relayed 10,000 possible codes for messages depending on the signal arm positions—only if the weather was clear? Who imagined a system that would use electric pulses to instantly carry coded messages between two machines, rain or shine? Long before the first telephone, who changed communication forever? Samuel Morse, that’s who! - (McMillan Palgrave)


If you'd like to read about codes and ciphers:

Alpha, Bravo, Charlie: the Complete Book of Nautical Codes by Sara Gillingham - This stunning visual refence is an introduction to maritime communication through nautical flags, along with morse code, the phonetic alphabet, and semaphore signaling. Today's system of international maritime signal flags was developed in the 19th century, and is still used for communication between ships, or between ship and shore. Each flag, boldly colored for visual distinction at sea, stands for a letter as well as a phrase relevant to seafaring. The resulting code is both beautiful and functional, inviting readers to code and decode messages of their own! Created for ages 6-8 years - (Grand Central Pub)

Can You Crack the Code? by Ella Schwartz - Codes can carry big secrets! Throughout history, lots of good guys and lots of bad guys have used codes to keep their messages under wraps. This fun and flippable nonfiction features stories of hidden treasures, war-time maneuverings, and contemporary hacking as well as explaining the mechanics behind the codes in accessible and kid friendly forms. Sidebars call out activities that invite the reader to try their own hand at cracking and crafting their own secret messages. This is the launch of an exciting new series that invites readers into a STEM topic through compelling historical anecdotes, scientific backup, and DIY projects. - (McMillan Palgrave)

Code Girls: the True Story of the American Women Who Secretly Broke Codes in World War II by Liza Mundy - More than ten thousand women served as codebreakers during World War II, recruited by the U.S. Army and Navy. While their brothers and boyfriends took up arms, these women moved to the nation's capital to learn the top secret art of code breaking. Through their work, the "code girls" helped save countless lives and were vital in ending the war. But due to the top secret nature of their accomplishments, these women have never been able to talk about their story--until now. Through dazzling research and countless interviews with the surviving code girls, Liza Mundy brings their story to life with zeal, grace, and passion. Abridged and adapted for a middle grade audience, Code Girls brings this important story to young readers for the first time, showcasing this vital story of American courage, service, and scientific accomplishment. - (Grand Central Pub)




picture of the Golden Gate Bridge

If you'd like to read about the Golden Gate Bridge:

The Building of the Golden Gate Bridge by Arnold Ringstad - Gives readers a behind-the-scenes look at the building of the Golden Gate Bridge. Additional features include a table of contents, a Fast Facts spread, critical-thinking questions, primary source quotes and accompanying source notes, a phonetic glossary, an index, and sources for further research. - (Child's World)

This Bridge Will Not Be Gray by Dave Eggers - The Golden Gate Bridge is the most famous bridge in the world. It is also, not entirely coincidentally, the world’s first bright-orange bridge. But it wasn’t supposed to be that way. In this book, fellow bridge-lovers Dave Eggers and Tucker Nichols tell the story of how it happened? How a bridge that some people wanted to be red and white, and some people wanted to be yellow and black, and most people wanted simply to be gray, instead became, thanks to the vision and stick-to-itiveness of a few peculiar architects, one of the most memorable man-made objects ever created.  - (Bookmasters)


If you'd like to read about other US landmarks:

Climbing Lincoln's Steps: the African American Journey by Suzanne Slade - Interweaves the story of black Americans' struggle for equality with important moments in African-American history that have occurred at the Lincoln Memorial, including Marian Anderson's concert in 1939; Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s famous speech in 1963; and a visit from the first African-American president and his family in 2009. - (Baker & Taylor)

Lady Liberty: a Biography by Doreen Rappaport - Offers the true story about the work that was done by so many on both sides of the ocean to create this enduring symbol of freedom and the fundraisers held by everyday people to build her the pedestal on which she would forever stand in the Hudson Harbor. 40,000 first printing. - (Baker & Taylor)

Mount Rushmore's Hidden Room and Other Monumental Secrets by Laurie Calkhoven - Reveals some of the secret locations and rooms hidden in famous United States landmarks, including President Roosevelt's private train station underneath New York City and a secret room carved into the back of Mount Rushmore. - (Baker & Taylor)