Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Nonfiction Graphic Novels: Jay-Z, Sharks and Dinosaurs

Over the last couple of weeks, I have read a couple of non-fiction graphic novels and I was so excited to find them. Today I wanted to share 3 of them with you. They will be a great addition to classroom libraries. 

Title: Jay-Z: Hip Hop Icon
Author: Jessica Gunderson
Illustrator: Jessica Junderson
Publisher: Capstone Press
Publication Date: January, 2012
Genre/Format: Nonfiction/Graphic Novel
Goodreads Summary: In 2003 Jay-Z retired from making music. He had made award-winning albums, founded a record label, and had his won line of clothing. He walked away, but he couldn't stop writing songs. Three years later, he was back on the charts with a hit album and the title of Greatest MC of All Time. 
     Track this hip-hop hero as he makes it in the music world and become one of the best-known rappers in the world.
What I Think: I am so glad that I picked this book up at my school's book fair. 
     Jay-Z's life definitely fits the rags to riches saying and this book highlights his life as he transcended from being poor in Brooklyn to being one of the most famous rappers of all time. I like how the book was set up as an interview making it a bit more than just a timeline of his life. I also loved that the author made sure to throw in his rhymes throughout the book to add to the narrative. I think this book is pretty well done and will be a big hit in the classroom.
Read Together: Grades 6 to 8
Read Alone: Grades 6 and up

Discovery Channels Top 10 Deadliest SharksTitle: Discovery Channel's Top 10 Deadliest Sharks
Author: Joe Brusha, Andy Dehart
Illustrator: Shawn Van Briesen
Publisher: Zenescope Entertainment
Publication Date: December, 2010
Genre/Format: Nonfiction/Graphic Novel
Goodreads Summary: Sharks are one of the world's oldest and most ferocious predators. For as long as man has entered the sea, sharks have struck fear in their hearts. This groundbreaking graphic novel from Discovery Channel and Silver Dragon Books examines the world's deadliest sharks and sheds light on their true nature, refuting the notion that they are mindless killing machines, but in reality are among the most amazing and well adapted creatures on earth.
What I Think: I am so glad that Discovery Channel is making nonfiction graphic novels- there is definitely a market out there and it is smart to jump on it. 
     I am pretty fascinated with sharks and am always looking for new books for me and my students- this one will definitely be added to my classroom.
     I enjoy how the book is set up- it is a graphic novel that is filled with diagrams, scientific facts, narrative nonfiction, traditional literature and geography. And it makes sure to emphasize how important sharks are to the ecosystem and that we are a bigger threat to them then they are to us.
Read Together: Grades 3 to 6
Read Alone: Grades 4 to 7

Discovery Channel's Dinosaurs and Prehistoric PredatorsTitle: Discovery Channel's Dinosaurs and Prehistoric Predators
Editor: Robert Greenberger
Authors and Illustrators: Joe Brusha, Neo Edmund, Paul Kupperberg, Aaron Rosenberg, Jim Spivey
Publisher: Zenescope Entertainment
Publication Date: April, 2011
Genre/Format: Nonfiction/Graphic Novel
Goodreads Summary: Zenescope's second book in its new, all-ages imprint, Silver Dragon Books, takes you on an adventure back in time with Discovery Channel's Dinosaurs & Prehistoric Predators. Nothing captures the imagination of kids likethe prehistoric world of Dinosaurs, and this book features all their favorites Velicoraptors, Triceratops, and T-Rex all come to life in this exciting andgroundbreaking new graphic novel.
What I Think: Once again, I am impressed by this nonfiction graphic novel that Discovery Channel has put out. They have really jumped on something that had an open market and by starting with sharks and dinosaurs, they'll probably have a lot of quick fans. And once again, I really enjoyed how the book was set up including diagrams, blurbs, history, timelines, reenactments, etc. 
     Also, I love when I find new information to me in a book. I am a pretty big dinosaur fan, but I didn't know pterodactyls could fold their wings and walk on land and I was very happy to finally learn why we don't call apatosauruses brontasaurus anymore.
Read Together: Grades 3 to 6
Read Alone: Grades 4 to 7

I *heart* Them All

Some other nonfiction graphic novels I know of are: 
Fist Stick Knife Gun: A Personal History of Violence, A True Story in Black and White  The United States Constitution: A Graphic Adaptation  The 9/11 Report  Anne Frank: The Anne Frank House Authorized Graphic Biography  

What do you call this format since graphic novel doesn't seem quite right? 
Are there any other non-fiction graphic novels you know of? 

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