Wednesday, January 23, 2013

The Gruesome Truth About...

Nonfiction Picture Book Wednesday

Here at Teach Mentor Texts we are always looking for more ways to support teachers! We've found that teachers seem to be constantly on the lookout for great nonfiction. We know we are! To help with this undying quest for outstanding non-fiction, we are excited to participate in Nonfiction Picture Book Wednesday hosted by Kid Lit Frenzy and The Nonfiction Detectives. Every Wednesday, you'll find a non-fiction review here - although it may not always be a picture book review. Please visit Kid Lit Frenzy to see what non-fiction others have to share, too.

Title: The Gruesome Truth About... The GreeksThe Middle AgesThe Egyptians  
Author: Jillian Powell 
Illustrator: Matt Buckinham
Publisher: Wayland
Publication Date: Since 2008
Genre/Format: Non-fiction/Informational Text
Goodreads Summary: Covering different historical eras (The Egyptians, The Aztecs, The Romans, The Victorians, The Tudors, The Middle Ages, and The Vikings), this informative series details all the topics one would expect to find in a history series, such as family life, food, religion, entertainment and warfare. However, it focuses on the most gruesome parts of these topics.
What I Think: History was always one of the hardest subjects for me- I never found it that interesting. I was never sure if it was me or how I was taught it, but either way I have found that I love learning about history now. This is why historical fiction has become one of my favorite genres throughout the years. This also is why I love finding good informational non-fiction books about history that makes it seem more interesting than a bunch of dates that you have to memorize. 
Read Together: Grades 5 to 10
Read Alone: Grades 6 to 9
Read With: Non-fiction or Historical Fiction books covering the same time period. Ex. Athena's Son by Jeryl Schoenbeck or Cleopatra's Moon by Vicky Alvear Shecter with The EgyptiansGoddess Girls series by Joan Holub or Olympians series by George O'Connor with The Greeks; The Midwife's Apprentice or Catherine, Called Birdy by Karen Cushman with The Middle Ages
Snatch of Text: "Gruesome Truth: Some of the sports allowed kicking, punching, breaking fingers, and dislocating limbs." (The Greeks, p. 6)

"Gruesome Truth: Favorite takeout foods included roasted song thrushes (two for a penny) and sheep's feet." (The Middle Ages, p. 14) 

"Gruesome Truth: Some people were sold into slavery by their own families. Others sold themselves to escape debt, or were kidnapped from other countries or captured as prisoners of war." (The Egyptians, p. 10)
Mentor Text for: Non-fiction Text Features, Background Knowledge, Research, Expository, True/False
Writing Prompts: Using the "Further Information and Web Sites" that the author shares with you, research the time period you read about and find facts that you wish the author had included in the book.; Following the format of Jillian Powell's books, find information about our culture and make a "Gruesome Truth" spread about it.
Topics Covered: Mythology, Religion, History, Warfare, Food, Entertainment, Family Life
I *heart* Them:

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