Top Ten Non-Fiction Titles of the Year:
10. Tom Thumb: The Remarkable True Story of a Man in Miniature by George Sullivan
09. Wheels of Change: How Women Rode the Bicycle to Freedom (with a few flat tires along the way) by Sue Macy
08. All the Water in the World by by George Ella Lyon and Katherine Tillotson
07. Into the Unknown: How Great Explorers Found Their Way by Land, Sea and Air by Stewart Ross, ill. by Stephen Biesty
06. Flesh and Blood So Cheap: The Triangle Fire and its Legacy by Albert Marrin
05. Drawing From Memory by Allen Say
04. A Butterfly is Patient by Dianna Aston, ill. by Sylvia Long
03. Queen of the Falls by Chris Van Allsburg
02. Amelia Lost: The Life and Disappearance of Amelia Earhart by Candace Fleming
01. Heart and Soul: The Story of America and African Americans by Kadir Nelson
It may not be a landslide (for I really did love Amelia Lost), but the gorgeous, Caldecott worthy illustrations but Kadir Nelson and Heart and Soul over the top for the best non-fiction work for children this year. His look at the African American experience from the Revolution to the Civil Rights movement, told through the wise voice of a nameless grandmother figure captured by heart and my mind. It’s impossible not to be drawn in by Nelson’s prose and the poetry of his images strikes right and the heart of the matter. This didn't win the heaps of awards I was expecting, but I'm proud of Nelson for winning the Coretta Scott King Book Award.
Honorable Mentions: Meadowlands: A Wetlands Survival Story by Thomas F. Yezerski; Migrant Mother: How a Photograph Defined the Great Depression by Don Nardo; Who Has What? All About Girls’ Bodies and Boys’ Bodies by Robie H. Harris, ill. by Nadine Bernard Westcott; and Rah, Rah, Radishes! A Vegetable Chant by April Pulley Sayre.