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March 24, 2006 Edition

ER Vets, by Donna M. Jackson


You might pick this up for the cover photo of the bandaged and vulnerable-looking dog, but youíll be drawn in to its in-depth look at emergency veterinarian medicine. Tons of photos and x-rays grace the inside of this sensitive book about caring for injured animals, along with case histories of dogs, foals, and snakes, and others, some recovered, others, sadly, not. There are a few photos of surgeries, but nothing too graphic, and plenty of information, including how to put together an animal first aid kit and what kinds of human foods arenít good for animals. (older elementary school and middle school readers)

Saint Francis and the Wolf, by Richard Egielski


There is a ravenous wolf terrorizing the town of Gubbio! In defense, the town sends first a knight, then an army, and finally an enormous war machine against the wolf Ė and none of them ever come back! But when Saint Francis goes out to speak to the wolf, he convinces it to live in peace with the townspeople in this wittily illustrated legend that will have readers smiling. (kindergarten and elementary school readers)

Bodies from the Ash, by James M. Deem


Thoroughly eerie and completely engrossing, this is the story of a few days in August, AD 79, when the thriving city of Pompeii was completely buried beneath many feet of pumice and ash. The city was rediscovered in 1748, and researchers and excavators put together the story of the cityís final days based on the bodies and artifacts found buried in the now rock-hard ash. Intertwined with the story of Pompeii is the equally sad story of the nearby town of Herculaneum, also destroyed without any survivors. (older elementary school and middle school readers)

Children of the Great Depression, by Russell Freedman


The Great Depression of the 1930s was a terrible time to be a kid Ė there were few jobs available, so families had little money for heat, electricity, food, or clothes. Some kids took turns wearing the family coat to school, others took turns having the dayís meal. Many helped their families by scrounging in the dump for things to sell or use, or by leaving home to ride the rails in hopes of finding work. Read about the Depressionís causes, effects, and gradual easing in this amazing book full of photos, personal stories, and history. (older elementary and middle school readers)

Cause, by Tonya Bolden


A richly researched and compellingly written history of the United States during Reconstruction, this will tantalize history buffs and give report-writers plenty to write about. Focusing on the years 1863-1877, Bolden explores some of the questions that politicians and citizens asked after the Civil War: should the federal government reimburse slaveholders for their lost employees? Should newly-freed blacks be compensated for their years of slavery? What place would each hold in the new society, and how would the economy function? Lavishly illustrated with photos, newspaper clippings, historical documents, cartoons, and drawings, this is guaranteed to please. (middle school and high school readers)

Aesopís Fables, written by Saviour Pirotta, illustrated by Richard Johnson


This is a wonderful introduction to Aesop for children, written in a storytellerís voice with plenty of color illustrations. The eight stories are linked together by comments from the storyteller himself, whose life story as a slave and then a free man is gradually revealed, and each moral is framed at the end of the story. Aesopís best-known tales are here, from the Catís Bell to the Tortoise and the Hare, as well as a few I hadnít seen before. (kindergarten and elementary school readers)

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