72 Booklist February 15, 2016 www.booklistreader.com
torcycles or dangling from the handlebars in midair as they compete
with daring tricks. Motocross Racing describes different types of races,
including the endurocross and supercross. Each book features relevant
sports terms and concludes with an innovator in the sport; however, it
is disappointing that no female athletes are represented in the books’
text or illustrations. Somewhat surprisingly, the X Games are never
explained, though each volume references them. Even with these defi-ciencies, the books’ exciting tone and dynamic illustrations will draw
kids into the world of extreme sports. —Julia Smith
Also recommended from this series:
• BMX Freestyle (9781626172739).
• Skateboarding Street Style (9781626172777).
HOW TO BE . . . SERIES. BLACK RABBIT/SMART APPLE
MEDIA. GR. 2–5.
An Actor. By Stephanie Turnbull. Illus. by Guy Callaby. Mar.
2016. 24p. lib. ed., $27.10 (9781625883643). 792.
A Chef. By Stephanie Turnbull. Illus. by Guy Callaby. Mar.
2016. 24p. lib. ed., $27.10 (9781625883667). 641.5.
A Circus Star. By Stephanie Turnbull. Illus. by Guy Callaby.
Mar. 2016. 24p. lib. ed., $27.10 (9781625883674). 791.
A Magician. By Stephanie Turnbull. Illus. by Guy Callaby. Mar.
2016. 24p. lib. ed., $27.10 (9781625883698). 793.8.
From improv to magic tricks, the volumes in the How to Be . . .
series encourage young readers to explore the early stages of a variety of
interesting hobbies. Detailed, step-by-step instructions and helpful tips combine to make a series full
of ideal beginner’s guides. An Actor gives comprehensive advice on many facets of acting, from tips
on getting into character to the do’s and don’ts of
stage makeup and costuming. A Chef, which consists primarily of simple recipes, is perhaps the least
detailed of the series, though tips on food presentation add depth. A Circus Star provides how-to
lists for several basic circus activities (juggling, plate spinning, and
tumbling) as well as guidance on putting together a safe, fun act. A
Magician gets the reader started with basic card and rope tricks while
also elaborating on the importance of misdirection and preparation.
These aren’t career guides per se, although they do acknowledge the
possibility of jobs in the field. Each volume is thoroughly filled with
photos and cartoons, and although the drawings do come across as
somewhat silly, they also effectively illustrate the concepts they’re
paired with. Back matter provides several online resources that promise a little more than just the basics for readers whose interest has been
whetted. —Maggie Reagan
Also recommended from this series:
• How to Be an Artist (9781625883650).
• How to Be a Craft Star (9781625883681).
STORIES OF THE CIVIL RIGHTS MOVEMENT SERIES.
ABDO/CORE LIBRARY. GR. 4–6.
Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka. By Sharon J. Wilson.
2015. 48p. illus. lib. ed., $22.95 (9781624038778); e-book,
$22.95 (9781629697437). 344.73.
Freedom Summer, 1964. By Carla Mooney. 2015. 48p.
illus. lib. ed., $22.95 (9781624038785); e-book, $22.95
James Meredith and the University of Mississippi. By
Karen Latchana Kenney. 2015. 48p. illus. lib. ed., $22.95
(9781624038792); e-book, $22.95 (9781629697451). 378.762.
The Little Rock Nine. By Carla Mooney. 2015. 48p.
illus. lib. ed., $22.95 (9781624038808); e-book, $22.95
In the Stories of the Civil Rights Movement series, each volume fo-
Also recommended from this series:
cuses on a pivotal event and targets a younger audience than most
books on the subject. Illustrated with many well-chosen photos, the
presentations include a number of fact-filled sidebars, including a one-
page feature called “Straight to the Source,” offering passages from
primary source documents and posing textbook-
like questions designed to help students engage
with the source material. Brown v. Board of Educa-
tion includes short excerpts from the 1954 New
York Times article outlining the court’s landmark
decision on school desegregation. In Freedom
Summer, one volunteer describes several violent
attacks on students and other civil rights workers
who traveled to Mississippi during the summer of
1964. James Meredith quotes sections from a 1962 New York Times
article describing a riot on the campus of the University of Mississippi,
where Meredith would soon become the first black student. The Little
Rock Nine offers part of a telegram the nine African American students’
parents sent to President Eisenhower, thanking him for sending federal
troops to protect their children’s rights. Although kids unfamiliar with
the era may find some terms in the books confusing, the series of-
fers good introductions to some important milestones in the American
civil rights movement. —Carolyn Phelan
• Martin Luther King, Jr. and the March on Washington
• Nonviolent Resistance in the Civil Rights Movement
• The Passing of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (9781624038839).
• Rosa Parks and the Montgomery Bus Boycott
WATCH THIS SPACE! SERIES. CRABTREE. GR. 4–6.
Astronomy, Astronauts, and Space Exploration. By Clive
Gifford. 2015. 32p. illus. lib. ed., $20.70 (9780778720218);
paper, $8.95 (9780778720256). 520.
The Solar System, Meteors, and Comets. By Clive Gifford.
2015. 32p. illus. lib. ed., $20.70 (9780778720232); paper,
$8.95 (9780778720270). 523.2.
Stars, Galaxies, and the Milky Way. By Clive Gifford. 2015.
32p. illus. lib. ed., $20.70 (9780778720225); paper, $8.95
The Universe, Black Holes, and the Big Bang. By Clive
Gifford. 2015. 32p. illus. lib. ed., $20.70 (9780778720249);
paper, $8.95 (9780778720287). 523.1.
The final frontier still seems endless in the Watch This Space! series.
Similar to the universe itself, the volumes start with basic concepts
and keep expanding on the content. Like a clear
night sky, the layout consists of dark backgrounds
that highlight vibrant colors, computer-style fonts,
and a plethora of photo reproductions and simulated models. Each page consists of multiple text
boxes that group information into manageable and
engaging chunks. Astronomy, Astronauts, and Space
Exploration begins with ancient stargazing and
traces the development of optical telescopes and
observatories to space probes, astronaut training, and the International
Space Station. The Solar System, Meteors, and Comets describes each of
the planets in the solar system as well as earth’s moon, asteroids, dwarf
planets, meteors, comets, and exoplanets. Stars, Galaxies, and the Milky
Way starts with an explanation of stars and the sun and continues with
more star facts, including the birth and death of stars, star types, su-pernovae, and galaxies. The Universe, Black Holes, and the Big Bang
focuses on the universe and its beginning and discusses such topics
as clusters, black holes, dark matter, and possible extraterrestrial life.
Together, these books cover all aspects of space, combining pertinent
facts with a cool factor. —Angela Leeper