Best 9 Non-Fiction Books I Read in 2019

Peaceful Fights for Equal Rights
by Rob Sanders, 
illustrated by Jared Andrew Schorr
"This book is a standout among the growing number of books for kid's addressing equal rights and human rights. Rather than tell readers what to fight for, Sanders shows them the many ways to protest peacefully. Sanders begins his book with this quote from Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., "We must pursue peaceful ends through peaceful means." His dedication, which I found very moving and meaningful, reads, "In honor of those who lost their lives at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, and those who found their voices." From start to finish, there is a poetic flow to Sanders's words and Schorr's illustrations - and so much to unpack. This is a book you will return to often over time."

Marley Dias Gets It Done and So Can You!
by Marley Dias, with Siobhan McGowan, introduction by Ava Duvernay
"Tired of being assigned literature that was almost exclusively about white boys and their dogs, then fifth grader Dias founded #1000BlackGirlBooks. Her book is part memoir, part self-improvement book, part handbook for young social activists. As an activist for literacy and a self-described, "total book nerd," (as well as science and math nerd) Dias shares everything she has learned from her mother (and father) including work as part of a health ambassador program in Ghana in 2015." 

The Story of Harvey Milk and the Rainbow Flag
by Rob Sanders, illustrated by Steven Salerno
"With simple elegance, Sanders and Salerno tell the story of a man with a dream and a symbol of hope."

First Generation: 36 Trailblazing Immigrants and Refugees Who Make America Great
by Sandra Neil Wallace & Rich Wallace, illustrated by Agata Nowicka
"Don't start reading this book unless you have a lot of time on your hands - you will be fascinated and find yourself Googling (thanks to Sergey Brin,  one of the trailblazers of this book and founder of Google who immigrated from Moscow, where his family was discriminated against for their religion, at the age of six) each and every one of these trailblazers and the challenging and dangerous countries they came from as well as the challenges and dangers they faced being immigrants in America."

Our House Is On Fire: 
Greta Thunberg's Call to Save the Planet
by Jeanette Winter
"Winter's picture book biography does exactly what I want a picture book biography, especially one of a singular human being like Thunberg, to do. This book presents a precise, powerful story that echoes (and sometimes quotes) the sparsely potent words of Thunberg herself in a way that is accessible for young readers/listeners who know nothing about the subject."

Feed Your Mind: A Story of August Wilson 
by Jen Bryant, illustrated by Cannaday Chapman
"An insightful look at a great writer who, in the face of racism and discrimination, became a Tony and two-time Pulitzer award winning playwright. Reading and books paved a path forward for Wilson, while school and racism held him back. Wilson made his own path, observing his community, taking inspiration from other artists and patiently growing his poetry into plays." 

You Are My FriendThe Story of Mister Rogers and His Neighborhood
by Aimee Reed, illustrated by Matt Phelan
"As a child and adult reader of children's books, I have always been drawn to stories where an adult takes an interest in the young protagonist, recognizing that which is special in her/him/them, and I realized as I read You Are My Friend, tears streaming down my cheeks, that is exactly what Fred Rogers did professionally and personally, reaching so many children and adults and leaving a legacy of kindness and honesty as well as one that lifts up the importance of social-emotional learning."

It Began with a Page: How Gyo Fujikawa Drew the Way
by Kyo Maclear, illustrated by Julie Morstad
"Fujikawa created more than fifty children's books as well as designing six United States postage stamps. In addition to being one of the first to bring diversity to children's books, Fujikawa was also one of the first children's book artists to ask for royalties and encouraged other artists to do the same. 'Let's not follow the old rules,' she said, 'Let's make new ones.' This was true for Gyo in her art and her life. I am so grateful to Maclear and Morstad for creating this compelling picture book biography about an artist and activist."
Little Libraries, Big Heroes
by Miranda Paul, illustrated by John Parra
"Paul focuses her story on aspects of the life of Bol, the power of books and the importance of Little Free Libraries for young readers, giving them information that will inspire them to learn more and, hopefully, become stewards of their own."

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