Monday, February 8, 2010

Nonfiction Monday: The Raucous Royals by Carlyn Beccia

Happy Nonfiction Monday! This week's host blog is Great Kids Books, if you're on Blogger you should follow this blog run by another fellow independent school librarian, Mary Ann Scheuer!! (I wonder if I'll see her at AISL this year?) And now back to our regularly scheduled program.

This weekend I picked up one The Raucous Royals by Carlyn Beccia (Houghton Mifflin Co., 2008). It also has this pretty entertaining website too! Carlyn Beccia is an author and artist and has a couple of pretty cool blogs. I'm enjoying The Ballyhoo one where she talking about digital painting.

What Caught My Eye: Check out that cover! Mary Queen of Scots trying to remove the crown off a disapproving Queen Elizabeth!! The royal red background and detailed gold border. Plus the subtitle which states "Test Your Royal Wits: Crack Codes, Solve Mysteries, and Deduce which Royal Rumors are True!" just makes you want to pick it up.

Why I didn't Put It Down: The layout of this book makes it a face-paced and highly entertaining. It's hijinxs and shenanigans vivaciously illustrated using amazing colors and stylized so you need to keep turning the pages until you are done. On pages 60 and 61, Beccia also has the research process for kids to follow (and you know how I love the research process!!!!). I love tip number 5:
Ask for help. Don't be afraid to ask your local librarian,
teacher, or parent for help. But after you get pointed in the
right direction, do your own research instead of relying on
the viewpoints of others. Your job is to examine all sides
and come to your own conclusion.
Be a history detective...not a rumor spreader.
Fantastic!!! She also includes a great bibliography so if your students just need a quick introduction to certain historical figures, they could start here and then check out the bibliography to branch out from or to just get a picture of the number of resources researchers look at when creating a book, paper, article, movie, or podcast, etc. You also get a nice sense of the different time periods in Europe as well.
Who Would I Recommend This To: It would be great for a elementary and/or middle school collection. I was continuing my theme from last week with Doomed Queens post and needed to learn more about those "raucous royals" so those interested in all those crazy rumours would probably just find this a pretty enjoyable read.
P.S. If you are wondering if I cracked any codes or how I did on figuring out which rumours were true or false..I'm not telling! :)

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