The Just the Facts! Book Club in Palo Alto
A book club for ages 8-12 that will meet and discuss titles from the popular “Who Was, Who Is, What Was, and What Is” Series.
Meets the 1st Sunday of every month at 3:00 p.m.
Get 15% off of each month's book selections!
New members are always welcome!
Books Inc. in Palo Alto
74 Town & Country Village
September 2018 Selection #1: Rock and roll sprang from a combination of African-American genres, Western swing, and country music that exploded in post World War II America. Jim O'Connor explains what constitutes rock music, follows its history and sub-genres through famous musicians and groups, and shows how rock became so much more than just a style of music influencing fashion, language, and lifestyle.
September 2018 Selection #2: Almost everyone can sing along with the Beatles, but how many young readers know their whole story? Geoff Edgers, a Boston Globe reporter and hard-core Beatles fan, brings the Fab Four to life in this Who Was...? book. Readers will learn about their childhoods in Liverpool, their first forays into rock music, what Beatlemania was like, and why they broke up. It's all here in an easy-to-read narrative with plenty of black-and-white illustrations!
August 2018 Selection: Everyone loves Harry Potter. Now kids can learn about Harry's creator!
In 1995, on a four-hour-delayed train from Manchester to London, J. K. Rowling conceived of the idea of a boy wizard named Harry Potter. Upon arriving in London, she began immediately writing the first book in the saga. Rowling's true-life, rags-to-riches story is as compelling as the world of Hogwarts that she created. This biography details not only Rowling's life and her love of literature but the story behind the creation of a modern classic.
August 2018 Selection: Meet the man who created Alice, the Mad Hatter, and Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum!
Lewis Carroll is the pen name of Charles L. Dodgson, a mathematician and church deacon, who taught at Oxford University. He was inspired to write his best known works, Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass, by one of the Dean's daughters, Alice Liddell. The books were hugely successful and brought Carroll wide acclaim, especially for the nonsense poems "Jabberwocky" and The Hunting of the Snark.
Children and adults continue to be delighted by the fantasy of the Alice stories, which have been the basis of plays and movies since their publication in Victorian England during the 1860s and 1870s.
July 2018 Selection #1: Ben Franklin was the scientist who, with the help of a kite, discovered that lightning is electricity. He was also a statesman, an inventor, a printer, and an author-a man of such amazingly varied talents that some people claimed he had magical powers! Full of all the details kids will want to know, the true story of Benjamin Franklin is by turns sad and funny, but always honest and awe-inspiring.
July 2018 Selection #2: On a hot summer day near Philadelphia in 1776, Thomas Jefferson sat at his desk and wrote furiously until early the next morning. He was drafting the Declaration of Independence, a document that would sever this country's ties with Britain and announce a new nation--The United States of America. Colonists were willing to risk their lives for freedom, and the Declaration of Independence made that official. Discover the true story of one of the most radical and uplifting documents in history and follow the action that fueled the Revolutionary War.
June 2018 Selection#1: Easter Island, in the middle of the Pacific Ocean thousands of miles from anywhere, has intrigued visitors since Europeans first arrived in the 1700s. How did people first come to live there? How did they build the enormous statues and why? How were they placed around the island without carts or even wheels? Scientists have learned many of the answers, although some things still remain a mystery. Megan Stine reveals it all in a gripping narrative.
This book, part of the New York Times best-selling series, is enhanced by eighty illustrations and a detachable fold-out map complete with four photographs on the back.
June 2018 Selection #2: A life in the wild!
Jane Goodall, born in London, England, always loved animals and wanted to study them in their natural habitats. So at age twenty-six, off she went to Africa! Goodall's up-close observations of chimpanzees changed what we know about them and paved the way for many female scientists who came after her. Now her story comes to life in this biography with black-and-white illustrations throughout.
May 2018 Selection#1: Babe Ruth came from a poor Baltimore family and, as a kid, he was a handful. It was at a reform school that Babe discovered his talent for baseball, and by the age of nineteen, he was on his way to becoming a sports legend. Babe was often out of shape and even more often out on the town, but he had a big heart and an even bigger swing! Kids will learn all about the Home Run King in this rags-to- riches sports biography. With black-and-white illustrations throughout, a true sports legend is brought to life.
May 2018 Selection #2: "Strike - you're out!" "He's safe!" "Homerun!" Every October, millions of baseball fans around the country anxiously wait to see which team wins baseball's biggest championship. But the original games of the 1900s hardly look like they do today. Take a look back over one hundred years and discover the history of baseball's greatest series. With triumphs, heartbreak, and superstitious curses, this action-packed book brings America's Pastime to life.
April 2018 Selection #1: The beloved plays of Shakespeare are still produced everywhere, yet the life of the world's most famous playwright remains largely a mystery. Young Will left the town of Stratford to pursue theater in London, where his work eventually thrived and made him a famous and wealthy man. With black-and-white illustrations that include a diagram of the famous Globe theater, Celeste Davidson Mannis puts together the pieces of Shakespeare's life and work for young readers.
April 2018 Selection #2: Every kid has heard of Harry Houdini, the famous magician who could escape from handcuffs, jail cells, and locked trunks. But do they know that the ever-ambitious and adventurous Houdini was also a famous movie star and the first pilot to fly a plane in Australia? This well-told biography is full of the details of Houdini's life that kids will really want to know about and illustrated throughout with beautiful black-and-white line drawings.
Illustrated by John O'Brien.
March 2018 Selection #1: Born in 1925, Maria Tallchief spent part of her childhood on an Osage reservation in Oklahoma. With the support of her family and world-renowned choreographer George Balanchine, she rose to the top of her art form to become America's first prima ballerina. Black-and-white illustrations provide visual sidebars to the history of ballet while taking readers through the life of this amazing dancer.
March 2018 Selection #2: Venus and Serena Williams are two of the most successful professional American tennis players of all time. Coached at an early age by their parents, the sisters have both gone on to become Grand Slam title winners. They have both achieved the World Number One ranking in both singles and doubles! Although completely professional and fiercely competitive, the sisters remain close. Who Are Venus and Serena Williams? follows the pair from their early days of training up through the ranks and to the Summer Olympic Games, where they have each won four gold medals--more than any other tennis players.
This title in the New York Times best-selling series has eighty illustrations that help bring the exciting story of tennis champs Venus and Serena Williams to life.
February 2018 Selection #1: In 1955, Rosa Parks refused to give her bus seat to a white passenger in Montgomery, Alabama. This seemingly small act triggered civil rights protests across America and earned Rosa Parks the title "Mother of the Civil Rights Movement." This biography has black-and-white illustrations throughout.
February 2018 Selection #2: Born into slavery in Maryland in 1818, Frederick Douglass was determined to gain freedom--and once he realized that knowledge was power, he secretly learned to read and write to give himself an advantage. After escaping to the North in 1838, as a free man he gave powerful speeches about his experience as a slave. He was so impressive that he became a friend of President Abraham Lincoln, as well as one of the most famous abolitionists of the nineteenth century.
January 2018 Selection #1: Steve Irwin did not have a typical childhood. Born in Melbourne, Australia, on February 22, 1962, he was raised on the wildlife park his parents owned. He cared for the animals and especially loved reptiles--he got a python for his sixth birthday! At nine years old, Steve was already helping his father wrestle small crocodiles. He became a crocodile trapper after graduating high school, catching the creatures before dangerous poachers could. Steve met his wife, Terri, at his family's park, and instead of a honeymoon, the pair filmed a wildlife documentary that led to the creation of the well-known series The Crocodile Hunter. Tragically, Steve was killed on September 4, 2006 while filming a documentary when a stingray attacked, piercing his heart. He was forty-four years old. However, his life's work obviously still strikes a chord with kids who voted him the winner of the 100th Who Was...?
January 2018 Selection #2: In this Where Is? title, kids can explore the Great Barrier Reef--big enough to be seen from space but made up of billions of tiny living organisms.
The Great Barrier Reef, off the coast of Australia, is the world's largest coral reef system. Stretching more than 1,400 miles, it provides a home to a wide diversity of creatures. Designated a World Heritage Site, the reef is suffering from the effects of climate change but this fascinating book shows this spectacular part of our planet.