Knit Your Bit: a World War I Story, by Deborah Hopkinson, illustrated by Steven Guarnaccia
Plain and simple, I bought this one for research on the book. How could I resist? Knitting, and the history of World War I. Two of my most favorite things to learn about. And it’s got local history (a knitting song written in Seattle), and best of all, information about how you can knit to help soldiers today, too. This one isn’t nonfiction, but it’s based on real events – so it’s the “plus” in the post title.
Hoop Genius: How a Desperate Teacher and a Rowdy Gym Class Invented Basketball, by John Coy, Ill. By Joe Morse
I find the greatest books for research! This came at such a good time in my work on adding women’s basketball to my manuscript. The inspiration for my main character really did play in college (in 1912 or so), and really did coach when she taught high school. It’s key to her character development in depicting her as a someone who forged new paths for women. This one doesn’t cover mch about women in the game, but it was such a new sport, and it’s wonderful to see where it started. Plus the illustrations are a kick.
Neighborhood Sharks: Hunting the Great Whites of California’s Farallon Islands, by Katherine Roy
Jam-packed full of information for the most discerning shark enthusiast (and I have known many of those pint-sized scientists in my time), this is a gorgeous, gory, beautifully illustrated and researched book. Here is a wonderful time-lapse video of the artist creating one of the drawings. I love that the sound track behind is shark researchers on their boat. Listen and watch.