I loved this series. It's quick but delightful. Elmer is inventive and caring and a great role model for kids. I can definitely see myself reading this to any future children in my own life. I'm keeping my entire set of the series.
Middle Grade March Count: 19
Prequels and Sequel challenge: +2 and +10 for completing a series = 32 points total!
Who was Ferdinand Magellan by Sydelle Kramer is an excellent middle grade biography. It follows Ferdinand Magellan's life from birth to death, although it primarily focuses on his desire to travel the world and his eventual voyage.
I've been having lots of kids asking about this series recently which is why I picked this one up. I can definitely see the appeal! It's got a lot of facts (although I'll admit to being a little leary about trusting the facts too much) and gorgeous art work. I'd say one of the few drawbacks is that there aren't any actual photos in it--just drawings. I think these provide an excellent introduction to historical events through the eyes of important individuals.
I really enjoyed it!
Middle Grade March Count: 20
Harriet Tubman Secret Agent by Thomas Allen was a very interesting compendium of history around the Civil War primarily through the life and actions of Harriet Tubman. This one is a little more difficult for young children -- it comes across as a little more dense than the "Who was" biographies. I'd be interested to read the "Who was Harriet Tubman" for comparison's sake.
I really thought Allen did a much better job of documenting his facts, however. There was a bibliography and footnote appendix at the back of the book which I appreciated. Allen also covers a lot of events of the Civil War, not just things that are directly related to Tubman, but those that are also indirectly related.
Over all, I feel like I learned a lot from the book, but it wasn't quite as enjoyable as other nonfiction choices.
Middle Grade March Count : 21