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Penquis Students wikipedia

Penquis Valley Schools Information Center

Milo, Maine, USA


Non fiction books recommended by Penquis Student Library Workers


Older non-fiction reviews before 2010

Updated Nov 2013



Micki Lovejoy

October 28, 2013


   The book I read was the "Vanishing Hitchhiker" by Jan Harold Brunvand. It was copyrighted in 1981. This is a non fiction book about American Urban Legends and their meanings. The book has two aspects. First off it tells the urban legend and tries to trace the origins and second it provides reasons for the legends to have been started. I think the best part was that I recognized some of the tales such as, "The babysitter and the man upstairs" and others were completely new like, "Snake in a blanket". Overall I greatly enjoyed this book and would recommend it to anyone who likes a good old fashion story.


Ian Perkins



The War On Christmas by John Gibson, copyrighted 2005, genre: nonfiction. The author’s purpose in the book is to show how the liberals plot to ban Christmas is worse than you thought. The main point of the book is to show you cases that involve Christmas related lawsuits.

There not much to like or dislike but I did like how it gave gives multiple sides of the story and I disliked the fact that people are fighting over Christmas.

Also if you're going to read this book it depends on your views of school and religion.People who that might like this book would probably be very religious about Christmas or studying to be a law student is another reason.


"The Big Necessity"

by Rose George


Index and bibliography

Non Fiction

Christian Diaz



    The Big Necessity by Rose George, is about how in today’s modern world, we don’t appreciate hygiene and waste management. In many countries, people don’t have access to proper sanitation facilities, which include clean bathrooms, sinks, showers, etc. This leads to disease, infection, and lack of privacy. People have to defecate outside, which can lead to rape, because they would be publicly exposing themselves. Also when people do their business outside, rain causes the waste matter to runoff into water supplies, thus contaminating the water, making it undrinkable.

I enjoyed reading this book because it relates to a lot of ethical topics in my AP Environmental Science class, so I was able to understand what the author was talking about, and appreciate their interest in the subject. If you’re thinking of taking AP Environmental Science, you should definitely read this book, it will give you an understanding on how the class is like, and what to expect in the first couple of chapters. Overall, this book is very informative and eye opening, I would recommend it to people who enjoy environmental ethics relating to waste management.


"Explore the outdoors: Hunting, have fun, be smart"

Author: Jack Weaver

Copyrighted 2000 by the Rosen Publishing Group Inc.

Genre: How-to

Reviewed by Jake McSwine, 10/7/13 

The book "Explore the outdoors' makes many different kinds of how to books but the one I choose was named "Hunting Have Fun Be Smart". The whole idea of this book is to teach people how to hunt and what's fun about it  and what's dangerous about it. What I liked and I think plenty of other people will like about this book is that it explains what hunting is all about and the right steps you should take to start hunting. This book goes in-depth on all the different ways to hunt and what kind of things you can hunt. The writer went even a step further by adding a part about fair chase which basically means don't take a shot at any animals that you might just wound instead of kill. He added this part to please anti-hunting hippies. The kind of people I think might like to read this book would be people who enjoy the outdoors and like to go hunting. If I could pick two reasons people might read this book they would be maybe you already like to hunt and maybe you want to learn a little more about hunting and what other kinds of things you can hunt and how to hunt them. The second reason would be maybe you don't hunt but are thinking about going hunting and don't know where to start which in that case this book would be perfect for a beginner. The book also includes pictures which is good for someone with a short attention span and a table of contents and index which also helps you find what you are looking for.


Person reviewing: Robert O'Brien

Book Title: Uncommon Carriers

Author: John McPhee

Number of pages: 248

Call number: 388 MCP

Date: 10/7/2013


"Uncommon Carriers" is a nonfiction documentary that is told in first person about what it is like to be the driver of a transportation vehicle or boat, varying from trucks, to ships, and even to coal trains. In this book John McPhee rides along with the drivers in order to experience what they do everyday. This book is in chronological order following the events of his adventures. The only bad thing for me with this book is that it took a while for me to get into it because of the facts of it. Other than that it is a good read. If you are interested in becoming a driver or pilot of one of these transportation vehicles then this will be a really good read for you. It would benefit you by showing what going into these trades really consists of. I would suggest reading this book because John McPhee makes an otherwise dull subject into an interesting one. It shows who the people he has met are like and how they handle the day to day problems. This book also has a small humorous touch that helps keep the reader interested. I give this book a thumbs up and a 4 out of 5 rating for being a factual book!



Author: Slavomir Rawicz

Title: The Long Walk

Copyright: 1997

Genre: Documentary

Review's name: Kimberly Bemis

Date of review: October 7, 2013


               Ever wanted to hear a real story of someone escaping from prison? Well then this is the book for you. The author tells you how he went to prison and what happened to him while he was there. Slavomir explains every detail perfectly. The way he escapes and the way they treated him while he was there. The way they treated him was horrible, they made him suffer because he wouldn't sign a piece of paper that said he had done all these horrible things. When he refused, they tortured him.

I would recommend this book for those who want to know what it's like living in Russia during the time this book took place. I personally think that this book is amazing in its own way. Who would have thought that Russia was excruciatingly tough on their prisoners? “The long walk” is just an experience Slavomir had in prison. He was accused of being a Polish spy. The officers wouldn't believe him. He was sent from prison to prison until they made him sign the document after they had drugged him. I loved this book, even though what they did to him was just wrong. I think that this shows how strong Slavomir had to be in order to stay alive.

This book is by far one of the best non-fiction books I have ever read. This book would benefit someone interested in reading how people were treated in a Russian prison and how they had escaped. Remember the author wrote this book in 1997, but the events took place earlier in his life. This book has chapters and no pictures or an index, but It does have a map at the beginning where it all took place.



title: The Global Impact of Social Media
book editor: Dedria Bryfonski
page numbers: 196
copyright date: 2012
genre: non-fiction
reviewers name: Michelle Heath
date of review: November 2, 2012
call number: 303.48’2028567--dc23

The author’s point of view was presenting the subject to the reader and allowing them to develop their own opinion based off the pros and cons provided. The purpose of this book is to show readers how social media has greatly affected the world and everyone who uses it. It shows the upsides along with downsides of the use of social media, one downside being social networks are leaderless. This book is organized by questions asked in the beginning then the sections are based on the questions. What I disliked about this book is it didn’t include any visuals; such as pictures, graphs, pie charts and such. I think that would’ve greatly added to the book and drawn in more interest or even made the information more understandable for those who are visual learners, like myself.Reviewed by Michelle Heath, Jan 2013


"Democracy" by David Haugen and Susan Musser, 2012.

The book has opposing viewpoints on democracy around the world. It covers topics that relate to or affected by democracy, such as the Internet, free markets, Middle East, Muslims Israel, poverty, taxes, corporate funding for elections,  national security, the US promoting democracy,  and a league of democracies possibility. Helps understand what democracy is and can be, bringing to light the hidden agendas of those involved in democracies. I would suggest this to anyone who is interested in politics and government and anyone who wants to know what the government is doing to you and around you.    Reviewed by Ian Perkins, Jan 2013


 Native Americans. The book editor is Lynn M. Zott. There is 237 pages in this book, and the copyright is 2012. The cover of this book was designed by, Jenny Willingham.
I’m going to tell you a little about this book and you might find it interesting to read. This book is about Native Americans, and chapter one tells you about what impact does discrimination have on Native American culture. One point of view is using “Geronimo” as a code name for Osama bin Laden as being disrespectful to Native Americans. Chapter two tells you about what some key conflicts are between the US and tribal Governments. A point of view for chapter two is the US government has greatly improved its support for tribal courts.  Chapter three tells you about how disputes over resources and artifacts affect Native Americans. One chapter tells about the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act at twenty. Then chapter four tells you about what economic factors most concern Native Americans. One point of view is, US Government Assistance has generated Native American poverty. There are other point of views, so if you get a chance you should read this book.
This book tells a lot of information about Native Americans, stuff that I didn’t know, like Tribal sovereignty and federal trust responsibility. If anyone has  to do a research project I would refer this book because not only does it have a lot of information but it has internet sources for bibliography in it. Not many books have something like that in it to help you with a bibliography.
I think this book is good because, it has speeches and articles in it, it also has cartoon and boxed quotations, but that's just my opinion. Other people might not like books like these, but its a good opportunity  and get to know something different. This Book also helps people no the difference between pros and cons. Like  for example, The Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act at twenty: reaching the limits of our National consensus. And the other would be The Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation act impedes progress and cooperation. So it's basically the likes and dislikes. Reviewed by Magen Lancaster, Jan 2013.


Title: Assisted Suicide

Noel Merino, Book Editor

Page Numbers: 177

Copyright Date: 2012

Genre:Non - Fiction

Reviewers Name: Kenneth Pennington 

Date of review: 11/02/12


The authors' point of view and/or purpose is to let people know of the different ways that people help other people's suicides. The book states that there is a debate going on right now in Oregon about a law that states patients that are terminally ill and likely to die within the next 6 months, the diagnosis must be confirmed by two doctors. The patient has to mentally capable of signing a paper to give them permission in front of two witnesses. The book is organized by chapters splitting up the different topics that are explained within the book. 

The only thing I liked about the book is that it explains in great detail how assisted suicide works and how it is done. The things that I did not like about the book was I think that suicide is wrong assisted or not. One more thing that I liked was that in Oregon they will give it to the kids that are suffering from really bad things and they are suffering in pain and are dying.  I would read this book if you are interested in learning about it. I would read this book if you think it is wrong and want to prove that it is. Reviewed by Kenneth Pennington, Jan 2013


 Teen Parenting.

It was published in 2012, so the information is very recent, and up-to-date. There are countless authors throughout this book. For example, on page eight, Melissa Daly is responsible for the information following “Being Teen Parents Is Challenging,” and on page 14, Betty Cortina is responsible for the information following: “Being a Teen Mother Is Particularly Challenging for Latinas.” However, Laurie Willis is the only editor.

    The general purpose for most authors appears be to help teenagers who are already going through teen pregnancy, and to encourage teenagers who aren’t that they don’t want to be. Also, this book is helpful to teen parents who aren’t sure how they feel about teen pregnancy, or need help talking to their teen about it. The book is organized into headers, and subheaders. For example, “Children of Teen Parents Are Disadvantaged” is a header, and its sub headers are: “A Downward Spiral”, “Teen Moms Have to Grow Up Fast”, “Most Teen Moms Quit School”, etc. This makes it easy for the reader to skip ahead to the information they are looking for, and helps narrow down the specifics. Some articles have graphs or pictures that accentuate the points talked about in the article. The graphs are particularly interesting because some of the statistics are not as predictable as they seem.
    What I like about this book it’s not written by one author. One author means one way of writing, one biased article. However, several authors gives a variety of techniques and opinions. I also like that it not only includes information and statistics for teen mothers, but for the fathers, too. For example, “Being a Teen Father is Challenging”, “Babies of Teen Fathers Are Born with Greater Health Challenges”, “Teen Fathers Face Social Stigmas”. I don’t like that this book doesn’t touch on the actual prevention methods. It doesn’t talk about contraceptives or prophylactics, which is incredibly important for teenagers to be educated about. Teenagers should be reading this book or books like it, especially pregnant teens and teen fathers. Also, parents of teens should be reading this because some don’t have the sex talk soon enough, or don’t talk about things like prevention with their teen. Different parents have different reactions to their teen’s pregnancy, and this book would give a broader perspective of the situation.
    The most obvious reason for teenagers to read this book is because it is an important issue that pertains to them. If they are sexually active, they are always at risk. Pregnant teens should read this book because even if they listen to their parents, any additional information definitely isn’t going to hurt. In fact, some might learn things they never would have guessed. Another reason teens and parents should read this is to better educate themselves on the issue. Teen pregnancy is a growing problem in the United States, and most teenagers don’t realize what pregnant teens go through, and they think sexual activity with protection is 100% effective. A common misconception that goes uncorrected for most. Lastly, schools should at least acknowledge teen pregnancy because teenagers are students. Although, a large portion of pregnant teens do drop out, there are still those that don’t. Schools should be aware of ways to adapt to pregnant students, and should also reach out in any way they can. Reviewed by Caitlin Ricker, Jan 2013


Hi I'm Jade Zelkan and I'm reviewing the book called Workers Rights written by the author Noah Berlatsky. It was copy right in 2012, it is a nonfiction book. I believe that this book is mostly for people who are thinking about what job they want and where they want to work in the future because it gives you information about what could occur if you work one of these careers with problems. This book gives out a lot of information about world wide global connection and also world wide implications of global issues. They put journal entrys, magazines, newspapers, non fiction books, speeches, Government documents, organizations' newsletters and position papers showing you information about what is going on in the world. The chapters are divided into different subjects. The first chapter is labor regulations worldwide. Chapter two is about unions and collective bargaining. The third chapter is about workplace Discrimination. It gives you a lot of information. I like that they show you maps and explain to you about what happens world wide and what kind of different problems occur around the world. One of them that stuck out to me was. In Greece this lady is arguing about vacation and retirement provisions. This lady talks about retirement age and pensions that are too generous. The economic will only help workers out only if the workers right are scaled back. This topic really caught my eye. This is a really interesting book if you are  interested in reading problems in the work force world wide. I suggest it to high school students so they can find out more about what goes on in the world. Reviewed by Jade Zelkan, 12/14/12


ALCOHOL by Margaret Haerens, Book Editor.Copyright is 2012  12-14-12. The book is about alcohol. It starts talking about all the different parts of the world about the rules and beliefs in the way alcohol should be used. This book is good to learn about all the things that come along with drinking. Most of the rules are the same about the legal drinking age but some places are different. Many Americans think that when they turn 18 they're just going to go right to Canada. Many people don't realize the problem that it can cause like a alcohol abuse. It is one of the chapters show in the table of content. It tells where you can find all the things it talks about. In one chapter it shown what the side affects are and things that could happens if you were to become addicted to alcohol. I think that most of the people that would be reading this are mostly teenagers, people that are thinking about drinking and want to know more about it. The most interesting thing to me in this book was the fact that in the United States lowering the drinking age is something that gets talked about a lot. From age 21 to 18 doesn't seem like a big difference but everyone thinks it is. If you are ever doing a project over anything with alcohol, this would be a good book to use as a source. It has many chapters about all different things related to alcohol Also it is a just a great book to jget information from. It gives you information on things you maybe considered about or things you just want to know. Reviewed by Courtney Badger, Dec 14, 2012


Book Editor: Margaret Haerens
Title: Human Trafficking
Number of Pages: 211
Copyright Date: 2012
Genre: Non-Fiction
Reviewer’s Name: Nicole Padilla
Date of Review: October 31, 2012
Call Number: 306.3

    The author’s purpose in this book is to show readers the importance of knowing about human trafficking. The central idea for this book is prevention, worldwide knowledge, and helping the victims of human trafficking. Different formats that are used are maps and charts. This book is set up by chapters, each chapter has individual sections, and there are four chapters.
    I liked this book because it gives so much valuable information about the subject. It shows us the dangers, how to reduce human trafficking, and how we all can help the victims. One thing that I did not like is this book lacked pictures. I’m a very visual person so throwing in some colored pictures would've caught at my attention a lot more. On the plus side it does show us the maps and charts! Someone who would benefit from reading this book would be anyone wanting to know more about human trafficking or someone that is doing a research project about this subject.
    Anyone who looks at my review should really read this book because it is filled with knowledge about a very serious problem, not even just in the United States but also internationally. This book will truly open your eyes to a new world, a world of kidnapping and using people for sex slaves and forced labor. It’s hard to think that this goes on everywhere around you, and that’s why I say read this book, be informed, not naive.

Discovering Moths” by John Himmelman
  218pages + glossary
           The purpose for this book is to educate readers on moths. To this date I have not found another book about moths that has educated me the subject better then Discovering Moths by John Himmelman. The book includes lots of photos, diagrams, easy to read text and a ton of information on the interesting creature we know as the moth. The one thing that some readers might find un-attractive is that there is a lot of reading but if you want the most info from one book, this is the book for you. If you are looking for a book that has great info on moths, get this book. If you are looking for a book that is well put together with a balance of photos and text about moths, get this book. If you want a good education read, get this book.
           I strongly suggest that if you need to know your stuff on moths that you go to the Penquis Valley Library and pick up Discovering Moths by John Himmelman today. Recommended by Alex Slagle, Dec 2011.


“Opposing viewpoints: Weapons of mass destruction”, no author, 2005, Greenhaven Press,  207 pages, non fiction, 358.3 WEA.

The book covers WMDs, who has them, when they were used, and where they are.  It tells if they were good or bad uses. I like it because it is about destruction. And I like reading about terrorists posing a treat ad killing things. It is beneficial because it tells you about WMDs. It is a great book to read because you can learn things from it and because it is kind of short.  People who are historians and people who like to read about war and destruction will enjoy the book.

Reviewed by Tony Jay, Dec 8, 2011


Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet, by Jamie Ford (285 pages- Historical Fiction) F FOR

Published in New York by Random House (2009).

This book mostly takes place in Chinatown, New York, and is about the struggles of two children, and how WWII affected their lives. Their names are Henry (who's Chinese) and Keiko (Japanese). If you have a basic understanding of history relating to WWII, you'd know they did "evacuate" the Japanese from certain areas across America and place them in concentration camps, to both protect the Japanese and rid themselves of possible spies.

Anyway, this story takes off with the fact that Henry is Chinese and was raised with his father's beliefs, that all of the Japanese were sinister and could not to be trusted. Through constant embarressment and ridicule, (like the fact he had to wear a button that said, "I am Chinese") he met Keiko. The possible fact of love at first sight, Henry and Keiko struggle through hardships from the acceptance of their parents to the intense separations of concentration camps.

This book is a real page turner and really represents the ideas of a Chinese-Japansese Romeo and Juliet. What I like about the book is the fact that it has an incredible historical accuracy relating to battles of WWII and how it affected other peoples lives. Though this book was great, I disliked the ending because I thought of it as too sudden and not enough information.

Someone who would benfit from this book would probably be someone who respects historical fiction and can enjoy a small romance novel. Thomas Diaz, Reviewed Oct. 13, 2010


Med Head: My Knock-down drag-out, drugged-up Battle with my Brain. The author is James Patterson. The book has 269 pages and was published in 2008 by Little, Brown and Company of New York. The call number of this book is 92PAT because it is biography.
    Cody is a boy with Tourettes Syndrome. In this book he sees many doctors and is given many medications to try. He decides in the book what the medications will do to his brain. He finally gets off of his meds and lives his life the way he wants to.
    I really enjoyed this book. I learned a lot about Tourettes and the problems with all of the medications. I would recommend this book to people that have family and friends in their family that have Tourettes Syndrome. Reviewed bay Rachel Giles 10/1/2010


Weapon a visual history of arms and armor, Captain Alexander Mercer, 2006

This book is about weapons. It has pictuers of just about every weapon ever made. And it is also a great book because it stars with the oldest and works up to present day.

This book is a great book to read due to the info you get out of it. If you are into any weapons you need this book. Reviewed by Jacob Crocker, May 2010.


Online Education For Dummies by Johnson Manning


     Online Education For Dummies explains the ins and outs of attending a virtual classroom, and provides you with the tools you need to hone your skills or obtain additional certification and degrees. This practical reference not only helps you get the most out of an online course, but also offers a wealth of advice to help you pick the one that matches your interests and needs.

     I believe Online education is the way to go because its more interactive and more one on one with the student. You can go more in depth with it,than you can in a classroom. I personally think that this would be good for everyone to read,no matter how young or old, because eventually it will be the only education to get. Reviewed by Aaron Ellis, May 2010.


"Warrior Princess: by Princess Kasune Zulu

Copyright 2009

When Princess Kasune learned at the age of 21 that she herself was HIV-positive, she emerged as a champion of those at risk and affected by the virus. Her extraordinary journey has taken her from the dusty village of Zambia to the global corridors of power, from the White House to the United Nations. Reviewed by Becky Carpenter, April 2010.


 "Life in the Cold" by Peter J. Marchand. Copyright date 1996.

This book is about a lot of different types of things all about winter. It tells how winter can be commonly misplaced as a dark and depressing season, but Peter says the opposite and tells a lot of interesting facts about how different types of plants and animals can survive in the winter.This book has a lot of useful facts about all different types of mammals and other animals. Reviewed by Jimmy Gledhill, March 2010.



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