Monday, April 9, 2012


Welcome to NONFICTION MONDAY! Join me today for a treat of nonfiction books that have captured the interest of nonfiction writers dedicated to bring you the best in the field.

Bloggers; list your blog in the comments.

Readers, please, read on.

I am delighted to comment today on "A Black Hole is Not a Hole", a Junior Library Guild Selection, which I didn’t know it was a selection until after I read the book. The accolade is displayed on the back cover and I had not flipped the book till I had reached the end. No surprise in the accolade!

I wrote this post and then I noticed that my colleague Laura Salas had gotten ahead of me and posted about this amazing book on March 5th. (Yes, my bad. I had not checked the posts that week).

I was not surprised Laura and I had reached the same conclusions and enjoyed the book as well. I decided to post my comments. I don’t think the authors would object. So here I go.

Never fear again to attempt to understand the topic of black holes. I am sure there are readers out there, pre-teens, teens and adults (include me), who would love to get a “plain English” understanding of this amazing phenomenon. But understanding seems to be as out of reach as the black holes themselves.

Author Carolyn Cinami DeCristofano and illustrator Michael Carroll have solved this problem. After reading their book, black holes are still thousands of light years away, but not over my head any more.

“A Black Hole Is Not a Hole. Then what is it?” sucks you in like a black hole. Well, not quite since you will be able to break its grip once you finish the book. You wouldn’t in the case of black holes. Ms. DeCristofano brings the topic down to earth. The science is accurate and crystal clear. The analogies rise “I got it now!” moments. The illustrations spur “Wow!” and “Cool!” comments. And I love the humor! (See page 19, the first baby picture of a black hole) One of the best things in the world, at least for science-loving people, is to finally understand a fascinating topic and enjoying the process. “A Black Hole Is Not a Hole” gives you that feeling.

After reading this book you will be compelled to find out more about black holes. You will clarify some basic principles of physics that are part of everyday life. You will tell your friends about your newly acquired wisdom. And be prepared to answer their questions! It happened to me. I mentioned it to a couple of friends and they shot me a round of questions in return. It seemed they had come prepared to interrogate me. I did not disappoint them.

Adding this book to a class discussion about gravity, space, and how scientists study far-away objects would engage readers, even reluctant ones. They will understand one of nature's most intriguing wonders and will have a blast reading about it and doing 'thought experiments'.

I invite you to leave a comment and visit the other blogs listed below.

Ana's Events in April, Houston:

On another note, if you live in Houston, I invite you to visit the Houston Indie Book Festival on April 14 (11am -5 pm). I’ll be there at noon reading for children about one of my new books “Extreme Animals in Extreme Environments: Darkest Caves.” Visit my table to chat and check my books.

I will also attend the Texas Library Association (TLA) Conference, Houston, April 17-20, 2012.

Book signings at TLA:

Enslow Publishers booth # 2514: Tuesday April 17, 7-8 pm (Opening night)
Giving away limited signed copies of Extreme Animals in Extreme Environments! Visit the booth, I’ll sign your copy. Teachers and librarians who post a review may request a 40% discount in one of my school visits.For more information contact me.

Pelican Publishing Co. booth #1719: Wednesday April 18, 1-3 pm. I invite you to visit with my co-author Choon-Ok Harmon and me at Pelican’s booth and chat about the memoir “The Iron Butterfly.” (for teens and up)
Hope to meet you there!

PS. I just remodeled my website. I invite you to check it out (It looks best with Firefox)

Visit these Nonfiction blogs and enjoy more outstanding true stories :

1.  "The Camping Trip That Changed America"; Hope is the word blog.

2.  "Rachel Carson and Her Book that Changed the World", Archimedes Notebook

3. National Geographic's nonfiction easy readers; Jean Little Library.

4.  "Just Behave, Pablo Picasso!", NC Teacher Stuff.

5. "The Flagmaker," Supratentorial.

6. Australian Explorers, A Strong Belief in Wicker.

7.  "Kamal Goes to Trinidad," The Swimmer Writer.

8. "Beautiful Warrior: The Legend of the Nun's Kung Fu", Gathering Books.

9. "World War II: On the Home Front,"The Children's War.

10. " LIFE IN THE OCEAN - The Story of Oceanographer Sylvia Earle," True Tales & A Cherry on Top.

11. " Capybara: The World's Largest Rodent," Simply Science.

12. "Terezin: voices from the Holocaust," Jen Rothschild Blog.

13. " World War I: An Interactive History Adventure," Nonfiction Detectives.

14. "Most Fun Book Ever About Lizards," Wrapped in Foil.

15. "People," Apple with Many Seeds. 

16. " Energy Island,"Prose and Kahn.

17. " Inside Earthquakes," Books4Learning. 

18.  At Booktalking "Earth Day Every Day"  is the Picture Book of the Day and "Scheduling Smarts: How to Get Organized, Prioritize, Manage Your Time, and More" is the Chapter Book of the Day.

19. " Titanic: Voices From the Disaster," Nonfiction Book Blast.


  1. Thanks for hosting this week!
    I reviewed The Camping Trip That Changed America by Barb Rosenstock and illustrated by Mordecai Gerstein--

  2. Thanks for hosting nf Monday today, and showcasing "A Black Hole is not a Hole". What a fun book! And I like her breezy way of talking astrophysics...
    I'm kicking off Earth Month with a review of "Rachel Carson and Her Book that Changed the World" at

  3. I'm looking at National Geographic's nonfiction easy readers today at Jean Little Library
    Jennifer W.

  4. Hi Ana! Thank you for hosting this week and good luck with your books. At NC Teacher Stuff, I have posted a review of Just Behave, Pablo Picasso!:

  5. Thanks for hosting.

    I blogged about The Flagmaker by Susan Campbell Bartoletti.


  6. I've never understood black holes. Glad you enjoyed the book. I've been reading about Australian Explorers:

  7. Thanks for hosting, Ana! I'd like to share
    KAMAL GOES TO TRINIDAD by Malcolm Frederick

  8. Hi Ana, thank you for hosting this week. Our Nonfiction Monday contribution is "Beautiful Warrior: The Legend of the Nun's Kung Fu" as retold by Emily Arnold McCully - still in keeping with our girl-power bimonthly theme over at GatheringBooks.

    Here is the link:

    Thank you also for your lovely book recommendations. The Iron Butterfly looks really nice. :)

  9. Thanks for hosting Non-Fiction Monday this week. I have a post at The Children's War about an interactive book called World War II: On the Home Front by Martin Gilbert at

    Thanks again.

  10. Thanks for hosting today, Ana Maria. As your blog's focus is science, I wrote about a picture book biography of a scientist. True Tales & A Cherry On Top features LIFE IN THE OCEAN - The Story of Oceanographer Sylvia Earle.

  11. Thanks for hosting. Today at SimplyScience I have Capybara: The World's Largest Rodent by Natalie Lunis.


  12. Thanks for hosting today!

    I'm in with a review of Terezin: voices from the Holocaust

  13. Thanks for hosting Nonfiction Monday. We have a review of World War I: An Interactive History Adventure on The Nonfiction Detectives blog today.

  14. Ana,

    I've been reading some of Brian Greene's books about astrophysics, and the book you reviewed sounds like it might help me understand what I've been reading :-)

    I found a lively book about lizards, Sneed B. Collard III’s Most Fun Book Ever About Lizards, this week at

    1. It's great to hear from you! I love Brian Greene's topics! Have you seen the NOVA series based on his books? It might also help you visualize the tricky concepts of time and space. It's fascinating!

    2. Thanks for looking after today's event, Ana.
      I'm looking at an interesting book about People by Blexbolex.

  15. I know nothing about "black holes" and I've got to read this book! Thanks to both you and Laura!

  16. Livejournal stinks. I can almost never comment through my LJ url! So I'm using a google account to try, yet again to add my entry. Thanks for hosting and sorry to be late to the party. My entry about a book called Energy Island can be found at:


  17. Please add Inside Earthquakes from Books4Learning