True Stories of People Who Went That Extra Mile

Don’t let the recommended grades fool you – if you’re interested in a certain topic, you’re bound to love the book.

Bowers, Rick. The Spies of Mississippi: the true story of the spy network that tried to destroy the Civil Rights movement. 2010. 8th Grade
Using the writings and oral histories of Mississippi civil rights leaders and interviews with surviving activists, the author brings to light the secret efforts of spies who tried to block the voting rights of African-Americans during the Civil Rights era.
Ties in with: 8th Grade English and Social Studies

Bowers, Rick. Superman versus the Ku Klux Klan: the true story of how the iconic superhero battled the men of hate. 2012. 7th Grade
Who knew Superman was so super? Intertwining stories about the invention of Superman as a defender of the little guy, his rise as a media force, and the real fight against the Ku Klux Klan demonstrates how a mythical hero could take on the fight for civil  rights.
Ties in with: 7th Grade English and Social Studies
Great for: anyone who has ever watched a Superman movie or read the comics.

Eilperin, Juliet. Demon fish: travels through the hidden world of sharks. 2011. 11th Grade
Eilperin conducts a global investigation into the surprising ways in which people and cultures relate to and engage with sharks. Did you know sharks are involved with Papua New Guinea’s creation myths? Or the finning practices of mainland China? Or that there’s a shark-fishing guide to celebrities in Miami?
Ties in with: 11th Grade Science, Marine Science

Mezrich, Ben. Bringing down the house: the inside story of six MIT students who took Vegas for millions. 2002. 12th Grade
Recounts the story of how a notorious gang of MIT blackjack savants devised and received backing for a system for winning at the world’s most sophisticated casinos, an endeavor that earned them more than three million dollars.
Ties in with: Economics

Sheinkin, Steve. Bomb: the race to build – and steal – the world’s most dangerous weapon. 2012. 8th Grade
Steve Sheinkin used to write textbooks, and now he’s atoning for his sins by writing fantastic narrative nonfiction. Sheinkin weaves together three story lines: the scientists who were building the bomb in America, the Soviet spies trying to steal the Americans’ plans, and the Allied commandos trying to disrupt the German attempts to build the Uranium bomb.
Ties in with: 8th Grade English, Social Studies, Science
Of interest to anyone curious about: nuclear physics, World War II, Richard Feynman

Silverstein, Ken. The radioactive boy scout: the true story of a boy and his backyard nuclear reactor. 2004. 10th Grade
Love doing science experiments? Willing to do whatever it takes to see what happens and why? Well. This book traces the true story of a young man’s obsessive fascination with science and nuclear physics. However, his obsession compelled him to misrepresent himself to the government and build a breeder reactor in his back yard. Understandably, this did not go over well with the neighbors.
Ties in with: 10th Grade English, Science
Of interest to anyone looking for an Eagle Scout project