WHAT ARE THE PARALYMPIC GAMES?
What Are the Paralympic Games?

It’s time to cheer for the inspiring athletes of the Paralympic Games!

As the Opening Ceremony for the 1948 Summer Olympic Games commenced in London, a similar sporting competition was taking place a few miles away. But the men at Stoke Mandeville weren’t your typical athletes. They were paralyzed World War II veterans. The games at Stoke Mandeville were so successful that they would eventually lead evolve into the Paralympics. Participants from all around the world vie for the gold medal in a variety of sports, including archery, basketball, swimming, speed skating, and ice hockey. Author Gail Herman highlights their achievements, describes how these athletes train–both mentally and physically–for the games, and gives the reader a better understanding of what makes the Paralympic Games one of the world’s most viewed sporting events.

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WHAT IS LEGO?
What Is Lego?

Find out how these fun, stackable blocks became the most popular toys in the world.

The LEGO toy company was founded in 1934 by a Danish carpenter who loved making wooden pull toys. From its humble beginnings, the company has lived up to its name–which comes from the Danish phrase meaning to always “play well”–encouraging children to use their imagination and build whatever they can dream up.

In this book, author Jim O’Connor describes how a simple concept–small plastic bricks that snap together–morphed into a cultural phenomenon.

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WHAT WAS PEARL HARBOR
What Was Pearl Harbor

A terrifying attack!

On December 7, 1941, Japanese war planes appeared out of nowhere to bomb the American base at Pearl Harbor in Hawaii. It was a highly secretive and devastating attack: four battleships sunk, more than two thousand servicemen died, and the United States was propelled into World War II. In a compelling, easy-to-read narrative, children will learn all about a pivotal moment in American history.

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WHAT WAS THE AGE OF THE DINOSAURS?
What Was the Age of the Dinosaurs?

Travel back to the time when the mighty dinosaurs ruled the earth.

The Age of Dinosaurs began about 250 million years ago. In the beginning they were quite small but over time they evolved into the varied and fascinating creatures that captivate our imaginations today. What we know about dinosaurs is evolving, too! We’ve learned that some dinosaurs were good parents, that dinosaurs could grow new teeth when old ones fell out, and that most dinosaurs walked on two legs. We’ve even discovered that birds are modern relatives of dinosaurs!

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WHAT WAS THE BERLIN WALL?
What Was the Berlin Wall?

The Berlin Wall finally came down in 1989. Now readers can find out why it was built in the first place; and what it meant for Berliners living on either side of it. Here’s the fascinating story of a city divided.

In 1961, overnight a concrete border went up, dividing the city of Berlin into two parts – East and West. . The story of the Berlin Wall holds up a mirror to post-WWII politics and the Cold War Era when the United States and the USSR were enemies, always on the verge of war. The wall meant that no one from Communist East Berlin could travel to West Berlin, a free, democratic area. Of course that didn’t stop thousands from trying to breech the wall – more than one hundred of them dying in the attempt. (One East Berliner actually ziplined to freedom!) Author Nico Medina explains the spy-vs-spy politics of the time as well as what has happened since the removal of one of the most divisive landmarks in modern history.

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WHAT WAS THE BOMBING OF HIROSHIMA?
What Was the Bombing of Hiroshima?

Hiroshima is where the first atomic bomb was dropped. Now readers will learn the reasons why and what it’s meant for the world ever since.

By August 1945, World War II was over in Europe, but the fighting continued between American forces and the Japanese, who were losing but determined to fight till the bitter end. And so it fell to a new president–Harry S. Truman–to make the fateful decision to drop two atomic bombs–one on Hiroshima and one on Nagasaki–and bring the war to rapid close. Now, even seventy years later, can anyone know if this was the right choice? In a thoughtful account of these history-changing events, Jess Brallier explains the leadup to the bombing, what the terrible results of it were, and how the threat of atomic war has colored world events since.

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What was the Holocaust?
What Was the Holocaust?

A thoughtful and age-appropriate introduction to an unimaginable event—the Holocaust.

The Holocaust was a genocide on a scale never before seen, with as many as twelve million people killed in Nazi death camps—six million of them Jews. Gail Herman traces the rise of Hitler and the Nazis, whose rabid anti-Semitism led first to humiliating anti-Jewish laws, then to ghettos all over Eastern Europe, and ultimately to the Final Solution. She presents just enough information for an elementary-school audience in a readable, well-researched book that covers one of the most horrible times in history.

This entry in the New York Times best-selling series contains eighty carefully chosen illustrations and sixteen pages of black and white photographs suitable for young readers.

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WHAT WAS THE SAN FRANCISCO EARTHQUAKE?
What Was the San Francisco Earthquake?

In this addition to the What Was? series, kids will experience what it was like to be in San Francisco in 1906 when the ground buckled in a major, catastrophic earthquake.

One early April morning in 1906, the people of San Francisco were jolted awake by a mammoth earthquake—one that registered 7.8 on the Richter Scale. Not only was there major damage from the quake itself but broken gas lines sparked a fire that ravaged the city for days. More than 500 city blocks were destroyed and over 200,000 people were left homeless. But the city quickly managed to rebuild, rising from the ashes to become the major tourist destination it is today. Here’s an exciting recount of an incredible disaster.

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WHAT WAS THE TITANIC?
What Was the Titanic?

For more than 100 years, people have been captivated by the disastrous sinking of the Titanic that claimed over 1,500 lives. Now young readers can find out why the great ship went down and how it was discovered seventy-five years later.

At 2:20 a.m. on April 15, 1912, the Royal Mail Steamer Titanic, the largest passenger steamship of this time, met its catastrophic end after crashing into an iceberg. Of the 2,240 passengers and crew onboard, only 705 survived. More than 100 years later, today’s readers will be intrigued by the mystery that surrounds this ship that was originally labeled “unsinkable.”

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WHAT WERE THE NEGRO LEAGUES?
What Were the Negro Leagues?

This baseball league that was made up of African American players and run by African American owners ushered in the biggest change in the history of baseball.

In America during the early twentieth century, no part was safe from segregation, not even the country’s national pastime, baseball. Despite their exodus from the Major Leagues because of the color of their skin, African American men still found a way to participate in the sport they loved. Author Varian Johnson shines a spotlight on the players, coaches, owners, and teams that dominated the Negro Leagues during the 1930s and 40s. Readers will learn about how phenomenal players like Satchel Paige, Josh Gibson, and of course, Jackie Robinson greatly changed the sport of baseball.

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WHAT WERE THE TWIN TOWERS?
What Were the Twin Towers?

Discover the true story of the Twin Towers—how they came to be the tallest buildings in the world and why they were destroyed.

When the Twin Towers were built in 1973, they were billed as an architectural wonder. At 1,368 feet, they clocked in as the tallest buildings in the world and changed the New York City skyline dramatically. Offices and corporations moved into the towers—also known as the World Trade Center—and the buildings were seen as the economic hub of the world. But on September 11, 2001, a terrorist attack toppled the towers and changed our nation forever. Discover the whole story of the Twin Towers—from their ambitious construction to their tragic end.

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