The holiday time is near and you may be wondering what to give to the middle grader in your life. Why not a non-fiction book? They can provide hours of reading and visual delights. I have five new favorites to present over the next two weeks. First up—NERD A TO Z.

This superstuffed alphabetical 41EmRmpdBcL._SX363_BO1,204,203,200_.jpgcompendium of must-know facts from science, pop culture, history, and more is perfect for kids who already know the names of every single dinosaur or want to understand exactly how the Millennium Falcon works. It’s a book for grammar gurus, science snobs, music geeks, and history buffs. In short, it’s a book for nerds. Inside, you’ll find browsable, info-packed blurbs that’ll give you the lowdown on everything from augmented reality to zydeco, with larger features that dive deep into fascinating topics like UFOs, pirates, artificial intelligence, and daring circus acts. And you’ll hear from the world’s most notable (and quotable) Nerds of Note from history and today.

MY TAKE: You don’t have to think of yourself as a nerd to enjoy this volume of fantastic facts. Arranged like an encyclopedia, each letter is hosted by a famous nerd whose first name starts with the particular letter. They give a brief insight to their nerdiness.

I started out with the letter G, but you can go in any order. There I found George Carlin’s take on individuality. A variety of “G” topics follow with background on each. How about this for variety: Galapagos Islands, Garden Gnomes, Genghis Khan, Geoglyphs, Gilgamesh, Gladiators, Glider Record, Glowworm Caves, Gothic, Grafting, and Griffin.  Also included is a two-page spread on a topic needing more depth. For the G’s it’s Genetic Engineering.

I also enjoyed the flowchart personality quizzes interspersed among the 26 letters. They are quick to take and claim to identify your inner nerd. Here’s the lineup:



Mmmm… My results showed I’m more of a nerd than I thought.

Filled with colorful photos, Nerd A to Z’s fun layout only adds to the hours of enjoyment you’ll get. Put this one high on your holiday gift list!


Coming up this Monday is another edition of…

If you would like to join the MMGM parade, all you have to do is blog about a middle grade book on a Monday (contests, author interviews, or anything middle grade related also count). Email me the title of the book or feature and a link to your blog at gpcolo[at]gmail[dot]com

Make sure you put MMGM or Marvelous Middle Grade Monday in the subject line so it gets sorted accurately–and please don’t forget to say what book or author you’re featuring) You MUST email me your link by Sunday evening (11 PM Eastern Time) in order to be included in the list of links for the coming Monday.

Thanks for spreading the middle grade love and for being a part of this awesome tradition begun by Shannon Messenger and carried on here at ALWAYS in the MIDDLE! (CLICK HERE FOR PAST MMGM POSTS)

*Please note: these posts are not a reflection of my own opinions on the books featured. Each blogger is responsible for their own MMGM content and I do not pre-screen reviews ahead of time, nor do I control what books they choose. I simply assemble the list based on the links that are emailed to me.

About Greg Pattridge

Climbing another mountain...always striving to reach the next peak in my life and career.
This entry was posted in Middle Grade Book Reviews, non fiction and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to NERD A to Z

  1. Wow! This sounds like a book I will definitely need to read, as I proudly consider myself a History Hero Nerd and a Design Devotee Nerd. I love this series because the creators know just what appeals to middle-graders (and adults). Thanks for sharing this title, Greg. Can’t wait to read your other non-fiction posts in the next two weeks.

  2. That cover alone will speak to readers! Love books like this! I am a CULTURE CONNOISSEUR NERD — love the opera, orchestral, art, etc. And perhaps a selective HISTORY NERD.

  3. Another fun find. Thanks, Greg. I will check it out.

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