Woohoo! Welcome back to Reading Wildly! We had a nice little break over the summer because it is basically impossible for us to get together and meet while summer craziness is going on. Now, the kids are back in school, we are scheduling tons of booktalks, and it's time to pick up with our monthly reader's advisory training.
Our topic this month was Nonfiction, and before we started sharing our booktalks, I asked for a show of hands who found themselves regularly reaching for nonfiction when it's not assigned as their RW topic. I had a few who seek out nonfiction (including myself), but the majority of my staff do not feel that they gravitate towards nonfiction.
I have found that a lot of people have that disinclination. I don't know if it's just that they expect the books to be dry and boring or if the larger format of children's nonfiction is not as amenable to carrying a book around with you, or something else. But I am here to tell you that if you are avoiding children's and YA nonfiction, you are MISSING OUT BIG TIME!!!!!!
(Also, I was once like you. I set a goal to read two nonfiction books a month and I found some great titles that I loved and I have been loving it ever since!)
Ahem. When you get right down to it, nonfiction is an important part of offering a balanced booktalking selection and advising readers who prefer to read true stories. We shared some great titles this month, and I hope you will pick up a couple of them and give them a try! Here's what we read:
- 5,000 Miles to Freedom: Ellen and William Craft's Flight from Slavery by Dennis Fradin
- Aye-Aye: An Evil Omen by Miriam Aronin
- Bodie: The Town That Belongs to Ghosts by Kevin Blake
- The Boys Who Challenged Hitler by Philip Hoose
- Enchanted Air by Margarita Engle
- Encyclopedia Horrifica by Joshua Gee
- The Giant and How He Humbugged America by Jim Murphy
- Lion, Tiger, and Bear by Kate Hurley
- A List of Things That Didn't Kill Me by Jason Schmidt
- Little Author in the Big Woods by Yona Zeldis McDonough
- Nelson Mandela: South African Revolutionary by Beatrice Gormley
- Stonewall: Breaking Out in the Fight for Gay Rights by Ann Bausum
- Terrible Typhoid Mary by Susan Campbell Bartoletti
- Tricky Vic: The Impossibly True Story of the Man Who Sold the Eiffel Tower by Greg Pizzoli
- The Watcher: Jane Goodall's Life with the Chimps by Jeanette Winter
- Who Was Queen Elizabeth? by June Edding
- The Year We Disappeared: A Father-Daughter Memoir by Cylin Busby and John Busby
We didn't discuss an article this month because SUMMER, but I had selected one, so I passed it out as optional reading: The Dazzling World of Nonfiction by Donalyn Miller (Educational Leadership, November 2013).
For our meeting in September, we will be discussing contemporary, realistic fiction and the article One Tough Cookie by Carey E. Hagan (The Horn Book Magazine, September/October 2011).