Nonfiction is an essential part of every child's library, whether the child reads it for specific information, recreation, or both. Many children prefer to read nonfiction exclusively, and they may voraciously read through every children's book a library owns on the subject of horses or ancient Egypt or basketball. . . . Whatever their motivation for reading nonfiction, children deserve to have books of information that are accurate, engaging, and well written.
From Cover to Cover: Evaluating and Reviewing Children's Books, page 22
If your child does not seem interested in fiction, try to find some well-written books in a different genre. Many biographies read like fiction, yet may be informative enough to hold the interest of that child, and perhaps work as a crossover into enjoyment of some novels (in the same time period, or covering the same subject matter). For that matter, if your child devours fiction, try to challenge him or her with some nonfiction (again, perhaps in the same general vein of the novels he or she normally chooses). Amanda admitted earlier this week that she is not a nonfiction fan, but since I've come across such great stuff since I've been delving into juvenile nonfiction, and because she is already such a ready novel reader, I'd like to challenge her to broaden her scope a bit. Of the stack of non-fiction books I received, she immediately gravitated towards Amelia Earhart: Flying Solo, because she was familiar with Earhart in the context of being the heroine of Kit Kittredge, who is Amanda's favorite American Girl heroine. It was a start, although that alone has not convinced her to set aside her Nancy Drews.
All week I posted reviews of some nonfiction that I (and even Amanda!)have recently discovered and enjoyed:
National Geographic World History Biographies of Anne Frank and Mozart
Kids Who Rule
Sterling Biographies and Sterling Point books
Earlier this year, I really enjoyed Escape! The Story of the Great Houdini, and Isaac Newton. All of the above links will take you to my reviews of the books, and from there, the links within will take you to the amazon page for that particular book.
I have appreciated your positive feedback on my book thoughts and recommendations. I am glad that some of you enjoy reading them, because I enjoy reading and reviewing, especially when I can share what I liked about certain books or thoughts that they inspired. Please continue to tell me when I've suggested a book that you think you or your family might enjoy. I love it when you comment and give me recommendations of similar books you've enjoyed. Have you tried to encourage broader reading in your family?
Check out linked up reviews from all over the blogosphere each week at Semicolon's Saturday Review of Books.