Kids will love fascinating nonfiction
Open doors to learning with today's titles
Nonfiction books don't have to be dull and uninviting, although many fit this bill. There are countless nonfiction books that are fascinating and provide readers with loads of information presented in a fast-paced, lively fashion — and that's the key to getting kids interested.
Think about it. As an adult, you might be more inclined than a child to plod through some pages of boring material because you've learned that some of that is necessary to develop a firmer grasp of the whole picture.
Unfortunately, sometimes an author can get so wrapped up in his own fascination and presumed authority of the subject matter that he goes overboard — and that's when the audience slowly begins to nod off.
That's precisely what you want to avoid when introducing children to nonfiction books. Whet your children's appetite for nonfiction with well written books that captivate their interest by providing information in an exciting, quick way, such as the books reviewed today.
If a genuine interest takes root, there will be a greater willingness to read more (and yes, even the tedious sections) because there is a desire to know more.
The world needs all kinds of people with all kinds of interests. Open those doors to children by reading awesome nonfiction books about a wide variety of topics. You never know where it might lead.
Books to Borrow
The following book is available at many public libraries.
"Children of the Great Depression" by Russell Freedman, photos by various photographers, Clarion Books, 118 pages
Read aloud: age 9 — 10 and older
Read yourself: age 10 — 11 and older
What was the Great Depression, and what was it like being a child during that time?
Drawing on first-hand accounts, letters, diaries and memoirs, Russell Freedman takes this complex and devastating time in American history and recreates it in an accessible, fast-paced way for older children.
During the Great Depression, people all over the country suffered. Countless families didn't have adequate food or shelter, and many children didn't attend school because they had to work. The list of what children and adults did without during this dark time goes on and on.
Masterfully written and supported by extraordinary photographs by the nation's most accomplished photographers of that time, this book sensitively depicts this catastrophic chapter in our nation's history.
Library: Sutter County Library, 750 Forbes Ave., Yuba City
Library Director: James Ochsner
Children's Librarian: Chalese Valdez
Choices this week: "Piggies" by Audrey Wood; "But Excuse Me, That Book is Mine" by Lauren Child; "Ghosthunters and the Incredibly Revolting Ghost" by Cornelia Funke
Books to Buy
The following books are available at your favorite bookstores.
"Nic Bishop Snakes" written and photographed by Nic Bishop, Scholastic Nonfiction, 2012, 48 pages, $17.99 hardcover
Read aloud: age 6 — 7 and older
Read yourself: age 8 — 9 and older
Prepare to be amazed by both the fascinating information and stunning photographs that Nic Bishop has created in this incredible book about snakes.
Providing facts galore, "Snakes" explores the life of snakes from the biggest to the smallest to how different snakes find their prey and swallow their victim whole. From the first page to the last, kids will be entranced by this masterful offering about the amazing predators — snakes.
"Scholastic Discover More: Bugs" by Penelope Arlon and Tony Gordon-Harris, photos various credits, Scholastic, 2012, 80 pages, $12.99 paper over board
Read aloud: age 4 — 5 and older
Read yourself: age 8 and older
Enter the world of bugs with this new addition to Scholastic's "Discover More" series.
This astonishing book is certain to entertain while it educates readers/listeners about the awesome, sometimes creepy kinds of bugs, their behavior and the vast number of bugs that inhabit our planet. Fantastic, super-magnified photos show hundreds of bugs extra close-up, and the crazy bug information is guaranteed to astound. As a bonus feature, you can download a digital companion book where you can discover even more.
Kendal A. Rautzhan writes and lectures about children's literature. She can be reached at her website: greatestbooksforkids.com.