Nourishing and Noteworthy

November


In my first Noteworthy and Nourishing post, I talked about Melissa Stewart’s five nonfiction classifications. I continue to learn and grow as a nonfiction reader and added an asterisk non-category of what Melissa Stewart called Informational Fiction (you can read more here). It is a reminder for me to differentiate between Ms. Stewart’s 5 Kinds of Nonfiction and Informational Fiction, which is not nonfiction. We need to be clear, letting readers know that there are parts of these books that are fictional and therefore are NOT nonfiction.

Below are the five genre types that Ms. Stewart created with a brief description so you can ponder my category choices of the books shared. 

  • Traditional: what we typically think of nonfiction: writing/prose that explains, describes and informs the reader – mainly text with illustrations or photos alongside. (Think: True Book series and author Seymour Simon books)
  • Browseable Nonfiction: writing that has short amounts of text in a block- like layouts with illustrations. (Think: Guinness World Record Books)
  • Narrative Nonfiction: tells a true story or experience, has a setting and real characters, a central theme and usually follows a short story structure (rising action, climax and resolution). (Think: Ivan: The Remarkable True Story of the Shopping Mall Gorilla)
  • Expository Literature: well researched, engaging design, art and layouts with rich language and a particular text structure (Think: Jess Keating’s World of Weird Animal series, Pink is for Blobfish, Cute as an Axolotl)
  • Active Nonfiction: the result of the maker movement writing that teaches skills and has readers engage in an activity or activities. (Think: Cookbooks and How to Books)
  • *Informational Fiction: Books that provide nonfiction information using fiction to present that information. Methods may include invented dialogue and/or imagined scenes or use made-up characters, animals or inanimate objects as narrators (pseudo-narrator). 

Based on the true story of Nagasaki atomic bomb survivor Sachiko, we learn the history of her grandmother’s bowl and how it came to be a symbol of peace. A moving recount of the after-effects of the Nagasaki bombing and how the survival of Sachiko’s grandmother’s bowl offered hope and connections to family members lost.  A Bowl Full of Peace is another much-needed addition of books to share in November for Remembrance Day.

Curricular Connections: English Language Arts, Social Studies, Health

Nonfiction CategoryNarrative Literature – tells a true story or experience, has a setting and real characters, a central theme and usually follows a short story structure (rising action, climax and resolution).

Hall-of-Famer Elgin Baylor changes the game of basketball not only on the court with his athletic prowess but off the court by standing up for equality. I am not a big basketball fan but appreciated learning more about Elgin Baylor’s journey and the social justice story off the court. The illustrations by Frank Morrison are riveting and capture the grace and athletic ability of Baylor. This book received the Orbis Picture Book Award for 2020.

Curricular Connections: English Language Arts, Social Studies, Physical Education

Nonfiction CategoryNarrative Literature – tells a true story or experience, has a setting and real characters, a central theme and usually follows a short story structure (rising action, climax and resolution).

All Thirteen: The Incredible Cave Rescue of the Thai Boys’ Soccer Team
by Christina Soontornvat

A meticulously researched book detailing the people and the events that led to the successful rescue of the Thai Boy’s Soccer Team. What stands out for me as a reader was the focus on the many Thai individuals that made the success possible. The way Ms. Soontornvat weaved background information allows readers to gain a deeper understanding of the complexity of the rescue.  For more detail please read my earlier post on this phenomenal book

Curricular Connections: English Language Arts, Life Sciences, Social Studies, Health

Nonfiction CategoryExpository Literature – well researched, engaging layout with a variety of photos and captions.

I love April Pulley Sayre’s photographing skills and marvel at the photos she captures. In her latest book, she answers the question, what is it like to be a frog, with an insight of someone who spends time with them, as noted in the back matter. Rich in vocabulary yet sparse in length, Being Frog allows the reader to see life as a frog. A beautiful book that brought back happy childhood memories of catching and releasing leopard frogs and will spark new readers to see frogs in a new way. 

Curricular Connections: English Language Arts, Life Sciences, and Social Studies, Arts Education

Nonfiction CategoryExpository Literature –  engaging layout with unique and stunning photos along with rich vocabulary with poetic phrasing

What a unique hands-on way to engage readers to learn about an insect people know by name but know little or very little about them beyond the differences between a butterfly and a moth. Readers learn facts about moths, lifecycle and characteristics along with step by step instructions about how to attract moths for a closer inspection.  You’re Invited to a Moth Ball, would be a great story and evening activity as a family or as a kid get together.  

Curricular Connections: English Language Arts and Life Sciences

Nonfiction CategoryActive NonFiction & Expository Literature– provides the steps to take to study moths at night while including information about moths, with an engaging layout with a variety of photos and captions.