Common Core: The Fuss Over Non-Fiction


Q: Where can I find quality informational texts?
Marc Aronson, non-fiction author and historian in this multi-segment interview  at the Reading Rockets website reveals a “hidden truth” about non-fiction here in the United States: We are fortunate that publishers view non-fiction in a way that allows each title to be a stand-alone book, carefully crafted, with as much thought to design and format as a picture book. This is not the case elsewhere in the world, and classroom teachers like us benefit from a wide array of rich texts that inform in beautifully crafted ways. A number of professional organizations and journals publish lists of books that will help you to find these wonderful books:

The National Council of Teachers of English bestows awards upon top non-fiction titles for children, taking into account the accuracy, organization, design, and style of newly published books. You can look at the 2012 winners here.

The National Council for the Social Studies publishes an annual list of notable books for children in the field of social studies.

The National Science Teachers Association has for years developed a list of Outstanding Science Trade Books for Students.

School Library Journal, a popular review source for school librarians, also compiles a list of titles.

For the past forty-five years, The Boston Globe in conjunction with the Horn Book (a review journal for librarians) gives awards to noteworthy books each year, and non-fiction is one category.

Librarian and children's literature expert Judy Freeman offers her list of the top non-fiction books of the century.

Since 2001 the American Library Association has awarded the Robert F. Sibert Medal for the most distinguished informational book published in the United States in the preceding year.

You may also want to check out the CurricConnects lists here at TeachersFirst. You will find brief annotations (including Lexile® levels) of some suggested books on a variety of curricular topics such as money, inventors, health and medicine, immigration, earth science, math, and more.

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