Then my friend, writer and school librarian Sam Kane, forwarded me a link to this an article in Booklist. It discusses Common Core text types and recommends recently-published science books in each category.
When I saw that my book, A Place for Bats, was included in the persuasive category, I was stunned.
I didn’t think I was trying to persuade anyone of anything. I was merely laying out the facts and letting the reader decide. Wasn’t I?
But then I thought about it a little more.
Do I want people to protect bats and their environments? Yes.
By the end of the book, are kids going to understand that? Well . . . yes.
Are they going to take action? They just might.
After having that startling moment of insight, it became much easier to pick out other persuasive books. Here’s a list of ten that I recommend:
Almost Astronauts by Tanya Lee Stone
Citizen Scientists by Loree Griffin Burns
City Chickens by Christine Heppermann
Frog Song by Brenda Z. Guiberson
Gaia Warriors by Nicola Davies and James Lovelock
The Girl from Tar Paper School by Teri Kanefield
A Place for Bats by Melissa Stewart
Write On, Mercy: The Secret Life of Mercy Otis Warren by Gretchen Woelfle
Wheels of Change: How Women Rode the Bicycle to Freedom by Sue Macy
Who Says Women Can’t Be Doctors? The Story of Elizabeth Blackwell by Tanya Lee Stone
Students may never have to write persuasive texts as part of their future jobs, but everyone will encounter them in their adult lives—from product advertisements to political platforms. That’s why all students should be able to recognize when someone is trying to convince them to do something or think a certain way, and then be able to step back and carefully consider whether or not they agree.