As we see it, most nonfiction literature for children can be classified in one of four categories: life stories, survey books, specialized nonfiction books, and concept books.
Life stories include:
— “cradle to grave” biographies
—partial or episodic biographies that focus on a pivotal event or period in a person’s life
—collective biographies that feature many different people
In children’s literature, life stories are most commonly presented as either picture books or long-form biographies, but there are some very popular collective biographies have been published in recent years and memoirs are especially popular right now.
Here are some of my favorite life stories to read and study:
The Boy Who Loved Math by Deborah Heiligman
Brave Girl by Michelle Markle
Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson
El Deafo by Cece Bell
The Family Romanov by Candace Fleming
Lives of the Presidents (and What the Neighbors Thought) by Kathleen Krull
Separate Is Never Equal by Duncan Tonatium
The Right Word by Jen Bryant
Over the next few weeks, I will take look at the other three major nonfiction categories— survey books, specialized nonfiction books, and concept books.