Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Behind the Books: A Look at Survey Books

Last week, I began discussing what I consider to be the four main categories of children’s nonfiction literature (life stories, survey books, specialized nonfiction books, and concept books) and took an up-close look at life stories.

Today, I’ll focus on survey books.

Survey books, sometimes called All-About books, are what we think of as traditional nonfiction. They provide a broad overview of a topic. They emphasize balance and breadth of coverage rather than depth.
 
While students may decide to read a survey book from cover to cover, they can also skip around, using the table of contents, headings, and index to locate the subtopics that interest them most.

Here are some popular survey books to read and study:

Eyewitness Books
 
The Horrible, Miserable Middle Ages by Kathy Allen

Lightning by Seymour Simon

The Moon Book by Gail Gibbons

National Geographic Readers

Spiders by Nic Bishop

Why’d They Wear That? by Sarah Albee

Over the next couple of weeks, I will take look at the other major nonfiction categories—specialized nonfiction books and concept books.

Stay tuned.

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