Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Behind the Books: Even More About Nonfiction Structure

Okay, I admit it. I’m obsessed with structure in nonfiction writing. I could talk about it all night and all day. And sometimes I do.

The more I discuss the topic with people like Alyson Beecher, Cathy Potter, Carrie Gelson, Mary Ann Scheuer, Loree Burns, Deb Heiligman, and Sarah Albee, the more I learn and the more my ideas and understanding evolve.

I think it’s interesting that a huge majority of nonfiction books for kids have a sequence structure. I used to focus on narrative nonfiction when I discussed sequence structure, and to be sure, all narrative books (that I can think of, as least) have that structure. I even went so far as to divide sequence structure into at least 5 subcategories.

But recently I’ve begun to notice more and more expository texts with a sequence structure, and I’ve started to develop some subcategories. I plan to keep working on this during my summer reading binge, but here’s what I have so far:
Chronological sequence structure, expository style
Bugged: How Insects Changed History by Sarah Albee

Poop Happened!: A History of the World from the Bottom Up by Sarah Albee

Why'd They Wear That?: Fashion as the Mirror of History by Sarah Albee

Cumulative sequence structure, expository writing style
Here Is the Tropical Rain Forest by Madeleine Dunphy

No Monkeys, No Chocolate by Melissa Stewart

Older Than the Stars by Karen C. Fox

How-to sequence structure, expository writing style
Dessert Designers: Creations You Can Make and Eat by Dana Meachen Rau

How to Swallow a Pig by Steve Jenkins and Robin Page

The Klutz Book of Paper Airplanes by Doug Stillinger

Roald Dahl's Revolting Recipes by Josie Fison and Felicity Dahl

Try This! 50 Fun Experiments for the Mad Scientist in You by Karen Romano Young

What do you think?

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