Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Behind the Books: A Look at Specialized Nonfiction

For the last few weeks, I’ve been 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). You can scroll down to see the earlier posts.

Today, I’ll focus on specialized nonfiction.

These books provide specific information about a relatively limited topic. In contrast to survey books, specialized nonfiction emphasizes depth rather than breadth. It often has an innovative format and/or structure that presents information in a way that models the author’s passion for the topic. My feeling is that we will see more and more specialized nonfiction being published in the future.

Here are some popular specialized nonfiction books to read and study:

Chasing Cheetahs by Sy Montgomery

Handle with Care by Loree Griffin Burns

Feathers: Not Just for Flying by Melissa Stewart

Meadowlands: A Wetlands Survival Story by Tom Yezerski 

Sniffer Dogs by Nancy Castaldo

Sugar Changed the World by Marc Aronson and Marina Budhos

The Port Chicago 50 by Steve Sheinkin

Next week, I’ll take look at the final major nonfiction category—concept books.

Stay tuned.