Back in 2017, I proposed a five-category system for classifying children’s nonfiction on my blog, and the response was incredible.
Teachers loved it. So did librarians and
children’s book authors and editors. People praised the clarity it brought to
the range of children’s nonfiction available today. In May 2018, School Library Journal published an article
about the 5 Kinds of Nonfiction. Again, the response was incredibly positive. I’ve
spoken about the system at a number of conferences, and later this year, 5 Kinds of Nonfiction: Enriching Reading and Writing with Children’s Books, co-written by literacy educator Marlene Correia, will hit bookshelves.
Because so many people want information now, I’m discussing each of the categories and providing an
updated list of exemplar books. You can scroll down to read earlier posts about about traditional
nonfiction and browseable books. Today I’m focusing on narrative nonfiction.
features rich, engaging language and a chronological sequence text structure
slowly gained momentum during the 2000s. Today, it’s the writing style of choice
for biographies and books that focus on historical events. It may also be used
in books about animal life cycles or scientific processes, which have a
built-in beginning, middle, and end.
narrative nonfiction titles often lack headings and other text features, they
aren’t as useful for targeted research as other kinds of nonfiction, but they
can help young readers get an overall sense of a particular time and place or a
person and their important achievements.
are some examples:
Game Changers: The
Story of Venus and Serena Williams by Lesa Cline-Ransome
Joan Proctor, Reptile
Karl’s New Beak by Lela Nargi
The Life of Librarian and Storyteller Pura Belpré by Anika Denise
Spooked!: How a Radio Broadcast and The War of the Worlds Sparked the
1938 Invasion of America by Gail Jarrow
Something Rotten: A
Fresh Look at Roadkill by Heather L. Montgomery
Two Brothers, Four Hands by Jan Greenberg and
You’re Invited to a
Moth Ball: A Nighttime Insect Celebration by Loree Griffin Burns