By Wendy Hinote Lanier
This is the fifth installment of a series of posts about five types of nonfiction based on the work of Melissa Stewart (we’ve already addressed the first four). Today’s post is about the fifth type: browseable nonfiction.
(Side note: The spelling of browseable appears to be fluid. I’ve checked several sources. But, for the purposes of this post, I’ve chosen to use the one from Melissa Stewart’s new book The Five Kinds of Nonfiction.)
As a former elementary teacher, I have often noted that browseable nonfiction is especially appealing to reluctant or struggling readers. This is probably due to a format that offers tons of photos and illustrations, short blocks of text, and lets the reader skip around without losing any meaning. It’s great for reading and discussion with a reading buddy. And, while the writing style is generally expository, it packs a lot of information into small bite-sized bits.
Ninja favs in this category include the following:
Tim Flannery’s Weird, Wild, Amazing! books cover such topics as animals, forests, and oceans. Each page is packed with questions, amazing facts, and information about animals on land and in the sea. Colorful drawings depict creatures from around the world. And the conversational text reveals little known facts about well-known animals while introducing the reader to some they’ve never heard of before.
The Bible Explorer’s Guide by Nancy I. Sanders allows readers to get up close and personal with everyday life during Bible times through photos, maps, and illustrations of the people, places, and buildings of the Bible. Brief text and full-color photos reveal what the people and events of the Bible were really like.
Anna Claybourne’s 100 Most series are another Ninja favorite. The topics included are just the sort that kids love since the gross and/or fear factors are pretty high. Amazing photographs depict natural and man-made wonders—each with an awesome rating that ranges from “cool” to “completely awesome.”
We are nonfiction authors who support readers and writers through our writing, author visits, and workshops.
The Nonfiction Ninjas are a group of writers with diverse ideas and a strong belief in The First Amendment. The views expressed in each post are those of the author and may differ from others in the group.