Lessons From Nonfiction Author Visits

Vampires, fairies and wizards make wonderful subjects for stories, but what about horses that can spell, bodybuilders with awesome strength or simply quiet eggs? These last three are all from nonfiction books, and while textbook reading assignments are often received with bored eye rolls by kids, nonfiction books such as these delight as much as they inform.

Reading nonfiction books has a number of benefits for kids. Education.com lists a few, saying that reading nonfiction:

  • Develops information literacy, which helps kids solve problems and think analytically; work in groups and independently; locate, evaluate and use information
  • Builds vocabulary, especially learning and understanding content-related words
  • Increases interest in nonfiction topics by providing information in a more interesting way than textbooks
  • Often pulls in reluctant readers, especially boys.

 

And when reading nonfiction books in classrooms is coupled with a visit by the author, the subject matter is brought even more to life.

Step Right Up: How Doc and Jim Key Taught the World About Kindness

For example, for when Donna Janell Bowman talks to students about her book STEP RIGHT UP: HOW DOC AND JIM KEY TAUGHT THE WORLD ABOUT KINDNESS, she illuminates the history of this Civil War-era story. Donna’s picture book biography tells the story of how a former slave, Doc Key, used kindness (and sugar) to teach his straggly horse Jim how to spell and do math, among other amazing tasks. Her book tells about the segregated society at that time, the Tennessee Centennial Exposition and the Confederate army. And in her school visits, Donna shows vintage photography of the real life people and animals in her book and expands on the books subject matter.

Be the Change: A Grandfather Gandhi StoryAnother picture book biography author, Bethany Hegedus, discusses the life and lessons of Gandhi in the school visits she does for her GRANDFATHER GANDHI and BE THE CHANGE: A GRANDFATHER GANDHI STORY. Young students learn about India in the time of Gandhi, his ideas about peace and how they relate to kids’ lives today.

A Rock Is LivelyDianna Hutts Aston teaches about nature in the school visits she presents in association with her series of books called AN EGG IS QUIET, A BEETLE IS SHY, A ROCK IS LIVELY, and others. She brings an extensive nature collection display to her presentations, which compliment STEM lessons.

The natural world is also discussed by Ammi-Joan Paquette in her “Is It Fact–Or Fiction?” author visit. Tied into her new TWO TRUTHS AND A LIE book series, the presentations cover wonders of the world as well as how to discern true facts from “fake news.”

Two Truths and a LieAmmi-Joan even blends the idea of fiction and nonfiction in a presentation for younger children. Inspired by her THE TIPTOE GUIDE TO TRACKING FAIRIES, the author takes small groups of kids on an interactive nature walk where the learn about the world while spying for fairie hiding places. Events like these build children’s imaginations as they learn while being entertained.

When you’re looking to get your students hooked on the real world, look for authors whose visits are built around nonfiction books, helping children expand their learning.

 

Rainy Day Reading List

Ahh, fall. The weather will soon be turning colder. Heaters will come on. And rain and snow will keep us cuddling up inside. All we need is a mug of hot cocoa and a good book to read.

When the rain hits us at The Booking Biz, we like to curl up with the books we’ve read and loved, the stories we enjoy living in over and over again. We thought you might be looking for books like that as we move into the fall. Books with characters you want to hug and worlds you want to live in—even the harsh worlds because they help us find hope for our own.

Here are some of our favorite books from our clients. How many have you read? We recommend getting them all…because you never know when another rain storm will hit. Continue reading “Rainy Day Reading List”

Our Clients Hit Nerd Camp and More News

Who’s going to Nerd Camp? If you haven’t been before, Nerd Camp is a two-day education conference, with the second day focusing on literacy. Nerd Camp is in Michigan July 10-11 and we’re thrilled that so many of our clients will be there. Make sure you say hi to them: Continue reading “Our Clients Hit Nerd Camp and More News”

Awards, Appearances, Acquisitions and More Client News

Our clients are rocking children’s literature and helping to change the world. From new acquisitions, to starred reviews, to appearances and teaching engagements. Have a look… Continue reading “Awards, Appearances, Acquisitions and More Client News”

New Books With Gnomes, an Owl and Diversity, Plus More News

You and your students can discover new, fun worlds and characters in our clients’ upcoming books. But don’t take our word for it. Check out all the starred reviews and awards… Continue reading “New Books With Gnomes, an Owl and Diversity, Plus More News”

TLA Celebrates Our Clients

If you weren’t at the Texas Library Association convention in San Antonio, you missed quite a book celebration. And our clients were among the hits. Continue reading “TLA Celebrates Our Clients”

How to Choose the Best Author or Illustrator for Your Event

Many children’s book authors and illustrators spend a lot of time visiting schools and libraries to teach, inspire and encourage young readers—and even those children who aren’t so enthusiastic about reading. But with so many amazing speakers available, how do you choose? Here are some guidelines: Continue reading “How to Choose the Best Author or Illustrator for Your Event”

Awards, Reviews & Workshops With Kwame Alexander and More

Want to know who’s nominated for an NAACP Image Award? Which book is a Junior Library Selection? Who’s teaching a Literacy Camp for teachers? Read our clients’ latest news…

Continue reading “Awards, Reviews & Workshops With Kwame Alexander and More”

Librarian, Teacher Recommendations, Book Shortlists and more

Author and presenter Janet Fox
Janet Fox

There’s a reason libraries all over the nation look to the Texas Library Assoication for recommendations—TLA recognizes great authors. TLA has included our client Janet Fox, author of the acclaimed novel THE CHARMED CHILDREN OF ROOKSKILL CASTLE on their list of 2017 Spirit of Texas Reading Program Middle School Authors.

Continue reading “Librarian, Teacher Recommendations, Book Shortlists and more”