Michele Regenold, Writing for Kids from the Boondocks

A blog about writing for children and the quest for publication.

Saturday, May 20, 2006

Good non-fiction reads

I'm working my way through the ALA Notable Children's Books List for 2006. I'm mainly a fiction reader, but since I'm also working on a non-fiction book, I thought I better start reading more of it.

I've read several non-fiction books from the list so far and have been impressed. I just finished Sneed B. Collard's The Prairie Builders: Reconstructing America's Lost Grasslands. This book is about a tall grass prairie in Iowa--the Neal Smith National Wildlife Refuge--which is pretty cool because I've actually been there, and reading this makes me want to go back.

I'm currently reading Karen Blumenthal's Let Me Play: The Story of Title IX, the Law That Changed the Future of Girls in America. I want to find out how she makes the history of a law compelling to read. So far I've discovered it's that she writes about the people who worked to pass legislation. Her style is very accessible and engaging. The stories she tells just infuriate me, however. The discrimination against girls and women was so ingrained in people's minds that it's a wonder this country has changed as much as it has.

I also read Susan Campbell Bartoletti's Hitler Youth: Growing Up in Hitler's Shadow. She tells several fascinating stories of kids who got involved and what happened to them. As a ninth grader I was fascinated with true stories about Jews in concentration camps and the things they did to survive that horrible experience.

One thing I've concluded from my non-fiction reading so far is that it can be just as compelling as fiction. It's a different reading experience and I'm glad I've finally exposed myself to it.


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