Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Nonfiction Picture Book Wednesday - Reading Longer Nonfiction Part 1 - Some Writer!/Super Gear 10.05.16

Every Wednesday I join Alyson Beecher from kidlitfrenzy and other
kidlit bloggers to share wonderful nonfiction picture books.
The intention of today's blog is to give educational professionals
new nonfiction reading material and ideas to use 
with students to promote a love of reading nonfiction materials.

The nonfiction material that is being published is absolutely amazing.  Authors are covering fascinating topics and writing with such voice that even readers who formerly despise nonfiction are coming over to the "enlightened" side!  From picture books to longer chapter books.  From graphic novels to interactive books.  Such wonderful material!  

During the month of October, I'm going to spotlight some longer nonfiction.  Just like their picture book counterparts, authors of longer nonfiction books are putting an amazing amount of detail and engaging stories into their texts.  Each week I'll share a quick summary, along with tips on how to use it if you're not reading the text cover to cover.

Some Writer!: The Story of E. B. White
Some Writer! The Story of E.B. White
by Melissa Sweet
published by HMH

Goodreads summary:
“SOME PIG,” Charlotte the spider’s praise for Wilbur, is just one fondly remembered snippet from E. B. White’s Charlotte’s Web. In Some Writer!, the two-time Caldecott Honor winner Melissa Sweet mixes White’s personal letters, photos, and family ephemera with her own exquisite artwork to tell his story, from his birth in 1899 to his death in 1985. Budding young writers will be fascinated and inspired by the journalist, New Yorkercontributor, and children’s book author who loved words his whole life. This authorized tribute is the first fully illustrated biography of E. B. White and includes an afterword by Martha White, E. B. White's granddaughter. 

Quick read ideas:
  • readers may want to go through and look at just the information Sweet includes through text features.  There is so much information in the photographs, timelines, journal entries, letters, etc.
  • take a look at the chapter titles.  Which ones sound intriguing?
  • go through the book and notice the primary sources Sweet incorporates
  • use the chapters about Charlotte's Web, The Trumpet of the Swan, Stuart Little when reading those books with students
  • the chapter about his book The Elements of Style would make a great chapter to closely study with a writing lens!

Super Gear: How the Science of Nanotechnology Is Changing Sports
Super Gear: Nanotechnology and Sports Team Up
by Jennifer Swanson
published by Charlesbridge

Goodreads summary:
Cutting-edge science; high-performance sports
How are the sports played by Michael Phelps, Serena Williams, Michelle Wie, and Usain Bolt related? Nanotechnology!
Take a close-up look at sports and nanotechnology, the cutting-edge science that manipulates objects at the atomic level. Nanotechnology is used to create high-tech swimsuits, tennis rackets, golf clubs, running shoes, and more. It is changing the face of sports as we know it.

Quick read ideas:
  • there is a detailed science section.  Closely read this section to learn more about nanotechnology.
  • interested in a particular sport?  Read just the sections with that information.
  • read about the nanotechnology in a piece of equipment, read about the nanotechnology in a piece of sports clothing.  Compare, which one provides more assistance to the athlete?


  1. I just got the E.B. White book, will start it soon! The nanotech book sounds fun. It is amazing what things are being invented in order to help athletes. Someone recently told me they read about a special Fitbit being used by the Seattle Seahawks to monitor the players' sleep habits, helping them get that all-important sleep! And, I reviewed Fashion Rebels today, another longer nf book! Thanks, Michele!

  2. I am on the holds list for Some Writer! - waiting, waiting, waiting! I love the range of picture book biographies coming out these days, they are just so varied and imaginative, and bring their subjects to life in such a real way for young readers.