On the Fence Between Fact and Fiction

I was delighted to see the CCBC list, “Between Fact and Fiction: Selected K-5 Books about History to Encourage Critical Reading/Thinking” for several reasons. First of all, they are addressing straight on for educators the point that there are books that straddle the two genres, books that are mostly, but not totally nonfiction for various reasons. Secondly, they are letting teachers concerned about using more informational books as required by the Common Core Standards know that these books work.  They write:

The new Common Core Standards emphasizes the importance of informational, non-fiction texts from the earliest grades. But many books for elementary-age children related to history fall into the genre of creative non-fiction–authors and illustrators take some degree of artistic license as they interpret real events and lives for young audiences.

Thirdly, I personally am a big fan of many of the books on their list. And finally, selfishly I’m delighted because my forthcoming book Africa is My Home: The Memory Book of Sarah Margru Kinson, a Child of the Amistad, is one of these — a fictionalized account of something true.  I’ve been hoping it would be something that would work with the new Common Core informational book requirement, but wondered as it is fictionalized. So I’m very glad to see this list with its focus on books like mine that straddle the border between fiction and nonfiction.



Filed under History, Teaching

4 responses to “On the Fence Between Fact and Fiction

  1. This is indeed a great list. I am constantly trying to get myself to focus on these types of books so that my girls will too. I am currently raising two fiction loving girls because I, myself, prefer the genre and would really like for all of us to branch out a bit. Thanks for passing this on…


  2. Great post. You’re right: nonfiction comes in many shapes and sizes. I love how artistic nonfiction can be in children’s literature. From the CCBC list, I especially like A Storm Called Katrina. Beautiful. I write about some other children’s books concerning the hurricane in my blog http://www.laneshasays.com/2012/08/29/when-children-tell-their-own-stories/


  3. Also, congratulations on your book making the list. I’m really looking forward to reading it. That must have been an emotional topic to read and research, no? I’d love to hear about your experience there.



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