What is Literary Nonfiction? – Part 2


In Part 1 of this blog, I introduced the concept of Literary Nonfiction: richly written books that foster an interest in reading for information. It is sometimes also called narrative nonfiction. We can expect teachers and students to be looking for this type of book as the Common Core curriculum is implemented over the next few years.

Here are some examples of literary nonfiction that should appeal to a variety of readers.This is by no means an exhaustive list, just a few suggestions to get you started. Click on the links for book summaries and OC Public Libraries locations. Add your own suggestions to the "Comments" below!

 Nonfiction for K-3rd Grade



Dave the Potter: Artist, Poet, Slave. Hill, Laban Carrick. 2010. XP 738.092

Jimmy the Joey: The True Story of an Amazing Koala Rescue. Rose, Deborah Lee. 2013. XP 599.7861



Nasreen’s Secret School: a True Story from Afghanistan. Winter, Jeanette. 2009. XP 371.8234209581

Nubs: The True Story of a Mutt, a Marine & a Miracle. Dennis, Brian. 2009. XP 636.70929

Owen and Mzee: Language of Friendship. Hatkoff, Isabella. 2007. XP 599.635139

Pop!: The Invention of Bubble Gum. McCarthy, Meghan. 2010. XP 664.6

Stay: The True Story of Ten Dogs. Muntean, Michaela. 2012. XP 636.70887

Waiting for Ice.  Markle, Sandra. 2012. XP 599.7861



Nonfiction for 4th- 6th Grade

Blockhead: The Life of Fibonacci. D’Agnese, Joseph. 2010. XI 92 FIB

Dewey the Library Cat: a True Story. Myron, Vicki. 2010. XI 636.8009

       XI 92 SCI

Pharaoh’s Boat. Weitzman, David. 2009. XI 932.012

Remember Little Rock: The Time, the People, the Stories. Walker, Paul Robert. 2009. XI 379.263




We Are the Ship: The Story of Negro League Baseball.  Nelson, Kadir. 2008. XI 796.35764

 

Take an Amazonian Adventure!

 

Between the World Cup games played in Manaus, Brazil, and our weekend viewing of Rio 2, set in the rainforests of the Amazon, I have been thinking a lot about a favorite read: Eva Ibbotson’s Journey to the River Sea.

In 1910, orphan Maia is sent from England to live on a rubber plantation in the Amazon with distant cousins – whose distaste for young Maia is only rivaled by their aversion to the amazing natural world around them. The Carters and their twin daughters do nothing to make Maia feel welcome, but luckily her new governess, and two new friends – Clovis, a child actor whose specialty is Little Lord Fauntleroy, and Finn, a boy who wants to stay in the Amazon with his relatives there rather than be sent off to live with his wealthy grandfather in England – help Maia on her grand adventure.

Ibbotson blends adventure, suspense, and humor in a tale that is a great read for 5th -8th grade boys or girls, and would be an excellent read aloud for younger kids, as well.

It’s a great follow-up or introduction to Frances Hodgson Burnett’s classics:

Little Lord Fauntleroy 
A Little Princess (audio)

 

And you can keep the adventure going all summer long with other tales like:
True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle by Avi (audio)
The Wanderer by Sharon Creech
The Star of Kazan by Eva Ibbotson
From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler by E.L. Konigsburg (audio)
The Apothecary by Maile Meloy
Bloody Jack by L.A. Meyer (audio)


 

Karin Slaughter



Have you decided which event you'll be attending? Karin Slaughter will make her only   
Orange County appearances in support of her brand-new thriller, Cop Town, this weekend!

Saturday, July 19th at 2pm
Rancho Santa Margarita Library
30902 La Promesa, Rancho Santa Margarita. CA
949-459-6094

Sunday, July 20th at 2pm
Laguna Niguel Library
30341 Crown Valley Parkway, Laguna Niguel, CA
949-249-5252

 

When Pets Behave Badly

Since animal lovers think of their pets as part of the family, it can be especially upsetting when Fido or Fluffy’s behavior is unwanted, disruptive, or completely out-of-hand.  Behavioral problems are the number one reason why pets are relinquished to shelters and rescue groups.  Resolving pet behavior problems can be difficult, and there are many outmoded theories and misconceptions clouding the issue.  Here are two books that can help you resolve pet behavior problems.

Decoding Your Dog published by the American College of Veterinary Behaviorists explains common dog behaviors, and reveals how to prevent or change unwanted ones.  Of special note is the chapter written by Dr. Stefanie Schwartz on dog aggression, an especially common problem.  Dr. Schwartz does a great job in explaining the different types of aggression, the differences between normal and abnormal aggression, and how to go about managing an over-aggressive dog.

Also written by Dr. Stefanie Schwartz is Dr. Cookie’s Guide to Living Happily EverAfter with Your Cat (Dr. Schwartz was nicknamed Dr. Cookie for her tendency to shower her four-legged patients with pet treats).  This is an illuminating book that explains the mysterious workings of our feline friends, and how to handle unwanted behavioral issues.  This is an informative, yet light-hearted book full of advice and wisdom, written by a true animal-lover.
Dr. Stefanie Schwartz


Dr. Stefanie Schwartz, Veterinarian and Board-Certified Specialist in Veterinary Behavior, will be at the El Toro Branch Library on Friday July 18th from 1-2pm to discuss solving pet behavior problems.  This program is part of our "Paws" to Read Summer Reading Program for Adults,  and is free and open to the general public.

 

Summer Reading for Adults

Each year the library offers a Summer Reading Program. If your child hasn't signed up yet, be sure and visit an OC Public Libraries branch today! Some branches are even offering a reading program for adults. Don't let the kids have all the fun, earn all the prizes, or read all the books! Check with your local branch to see if they are offering a program for adults.
 
This year the reading program theme is "Paws to Read". That's right, it's animal themed! We all love the theme. Even if you don't officially sign up to participate in a reading program there are many fun animal themed books you might like to read this summer. May I recommend:
 
Chet and Bernie series by Spencer Quinn
The Good Good Pig by Sy Montgomery
Through a Dog's Eyes by Jennifer Arnold
Travels with Charley by John Steinbeck
Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen
Watership Down by Richard Adams
White Fang by Jack London
 
This list is just a short list of fiction and non-fiction titles. There are lots more great animal themed reads. Please share some of your favorite animal themed books that make you want to "Paws to Read".