Because we subscribe to The New York Times we get part of the Sunday paper on Saturday, including The Book Review. That’s why this morning, while drinking coffee and eating Silver Palate’s thick and rough oatmeal with pump juicy raisins, I know that the issue dated 5/31/09 is devoted to “Summer Readings.” I counted the titles and found 15 fiction books, including 2 for children and 62–yup, sixty-two–nonfiction books, including 10 about cooking, 12 about gardening, 6 about travel and 4 about music, plus there was a nonfiction essay.
That ratio of fiction to nonfiction books, however, will be flipped, on the 2009 summer reading lists that teachers and librarians compile for children & young adults; in fact, in my experience, many–if not most–of those summer reading lists will have no, or only a few nonfiction books, or list books as nonfiction that aren’t like the Magic School Bus.
Let’s challenge the hegemony of fiction on summer reading lists for children and young adults & compile a list of nonfiction books; please send me your recommendations! Thank you!
p.s. (For more about the importance of nonfiction, check my podcast, “The Potential of Nonfiction,” on my website.)