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Library Notes: Non-fiction is important, too

By Hope Loman
Rowan Public Library

When I hear others talk about the joys of reading, they usually only reference benefits that come from fictional books, such as “reading gives you the ability to travel to different worlds.” While I also like to read fiction, I think that nonfiction tends to get overlooked, especially in the juvenile collection at the library. When working the children’s desk, I see that kids immediately gravitate towards the fiction sections in the room, and usually only give a cursory look to the nonfiction area, if they head that way at all. This is unfortunate, because while reading nonfiction is good for readers of all ages, these books can be especially beneficial for children.

According to the 2017 article by Family Health International, “Nonfiction in the Early Grades: A Key to Reading Success,” there are seven reasons why parents and guardians should care about their children reading non-fiction books: First, they prepare children for later grades in school and processing expository texts; they support the development of new concepts and more reading comprehension, especially for children in lower socio-economic groups; they integrate complicated vocabulary in a way that can be easily absorbed by children; they can help with learning a second language by providing familiar connections to learn new words; they connect children more to the world around them, helping them explore concepts both known and unknown; they enable children to learn strategies to better their situation through improved health and safety; and finally, research shows that children can enjoy quality non-fiction books as much or more than fiction books because they quench their thirst for information.

For today’s article I’d like to feature the juvenile non-fiction section at the Rowan Public Library, specifically the new titles that have just been added to the collection. If any of the following books interest you or your children, drop by the library to check them out or place a hold online or by phone.

  • “The International Day of the Girl,” by Jessica Dee Humphreys: Read nine inspiring stories about girls around the world and how they have experienced gender inequality and overcome their adversities.
  • “The Talk — Conversations about Race, Love & Truth:” Thirty authors share conversations they have had with their families about anti-racism and being advocates for change.
  • “Nuestra America — 30 Inspiring Latinas/Latinos Who Have Shaped the United States,” by Sabrina Vourvoulias: Read stories about inspiring figures who have contributed to the cultural, social, and political character of the United States.
  • “The Worry (Less) Book: Feel Strong, Find Calm, and Tame your Anxiety!” by Rachel Brian: This book will help young readers identify their anxiety, understand why it happens, and give them the tools to feel calm.
  • “How to Be a Person — 65 Hugely Useful, Super-Important Skills to Learn Before You’re Grown Up,” by Catherine Newman: This practical guide passes along essential life skills like writing thank you notes or how to do a load of laundry.
  • “How We got to the Moon,” by John Rocco: Learn about the space race and the stories of NASA’s heroes through stories, diagrams, and illustrations.
  • “Plastic — Past, Present, and Future,” by Eun Ju Kim: Learn about when and why society started using plastics, the life cycle of this material, and ideas for cutting down on plastic use in the future.
  • “Dinosaurs — Fact and Fable,” by Seymour Simon: Learn about topics like dinosaur diets, extinction theories, and more with a timeline, photos, and full-color illustrations.

Hope Loman is children’s room supervisor at the Rowan County Public Library.

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