'The best books, reviewed with insight and charm, but without compromise.' - author Jackie French

Saturday, 15 March 2014

Librarian's Shelf: Not Just Novels


Having a balanced reading 'diet' is valuable, although sometimes parents worry that a child, often a boy, prefers non-fiction to fiction. That's okay, reading is not just about novels; non-fiction is good, too! As long as they're reading and curious about the book's contents, they are learning, expanding their vocabulary, and developing interests.

Non-fiction doesn't have to be boring, and done in the right way, it can be informative and incredibly entertaining (the popular Horrible Histories series is a perfect example). Many non-fiction books offer small chunks of information in an easy-to-read, and easy-to-remember, way that aids learning. The best non-fiction books also have a good-mix of words and visual elements.

Non-fiction can tap into something that excites your child, linking them with books about existing hobbies and interests; it can provide a way to engage with new subjects that might not otherwise be explored; and can hook reluctant readers into books via subjects that grab their attention.

Non-fiction covers an enormous and diverse range of topics. It’s often interactive, and easy to browse and come back to on a regular basis.

Check out a selection of a few of our more recent non-fiction reviews below:

Animation Studio

Bug Bingo

Cars: A Pop-Up Book of Automobiles

Compost: A Family Guide to Making Soil From Scraps

Explore! The Most Dangerous Journeys of All Time

History of Britain and Ireland

Pluto's Secret


Sarah Steed is our Consultant Librarian and reviewer. A former Children's and Young Adult Librarian, she has more than 18 years' experience working in public libraries. Sarah comes from a family of readers and has shelves full to bursting with books. 



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