So, I’m trying to expand my reading repertoire with this time out of work, meaning I’m trying to find some decent nonfiction books (besides memoir) that my students might like. It’s hard for me to spend a ton of money on nonfiction, mainly because I don’t read that genre much — but Jake said something a few weeks ago that made me rethink my attititude. He tried to tell me that because I pushed fiction on him so much as he was growing up, he just didn’t like to read. And if I’d “let” him read nonfiction, he wouldn’t have stopped reading for so long. (God, I love it that I’m damned if I do, and damned if I don’t! haha..Oh, teens….). Anyway, he’s been going nuts for some nonfiction books — biography, memoir, political books…), so I thought, why not me?

My first foray into nonfiction is a book called Every Bone Tells a Story, by Jill Rubalcaba & Peter Robertshaw. They detail five different archeological finds of ancient bones and tell what the scientists learned about the people and the time periods. The writing is descriptive, I’ve marked several mentor sentences, and best of all, it’s keeping my attention. There are only 160 pages in the book, so it’s doable for my students. But I am learning so much — and if you read my earlier post, being an archeologist is on my list of dream jobs! I do find myself reading differently: slower, more re-reading to make sure I understand, and having to keep my cell phone’s dictionary close by to look up unfamilar words. The maps and graphics used in the book are extremely helpful to show how time periods connect and what the bones and archeological digs looked like. I think my students will like this one!

Do you read nonfiction (again, I’m not really talking about memoir – I could probably read those all day)….I have a list that I found from Terry Lesesne, but are there any that you’d recommend? I’d love to have suggestions for middle and high school level — especially picture books that would work at this level, too.