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Love that nonfiction!

I’ve heard a few comments from readers who are SO EXCITED that our list of One Book One Lincoln nominees includes nonfiction titles, “The Color of Water” by James McBride, and “River of Doubt” by Candice Millard.

My annual reading of the Notable Books list over the years has shifted my preference toward nonfiction. Every year the nonfiction section of that list includes  titles that are true pleasures to read, with the added bonus of imparting information. I’ve re-structured my former reading groove of choosing fiction almost exclusively. I appreciate the way that nonfiction sometimes reads differently. I so admire writers who take technical information and make it available and meaningful to non-experts.

In the arena of youth reading, some experts have pointed out that many boys prefer nonfiction, and yet many classroom book collections emphasize fiction for recreational reading. Michael Sullivan refers to this issue in “Connecting Boys with Books 2.” We need to recognize the diversity of reading tastes in young people as well as adults. School Library Journal devotes a monthly blog and column (discontinued in the years since this blog post) to highlighting nonfiction reading for children.

What’s your preference? Do you lean strongly one direction or the other? What have you learned from going outside of your usual reading groove? And what inspired you to do so?

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