Sunday, July 10, 2011

Non-Fiction for Kidz of All Ages

I recently read an interesting piece by Dana Goldstein concerning what American teens should be reading - more non-fiction. After I read it, and thought about the pressure of standardized testing that is being placed on the young shoulders of kids around the country, I felt it applied to ALL of our youth. So what follows are some recommendations from Kidz Books.
Ages 4-7
Several books come to mind. The first is for lovers of reptiles - Amazing Snakes. True to it's title the photographs are truly amazing from National Geographic and it's also An I Can Read book, too. The next takes youngsters on an ecological travel to Alaska in Adventures of Riley - Survival of the Salmon. Children love the pictures and the information boxes on the sides of the pages. They learn much more than salmon in this fun book. Finally, a picture book biography of one of our most famous presidents, Abraham Lincoln, will surpass what they will learn in school for President's Day.

Ages 8 - 10

For this age group, there is a great series of Eyewitness Books on specific topics that kids want to know more about. They are the kind of book that you can open anywhere and begin reading since they have short topics on the main subject. The pictures and photographs are incredible. Encyclopedic in nature, this is the type of book that your child will reach for again and again. Titles available are: Castle, Technology, Invention, Arctic & Antarctic, Archaeology, Ancient Rome, and Ancient Egypt. At $5 each these are a worthwhile investment!
For the young environmentalist Oil Spill: Disaster in the Gulf is a great guide to how the world uses oil, the future of energy in the U.S., and how we can prevent spills from happening again. Kids will enjoy reading about animal rescue professionals as well.

Ages 11-13

It becomes somewhat more difficult here as we deal with more mature themes. You know your child, their reading ability, and also their ability to process and understand social issues.

The first book is a training manual for horse enthusiasts which is very comprehensive. It deals with riding, grooming, jumping, etc - The Usborne Complete Book of Riding and Pony Care. I love Usborne books; they are interactive - made to use on the internet as well. But the great thing is that the children log in to the Usborne website and go from there so one does not need to worry about the sites they are looking at.

Next, are several sensitive books on the Holocaust. It is several true stories of children who survived; Escape - Children of the Holocaust. Another one that I received an email from an enchanted reader who is trying desperately to reach the survivor, Bronia Brandman, is The Girl Who Survived.

Ages 14 and up

The first book is really for high school students, Of Beetles and Angels. It's a marvelous story of a young man who graduated from Harvard after living in a Sudanese refuge camp. And of course my top seller for Kidz Books is Ten True Tales: Battle Heroes - Voices from Afghanistan. It's a moving account of servicemen and women some able to still tell their stories from the battlefield of war like Mark DeCorte, others like Ann Davis' brother Thom forever stilled, but always a hero. Behind Enemy Lines takes another look at war over a braoder spectrum of time beginning with our battle for independence. And for those who are interested in the Revolutionary War, a must read is Victory or Death! Stories of the American Revolution. Finally, an amazing book full of triumph over evil during Europe's darkest days is Heroes of the Holocaust: True Stories of Rescues by Teens.

So give it a try and steer your significant child to a non-fiction book. Books can do no harm.