Most young readers spend less than 4 minutes a day reading nonfiction.

Nonfiction/informational books are in short supply in the classroom. One study found that in typical 1st grades the median number of nonfiction/informational books was just 1.2 per student in low-income districts. In high-income districts, that average only rose to 3.3 per student. Reading nonfiction exposes students to new vocabulary and can help them develop their background knowledge. Background knowledge has been shown to account for as much as 33% of the variance in student achievement (Marzano, 2000). Continuing to grow background knowledge becomes even more crucial in later elementary grades, as students begin to read more content-specific textbooks (Young, Moss, & Cornwell, 2007).