Informational books in short supply


One study found that in typical 1st grades informational texts make up less than 10% of all texts in the classroom library. 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. Most young readers spend less than 4 minutes a day reading informational text. For lower-income students that amount of time drops to only 1.9 minutes during an average school day.

A shifting emphasis

In an attempt to correct this imbalance the Common Core language arts and literacy standards is placing more emphasis on reading nonfiction/informational texts beginning in elementary school (Coleman & Pimental, 2012). Students are growing their vocabularies with subject-specific new words and learning how to research a topic using nonfiction/informational texts as early as 1st and 2nd grade. (Download a complete list of glossary words introduced in our nonfiction/informational titles here.) In later grades, these texts include literary nonfiction; essays; biographies and autobiographies; journals and technical manuals; and charts, graphs, and maps (Gewertz, 2012). Please sample our books online, cover to cover.


EL Educational Leadership
Research Says / Nonfiction Reading Promotes Student Success
by Bryan Goodwin and Kirsten Miller