Nonfiction Books: Good For Your Brain

we heart nonfiction

A mission statement from NCTE makes a strong argument in favor of incorporating more nonfiction reading at every level of education. Why is this important?

For decades, many adults have assumed that children choose stories over nonfiction. Fairy tales over articles about animals. Science fiction over science. And that assumption meant the adults who chose books to include in library and classroom collections, as well as home libraries, often picked storybooks and novels over nonfiction books.

And this put kids who preferred nonfiction at a disadvantage! A fourth grader who was passionate about the migration patterns of shorebirds would be hard pressed to find a book to satisfy their curiosity when they made a trip to their school library.

Nonfiction advocates have been calling for more awareness about this issue for years, and the last couple years has seen great strides in improving access to nonfiction books for kids. And last week, the National Council of Teachers of English issued their Position Statement on the Role of Nonfiction Literature (K–12).

Here’s part of the overview:

Contemporary nonfiction for young people plays a crucial role in the reading and writing lives of K–12 students. It is a rich and compelling genre that supports students’ development as critically, visually, and informationally literate 21st-century thinkers and creators. The purpose of this position statement is to propose a paradigm shift for teaching and learning with nonfiction literature in K–12 education. …

Nonfiction empowers young people in the face of current and emerging challenges locally and globally, such as racial, cultural, social, and economic injustice, censorship and disinformation, and the climate crisis. In the urgency of this moment, nonfiction for young people has never been more vibrant or vital.

You can imagine that we at Nomad Press are thrilled about this development!

We love nonfiction, and we know kids who love nonfiction, and we believe that quality nonfiction books are some of the most vital tools we can give to kids as they learn to navigate a complex world. As nonfiction collections expand in classrooms and libraries across the country, we feel confident this will better prepare students for the challenges we face now and in the future.

One of those challenges is the spread of disinformation that has become so prevalent in the last several years. More than any other time in history we have the means to communicate widely, but that means we need to be able to discern between truth and lies. Studying nonfiction techniques and how to research and vet sources is a crucial part in the fight against disinformation.

It’s exciting to think about what this shift in priorities might mean for children. Will kids who have always gravitated toward nonfiction find a true wealth of material to choose from? Will kids who have always preferred fiction discover books that tell a story, even if that story is true? Will we all be better equipped to apply what we learn to practical issues?


And we are here for it.

Curious about the world around you? Try a sample chapter from one of our nonfiction books!

book cover for Electricity: Circuits, Static, and Electromagnets

Remember, learning happens everywhere! Thanks for learning with Nomad.

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