Welcome to National Non Fiction November!
Non fiction often gets lost and overlooked in the vast world of children’s books. A crying shame because kids love it! Children are sponges. They suck up information and relish the feeling of finding out a new cool fact. Many children prefer non-fiction to fiction. And yet non fiction is so left behind that even its name reinforces its place as other. Non fiction. This stuff is not fiction. It is other, something else, something less.
The label non fiction is often used to lump together everything that doesn’t fit under the fiction banner. Fact books, activity books, spotting books, abc and counting books… Everything that isn’t fiction. And yet non fiction books often cross over into the fiction domain. They can have strong narratives, characters, a story ark. And often the illustration and design are off the scale. So why are they so overlooked? It’s a messy business of labels and hierarchy. But these brilliant books are fighting back. Authors, illustrators and publishers are producing fantastic books that show off and celebrate the breadth and wonder that is the non fiction market. And this November, the Federation of Children’s Bookgroups are launching the very first National Non Fiction November, celebrating adventures in the real world.
For me, non fiction means ‘finding out books’. That is what we call them in our house, in an attempt to give them a name that means something to Mollie and describes the books for what they are. Finding out books – Brilliant books that help you find out about the world around you.
Hold the line please caller, because I’m going to shine a light on some of our favourites.