Tuesday, February 19, 2013


Nonfiction "Must Haves" from JoEllen McCarthy @imalwayslearnin

Thank you to Cathy Mere, Julie Balen and Mandy Robek for hosting this exciting event. 
Beware my list is more than 10.  It was fun putting together this list  #NF10for10.
I am excited to learn from others as I watch my own TBR list grow. Thanks to all for sharing.  Would love to hear your comments.

Gene Barretta

Gene Barretta offers simple picture books filled with great information and fun facts about  the infamous Thomas Edison, Leonardo DaVinci and Benjamin Franklin.  My personal favorite is Neo  Leo because in this book it celebrates the "ageless ideas"- found in DaVinci's notebook.  Great mentor text to speak to the power of reflecting, note-making, and recording ideas.  Neo Leo gives us a glimpse into DaVinci's "thinking notebook" and how such a notebook allows for endless possibilities. Trailer for Neo Leo


Seymour Simon

 What list of NF picture books would be complete without mentioning the amazing work of mentor author, Seymour Simon?  His books are beautiful examples filled with craft lessons to inspire reading, writing and thinking about informational texts.  Seymour Simon has a great website and can  also be found on Twitter sharing kernels of wisdom to get students thinking. 
A few of our favorites are below:

Product Details

Can't wait for his newest title to be released in April:
Seymour Simon’s Extreme Oceans


Steve Jenkins

 Steve Jenkins inspires us to wonder and to ask questions about the world around us.  He inspires us to explore ideas and to want to learn more.

"Every book starts with an idea. Usually the idea is really a question..."



Looking forward to his newest title where he collaborates with Marty Crump:
          Coming Soon:

Nicola Davies

Nicola Davies's book have a way of informing  and entertaining the reader as she explores topics kids can't get enough of like-- the unmentionable poo or parasites such as head lice below: (Kids want to know more...)     http://www.nicola-davies.com/

Poo     What's eating you? Parasites: the inside story
You can hear Nicola speak about her love for animals and her inquisitive nature on her website:

More Mentor Authors

Marissa Moss is the author of many amazing biography picture books about influential women in history.  Some favorites include: Brave Harriet, Mighty Jackie and Nurse, Soldier, Spy: The Story of Sarah Edmonds: a Civil War Hero.  Her newest title is a NF picture book about Kenichi Zenimura a Japanese American who played with Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig and brought baseball to the internment camps: Barbed Wire Baseball.


Independent Dames
Laurie Halse Anderson has a favorite about powerful women in history.

Other  authors of nonfiction biographies I had to include in the #NF10 for10:

Kathllen Krull


Doreen Rappaport

Tanya Lee Stone

A Little Something Extra

What Color is My World by Kareem Abdul Jabbar is a  hybrid text with a parallel story, fun facts and additional "reports" included. This book explores African American Inventors. The additional inserts are an added bonus that serve as great examples of writing with voice.

Poetry and Informational Text

Finally this list would not be complete without mentioning the authors of poetry books that we often include in our  informational text sets:

Douglas Florian
Joyce Sidman
Bobbi Katz
Lee Bennet Hopkins
J. Patrick Lewis

Additional Resources

Check out: Ink Think Tank to connect with other nonfiction authors and for information about other "must have" titles...but beware your list will keep growing.