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Practically Paradise
Inside Practically Paradise

Nonfiction Series Lover

As 2008 winds down I see more and more best lists. This year a couple nonfiction titles have risen to the top of these lists (a cross-over miracle). We Are the Ship, Nic Bishop Frogs, and some Lincoln books are receiving attention. Marc Aronson posted about this in Come One, Come All: The Year in Nonfiction, but I believe some of you are sitting out of the conversation. I want to know what nonfiction series you loved this year. 

I’m not seeking Newbery quality nonfiction titles. In addition to quality works of nonfiction that stand alone (think Race by Marc Aronson and Dennis Brindell Fradin’s DUEL!: BURR AND HAMILTON’S DEADLY WAR OF WORDS), my students read series after series of nonfiction. I respect their choices because they are seeking information and are enjoying reading informational texts having mastered the nonfiction series format.

Before I share MY lists, I want to see what nonfiction series you acquired this year and what has become your favorite. If you have a favorite publisher, tell me that, too. 

If you have ANY problems posting a comment, copy your information and email it to me at and I will post for you. 

Readers, I am pleading with you to post your comments. I think it’s ridiculous that one of the Reed Publishing blogs that receives the most comments is the Romance group. If they judge our blogs based upon how many people comment, then my writing attempts are failures. Come on youth librarians, participate and tell us what you and your students really like to read.


  1. My students really love all the 24/7 Science Behind the Scenes books from Scholastic. They have several mini-series within the larger collection (Forensic Files, Spy Files, etc.) and my struggling readers eat them up.

    P.S. Please don’t knock the Romance group. People who read romance novels are people too. Besides, shouldn’t we be holding them up as an example of people who participate?

  2. TERRY YOUNG says:

    Morning Darlin’,
    Our students enjoy:
    Today’s Superstars (Gareth Stevens);
    Team Spirit – all the sports (Norwood Press);
    Exploring Science (Compass Point);
    Careers in Focus (Ferguson/Facts on File).

  3. Knock Romance? No way. What do you think I was curled up with all weekend? Everyone loves a good fairytale – such a cynic! Actually, what I find most interesting is that people who are very passionate about one type of genre will contribute to conversations, listserv’s, and blogs more often than generalists. School librarians tend not to comment. Why? We’ll have to do some interviews about this at midwinter meeting of ALA.

  4. These are the titles that are always off the shelf in my 7/8 building:

    A Child called It + sequels
    90 Minutes in Heaven
    Marley and Me
    DK Books
    Guinness Book of World Records
    Diary of Anne Frank

    and, depending on your opinion of anonymous writings:
    It Happened to Nancy

    Good luck with your list. I’m sure I’m missing a few but I’m not at school to do a walk through due to a snow day.

  5. Melissa Techman says:

    I don’t have some good titles to contribute (yet), although I did think “Yes!”, when I saw mention of Duel and Nic Bishop. I do have a comment though. My students love it when I read books like Yin’s Coolies and Brothers or Levitin’s Boomtown! I add factual information to the discussion, but there is not much on the shelf currently to connect to these stories (and lots of others). So once again, we need more lower level NF.

  6. Sandy Kelly says:

    My school is PK-8 so I have a wide range of reading levels. My 5th and 6th graders really like the You Wouldn’t Want to be…series from Scholastic. I wish there were more nonfic series. I can’t keep the Guinness books on the shelf or intact for that matter. I am also finding the Graphic Universe (Lerner) myths and legends are a big hit.