Nonfiction – The Reality TV of Reading

Teen girls typically LOVE reality TV – so why don’t they love reality reading? A new report, “What Kids Are Reading,” found that girls at all grade levels devote less of their reading time to nonfiction compared to boys.nonfiction

That’s surprising because girls are traditionally considered the bigger readers. And they are, in general. The average girl reads about 3.8 million words between grades 1 and 12, about 25 percent more than the average boy, who reads about 3 million.

Reading nonfiction is increasingly important for the new Common Core reading standards. There is even a specific balance to meet. In kindergarten through fifth grade, the standards require a 50-50 balance between literary reading and informational reading, which includes nonfiction in categories like history, social studies, sciences, technical studies and the arts. In grades 6 through 12, the standards increase the importance on reading literary nonfiction.

While boys might be reading a bit more nonfiction, both genders could stand to up their game. And once they realize how intriguing the category can be, chances are good they’ll find more than enough fascinating choices!

Four Cool Types of Nonfiction:

  • Nonfiction based on movies – The first question most kids ask when movies are over: Did that really happen? Find out by reading the true story. Try, Wild (the movie comes out Dec. 5) or Unbroken (catch it starting Dec. 25).
  • Nonfiction based on history –  JFK never fails to fascinate. Or find out more about the “real” Laura Ingalls Wilder in Pioneer Girl, coming this December.

There is truly a nonfiction book for anything that interests your child!

Whether you’re looking for the perfect stocking stuffer, or something to keep your teen occupied as they travel, books are the perfect alternative. And while you might be tempted to pick up Diary of a Wimpy Kid or the Hunger Games series, remind your teen that truth is stranger than fiction – and add some nonfiction to that hot list.


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