Nonfiction Wednesday – June 1, 2016

Nonfiction Picture Book Challenge 2016 is a weekly celebration of imaginative children’s nonfiction materials hosted by Kid Lit Frenzy.

And we’re back! It’s been quite a while since I’ve participated in this challenge, and I’m delighted to be back!

Title: Greek Mythology
Author: Ken Jennings

My Two Cents:  History isn’t boring. History teachers might be boring, history documentaries might be boring, and history textbooks are almost always boring. But history itself? That’s never boring. Murder, mayhem and madness, war and peace, wheeling and dealing, romance and retribution – history is proof of that old adage, “you couldn’t make this stuff up”!

Ken Jennings, a record-breaking Jeopardy winner, created a series of history books for kids that mix hard facts with fun illustrations and a very kid-friendly sense of humour. This entry in the series focuses on the gods and goddesses of ancient Greece, which is likely to appeal to kids who are fans of Rick Riordan’s Percy Jackson series. Trivia, lists, secret codes, short stories, quizzes will appeal to history and mythology buffs, while the cartoony illustrations and sense of humour keep the information accessible to kids who might be new to the subject. A fun, light-hearted, but informative guide to Greek mythology.

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9 thoughts on “Nonfiction Wednesday – June 1, 2016

  1. I love that Steve Sheinkin actually has a “Confession” on his website that he used to write textbooks. Because, as he points out, textbooks are pretty boring. Hooray for lively history writing!

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  2. I so love the sentiment of this post – you are so right! I used to think history was the most boring subject ever 😦 because all we learned in schools were lists of facts, battles, and names of presidents/kings. It was like a memorization game of who did what when but nothing ever really connected, at all. Until my first history class in college, which was all about analysis (not memorizing), about how people lived and thought. Now, history is my favorite subject after the one that I teach 😉 (math). SO glad to see this addressed in books for young children – definitely would have helped me!

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    • I had a similar experience in college, when a prof told us that just memorizing facts and figures was no big deal, anyone could do that. Understanding and analyzing those, facts, though, was what really mattered.

      Ugh, it drives me nuts the emphasis that’s placed on memorizing, rather than understanding. Sure, having a general understanding of major figures and timelines is important, but heck, you if you can’t remember if the Battle of Hastings was in 1066 or 1056, you can easily look that up. Understanding the impact the battle had on centuries of British culture and its relationship with the rest of Europe is something else entirely.

      I also dislike the old notion that something can possibly be both educational and entertaining. Life is serious enough, let’s try and have a little fun! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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