As much as we love fiction, I do think reading non-fiction is important. Children are naturally inquisitive and engaging biographies, science books, and other non-fiction selections can serve as great tools to feed those minds. And, well, sometimes they are just downright cool! The past week or two has brought a few excellent non-fiction reads into our home that my boys have loved.
When I visit the library I always take a quick peak at the children’s non-fiction section. I was actually looking for a Lego book my son wanted and Total Tractors caught my eye. I grabbed it thinking it would appeal to my six year old son and it was definitely a hit. Total Tractors is published by DK and is quite the encyclopedia of tractors. 141 pages of tractors. Fabulous, bright, sharp pictures of tractors: modern tractors, steam powered tractors, diggers, forestry tractors, and more and more! Among the photos little blurps of information are scattered on the page. There is enough information to answer some basic questions and share fun tractor facts. The pictures are definitely the draw of this book.
The soybean fields around our home were recently harvested. My son searched the book until he found the harvester he saw at work in the fields. We had a great discussion on how the harvester worked and other ways tractors were used. I have a lovely stack of his own drawings of tractors on my desk.
The surprise is how much my 17 month old son loves Total Tractors. He loves to grab it, sit on the couch, and flip through the pages. If you listen closely, he will even make a few tractor sounds. He loves to have someone sit with him and look at the pictures. I may have to hide it to give his older siblings a break from Total Tractors.
Tommy: The Gun That Changed America (Karen Blumenthal) shares the history of the Tommy Gun. The goal was to create a light weight, rapid fire gun for American soldiers to use on the battlefield. John Thompson, however, found that there was no marker for his gun in the military. It did become the weapon choice of outlaws such as bank robbers and bootleggers. You not only learn about the Tommy Gun but about significant names in history and the beginning of gun laws.
I had this book on my desk to read but never seem to have the time. My 14 year old son needed some new reading so I handed the book to him. He found it very interesting and would definitely recommend it Discussion on guns, gun laws, gun control could definitely come about from reading Tommy: The Gun That Changed America. It could also serve well to round out studying this time period in history. If you have a reader who enjoys weapons, guns, history, this could be an excellent selection.
The Illustrated History of Weaponry (Chuck Willis) is exactly what it says it is. A huge collection of weaponry photographs from the Berman Museum of World History. Swords, clubs, daggers, guns…..most basic to the most elaborate weapons…page after page of photographs. My 14 year old son grabbed this from the adult non-fiction section. The content is photographs with a tiny bit of commentary here and there. If you are looking for information on weaponry or history, this is not the book. This is more like a quick visual tour of a museum. My son has enjoyed looking at the various weaponry and how different weapons changed over time. Definitely not a book for everyone and would likely be classified as a “coffee table” book. From a teenage boy’s view, it was pretty cool.