NonFiction MG in the News

A common misperception–middle-graders don’t love nonfiction–has become the center of a high profile (and thankfully, courteous) debate, thanks to the Washington Post and one of our very own contributors and MUF STEM Tuesday curator, Jen Swanson.

STEM Tuesday

It all started with this December opinion piece from Jay Mathews.

A month later, nonfiction authors Jen Swanson, Cynthia Levinson, and Melissa Stewart countered with this article for Publishers Weekly, citing multiple studies illustrating just how much middle-grade readers really do like their nonfiction. They also called out the exciting innovation of the format to include comics and narrative nonfiction, as well as a commitment to equity, diversity, and inclusion.

 

Non fiction books from MUF STEM Team

Since there’s no such thing as bad press, nonfiction titles get a boost from this debate on such a visible stage. Moreover, in an age when the old fashioned textbook is slowly going gently into the good night, a healthy conversation about keeping our kids engaged and interested in reading works for us all.

Heather Murphy Capps
Heather Murphy Capps has always had a deep appreciation for comfort and elegance. She and Claudia would have run out of money quickly together but would absolutely have been on the same page about taxis and nice restaurants. And of course, solving mysteries about beautiful art. That said, Heather also appreciates Jamie’s love of complication, which is why she spent several years living in rural Kenya and then became a television news reporter, which involved standing for hours in the middle of hurricanes and political battles. Now she’s raising middle grade readers and writing for them. She loves to read and write books with lots of great science, magic, mystery, and adventure. Heather is the communications coordinator for Mixed-Up Files, as well as creator/curator for our We Need Diverse MG series. She is an #ownvoices author and committed to creating more diversity in publishing.