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Education - Children's and young adult's literature

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"Juxtaposing fiction and nonfiction builds on the natural curiosity of students. The fictional accounts draw readers into the story world while the nonfiction texts add facts and depth to students' understanding.

"Fiction/nonfiction pairs can personalize historical conflicts for children."

"...middle school students with learning and language problems, found that pairing historical fiction with nonfiction history books helped students enjoy the story and see how the story fit into the historical persepctive.'

from: Pairing fact and fiction for deep understanding by Carol Gilles et al., Language Arts, v.78 no.6, Jul. 2001.

"...can help students make sense of, and find the significance in, their reading of literature..."

"Inviting students to read a novel, interrogate its messages and themes, and search nonfiction texts to support arguments that arise from this interrogation is an approach that works for all kinds of learners. It gives students the power to address on their own the often pesky but actually quite poignant question: 'why do we have to read this book?"

from: Asking and arguing with fact and fiction: using inquiry and critical literacy to make sense of literture in the world by Deb Sawch, English Journal v.101 no.2, Nov. 2011.

  • a strong voice and authorial presence, with the writer figured as a teller or a character
  • (usually) a strong narrative quality
  • language that surprises and delights -- that calls attention to itself as language, rather than shying into transparency
  • surprising juxtapositions of facts, ideas and experiences that lead to fresh insights; an often digressive, associative quality that, nonetheless, we find well formed
  • an insistent and celebratory sense that, while the author is writing about the world as it is and life as it happens, this truth is filtered through a consciousness whose goal is to make us pay attention and care.

-- from: Imagining a place for creative nonfiction by Douglas Hesse (English Journal, vol.88 #2, 2009