During the month of November, the library will be supporting and celebrating National Non-Fiction November (NNFN). National Non-Fiction November is the Federation of Children’s Book Groups’ annual celebration of all things factual.
Born out of National Non-Fiction Day, the brain child of Adam Lancaster during his years as Chair, the whole month now celebrates all those readers that have a passion for information and facts and attempts to bring non-fiction celebration in line with those of fiction.
This year’s theme for NNFN is ‘Heroes’, and the library will be promoting these types of non-fiction books during the month of November.
Not all heroes wear capes … and not all heroes are humans. This year’s theme is a nod to all the real-life superheroes out there. Ordinary people who do the most extraordinary things to make a positive difference to the world we live in. Spanning history and form all around the globe, ground-breakers, freedom fighters, political pioneers, environmental activists, super scientist, awesome authors, inspiring inventors, sporting superheroes and rebels who have rocked the word.
In the last eighteen months, lots of heroes have gone above and beyond, From Sir Captain Tom Moore, and Marcus Rashford, to the unsung heroes: our keyworkers; the doctors, nurses, care assistant, emergency services and pharmacists who risked their lives to save ours. Not forgetting the supermarket workers and delivery rivers who kept gong to keep us going. So, this November we will be remembering their sacrifices.
Not all heroes are human. We will be celebrating amazing animal heroes such as Balto – a half-wolf, half-husky who became a hero when an outbreak of diphtheria threatened the lives of the children of Nome, Alaska in the winter of 1925. Balto led a dog team on a 600 mile trip across the Alaskan wilderness to get essential medical supplies to Nome, thus saving many human lives. You may like to read Balto’s life story written by an ex-Grimsdell pupil, Jake Novick. His biography of Balto is available for loan from our Grimsdell Library.
Why we need to seek out and celebrate non-fiction:
Even if you can’t remember back to when you were 3 or 4, you may have experienced (perhaps with tinge of exasperation) a small child asking you, “But why? Why is it like that? Why does it do that?”
We start out life immensely hungry for understanding. We want to work out how things work; we’re full of questions and insatiably curious about the world. When we discover an answer to our questioning, the world seems to make a little more sense and we feel braver and bolder than before. To be curious is not only natural, but it also helps us lead rich and wonderful lives. This is why I’m a passionate advocate for doing whatever possible to enable children and young people to keep asking “Why?”
Non-fiction books are my tools of choice for this; once opened, not only do they feed enthusiasm, foster wonder and put wind beneath wings, they enable readers by delivering knowledge and feeding passion.
Like me, you probably want your child to fall in love with books – perhaps because you know that all the research points to frequent readers being more successful in life, or perhaps simply because you know how enjoyable reading is and want others to experience that warmth, delight and pleasure.
But to fall in love with reading, children have to find books they love. Making their own choices about what they read is an important aspect of this.
This week we welcomed our new cohort of Year 2 Junior Librarians. Over the next few weeks, our new Junior Librarians will be sharing some of their favourite stories with you and recommending some not to be missed Christmas reads!