New Database of Nonfiction Children’s Authors
Twenty-two leading children’s book authors have formed a group called INK Think Tank: Nonfiction Authors in Your Classroom and have launched a FREE online database of nonfiction books. Their website, www.INKThinkTank.com, is designed to help teachers, librarians, and homeschoolers find the books they need to meet curriculum requirements in grades K-12. The database will enable users to build an outstanding classroom or home library that includes material required by school districts nationwide. Visitors will be able to search by national standards, subject, grade level, author names, titles, and keywords. The result will be a printable list of award-winning books that will ignite kids’ enthusiasm for reading and provide the information they need to excel.
Participating authors include Children’s Book Guild members Rosalyn Schanzer and Marfé Ferguson Delano as well as Children’s Book Guild Nonfiction Award winners Sneed B. Collard III, Dorothy Hinshaw Patent and Steve Jenkins. Schanzer participated in the precursor to the new website, a nonfiction blog called I.N.K. (Interesting Nonfiction for Kids – http://inkrethink.blogspot.com). The blog, founded by Linda Salzman, enables authors to share thoughts about all aspects of their craft—from research and discovery to design and illustration. The goal of the current INK innovation, says Schanzer, is “to make learning as enticing and exciting as possible by helping teachers everywhere to tie a cornucopia of dynamic nonfiction books directly into their own curricula.”
Most classroom materials written to state or national standards are designed to meet test requirements, rather than to stimulate kids’ natural curiosity, fire up their imaginations, and inspire innovative thinking. Recent studies have shown that many students, especially boys, prefer nonfiction to fiction. If kids are exposed to creative, well-written nonfiction, they are significantly more likely to become lifelong readers. In addition, assessment tests mandated by No Child Left Behind require that students be skilled in reading and writing nonfiction. Kids need great books to serve as models of good expository writing, and the books in the INK Think Tank database fill the bill.
The INK Think Tank website includes supporting literature about how to use nonfiction trade books in the classroom as building blocks for literacy. Users will also find information about the authors’ school visits and professional development workshops, which will ultimately be available through video conferencing.
Books listed in the INKThinkTank database have been awarded more than two hundred national, international, state, and regional honors and awards. These include two Caldecott Honor, the Pura Belpré Honor, three Sibert Honors, the Theodor Seuss Geisel Honor, the Boston Globe-Horn Book Honor, the Christopher Award, the James Madison Book Award Honor, and the New York Times Best Illustrated Books. Numerous books have also been named as ALA Notables, ALA Quick Picks for Reluctant Young Adult Readers, ALA Best Books for Young Adults, Children's Book Guild Nonfiction Award winners or have been on best-of-the-year lists, including those chosen by Publishers Weekly, Booklist, Kirkus, School Library Journal, Washington Post, San Francisco Chronicle, Parenting, and Instructor.
●Don Brown ●Vicki Cobb ●Sneed B. Collard III ●Marfé Ferguson Delano ●Susan E. Goodman ●Jan Greenberg ●Cheryl Harness ●Deborah Heiligman ●Steve Jenkins ●Barbara Kerley ●Susan Kuklin ●Loreen Leedy ●Sue Macy ●Dorothy Hinshaw Patent ●Susanna Reich ●April Pulley Sayre ●Rosalyn Schanzer ●David M. Schwartz ●Melissa Stewart ●Tanya Lee Stone ●Gretchen Woelfle ●Karen Romano Young