Created by author Melissa Stewart, the 5 Kinds of Nonfiction classification system helps librarians expand and balance their nonfiction collection to provide a broad array of titles that appeal to different types of readers. It also helps students select books they like, predict the type of information they will find in a book, and use the books for specific purposes.
To assist librarians in identifying titles from each category, Lerner used the 5 Kinds of Nonfiction system to classify the nonfiction on our website. Some books may contain elements from two different categories; these are blended nonfiction titles. Note that books that deliver factual information but use fictional elements, such as invented dialog or scenes, talking animals or fictional characters—are not included in this classification system. They are referred to as “informational fiction” instead. To learn more, read the educational resource 5 Kinds of Nonfiction: Enriching Reading and Writing Instruction with Children’s Books from Stenhouse Publishers or visit the educators section of Melissa’s website.
Explore nonfiction books by type below!
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Browse the 5 Kinds of Nonfiction Flyer
Download our flyer to learn more about each of the 5 kinds of nonfiction. Key features of each kind of book are highlighted along with the best uses for each!
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Learn More about the 5 Kinds of Nonfiction System from Creator Melissa Stewart
Nonfiction author Melissa Stewart started classifying the 5 Kinds of Nonfiction in 2017. Learn about the system’s benefits for librarians, educators, and students in her professional book 5 Kinds of Nonfiction: Enriching Reading and Writing Instruction with Children’s Books, co-authored with Dr. Marlene Correia, Director of Curriculum and Assessment for the Freetown-Lakeville Regional School District in Lakeville, MA. Melissa also gathered a helpful collection of essays and nonfiction writing activities in her book Nonfiction Writers Dig Deep: 50 Award-Winning Children’s Book Authors Share the Secret of Engaging Writing.
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Get a 5 Kinds of Nonfiction Downloadable Poster
Download and print our 11 × 17 poster and hang it in your classroom or library for a useful reference tool highlighting each type of nonfiction at a glance.
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