Good Morning! We’re on Fall Break this weekend, and I’m so excited for the crisp air, pumpkin spice lattes, and apple cider!
I’m pleased to share a nonfiction text for young readers today: Never Too Young: 50 Unstoppable Kids who Made a Difference (2018, Sterling). Written by Aileen Weintraub and illustrated by Laura Horton, this book should be on your bookshelf! This is no boring collection of biographies.
I LOVE this book’s aesthetics. Weintraub’s one-page biographical introductions (which are written in concise, accessible language and perfect for daily read-clouds!) are complemented beautifully with Horton’s digital illustrations. Each page has its own color and/or pattern and invites readers to share in the accomplishments of the fifty young people highlighted in the text.
I also love how the book presents historic or more well-known figures (e.g., Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Pele, Joan of Arc, Anne Frank, Shirley Temple, and Margaret Knight) that might be familiar to readers and contemporary figures (e.g., Aisholphan Nurgaiv, Autumn de Forest, and Ryan Hreljac) that readers might not know too much about. It’s important for students to see presentations of the varied accomplishments young people all over the world made or are making.
I went to a presentation about using mentor texts in the writing classroom on Thursday evening, and I could not help thinking of this book in terms of mentor texts. Teachers can use each entry as a mentor text for students during nonfiction units. Student writers can learn much from Weintraub’s engaging style and her ability to inform with such brevity.
Do not overlook the Introduction and What Now? sections. For it is in these sections that Not Too Young!‘s true purpose is revealed: to encourage readers themselves to make a difference.
Teachers and parents who are looking for an engaging nonfiction text would do well do add Never Too Young! to their bookshelves! I will definitely be sharing it with my children’s literature students in a few weeks when we look at nonfiction texts!
Never Too Young earns five stars!