Tuesday, October 29, 2013

2 New Favorite Nonfiction Authors

This summer, I did a Choice Literacy workshop for teachers around Nonfiction. I spoke in the morning and Andrea Smith spoke in the afternoon.  It was a great day of learning as I always learn so much from Andrea. But the big surprise was the books.  I have been on the lookout for better nonfiction for years and I love my collection lately.  I brought crates and crates of books for my part of the presentation.  Andrea also brought crates and crates for her part of the presentation.  The room was filled with amazing nonfiction for children.  And here's the thing, there was almost NO overlap in the books I brought and the books Andrea brought.  We each had a great collection of DIFFERENT books!  Needless to say, it was an expensive afternoon of amazon ordering but I discovered some great new books.

Now, well into the school year, I've realized I have 2 new nonfiction authors thanks to this workshop.

Suzi Eszterhas is an author I discovered while I was getting ready for the workshop months earlier. I don't know where I read about or saw her newish series EYE ON THE WILD (Eye on the Wild: Lion)  but I fell in love immediately.  This series currently has about 6 books--each about a different animal in the wild. Each book begins when the animal is a baby and takes it through adulthood.  The text is narrative and very well written. There is enough on the page for my 3rd graders, but not so much to make it overwhelming. And Eszterhas's photos are amazing. I checked out her website as I am a new fan and loved learning about her other work. The part of her website that was most fascinating was the section on tours and workshops. I would NEVER want to go on any adventure that observes animals in the wild, but I love that she does and that we get to learn from her brilliance!  Two more books in this series are due out in 2014 and I am very happy about that!  And I definitely want to go back and check out her past work in Ranger Rick and Time Magazine! Love finding a new favorite author.

The other author was one I discovered from Andrea at the workshop.  I knew Markle from The Case of Sandra Markle was an author I didn't know as an author--I had a few of her books but had never really looked at them together to see what Sandra Markle was about. Well, what a happy discovery!  Sandra writes great nonfiction books for kids around a variety of science topics. The thing is, all of her books have different illustrators/photographers, so it is hard to notice that they are all by this wonderful author. Go through your classroom or school library and I bet you have lots by this author.  I love her work because she really makes things more interesting and very accessible to children. Her take and focus on big topics narrows things down so kids can really understand.  Her language is beautiful and can be used in any minilesson on craft.  I currently love her Animal Predators series.  Owls in this series is one a few of my students have loved.
the Vanishing Tree Frog but hadn't paid attention to how many other books she wrote that I loved! 


  1. I looked, Franki & we have a huge collection of Markle's book in our library, but none of Eszterhas' work. I shared your post with our librarian-so good to hear of another non-fiction author. Thank you!

  2. I've long enjoyed Markle's work, but am unfamiliar with Eszterhas' writing. I will look for it the next time I go to B&N.


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