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Friday, February 3, 2012

So if it isn't fiction, it must be nonfiction...

Nonfiction author, Melissa Stewart, blogged this week about the term "nonfiction".   I can remember sitting in a conference of science writers years ago debating the same problem. Today the debate continues.   Nonfiction is not simply something other than fiction  - it is its own entity and as such warrants a more definitive name.  The science writers I met spoke about the term verity, meaning "something that is true; especially: a fundamental and inevitably true value".  Should nonfiction books reflect a derivation of the term verity?  As Melissa stated, many librarians now refer to these titles as informational.   Perhaps this is something the Library of Congress should examine, or the ALA.

Thanks, Melissa, for bringing this up again.  I agree - we need to keep the conversation going!  


  1. Well certainly 'informational' is not an appropriate term to describe the non-fiction books of today. That feels like a step backwards. Creative non-fiction can be every bit as exciting as fiction and can add a lot more to young readers lives than mere information.

    1. Thanks for your comment, Stephen. You are so right...creative nonfiction can be just as exciting as fiction!

  2. Thanks, Nancy. I definitely think it's worth continuing the conversation because I want people to keep thinking about the idea that "non" is a negative term. And that's a shame because reading nonfiction is very positive experience for lots of kids (and adults).