Available for purchase through Lerner Books or Amazon.

In 5 Kinds of Nonfiction: Enriching Reading and Writing Instruction with Children’s Books, Melissa Stewart and Dr. Marlene Correia present a new way to sort nonfiction into five major categories and show how doing so can help teachers and librarians build stronger readers and writers. Along the way, they:

  • Introduce the 5 kinds of nonfiction: Active, Browseable, Traditional, Expository Literature, and Narrative—and explore each category through discussions, classroom examples, and insights from leading children’s book authors
  • Offer tips for building strong, diverse classroom texts and library collections
  • Provide more than 20 activities to enhance literacy instruction
  • Include innovative strategies for sharing and celebrating nonfiction with students. 

With more than 150 exemplary nonfiction book recommendations and Stewart and Correia’s extensive knowledge of literacy instruction, 5 Kinds of Nonfiction will elevate your understanding of nonfiction in ways that speak specifically to the info-kids in your classrooms, but will inspire all readers and writers.

Bound to Stay Bound has curated booklists in the BTSB Bookstore within these categories. Click on a circle to be redirected to that specific booklist.


Highly interactive and/or teaches skills forengaging in activity 

How-to guides, field guides, cookbooks, craft books 

Clear, straightforward language

Expository writing style

Best used for: Engaging in an activity or learning a new skill; perfect for makerspaces


Eye-catching design, lavishly illustrated

Short blocks of straightforward text

Can be read cover to cover or by skipping around

Great for shared reading

Expository writing style

Description text structure

Best used for: Engaging readers quickly by offering interesting or unusual facts; text features make it easy to find specific information; the emphasis is on the book’s design and visuals; use later in the research process to add interesting detail 


Survey (all about) books

Overview of a topic

Often part of a large series

Clear, straightforward language

Expository writing style

Description text structure

Best used for: An overview or introduction to a topic, use early in the research process to build understanding


Focused topics presented creatively

Strong voice and rich, engaging language 

Innovative format

Carefully chosen text structure

Expository writing style 

Books about specialized ideas, such as STEM concepts

Best used for: Providing more depth or interesting perspective, ideal mentor texts for writing workshops, nonfiction read alouds


Narrative writing style

Tells a story or conveys an experience

Real characters, scenes, dialog, narrative arc

Strong voice and rich, engaging language 

Chronological sequence structure

Books about people (biographies), events, or processes

Best used for: Understanding a past time or place, a person, or a process; nonfiction read alouds

Lerner has created 3 downloadable & printable pdf files.

Download the overview 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!

Download the audit checklist flyer to learn how to evaluate your personal bias, your students’ preferences, and your collection makeup to determine what categories of the 5 Kinds of Nonfiction you need to build up in your library.

Download and print the 11 × 17 poster and hang it in your classroom or library for a useful reference tool highlighting each type of nonfiction at a glance.

“Enriching Reading and Writing Instruction with Children’s Book” by Marlena Correia and Melissa Stewart.  Text copyright © 2021 by Melissa Stewart and Marlene Correia. Published by Stenhouse Publishers Images used with the permission of Lerner Publishing Group, Inc. and Stenhouse Publishers  All rights reserved.  No part of these text or images may be used or reproduced in any manner whatsoever without the prior written permission of Lerner Publishing Group, Inc.