Thursday, February 9, 2017

#nf10for10 - Nonfiction Read Alouds for our March Madness Bracket

In the spirit of the annual March Madness basketball tournament, last year my colleague, Valerie Glueck and I designed a literacy related March Madness bracket of nonfiction picture books to foster a love of nonfiction in our reading community.  This "Nonfiction Tournament" has not only created an energy and excitement for read aloud; it has also exposed students to more nonfiction, which can be a neglected genre.  Teachers have used our March Madness bracket as a springboard for discussions of text features and structures, vocabulary and author's purpose.  For more information, check out my posts from last March!

2016 March Madness Bracket

Valerie and I spent the last year collecting titles of outstanding nonfiction books published in 2016.  We focused on topics and formats that we thought would be appealing to students in grade three through five.  Another important criteria for our teachers was that the book could be read aloud in one session, which eliminated a few of our favorite books from 2016, such as Some Writer by Melissa Sweet.

We are excited to reveal our 2017 March Madness bracket to our school community on February 27!  It was very difficult for me to select ten books from our collection of sixteen outstanding titles!  I love all of the books in our bracket, but for now, here are my 2017 Top 10 March Madness Nonfiction Picture Book Contenders (in no particular order)!

Honorable Mention:

Stay tuned for updates on our 2017 March Madness Nonfiction tournament!  Which book in this collection would get your vote?


  1. It looks like a great collection to work with and I only know two titles but see a couple of other list. I'm going to have to start reserving books at the library because I would like to see all of these. Thanks for joining.

  2. It's a great list to start from, and a wide variety of non-fiction. Students will love each one. I'm very fond of Mountain Chef, those little known stories we never were told. Thanks!

  3. I am so honored to see Mountain Chef in this illustrious company! Thanks for including it.

    1. We love Mountain Chef and I'm sure our students will, too!

  4. Ada's Violin, Whoosh, and Radiant Child were big hits in our Mock Caldecott. Have you ever done the fiction March Book Madness?

  5. I am a huge fan of all the books on this list, so it was hard to narrow it to a Top 10. It will be exciting to see which books the students vote into the Elite 8 and Final 4! Valerie and I had heard about the fiction March Madness, but we decided to focus our school bracket on nonfiction since it can be a neglected genre in read aloud. Thanks for sharing!