Here’s an example. My son was a reluctant reader. He was an outdoor type. The first books he read for himself were the Thornton Burgess Animal stories, and he didn’t start reading them until after the age of eight. We had already read them aloud. But he enjoyed them so much he was still reading them for himself at thirteen, just to relax in bed before falling asleep.
When he was about eleven we read a biography about Allan Pinkerton, who started the Pinkerton National Detective Agency in 1850. Jason ate this book up, even though I was dishing it out as a family read-aloud. He became very interested in Allan Pinkerton and his detectives and how detectives worked.
At some time during his thirteenth year I noticed a book published by the University of Nebraska Press, A Cowboy Detective, sitting on my shelf. We had picked it up at a gift shop while exploring the Oregon Trail in 1989 on our way home from a trip to Massachusetts. I showed it to Jason and he wanted me to read it aloud next.
Cowboy plus detective was irresistible to him, since he had loved the Ralph Moody Little Britches series when we read those. What could interest him more than a book about a cowboy who becomes a detective for Allan Pinkerton? To accommodate him, I began to read it to him. Charles Siringo’s writing did not interest me the way Ralph Moody’s did, so I told Jason I didn’t want to finish reading the book aloud, but he was welcome to finish it n his own. He was still propelling himself through it, a few pages a night before sleeping, until he died in an accident shortly after he turned fourteen.
We can learn at two things from this. First, a reluctant young teen reader whose comfort level in reading is Thornton Burgess animal stories and The Grasshopper Trap by Patrick McManus will struggle through a memoir written on an adult level with a complicated vocabulary if the subject interests him enough.
Second, an adult like me can still enjoy the Burgess animal stories while reading them to the children they were written for. At book fairs and conventions I have seen many adults fascinated by the history and science books published by Crabtree Books and Usbourne, drawn in by illustrations that invite them into the text. Who stops being interested in spiders, butterflies, frogs, pioneer life, how people lived in the Middle Ages, or how things work just because they turn 21 or now have children? Reading level and interest level are often far apart.
My Listing Pages are Inclusive
There is one more thing to consider here. Some teens and adults today are far from literate. Some can’t read at all. Some are in the first levels of reading. They need books that give them information without sounding like they are intended for six-year-olds.
As I continue to build this site, we will address the needs of reluctant and below level readers on specific pages, but they are another reason I won’t classify nonfiction books with separate pages for different ages. My reviews of the books should make if easy for you to tell if a book is more appropriate for you, your husband, your father, or your child.
How to Find and Order Nonfiction Book Recommendations
Books about authors have their own tab in the main menu at the top. I will list other nonfiction books under subject headings under this tab. As you mouse over each tab you may find additional subheadings as I add more pages.
Many of the pages I will add will be revised versions of pages formerly on this site. The recommended books will be the same, but the method of buying them is different. Instead of having one listing for each title with its own link to a shopping cart page, books in a series will have only one link for the books in that series. I will review the series, adding information you won’t find on Amazon or other affiliate pages. I may review specific titles in a series in more detail.
I won’t try to duplicate the things Amazon does that I can’t afford to do, such as letting you look through individual books right on this site. Using my affiliate links does not raise the price you pay, but it does help me maintain this page to provide information and suggestions you might not find on your own.
So far I have sidebar links to Amazon, Dover, and Book Renter, a site where you can save money by renting textbooks. You can use those to find things that may not be listed or have their own link here. I used a default search term, gardening, in the Amazon search box, but you can change it to anything that interests you.
Occasionally you may see listings with a BT or BTH at the end. That means I still may have inventory for that title. If you want to buy it directly from me and send payment through PayPal, we can arrange that by email. I will no longer accept credit cards in any other way. I will offer these listings primarily for items that are out of print and I will ship them to you myself. If you see the number and it’s something you want, you can email me (See contact information under the About Me tab) so I can send a quote for you that includes shipping charges.