It’s Monday, What Are You Reading?: Non-Fiction Edition


Good morning, Readers!

I just got home from an amazing week in New York at Teachers College (see last Monday’s post for details). I did a lot of reading related to my class work, but as I thought about the week, I realized that I did a lot of reading exploring the city, too. I bet it won’t surprise you at all that approximately 95% of my reading was informational text to help me navigate and learn about New York.

I read:

Subway maps and schedules:


Map of Teachers College to find various classrooms:


The Playbill at Wicked:


Twitter (I know my students are shocked by this):

I also read restaurant menus, the schedule for the Circle Line, taxi fares and rules, information at the 9/11 Memorial, and much more.


All of this informational reading made me want to take another look at some non-fiction books today. I do tend to gravitate toward fiction reading most often, but we read so much information every day that this genre should definitely not be overlooked.

Today I read:


Who Would Win? Tarantula vs. Scorpion by Jerry Palotta

At the International Reading Association convention this year, author Jerry Palotta was kind enough to sign some of the books in his Who Would Win? series for my classroom. My second graders LOVED reading them and discussing which animal would win, if they were to fight each other.

I admit that I never picked up one of these books to read myself until today. Wow! What a great series! Side-by-side pages compare the two creatures’ anatomy, habitat, weapons, and hunting style. At the end of the book the creatures battle and one of them wins; however, the author explains that this scenario is just one way the fight could have ended. he broaches the question, “How would you write the ending?” encouraging readers to think and talk about alternate endings. Now I understand why these books were so popular in my classroom this year!

I’m also reading:



E is for Empire: A New York State Alphabet and P is for Peach: A Georgia Alphabet

This series of alphabet books (there’s one for every state!) does something I love: combine information with poetry. Each page contains a beautiful illustration and a verse explaining the letter:

B is for the Brooklyn Bridge

Opened in 1883

The world’s first steel suspension bridge

Is still a thrill to see

(from E is for Empire: A New York State Alphabet by Ann E. Burg)

On the sides of each page, the author tells information about the landmark, place, person, animal, or historical event depicted in the illustration. Fun and informative, these alphabet books definitely deserve a read.

What are you reading today?


8 thoughts on “It’s Monday, What Are You Reading?: Non-Fiction Edition

  1. It’s amazing how much we actually read without cracking a book isn’t it? I’ve spent the morning reading blog posts when I should be house cleaning…. I love the idea of these Who Would Win books. I know so many readers who would love them to bits.

    • Yes, it’s true– so much reading that we often don’t consider “real reading” because it’s not in a book. Definitely check out the Who Would Win books. Great series for 1st-3rd grade readers.

  2. Leah Black-Holmes says:

    Hi Ms. Steinberg, Today I am reading The Lost Princess! I like it because it is about mermaids. I hope you’re having a great summer! Love, Leah

  3. My 12 year old girl fell in love with New York when we visited the city two years back. We’re looking forward to coming back late this year. We watched Mamma Mia then. Have fun and enjoy getting to know the city more.

  4. I love this post. So often we take for granted the little things that are quite essential to our daily progress and success.

    Annie-Sunshine and I are taking Jo Boaler’s How to Learn Math for Students. It is fascinating to reflect and read on assumptions we have about learning. After each question, she reads what I’ve written, and I read her reflection. How do we know what we think unless we write it down and read it?

    We are also reading The Lightning Thief (Percy Jackson and the Olympians, Book 1) by Rick Riordan. It’s the first time I’ve read it, and I love it.

    Your wonderful blog, It’s Monday, What Are You Reading, is another example of a pathway for reading and writing for learners of all ages. Thank you for the inspiration and the question!

  5. Reblogged this on Steinberg Second and commented:

    I didn’t post last week, as I was out-of-town learning at Teachers College in New York. I had the wonderful opportunity to attend the Teachers College Reading and Writing Project’s Summer Institute. I posted this last year right after the Institute and it still rings true, so I thought I’d repost. Happy reading!

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