National Non-Fiction November 2020

Welcome to National Non-Fiction November 2020 the Federation of Children’s Book Group’s annual celebration of all things factual

A potted history …

Ten years ago, Adam Lancaster, who was the Chair of the Federation of Children’s Book Groups at the time, launched National Non-Fiction Day at FCBG’s annual conference in Reading. The day was to be dedicated to the celebration of the best information and narrative non-fiction books for children and was launched in association with Scholastic, well-known for their non-fiction publishing including the best-selling Horrible Histories. Adam commented that:

 ‘non-fiction has been constantly overlooked as a genre, despite its importance at home as well as in the classroom. National Non-Fiction Day aims to raise awareness of the genre and celebrate all that is brilliant about non-fiction and show that it’s not just fiction that can be read and enjoyed for pleasure.’

Four years later in 2014, the event was developed into a whole month of celebrations. Dubbed ’30 Days of Adventures in the Real World’ and coordinated by National Executive Committee member Zoe Toft, National Non-Fiction November now offered related information and resources via the FCBG website and social media. The theme for 2014 was the First World War, designed to provide a focus for anyone wanting one, in addition to the wide coverage of recent non-fiction publishing.

A new logo was introduced in 2015 and over the years the themes included Maps, Making Books, The World Around Us, Food and Festivals and Transport and Travel; and the Federation has continued to work in partnership with different publishers (most recently with Hachette, Lonely Planet Kids, Troika Books and Walker Books) who have sponsored the associated competitions and prizes. 

In 2016 FCBG teamed up with World Book Day to compile a booklist of 100 Brilliant Non-Fiction Books for Children and Young People. With the support of the publishers involved, copies of the books were divided into age-related sets to become spectacular giveaways for three nominated organisations. 

Since then Chris Routh and Marc Thomas (2019) have coordinated the event and FCBG is looking forward to welcoming Elizabeth Hall as the new NNFN Coordinator in 2021.  

NNFN 2020 The Planet We Share

We have already explored The Planet We Share theme during National Share A Story Month, but the concern for the future of our beautiful and fragile planet has continued to resonate and to be explored in publishing for children and young people. 

Visit the dedicated website page for this year’s book list, practical ideas and resources. 

One of the highlights of the month will be the blog programme which aims to offer insights into non-fiction publishing from authors, illustrators, publishers and experts involved in creating and mediating information books. This year we are also looking forward to hearing from Steve Cole, Nicola Davies and M G Leonard whose stories have been inspired by a range of ecological and environmental issues. And as always, we will be celebrating the winners of the School Library Association’s Information Book Award. 

The book review tour will give an invited group of book reviewers and bloggers the opportunity to introduce us to some recent titles ranging from books for very young children to books designed for school libraries and to support independent research. All of the books featured in the blog programme and the book review tour are included in this year’s booklist of over 100 titles Published on the FCBG website in August, the list is by no means comprehensive. Follow us on Twitter throughout National Non-Fiction November, where we will be highlighting other and more recent titles. We hope that you will also share your own favourites @FCBGNews #NNFN2020 #ThePlanetWeShare. Twitter is also the place to watch for giveaways during the month!Last but not least, we are organizing 2 competitions to tie in with the theme – one for KS1 and the other for KS2 and 3. The one for younger children is inspired by The Tale of a Toothbrush by M G Leonard and David Rieley, published by Walker Books who are supporting this competition. The task is to draw a picture of their own toothbrush and suggest ways to reuse old toothbrushes. Each winner will receive a signed copy of the book plus additional surprises. The one for older children is an invitation to write a poem on any aspect of The Planet We Share theme. The winning entries will be published on the Poetry Zone website  There will be also be book prizes (supported by Macmillan Children’s Books and Troika Books) and more! See here for full details

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