Today is my final post on non-fiction for the week, and I must admit this topic was much harder than I expected, probably because I don’t read a lot of non-fiction myself. I know there are some great series out there, but I am starting to agree with the Guardian article that non-fiction just doesn’t get the attention it deserves.
Today’s recommended series is thanks to a tip I received from a customer. A boy, about 11 years old, came into our store one day asking about books on physics, technology, the periodic table. I had no idea what he was talking about, but finally discovered the Basher series. The books are written by various authors but illustrated by Simon Basher (Kingfisher, $8.99). This particular young customer had bought a few of these books the day before and wanted to know what else we had from the series. I’ve never seen a kid so enthusiastic about books on grammar, music, chemistry, math, or punctuation, but as I gathered the series from around the store, he got increasingly excited and had a really hard time deciding which one to take home. I started to see the appeal. Simon Basher is an internationally recognized artist, and this series contains delightful, vibrant illustrations. Each book is narrated by relevant characters; according to the website description of Astronomy: Out of this World!, “The universe is an enormous place. Imagine it as the home of a crowd of cool cosmic characters, each with their own personality. This book is your essential guide to these out-of-this-world beings who make the universe tick.” The books are quirky, humorous, and informative and the website is engaging and interactive, with games, activities, and further information on the series’ topics. I was a little sad that the customer didn’t choose the grammar book, but his parents did remind him several times that they could come back for more books later. Mollified, he selected two: Physics and The Periodic Table. What an endorsement for this excellent series!