Children's Literature Assembly. 940 Vandalia Road, Morgantown, WV 26501. Tel: 304-291-2393; Fax: 304-291-2393; e-mail: email@example.com; Web site: http://www.childrensliteratureassembly.org
Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
The accuracy of information in a children's nonfiction book is one criterion the seven-member Orbis Pictus Award Committee considers when selecting outstanding children's nonfiction books for the award. The charge of the committee is to consider other criteria as well, including the clarity and coherence of the book's organization, the extent to which the design is engaging, and the style of its language. During a recent conversation, Orbis Pictus Award Committee members talked about how they reviewed a book being considered for the award. They all emphasized one thing. Each expressed interest in the presence of the back matter, the bibliographies or reference lists, endnotes, author notes about the references and quotations included in the book, the photo credits, and the acknowledgments of people connected with the research and writing of the book. As a result of the committee's conversation, questions occurred to the author of this article, a member of the Orbis Pictus Committee, that underlie the discussion in this article. Are sources for younger readers to be given different value from those in books for older readers? To what extent is a selected list adequate documentation of sources for older readers? What can sources in nonfiction literature do for young readers as they read and write nonfiction? And finally, why are sources important? This discussion explores these questions as it investigates the functions of sources in children's nonfiction literature. After an introduction to the case for sources, the discussion looks at six perspectives in greater depth to build the case for sources. These perspectives are organized in sections. Readers will hear the words of authors and scholars writing about authenticity and accuracy, and the role of sources, in children's nonfiction literature. Examples of children's nonfiction demonstrate points made in each section. The final section revisits the questions that motivated the discussion and explores implications for sharing nonfiction literature with students.