WASHINGTON (Jan. 7, 2005)–As part of an initiative focusing on the children’s nonfiction and reference book market, National Geographic Children’s Books will launch several new curriculum-based geography and history series in 2005, covering topics from medieval knights to Nelson Mandela. The imprint will expand its reach in the school and public library market while continuing to serve the trade consumer market.
The expansion is part of a National Geographic initiative to improve nonfiction literacy skills by providing high-quality content so students can better understand information-based material and become informed citizens of the world. The first part of this initiative, a nonfiction literacy curriculum program, was proven in a 2002-2003 independent study to significantly improve student achievement.
“We hope this new direction will enable National Geographic to be a leading publisher of children’s nonfiction and reference for the library and retail markets. We want to support librarians, parents and teachers in helping children become strong students and independent thinkers,” said Ericka Markman, president of Children’s Book and Educational Publishing group.
Subject matter will be closely tied to curriculum, and reinforced library bindings will be an option on every book. Series will have between six and 60 titles and will be released over several seasons. In addition, the department will continue to publish approximately 10 solo nonfiction titles each year. The books — both series and solo — will combine lively text, fresh voices and innovative perspectives. They will be visually powerful and impeccably researched, with subject experts involved in every title.
“I am extremely excited about the opportunity to expand our offerings in the children’s book market. Our hope and intention is to bring the quality that we’ve developed with our award-winning solo titles to the new series. We want each title to be enriching and captivating enough to stand on its own,” said Nancy Feresten, editor-in-chief of Children’s Books.
National Geographic will launch the following series and titles in 2005:
NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC TIMELINES OF AMERICAN HISTORY (ages 10-14, grades 5-8, 64 pages)
Fall 2005: Native America 9000 B.C.-2005; Age of Exploration 1400-1600; Hispanic America 1490s-2005; British Colonies 1584-1776
-The “National Geographic Timelines of American History” series helps kids learn about key events, witness their cause and effect, and begin to understand patterns of the past. An essential reference tool with easy-to-access information that provides context for the study of American history, these books introduce readers to new ways of thinking about historical events and people who have come before them.
HOW TO BE… (ages 8-12, grades 3-6, 32 pages)
Summer 2005: Medieval Knight; Roman Soldier; Samurai Warrior; Aztec Warrior
Fall 2005: Pirate; Greek Athlete
-This series prepares children for some of the most fascinating occupations of the past. Each book teaches kids about the daily life of a given historical profession, and detailed illustrations bring the tasks to life. At the end of each book, kids take a quiz to see if they’re ready for their job interview.
NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC EXPLORES (ages 8-12, grades 3-6, 64 pages)
Fall 2005: Ancient China; Ancient Greece; Ancient Egypt; Ancient Incas
-This dynamic series focuses on National Geographic’s mission of exploration. With stunning photographs and illustrations, many of which have appeared in National Geographic magazine, each book introduces readers to an ancient civilization while showing them how archaeological and scientific discovery shapes our growing understanding of the past.
NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC WORLD HISTORY BIOGRAPHIES (ages 8-12, grades 3-6, 64 pages)
Summer 2005: Hatshepsut: The Princess Who Became King; Gandhi: The Young Protester Who Founded a Nation; Alexander: The Boy Soldier Who Conquered the World; Mandela: The Rebel Who Led His Nation to Freedom
Fall 2005: Elizabeth: The Outcast Who Became England’s Queen; Galileo: The Genius Who Faced the Inquisition
-This series takes a highly visual look at the lives of people who changed the world, with an emphasis on their childhoods. Readers will be drawn in by the attractive layout, complete with photographs, artifacts, maps and sidebars. A time line aids understanding of when events occurred.
NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC VOICES FROM COLONIAL AMERICA (ages 10-14, grades 5-8, 112 pages)
Summer 2005: New Jersey 1609-1776; Massachusetts 1620-1776; Texas 1527-1836; Virginia 1607-1776
Fall 2005: Louisiana 1699-1803; Pennsylvania 1643-1776
-Each book offers a portrait of life in one of the American colonies through the eyes of people of the time. Using accessible narrative text, archival illustration, artifacts and maps, the series introduces kids to the rich history and culture of Europeans in North America. The series will cover not only the 13 British colonies but also the Spanish and French colonies.
About National Geographic
Founded in 1888, the National Geographic Society is one of the largest nonprofit scientific and educational organizations in the world. It reaches more than 280 million people worldwide each month through its five magazines, the National Geographic Channel, television documentaries, radio programs, films, books, videos and DVDs, maps and interactive media. National Geographic has funded nearly 8,000 scientific research projects and supports an education program combating geographic illiteracy. For more information, log onto nationalgeographic.com, AOL Keyword: NatGeo.