What's this about?

 The To Read Is To Fly list is intended to be helpful to children as they search for story books to read for pleasure; and to their parents who can make choices for the youngest and provide guidance in the choices of older readers; and to teachers who are looking for supplemental general science reading story books to suggest to their students.

            A list of 100+ such books cannot possibly include all the books worthy of inclusion and so this one is meant as a catalyst to encourage further exploration at libraries and bookstores to find books that can help build and reinforce an awareness and familiarity with science as it relates to all aspects of our lives.

But Wait! What is a "story" anyway?

            Stories are our way of sharing and preserving our histories, cultures, speculations, opinions and other such information about ourselves and our world. This little booklet aims to help connect story-readers with science and nature fact and fancy.

            Today the word "story" changes meaning depending on who is talking. A journalist writing an opinion piece or a factual account of an event, or an academic writing a report, may describe what they are writing as "stories." Storytelling techniques are also used to make children's textbooks more interesting to study. These sorts of stories have not been selected for inclusion here.

            In this bibliography the "stories" are of various kinds, mostly fiction. Whatever term has been chosen to define a book chosen for this publication they all have science either overtly part of the story or subtly embedded, the writing and illustrations are high quality, and the science content and message are valid, engaging and timeless.

            Let's amplify that explanation a bit by looking at what the terms mean as far as this bibliography is concerned. Fiction will be novels or short stories that deal imaginatively with people and their actions and experiences through a connected sequence of events. The author's own imagination creates the places where the story happens, the plot, the characters and the conversations. On the other hand, fact-based fiction is loosely based on real events or people.

            What about nonfiction? These stories are based on real-life events, and factual science information. In this category biographies are personal life stories written by someone else. They may tell most of or only part of their subject's life through careful research using imaginative re-creations of scenes and events, and invented conversations. Autobiographies are life stories or selected personal experiences written by the author of his or her own life story. Narrative nonfiction is text that gets factual information across in a form that uses many of the elements of storytelling. True stories are written like novels or short stories. The author either lived through or has researched the events and re-creates scenes and experiences keeping the story as accurate as possible.

            The titles selected to include in "To Read Is To Fly" are general literature stories –old and new, classic and award winning. They are all waiting to be read and enjoyed.

Anne Hance

"Science is fun. Science is curiosity. We all have natural curiosity. Science is a process of investigating. It's posing questions and coming up with a method. It's delving in". - Sally Ride