Saturday, January 11, 2020


Every since we started learning to do BAS assessments, I have been trying to teach genre to my students. It hasn't been an easy thing for me to learn to teach well and it hasn't been easy for my students to learn, but we are getting better. The best thing has been to read a book every day and to talk about the genre of that particular story.

This week we read a book called It Began With a Page. It was a true story of a lady name Gyo Fujikawa. She was Japanese and was an illustrator. I have taught my students that the books with numbers on the spine are non-fiction books and the ones with the first three letters of the author's name are fiction. This book, however, was in the fiction section, even though we figured it was a biography. My students also pointed out that we recently read another book that was a true story, but it was in the fiction section as well. I was stumped. After school, I went to the library and asked the librarian. She was stumped too. We have sent an email to the author to ask her if she knows shy it was shelved on the non-fiction shelves.

Update: She responded very quickly!

From: k y o m a c l e a r [...]
Sent: Saturday, January 11, 2020 11:25 AM
To: Dawn Ackroyd
Subject: Re: Query: It Began With a Page

Hi Dawn,

Just sitting at my desk when your email arrived.

The short answer to your question regarding genre is that the book was mis-categorized and mis-shelved.

I'm delighted you read It Began With a Page with your students.
It is definitely a work of creative nonfiction--which is to say it is based entirely in fact but the language in which the story is told borrows from creative fiction/prose writing.

I hope this helps and doesn't muddy the waters any further (!)

All best wishes to you and your students. Thanks for reaching out!


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