Narrative non-fiction (that means stories about real people and real events) is the reading form of our time. This is the information age. Non-fiction is what we adults choose to read most often. We all love a good novel once in a while, but nonfiction is reality. So why, after 3nd grade, do we continue to mostly teach reading with make believe stories? Real stories, about real people are what grip middle school children and all of us. Some first graders really believe rabbits can talk (an innocence to be cherished), but the 10 year olds that I know are amazingly well-informed--and interested in the real world and its stories.
In a classroom test, where AHistoryofUS replaced the reading text, reading scores rose 10% and more.