Teachers for Teachers | Nonfiction Challenge: The Hazardous Tales Series
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Nonfiction Challenge: The Hazardous Tales Series

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At the ILA conference this summer, Nathan Hale spoke about how he became a reader and what inspired him to write the Hazardous Tales Series.

He began his talk by sharing how he first fell in love with reading. Nathan Hale grew up in a house without a TV and spent many hours drawing while listening to audio books.   At this time, there weren’t many texts available on audio and he ran out of stories.   Then Nathan found the book, Lonesome Dove, and began to define himself as a reader.

Nathan Hale’s time listening and drawing were well spent. The Hazardous Tales graphic novels are funny, insightful and filled with historical information. The first book in the Hazardous Tales series is a graphic novel about Nathan Hale, the infamous spy during the American Revolution (If you are curious whether the author Nathan Hale is related to Nathan Hale the spy, just click here.)

one dead spy

In the first few pages of One Dead Spy, Nathan Hale is magically transported into “The Big Huge Book of American History” and can now see hundreds of years into the future.  This fictional part of the story sets up Nathan Hale as the narrator for all of the Hazardous Tales Graphic Novels. From then on, the graphic novels are historically accurate and tell stories about different events in history.

During reader’s workshop, we will encourage students to explore these texts and think about how Nathan Hale uses a narrator and other characters to share historical information.   We can’t wait to hear their conversations about the different points of view of the British soldier and Nathan Hale. We want readers to compare and contrast these texts with other nonfiction books about the same time period. Readers will notice how the structure of the text impacts the information they learn.

As writers, students can read these texts closely and think about how Nathan Hale uses graphica to convey information. We want writers to see that when you write nonfiction text the author thinks about the content s/he is writing and how s/he wants to structure the text.

Students will also notice the “Correction Babies” at the end of this text.   The babies provide plenty of facts while also making readers laugh. Nathan Hale even has a section of his own website devoted to the Correction Babies.

We are so thankful Nathan Hale wrote these powerful graphic novels and shared the story of how he became a reader.   His story will help other young readers understand that people’s reading lives evolve in many different ways.

If you are looking for more books by Nathan Hale, his 6th book, Alamo All Stars , will be available on March 29th. If you would like a sneak peek into this book, click here.

alamo

12 Comments
  • Avatar
    Michele Knott
    Posted at 12:10h, 07 October Reply

    I have the one about Harriet Tubman. One day I’ll get to it! They seem a bit above my 4th gr reading students, so I haven’t been in a rush to read them. I need to remedy that.

    • Avatar
      Tammy and Clare
      Posted at 22:29h, 07 October Reply

      Hi Michele,

      For readers who love history and humor, they are fantastic. It is amazing how Nathan Hale gives history a voice in these books.

      Best,
      Tammy and Clare

  • Avatar
    Teresa Rolfe Kravtin
    Posted at 14:01h, 07 October Reply

    Eek! There is much love for Nathan Hale’s Hazardous Tales, and I’m so glad you shared these!

    • Avatar
      Tammy and Clare
      Posted at 22:30h, 07 October Reply

      Hi Teresa,

      Once you begin reading them, they are hard to put down.

      Best,
      Tammy and Clare

  • Avatar
    Linda Baie
    Posted at 15:35h, 07 October Reply

    I see why children will love these, with a theme of historical adventure & the pictures too will entice many. I love the idea of using them for mentoring how to share one’s own research. They certainly should be in school libraries. Thanks!

    • Avatar
      Tammy and Clare
      Posted at 22:31h, 07 October Reply

      Hi Linda,

      We were in a school library today and they had a large section of graphic novels. I (Tammy) watched as the classes searched for books and the graphic novel shelf was very popular.

      Best,
      Tammy and Clare

  • Avatar
    Earl @ The Chronicles Of A Children's Book Writer
    Posted at 16:11h, 07 October Reply

    Oh, his books would be a great reading challenge for next year. Thanks for reminding me I need to read these!

    • Avatar
      Tammy and Clare
      Posted at 22:32h, 07 October Reply

      Hi Earl,

      Can you tell us more about your great reading challenge? We would love to hear about it.

      Best,
      Tammy and Clare

  • Avatar
    Crystal
    Posted at 01:38h, 08 October Reply

    I think it’s great that he brings history alive with humor.

  • Avatar
    Alyson Beecher
    Posted at 04:50h, 08 October Reply

    Keeping with the graphic novel format and mixing it with nonfiction. Love this series.

  • Avatar
    Myra from GatheringBooks
    Posted at 15:20h, 08 October Reply

    I’ve always loved the look of Nathan Hale’s Hazardous Tales – looking forward to finding them soonest. You’ve successfully piqued my interest.

  • Avatar
    Faizydaizy Johnson
    Posted at 17:30h, 29 November Reply

    Need help on finding a book on Nathan Hale for my essay any preferences reply

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