Today’s Wonder of the Day was inspired by olivia. olivia Wonders, “why is nonfiction about real stuff and fiction about fake stuff” Thanks for WONDERing with us, olivia!

Do you like to study history? Sure, all those dates can get confusing. But isn’t it interesting when you really look at the facts? It can be fun to learn about people who were involved in important events in the past.

Some kids don’t even realize how much they like history until they see it displayed in a new way. For example, have you ever seen the movie “Titanic”? Many think it’s a great movie. It’s also based on a real historic event.

Many books and movies can help us look back at the past. However, it’s important to be aware of what’s true and what’s made up. Sometimes this is easy. For example, it’s simple to figure out if a book from the library is true. Just check whether it came from the fiction or nonfiction section.

Fiction books are mostly made-up stories. They can certainly have elements of truth in them. However, they don’t claim to be true, factual accounts of a person or event.

Nonfiction books, on the other hand, do claim to be truthful. They’re factual accounts of actual persons and events. You might already be familiar with some types of nonfiction works. These include essays, journals, diaries, documentaries, biographies, and textbooks.

When it comes to learning about history, be sure to rely on works of nonfiction. The more true and accurate facts you can find, the better you can understand the people and events of the past.

Some authors try to give us the best of both worlds. How? They write historical fiction! This genre features characters and events that take place in the past. The people, times, and places in works of historical fiction are often real.

Many of the scenes in historical fiction may be based almost entirely on true, factual accounts of past events. Authors use these truths as a foundation. Then, they embellish the story with fictional accounts of other events that could or might have occurred.

In this way, authors of historical fiction bring the past to life. They write books that are interesting and move with the pace of a modern bestseller. At the same time, the stories are grounded—at least partly—in the truths of the past.

Are you WONDERing why these authors don’t base their stories entirely in fact? One answer is that authors cannot always find accurate, truthful accounts of every historical event. Sometimes there are gaps in the historical records. Authors of historical fiction often fill in these gaps to the best of their ability. They write scenes that could have happened based on what they do know about the actual events.

Have you ever read a book that was historical fiction? Maybe you’ve seen a movie or TV show set in the past. History is full of inspiration! What time period would you most like to tell a story about? 

Standards: CCRA.L.3, CCRA.L.6, CCRA.R.1, CCRA.R.2, CCRA.R.4, CCRA.R.10, CCRA.SL.1, CCRA.SL.2, CCRA.W.3, CCRA.W.7, CCRA.L.1, CCRA.L.2

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Tomorrow’s Wonder of the Day is really cool. How cool? Read on to find out!