—Moss, B. & Newton, E. 'An Examination of the Informational Text Genre in Basal Readers.' Reading Psychology, 2002.
"Children in New York City who learned to read using an experimental curriculum that emphasized nonfiction texts outperformed those at other schools..."
—"Nonfiction Curriculum Enhanced Reading Skills, Study Finds," New York Times, 3/11/12
From the same article:
Reading nonfiction writing is the key component of the Core Knowledge curriculum, which is based on the theory that children raised reading storybooks will lack the necessary background and vocabulary to understand history and science texts. While the curriculum allows children to read fiction, it also calls on them to knowledgeably discuss weather patterns, the solar system, and how ancient Egypt and Mesopotamia compare.
The curriculum may have a particular appeal for city schools beginning to adopt the Common Core standards, which emphasize nonfiction reading and will go into effect in 2014.