Kids (and adults) usually gravitate towards fiction or non-fiction. But it’s important to read and develop skills with non-fiction and fiction both. Here’s why it’s important to read non-fiction:
More Informational Text in Older Grades & College
The big reason kids need to practice reading non-fiction (informational) text is that as they progress in school and life, most of the required reading will be informational.
Builds Background Knowledge
Learning about a variety of information helps kids build background knowledge which in turn will give them a greater foundation for all other reading. The more from which a child can compare and relate, the better he or she will comprehend any text.
Another reason to read non-fiction is the specialized vocabulary to which children are exposed. The more words a child knows, the better reader and writer he or she will be.
Keep in mind that reading non-fiction (expository) texts is unique and can be challenging for kids. Help them better comprehend with two basic strategies.
1. Text features can help you comprehend (title, subtitle, captions, bold print.)
2. You don’t have to read cover to cover.
So whether or not you have a non-fiction fan at your house or not, see if your kids would be interested in any one of these books that I’m recommending to you today.
Recommended Non-Fiction Books (Newly Published)
National Geographic Kids Get Outside Guide: All Things Adventure, Exploration, and Fun!
Fun activities for kids to do in the backyard, on a road trip, in a park, and more. Filled with amazing photography and designed in a kid-friendly colorful layout, this book is awesome. We LOVE it!
Children’s Activity Atlas
Colorful illustrated maps with flag, animal and landmark stickers, postcards, and a passport book make this a great interactive for geography enthusiasts. (I’ll admit, I wanted to steal it from my children and do the stickers myself.)
Snakeopedia (Discovery Channel)
Gorgeous photos that gross me out and enchant snake lovers fill Snakeopedia. While I might say yuck, this is a terrific snake book filled with amazing photography and fascinating facts about the 12 snake families, the features of different snakes, which are dangerous, and other snaky stuff. I highly recommend this book. If you’re not afraid like me.
Time for Kids Robots
First of all, I LOVE Time for Kids — and I bet your kids do, too. (Because of their TFK’s classroom newsletters.) Robots is such a cool book. First because of the topic. We all are curious about robots and how soon we can get one in our homes, right? And second because of the way TFK presents the material in an easy-to-read, enticing format. Learn about robots used in factories and hospitals, robot toys, robot kits, flying robots and more! STEM is the future, this is a great book for your STEM kiddos.
Time for Kids Book of When: 801 Facts Kids want to Know
So when was the Internet invented (and who invented it)? When was popcorn invented? My kids and I love flipping through this book and reading all the cool information in bite-sized chunks that accompany each question. A fun coffee table book for the whole family!
The Book of Why: Amazing Sports and Science
I don’t have this book but I want to get it – it looks totally cool! Especially for sports and science-minded kids.
Once Upon a Dream: From Perrault’s Sleeping Beauty to Disney’s Maleficent
This is a dense book for older readers but if you or your kids are curious about the history of Sleeping Beauty starting with the story first published by Charles Perrault in 1697, and continuing on with all the adaptations by various illustrators and writers, then this book is for you.
If an Egg Hatches . . . and Other Animal Predictions by Blake A. Hoena
I like this book for two reasons. First, the fantastic color photographs. Second, the questions that get the reader to engage fully with the text before they flip the page to read the answer. For example: “Every animal in nature is important. Imagine if there weren’t any predators like wolves. What would happen to the populations of elk and deer?”
Show Me Dogs My First Picture Encyclopedia by Megan Cooley Peterson
Do your kids love animals? This book, and others like it in this well-designed series will entice your kids to devour facts all about the animal they love — like dogs!
Hello, My New Baby with Love From Your Big Brother or Sister by Leslie Kimmelman, illustrated by Cynthia Jabar
Draw, fill in, write, and add stickers in this DIY book all about your family’s new baby. Love this!
Weird Zone: Sports
I love books about weird, and I suspect so do your kids. Learn all about the strangest sports in the world. Underwater bike racing? I only that that applied to basket weaving. Fun!