My kids’ school is always looking for excellent nonfiction books about any topic so that kids can practice their nonfiction reading skills. And that also means that at home we need to be encouraging our children to read nonfiction at home — frequently. Why? Because this if kids are going to be successful at reading to learn, reading for information, they need strong nonfiction reading skills.
Nonfiction requires different strategies than fiction. Learn more about nonfiction reading strategies.
In the meantime, you’re going to find some fantastic nonfiction books here today — these are all newly published and very well-written. Hope your kids enjoy them as much as we did!
Excellent Nonfiction Books To Get Kids Reading
Sharing the Bread: An Old-Fashioned Thanksgiving Story by Pat Zietlow Miller and Jill McElmurry
Simple rhyming text follows this 19th century family preparing to celebrate Thanksgiving together. Best for younger readers.
My First Book of Football: Mostly Everything Explained About the Game Sports Illustrated Kids
What a fantastic picture book to show the basics of football!! Cartoons and photographs pair together to illuminate the game basics. Kids are going to LOVE it. I love it. I love the design and content. It’s really well done.
Combines with Casey & Friends by Holly Dufek, illustrated by Paul E. Nunn
Cute cartoon characters (Casey the farmer and Tillus the worm) introduce the photographs and age-appropriate information about combines. Combines are actually really interesting — who knew!? Must be because the book is so good!
Animal Planet Animals A Visual Encyclopedia by Animal Planet
Beautiful photographs and bite-sized chunks of information showcase more than 2,500 animals from the seven major animal groups: mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians, insects and arachnids, invertebrates, and fish are featured in 1,050 stunning full-color photos, plus dynamic illustrations, maps, and charts.
Design a Skyscraper You Do the Math by Hilary Koll and Steve Mills
What a cool book — I love it! First you learn with cartoon illustrations about the 3D shapes of skyscrapers and examples of each, then sizes, a good building site and foundation, and through the actual building. Each pages asks kids to answer questions such as “If each floor of a skyscraper needs 430 steel girders, how many girders must be ordered for: a) 2 floors? b) 20 floors? c) 4o floors?” with answers in the back of the book.
Rad American Women A – Z by Kate Schatz, illustrated by Miriam Klein Stahl
I learned a ton from this book because many of these inspiring women aren’t well known. Each women gets a full page bio with information about what makes her a role model and “rad.” Ladies like Willma Mankiller, Nellie Bly, Lucy Parsons, and Hazel Scott.
The LEGO Adventure Book Robots, Planes, Cities & More! Nearly 150 Models + 40 Brick-by-Brick Breakdowns by Megan H. Rothrock
My kids LOVE this book!! Like, couldn’t put it down love. The reason is it an action-packed photo / cartoon story plus instructions for making what’s in the story. New characters and models are introduced in each story vignette. If you’re going to get a LEGO book, I highly recommend this one!
Strange But True! Our Weird, Wild, Wonderful World DK
This is my favorite book on the list today — I literally couldn’t help but read so many of the pages out loud to my kids, they were just so interesting. First the photographs grab your attention — then the headlines — and then the text. This is a GREAT book for your reluctant readers because it’s practically irresistible to read through it. Love it for a gift idea!
LEGO Awesome Ideas What Will You Build?
Awesome barely begins to describe this book — it’s jam-packed with so many ideas from different themes like Outer Space, Modern Metropolis, the Wild West, Fantasy Land, and The Real World. I just love browsing through the ideas. Be warned: Your kids will want you to order A LOT more Legos for these new projects.
Eat Your U.S. History Recipes for Revolutionary Minds by Ann McCallum, illustrated by Leeza Hernandez
History-themed recipe book with recipes for Thanksgiving Succotash, Revolutionary Honey-Jumble Cookies, and Independence Ice Cream, among other foods, will give kids background and information about each and a yummy way to discover early American history.
The Ultimate Pirate Handbook: Everything you need to know about pirate life by Libby Hamilton, Mathieu Leyssenne, and Jason Kraft
This pirate book has it all — pop-ups, lift-the-flaps, and cartoon-like illustrations with fascinating tips and facts about pirate life. You’ll love the humor in this book, too — like the pirate personal hygiene section. This is the nitty-gritty (literally) of pirate life, right? I particularly like the Pirate sickness page — this is good stuff, my friends!
Guide to Photography National Geographic Kids by Nancy Honovich and Annie Griffiths
Learn the equipment, the best composition, and so many tips for cool photographs on your digital cameras or smart phones. We like that you can flip through and find ideas quickly, that it’s not a cover to cover read.
Bad Girls: Sirens, Jezebels, Murderesses, Thieves & Other Female Villains by Jane Yolen and Heidi E. Y. Stemple, illustrated by Rebecca Guay
This book has an interesting premise — so I wasn’t sure if I would like it. But I liked reading about each of the 26 women. And, I liked that after each woman, the authors debated whether or not the person was “bad” — and how it depended on your perspective. For example, Anne Boleyn. Was she smart or manipulative or both? Each of the authors take on opposing perspectives so one thinks Catherine the Great was a good queen for expanding her countries territory while the other author says that the deaths of her enemies (Peter and others) made her a ruthless queen.