Nonfiction Books for 10 Year Olds (5th Grade)

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It’s so important for 10-year-olds, usually 5th graders, to read for meaning in expository and narrative nonfiction texts. They need practice, lots of practice, in well-written books like the ones listed below.


Also read:
All Picture Book Biographies
Nonfiction Reading Comprehension Strategies
Best Books for 10-Year-Olds

really good nonfiction for 10 year olds (5th grade)

Nonfiction Books for 10-Year- Olds

Nonfiction Books for 10 Year Olds
Two Truths and a Lie
by Ammi-Joan Paquette and Laurie Ann Thompson, illustrated by Lisa K. Weber
This book is GENIUS! It’s an impressive dare really for kids to read and figure out what is true and what is a lie. I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE how the authors engage the readers’ brains in such a way! I can’t resist their dare. And I hope most kids wouldn’t be able to either. The conversational tone in which this book is written makes it flow smoothly. That, plus the addition of many illustrations and photographs make this one hard-to-put-down nonfiction middle grade book just right for your 10-year-old, 4th grade, readers.

Accidental Archeologists: True Stories of Unexpected DIscoveries
by Sarah Albee, illustrated by Nathan Hackett
Albee consistently writes exceptional, appealing nonfiction books and this latest one is no exception. The writing hooks you from the first page and the stories of accidental archeological discoveries are compelling. She includes black and white photographs, informational insets, and present-day updates. I thoroughly loved learning about the discovery of The Rosetta Stone, a fought-over golden Buddha statue, a 5300-year-old mummy, and the other discoveries; you will, too.

Do You Know Where the Animals Live?
by Peter Wohlleben
This book is organized around questions about animals. For every question, find the answers in a two-page spread of photographs and text. Lovely layouts with full-color photographs, quizzes, at-home applications, and interesting and informative information make this is a unique but worthy animal tome that will appeal to most readers. Questions include: Can animals survive on plants alone? Do animals dream? Why do elephants stomp their feet?

Nonfiction Books for 10 Year Olds (5th Grade)
The Dictionary of Difficult Words
by Jane Solomon, illustrated by Louise Lockhart
Want a mesmerizing book that is even better than a word-a-day calendar? This oversized dictionary contains the coolest selection of 400 words that kids will love to learn beginning with abecedarian (someone who is learning the alphabet) continuing to Zeppelin. Each letter gives readers about 15 new words to learn. This includes the word, pronunciation, part of speech, and definition. You’ll find haberdashery, ichthyologist, luddite and mugwump, mulligrubs, mumpsimus, and mishpocha. Read one of these words (or more) every day. Then try to use it at least a few times in a sentence. It won’t be too onerous and you won’t be ramfeezled; in fact, learning new words might just be a salubrious experience because you’ll soon become a sesquipedalian.

What Breathes Through Its Butt? Mind-Blowing Science Questions Answered
by Dr. Emily Grossman
If you’re looking for an informative nonfiction book with voice (HUMOR) and pizazz, this book hits all the right spots. You can’t help but love the appeal of the book which is a mixture of goofy cartoons, information in a handwritten typeface with bolded and bigger words, and funny quizzes. (What can you do to make a pineapple taste riper? a. stand it upside down b. place it in the fridge c. cut it open d. sit on it) The quizzes introduce the topic, engaging a reader’s natural curiosity. You’ll learn about eggs, muscles, escaping a crocodile’s jaw, and other much weirder topics.

nonfiction books for 10 year olds
Girls Think of Everything Stories of Ingenious Inventions by Women
by Catherine Thimmesh, illustrated by Melissa Sweet
I really loved this expanded and revised edition because Melissa Sweet’s design and illustrations make the book so special. The author writes the biographies like a fictional narrative story with action and suspense but it’s all true. These biographies are about women who solved problems by inventing the solution. What great models for entrepreneurs, inventors, and having a growth mindset.

nonfiction graphic novel 10 year olds
Science Comics Coral Reefs Cities of the Ocean
 by Maris Wicks
An adorable yellow fish narrates this informative book about his habitat, coral reefs. It’s all facts though so it’s not the kind of book that most kids (or adults) will want to sit down and read in one sitting. Read it in chunks and you’ll soon be an expert on coral reefs.

Wild Outside Around the World with Survivorman
by Les Stroud illustrations by Andres P. Barr
Les Stroud recounts exciting personal adventure stories of exploration and survival in all sorts of places around the world. Fascinating stories are accompanied by photos, illustrations, maps, and informational insets. I couldn’t put this book down and HIGHLY recommend it.

Big Book of Jokes
by Michael Dahl
I love the large type size and grin-worth (groan-worthy?) jokes! My kids call these “dad jokes” because there are a lot of puns and plays on words. Want an example? “What kind of fruit is never lonely? Pears.” or “What is a swimmer’s favorite game? Pool.

Squidtoons: Explore the Ocean with Comics
by Garfield Kwan and Dana Song
The pages of this book are all illustrated so it’s a graphic novel with comic-style illustrations containing dialogue, different colored and sized typeface text, and seemingly random topics from the weedy seadragon to the California mantis shrimp. My daughter devoured this book, finding both the information and presentation engaging. I struggled to find an organization to the book while reading about the different sea creatures — and the particular typeface used wasn’t appealing to my grown-up eyes. However, I see that this book is densely packed with great information. If kids like it, hooray! If they learn from it, even better.

Major Impossible
by Nathan Hale
After the Civil War, Major John Wesley Powell sets off on a perilous expedition through the Grand Canyon. The story begins with his life as a child and it 100% action and dialogue. Many kids, especially boys who love history, devour the Nathan Hale books which are filled with adventure, sarcasm, and history. I’m not personally a fan of the writing style or the illustrations but can see how these appeal to may readers. Another recent book in this series is Alamo All Stars, perfect for Texan readers.

Manhattan: Mapping the Story of an Island
by Jennifer Therme
I couldn’t put this down! It’s the history of the island of Manhattan starting with the Lenape people and continuing to the present day with subways and bridges and 1.6 million people. You might not know that when settlers organized into a city, the city’s long-term plans meant that homes and farms were relocated and destroyed which also happened when Central Park was later created. That’s when eminent domain forced an entire African American community called Seneca Village to move, disappearing forever. This book is packed with information about the city including the ecosystem, fires, and slavery. Gorgeous illustrations and readable informative writing, this oversized picture book will interest all readers, especially those who like American history or live in the New York area. Highly recommended.


Rise Up: Ordinary Kids With Extraordinary Stories by Amanda Li, illustrated by Amy Blackwell
A must-own book and favorite from this list! Kids will love the colorful layouts, exceptional writing, and wealth of information about SO many amazing role model kids. Learn about Poorna Malavath from India who climbed Mt. Everest, Desmond Doss, a WWII hero from the U.S., and Molly Kelly from Australia who escaped from forced resettlement for Aboriginal children. The writing grabs you from the first sentence — and makes these children’s true stories exciting and dramatic as if you were reading an adventure story.

Ostriches: The Superpower Field Guide
by Rachel Poliquin, illustrated by Nicholas John Frith 
You think you know. But you have no idea…how cool and weird and amazing ostriches are. Not until you read this book. I read it cover to cover in one sitting because it was so incredibly interesting and compelling! I mean, the ostriches have TOE CLAWS OF DEATH. For real. And their bones are just bizarre yet for a really good reason! What you think is their knee is their ankle bone. Not to mention their eyeballs are the biggest of any land animal. But let’s not get too much into all the fascinating facts that you’ll learn; let me just sum up by saying that this book makes me awestruck by the ostrich. It’s my new favorite animal! Run to your library or bookstore and get this book & entire series.

Thrifty Guides Handbooks for Time Travelers Make History Irresistible to Kids
The Thrifty Guide to Ancient Rome by Jonathan W. Stokes The Thrifty Guides Handbooks for Time Travelers are irresistible, wildly imaginative romps through history. These books are filled with tongue and cheek hilarity while also being boldly informative about their historical topics. If Ancient Rome is your preferred destination, you’ll need your handy handbook close by to make sure you survive — which seems to be unlikely since, since as the book says, “Rome is an absolute deathtrap.” Throughout these thrifty travel guides, you’ll read letters from your “Corporate Overlord at Time Corp“. These, as you may expect, are hilarious! The guides are published by Time Corp in the year 2164 to help vacationing tourists with the most practical information for their time travel trips. Information such as:

  • Where to find a decent hotel room
  • How to dress (Ancient fashions are tricky — read the guide because you don’t wear a candy corn hat when you’re supposed to wear a tricorne hat! And if you’re in Rome, here’s a helpful tip: “While any chump can wear a tunic, only free Roman citizens are allowed to wear togas… If you think you can pass as a citizen and you’re planning to wear a toga, just know that it’s been bleached white using stale urine.“)
  • What’s going on when you arrive 
  • Who is important 
  • Helpful hints (“What to Do If You Are Enslaved in Rome“)
  • Who to take out to lunch
  • Pranks to pull (“Install a metal detector at the Roman Senate in 44 BC and you can completely prevent Caesar’s assassination by knife-wielding Senators. Caesar will feel grateful, and it doesn’t hurt to have the most powerful man in the world as your new best friend.“)
  • Charts (“Cleopatra’s Perfectly Normal Family Tree“)
  • Maps (“All the Land Caesar Conquers in Europe, 58 – 51 BC”)

Nonfiction Books for 10 Year Olds (5th Grade)
Whoppers: History’s Most Outrageous Lies and Liars
 by Christine Seifert
I read this nonfiction book aloud to my kids — it was SO fun because it prompted great discussion and interaction. They couldn’t believe that people would make up such outrageous lies. Learn these incredible wild whoppers — from people you’ve heard of like Charles Ponzi to people you’ve never heard of like George Psalmanazar who convinced people he was a native from his made-up island of Formosa. It’s book best for middle grade to YA readers.

So You Want to Be a Viking!
by John Haywood, illustrated by Takayo Akiyama
Fun, narrative banter with appealing cartoon illustrations, this is a well-designed book about Vikings that will actually teach readers a good deal of factual and historical information.

Mercy The Incredible Story of Henry Bergh: Founder of the ASPCA and Friend to Animals by Nancy Furstinger This little nonfiction chapter book packs a big punch — it’s the absolutely fascinating life of a rich (and formerly lazy) man named Henry Bergh who devoted his life and his money to saving maltreated animals in the late 1800s. (He also is persuaded to start campaigning for children as well — they were often treated just as badly or worse!) This is one of my favorite narrative nonfiction books ever. One of the reasons I like this book so much is that the writing is excellent and the author paints a complete picture of a man who is flawed. The print is big (yeah!) and the illustrations throughout add to the narrative. FANTASTIC and I highly recommend this narrative nonfiction chapter book for schools and libraries!

Nonfiction Books for 10 Year Olds (5th Grade)
Weird But True SPORTS: 300 Wacky Facts About Awesome Athletics National Geographic Kids
I wasn’t sure what to expect but again, National Geographic outdid themselves. The facts weird (did you know professional hockey players can be penalized for tucking their jerseys into their pants?!) and come from a wide range of topics and sports. Learn crazy facts about skateboarding, ostrich races, and jetsprint boats! Highly recommended. ALSO READ: Awesome Sports Books for Kids

Little Dreamers Visionary Women Around the World
by Vashti Harrison
Harrison’s artwork is stunning– framable I think. This book features the biographies 35 women; women like Ada Lovelace, Marie Curie, and Grace Hooper. Each biography is one page paired with an illustration. The information shares more about the woman’s contributions to the world like the physicist who experimented with subatomic particle decay.


From an Idea to Disney How Imagination Built a World of Magic
by Lowey Bundy Sichol, illustrated by C.S. Jennings
I’ve read many other biographies about Walt Disney but this one stands out for it’s writing, pertinent information, and appeal. It shares about the business that continued on even after Walt’s death and his brother’s death including the merger with Pixar and the successful but controversial CEO, Michael Eisner. Fascinating!

From an Idea to Nike: How Marketing Made Nike a Global Success
by Lowey Bundy Sichol, illustrated by C. S. Jennings
Kids will see that it’s not enough to have a good idea and great product but you also must figure out how to sell your product — and Nike did this by sponsoring elite athletes like Michael Jordan to wear their shoes. The company’s journey shows kids that businesses go through ups and downs. However, continued innovative thinking combined with hard work and determination leads to success.

Insect Superpowers 18 Real Bugs that Smash, Zap, Hypnotize, Sting, and Devour!
by Kate Messner, illustrated by Jillian Nickell
Stylized to look like a comic book of superhero action with oversized pictures and the occasional large comic-style typeface of smack! pow! and chomp! impress upon the reader just how super these superbugs are. Bugs like the Green tiger beetle, the fastest of all insects. Messner shares the must-know basics (name, size, hideout, superpower) then launches into fascinating details about each including what they eat (favorite foods) and who eats them (archenemies). Action-filled cartoon panels show a bug stalking and then devouring its food. Interesting insets of information narrate more facts about each insect. What kid could resist reading this enthralling tome!?

Amelia Earhart (First Names)
by Andrew Prentice, illustrated by Mike Smith
Like the Houdini book, this well-written narrative biography is filled with cartoon illustrations from which you’ll learn a LOT! I recommend this series because kids will get a full picture of Millie’s life as well as the context of the world around her including how women were treated. The book is organized in a clear sequence of events starting when Millie was a child and ending with the time of her infamous disappearance. In addition, the back matter includes a timeline and glossary.

Awesome Achievers in Technology
by Alan Katz, illustrated by Chris Judge
Kids will zip through this excellent middle-grade biography because the author makes the information relevant and relatable.   The writing is conversational, the author is totally hilarious (especially when he talks about his own ridiculous inventions or the questions he asks Siri) and there are illustrations, quizzes, fast facts, and activities plus a wealth of fascinating information about each inventor’s life. You’ll read about the inventors of video games, the television remote control, the cell phone, windshield wipers, the first web browser, and the microwave oven. I appreciate that the book includes both men and women inventors! Also of note is that Katz takes us through the process of how each inventor got their idea as well as the final product.

The Boy Who Became a Dragon: A Bruce Lee Story
by Jim Di Bartolo
You don’t have to love martial arts to enjoy this engaging biography about the martial artist and movie star legend Bruce Lee. From his birth in San Francisco to life in Hong Kong during and after Japanese occupation, then his move back to the U.S., you’ll meet a troubled kid who gets into lots of trouble yet even as a child, manages to work as an actor like his father. He experiences racism for having mixed race heritage and a dad who worked for the hated Japanese so Bruce leaves his home in Hong Kong for the U.S.. There, he’s a more settled man who opens up several martial artist studios, falls in love, and becomes a movie star. Lee’s life is fascinating and the author does a great job with all the historical references.

Copycat Science
by Mike Barfield
Part biographies and part experiments, this nonfiction book narrated in cartoon format makes science fun! Learn about each scientist in their short biography, then apply and learn more about their area of study by doing the related experiment. Read about James Audubon then make a bird feeder. Then read about Rosalind Franklin and do an experiment about strawberry’s DNA. Topics include living things, human biology, materials, air, electricity and magnetism, forces and physics, astronomy, math, and more.

Books for 10 year olds The Disney Book- A Celebration of the World of Disney Nonfiction Books for Kids
The Disney Book: A Celebration of the World of Disney

My oldest daughter loves anything Disney and proclaimed that this is the best book ever written. 🙂 While I’m not sure about that, it is a dense fact-filled tome from the early years to the present day.

Pencils, Pens
and Brushes: A Great Girls’ Guide to Disney Animation
by Mindy Johnson, illustrated by Lorelay Bovi
Learn about some of the incredible women who worked at Disney’s animation from writers to artists to animators to researchers. My daughter read this and thinks that artsy girls especially (like my daughter) will love these biographies. Each one skillfully captures the woman’s story, where she started, her passions, her education, and how she came to work for Disney as well as what she worked on while at Disney. We enjoyed learning about these women as well as all the jobs someone could have in animation. As you might expect, the illustrations and design of this book are both eye-catching and exquisite.

Nonfiction Books for 10 Year Olds
Genius! The Most Astonishing Inventions of All Time 
by Deborah Kespert
A visually appealing graphic layout makes it easy to access the invention information — in fact, it’s down-right enticing! Who knows I’d care about the Archimedes Screw and want to read all about it. Or the Elephant Clock — yes, that was a real thing which was super cool. You’ll learn about these early inventions and more modern inventions such as the space rocket. This is a well-done, readable nonfiction book.

O Captain, My Captain: Walt Whitman, Abraham Lincoln, and the Civil War
by Robert Burleigh, illustrated by Sterling Hundley
Fascinating and important! I learned so much history that I didn’t know about both Abraham Lincoln and Walt Whitman. Whitman observed Lincoln as a candidate and later as the President. The Civil War affected Whitman deeply, he hated the suffering and visited wounded soldiers regularly. It’s not a typical picture book because it is dense with information but would be great for the upper grades.

The Double Dangerous Book for Boys
by Hal Iggulden
Remember the wildly popular book, The Dangerous Book for Boys? This is the long-awaited sequel! Styled to look like a book from my own childhood, this is a dense volume of SO MUCH CONTENT to read and absorb! You’ll find
  • information (12 Ceasars)
  • directions (finding the height of a tree)
  • experiments (The Fire Snake)
  • stories, tips (solving a Rubic’s cube)
  • activities (the endless card)
  • games (The Moon is Round)
  • how-tos (how to write a thank you letter)
  • quotes (quotes from Shakespeare)
  • puzzles (math puzzles)
  • book recommendations
  • and more

I can’t even begin to cover the scope of this book — I, myself, have barely cracked the surface of all the content inside. Ditch the phones and pick up this book. It will entertain and educate children for more hours than I can predict.  

We Are Artists: Women who Made Their Mark on the World by Kari Herbert
I’m loving this book so much — it shares with well-written biographies (about 3- 5 pages for each woman) about so many female artists from different countries, each with their own unique style and life experience. From Yayoi Kusama of Japan to Alma Thomas of the U.S. to Amrita Sher-Gil of India and Hungary, discover incredible, passionate artists with long-lasting influence.

nonfiction books for 10 year olds
Rocket to the Moon: Big Ideas That Changed the World by Don Brown
Instead of reading a narrative nonfiction book, get your fact-filled history about the first moon landing in an exciting, well-written, black-and-white graphic novel. Reading this book will help you understand our country’s competitiveness with Russia, the many attempts to launch rockets, and the eventual success of sending astronauts into space. I’m happy to see this new “Big Ideas” graphic novel series with a home-run first book.

The Screaming Hairy Armadillo and 76 Other Animals with Weird, Wild Names
by Matthew Murie and Steve Murrie, illustrated by Julie Benbassat
Get ready for funny names, magical names, fierce names, delicious names, and weird names. But even better is the ANIMALS with these unusual names. Like the striped pyjama squid which is a cool-looking stripped squid. Or the yeti crab which is a crustacean with hairy arms. My favorite weird creature is the Tasseled Wobbegong! Permanent facts (species, habitat, and interesting details) are written in a text box with a well-written elaboration of about a page describing the animal’s looks, behavior, habitat, abilities, and more. Each animal has at least one illustration, sometimes more than one, and sometimes a photograph. Fantastic!

United States Atlas National Geographic Kids (2020)
Here’s an atlas that will be your go-to resource for many years. BUY THIS FOR YOUR BOOKSHELVES! It’s actually hard to summarize how much information is packed into this appealing atlas — it’s a lot with plenty of information on each state in addition to the maps — flags, stats, facts, photos, land and water, nature, population, economy, and much more. I really like that the atlas shows the entire United States map with different focuses such as climate, natural hazards, population, and more. You will not need any other atlas but this one — it’s perfect for school and home.

Almanac 2021
National Geographic Kids
With schooling at home and more families homeschooling, the National Geographic Almanac is a must-own resource for families. Practice your nonfiction reading comprehension skills as you learn about animals, space, science, history, geography, and much more. Each page is designed to entertain and educate with stunning layouts and eye-popping photographs.

Nonfiction Books for 10 Year Olds (5th Grade)
Sports Illustrated Kids The Football Fanbook
by Gary Gramling
You know how some guys love Sports Center? They’ll want to watch it all night, or at least if they get the remote. Well, this is like Sports Center for kids. This book is filled with photographs and football information to do with stats, facts, skills, coaching, greats, teams, and terms that would make for perfect nightly reading for football-crazy kids. I know a few, you probably do as well. I can just imagine those kids curling up with their Football Fanbook to learn just what quarterback has the highest winning percentage in the NFL or offensive strategies that work or everything to know about a favorite NFL team like the Broncos. Get your football fans reading this book — I doubt they’ll want to put it down.


Extreme Engineering (STEM Adventures) 
by Paul Virr
All the mazes, puzzles, quizzes, and info are mostly engineering related in this STEM 2018 activity book. Read the information, then do the activities. For example, you’ll read about arches then do a drawing activity by completing the other half of two famous bridges. Other topics include levers, water power, and gears. You’ll find word searches, mazes, dot-to-dots, drawing, labeling, and more.

nonfiction book list for 10 year olds fifth grade elementary
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!

Interesting Nonfiction Books for 10 year olds
Swimming with Sharks: The Daring Discoveries of Eugenie Clark
by Heather Lang, illustrated by Jordi Solano
Genie loved all fish, especially sharks, and wanted to be a fish scientist. Even though she lived in the 1930s when that wasn’t a regular job for a woman, Genie found work — first as an assistant, then as a researcher for the US Navy, and finally, she opened up her own marine laboratory. She focused her research on sharks, discovering more about sharks than anyone knew before. Reading this picture book biography inspired me and sparked my interest in learning more about sharks.

Interesting Nonfiction Books for 10 year olds
Poetry for Kids Emily Dickinson
edited by Susan Snively, PhD, illustrated by Christine Davenier
I’m already a HUGE Emily Dickinson fan so the poems, to me, are wonderful. But, what sets this book apart are the whimsical illustrations. They bring the poems to life! Especially for children.


The Book of Ingeniously Daring Chemistry 24 Experiments for Young Scientists
by Sean Connolly
FASCINATING! I love the writing in this book because it makes chemistry really understandable and interesting. You’ll read about an element on the periodic table then do a related experiment. For example, you might learn how iron oxidizes by submerging steel wool in vinegar. Or learn about magnesium with an Epsom salts crystalizing experiment.

Nonfiction Books for 10 Year Olds
Treasury of Norse Mythology: Stories of Intrigue, Trickery, Love, and Revenge
 by Donna Jo Napoli, illustrations by Christina Balit
This is a large, kid-friendly collection of Nordic myths with colorful illustrations and informative insets explaining more about subjects such as the Berserkers and the Norse diet. Excellent!

The Superpower Field Guide Eels
by Rachel Poliquin, illustrated by Nicholas John Frith
Filled with fascinating facts written in a conversational voice, this next book in the series brims with pizazz! Follow the story of Olenka, an amazing eel of secrets and superpowers. Full-color illustrations, humor, facts, so many facts, you won’t be able to put this book down.

Interesting Informational Books for Kids
Totally Wacky Facts About History
by Cari Meister
This reminds me of the Strange But True books only about history and from a different publisher. And, I LOVE IT! This little book makes history interesting to kids — it’s filled with colorful photos and illustrations and yes, wacky facts. Here are a few to get you started:
Early Chinese spies flew on large kites to gather information about their enemies.
Ancient Romans were the first to record seeing UFOs. 
Napoleon suffered from ailurophobia. that means he was afraid of cats. 
Crazy cool, right? It makes you want to know more!

Surprising Stories Behind Everyday Stuff
by National Geographic Kids
These origin stories of everything from skateboards to pickles and candles answer all the questions you didn’t even know you had. Read how the ancient Egyptians filled hollow reeds with ink made from soot, oil, or gelatin, to make the world’s first pens. And while “Ancient Egyptians didn’t invent the cake–they did come up with the idea of birthdays.” Ancient Romans added a cake to the celebration. Who knew!? YOU WILL if you read this book — and a lot more to boot. Surprising histories of everyday things plus eye-pleasing layouts make this book an accessible, interesting read.

Nonfiction Books for 10 Year Olds
The Real Princess Diaries
 by Grace Norwich
My daughters and I love this fascinating book. It gives us a glimpse into the lives of a variety of international princesses. From historical princesses like Theodora of the Byzantine Empire to current princesses like Sikhanyiso of Swaziland or Victoria of Sweden, each has her own section including basic facts, cool facts, and big achievements. Special sections on royal pets, royal duties, hairdos, princes, and fashion add extra juicy tidbits for kids to enjoy.

This is not a picture book, it’s a detailed and thorough biography written for ages 10+, about Maria’s childhood and adult life from her stepfather who taught her to paint and her first caterpillar observational study at age 13 to her later years of careful observational studies and art in the Netherlands and Surinam. The book includes detailed illustrations and photographs of her actual drawings and the insect and plant specimens she observed plus occasional informational insets describing the world around her at the time— the first museums, the role of women, and science before photography, just to name a few. Maria’s dogged passion for the natural world, insects, in particular, led to being one of the first naturalists to document a butterfly’s metamorphosis. Her story is fascinating and inspirational. I love this book! Added to: Best Biographies for Women’s History Month

Nonfiction Books for 10 Year Olds
Untamed The Wild Life of Jane Goodall
 by Anita Silvey, forward by Jane Goodall
Not your average biography for kids with small font and ugly black and white photos…no, it’s so much better! Untamed is an excellent depiction of Jane Goodall’s life with kid-friendly language using kid-appealing layouts of colorful photos. Interesting insets throughout describe tips for kids and information such as sign language. I love the Gombe Family Scrapbook at the end with some of the significant chimps in Jane’s life. I also found it really interesting to learn how this English girl read about Africa as a child and fell in love with it.

Star Quest: Extreme Puzzle Challenges for Clever Kids
by Michael O’Mara Books
What an inviting, challenging space-themed puzzle book! I really love that each two-page spread has facts about the topic like Shuttle Launch Pad and the other page has the puzzle — a maze, dot-to-dot, or color by number puzzle. This book is not for young children — it’s hard! Like the dot-to-dot for Sputnik 1 goes to 538! Learn while playing for older kids — I like it!

Code This! Puzzles, Games, Challenges, and Computer Coding Concepts For the Problem-Solver in You
by Jennifer Szymanski
In the canon of coding books, this stands apart because it teaches kids computational thinking and coding without using a computer. At all. Grab a notebook and get ready for clear directions and scaffolded instructions to learn algorithms, optimization, loops, constraints, binary code, and much more. Throughout the book, you’ll take an adventure, read your objectives and clear explanations of the concepts then write code. But there’s more. You’ll find activities, puzzles, and biographies. It’s easy-to-follow in bite-sized chunks that sequentially build upon one another.

Guinness World Records Biggest and Smallest Nonfiction Books for Kids
Biggest and Smallest! Guinness World Records Over 300 Fun Facts by Christy Webster
Photos accompany fun facts about the biggest and smallest of so many things — food, instruments, and more.

Aptly titled with a word that invokes warm melodies, this is such a beautifully photographed and designed book. All pages are black backgrounds so the animal and words shine out like a shadow in the night. From snow leopards to serval, Nocture is 85 animals of 40 different species from around the world. Each animal is explained with its habits and habitats. It’s so gorgeous, it could be a coffee table book.
Nonfiction Books for 10 Year Olds
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.

Everyday Superheroes Women in STEM
by Erin Twamley and Joshua Sneideman
Consider this a motivational STEM career guide for young women. I found it informative and fascinating with a nice design, inclusive and diverse selection of women as well as featured careers. It’s important to teach kids about career possibilities so they can think outside the commonly known jobs to find a career that fits their talents and interests. From A for Astronomer superhero, Dr. Wanda Diaz Merced to Z for Zoologist superhero Cissy Kou, you’ll discover 26 women who are making a difference in the world; women you’ve never heard of; women whose jobs you might one day want to do. Maybe a virtual-world creator or a cartographer or a robotics engineer or an environmental activist. Some biographies also include actions for you to take as well as think-and-discuss questions. Dive deep into these inspiring biographies and imagine the possibilities for your own future.
nonfiction books for children
1st and 10: Top 10 Lists of Everything in Football
Sports Illustrated Kids

Bold layouts and fascinating information fill this huge book about everything football including the fastest players, best passer-receiver duos, tricky plays, sack masters, and so much more. I’m pretty sure your football fans will spend hours reading this nonfiction keeper. ALSO READ: Awesome Sports Books for Kids
Nonfiction Books for 10 Year Olds (5th Grade)
100 Things to Be When You Grow Up
by National Geographic
Some kids change their mind every few weeks about what job they want to do when they grow up — but imagine what they would do if they only knew ALL the possible jobs! Because I don’t think even grown-ups know about some of these 100 jobs. This book shares the details about 100 really cool jobs along with gorgeous photographs (of course). And, it’s all presented in a very kid-friendly way. (Of course.) I’m giving this book to both my kids because I think they’ll be excited to learn about these unusual jobs: pet food taster, perfumer, crossword puzzle writer, ice sculptor, and movie trailer editor. Wouldn’t your kids?
Design a Skyscraper
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 page 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.
non fiction books for kids
Around the World 
by Matt Phelan
Around the World is a graphic nonfiction book so it reads like a novel of three biographies. Each of the three historical individuals traveled around the world post-Verne. Thomas Stevens bicycled around the world with an early prototype of the bicycle, the kind with one large wheel and one small. (Lots of falling.) Famous for being a daring female reporter, Nellie Bly tried traveled to beat Jules Verne’s record. Finally, Joshua Slocum sailed around the world in his old sailboat. A graphic novel is a fantastic way to read about history – this book really captured me.
Rad American Women a z (Excellent Nonfiction Books To Get Kids Reading)
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 woman 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 Excellent Nonfiction Books To Get Kids Reading
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!
Nonfiction Books for 10 Year Olds
Strange But True! Our Weird, Wild, Wonderful World
I 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!
DNA Detective Exceptional Nonfiction Books for Kids 10 year olds
DNA Detective
by Tanya Lloyd Kyi, illustrated by Lil Grump
Colorful and easy to read, I very much enjoyed this informational book and it’s kid-friendly layout. Plus it’s packed full of fascinating facts about the science of DNA and how researchers figured it out and use it in practical applications like solving crimes.
The Tree Lady Exceptional Nonfiction Books for Kids
Tree Lady: The True Story of How One Tree-Loving Woman Changed a City Forever 
by H. Joseph Hopkins, illustrated by Jill McElmurry
Kate Sessions helped plant San Diego with a variety of trees that would grow in the city’s climate. She worked hard to make sure that by the World’s Fair, there were enough trees for shade that the attendees wouldn’t be too hot. Beautifully written and illustrated!
Nonfiction Books for 10 Year Olds
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.

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 smartphones. We like that you can flip through and find ideas quickly, that it’s not a cover to cover read.
nonfiction books for kids
Harry Potter Page to Screen: The Complete Filmmaking Journey
by Bob McCabe
Last year AJ’s favorite Christmas gift was Harry Potter Film Wizardry, a book she still reads over and over – just this morning in fact, she was curled up on the couch reading it before school. Even though I haven’t let her see all the movies, I’m going to buy her this newest Harry Potter movie book, Page to Screen. It’s a whopping 531 pages! HUGE, right? This ultimate Harry Potter movie bible gives readers, besides a workout lifting the thing, stories, photographs, memorabilia, cinematic history and the film-making techniques from each of the movies.
NonFiction Books for Kids
Percy Jackson’s Greek Gods
by Rick Riordan, illustrated by John Rocco
My kids can’t stop reading and rereading this enormous volume of Greek myths, retold Riordan style — I’m talking laugh-out-loud style. Remember all the hilarious chapter titles in Riordan’s Percy Jackson books? And the witty, sarcastic voice of Percy? Yup. All here.
NonFiction Books for Kids
National Geographic Why’d They Wear That: Fashion as the Mirror of History
by Sarah Albee
Once my 13-year old and I started this book, we were engrossed from front to back. Albee writes fantastic chapter titles and headings: “Caulk like an Egyptian,”  “Putting the “Protest” in Protestant,” and “Hazardous Hemlines.” The book is formatted so that you can pick and choose interesting sections such as Corsets, Dressed to Compress because the corset photo is so intriguing or the inset of information has such a tantalizing title, “Why Did Napoleon Always Have His Hand in His Coat?
NonFiction Books for Kids
National Geographic Kids 5,000 Awesome Facts 2 (About Everything)

I wasn’t sure about this book at first. It almost makes me cross-eyed to look at each two-page spread. Flip through to find a subject of interest — gemstones, famous heists, Harry Potter, or pandas, and the two-page spread has photos and facts galore. Sometimes a LOT of facts — 50 for shipwrecks– and sometimes LESS — 15 for animal athletes. I don’t think you could ever finish learning from this volume of awesome facts. Ever.
Mean Machines Customized Cars review non fiction books for 10 year olds 5th grade
Mean Machines Customized Cars
The world’s hottest most impressive and exciting customized cars by Kane Miller So many 10 year old (5th grade) kids love cars like these (okay, and many of their dad’s do as well). This book highlights cool custom cars, their top speeds, their 0-60 mph, and their horsepower. From an Aston Martin DBS to the Bugatti Veyron, if you have a car lover, he will devour this book.
Where's Will? Find Shakespeare Hidden In His Plays nonfiction books for 10 year olds 5th grade
Where’s Will? Find Shakespeare Hidden In His Plays
 by Anna Claybourne, illustrated by Tilly
This is the coolest search-and-find book for older readers like your 10 year olds. A two-page spread show cartoons with the storyline of each of ten plays followed by another two-page spread illustrating the play where you must search to find Shakespeare.
Fascinating Nonfiction Books for Kids
Winnie The True Story of the Bear Who Inspired Winnie-the-Pooh
 by Sally M. Walker, illustrated by Jonathan D. Voss
Did you know that Winnie the bear was a real bear? Canadian vet and WWI soldier, Harry Colebourn, rescued a bear who he named Winnipeg and took her with him to training in England. But when he was sent to battle, Harry sent her to the London Zoo so she would be safe from battle. That’s where Christopher Robin and his father, A. A. Milne met Winnie. You’ll love the photographs of the real Winnie – so cool!
Fascinating Nonfiction Books for 10 Year Olds
Mesmerized: How Ben Franklin Solved a  Mystery that Baffled All of France
by Mara Rockliff, illustrated by Iacopo Bruno
A little known piece of Ben Franklin history, we see him use the scientific method to figure out what Dr. Mesmer was really doing. Was it magic, science, or was Dr. Mesmer a fraud? Excellent images, design, and compelling plot!
recommended books for kids 10 year old kids 5th grade
50 Things You Should Know About the First World War
 by Jim Eldridge
Know any kids obsessed with war trivia? (Or adults?) This book is for them, and any others who might be interested. However, I think the facts in this book are presented in such a kid-friendly way that most kids will find the World War I topic info intriguing.

NonFiction Books for 10 Year Old Kids 5th Grade
National Geographic Kids 5,000 Awesome Facts 2 (About Everything)

I wasn’t sure about this book at first. It almost makes me cross-eyed to look at each two-page spread. Flip through to find a subject of interest — gemstones, famous heists, Harry Potter, or pandas, and the two-page spread has photos and facts galore. Sometimes a LOT of facts — 50 for shipwrecks– and sometimes LESS — 15 for animal athletes. I don’t think you could ever finish learning from this volume of awesome facts. Ever.

nonfiction books for 10 year olds 5th grade
National Geographic Kids Weird But True! FOOD: 300 bite-size facts about incredible edibles!
 by Julie Beer
My oldest started reading because of these books. She started out as a nonfiction reader who needed bite-sized tidbits to read in whatever order she desired.  So, we have a special place in our hearts for the Weird But True books. The Food edition is a little different because it’s well, only about food. We suggest reading facts from it at dinnertime because what a great conversation starter! Here are a few nuggets for you: Taurophobia: Fear of Cheese Starbucks Coffee is named after Starbuck, a character in the novel Moby-Dick. You can eat deep-fried orchids in Thailand. See? Dinner table talk. Discuss.

NonFiction Book list for fifth grade
Kid President’s Guide to Being Awesome
by Brad Montague & Robby Novak
Robby, the Kid President, and his brother-in-law, Brad Montague, started Kid President videos to put something positive into the world. Robby embodies this. He went through countless surgeries and broken bones due to his brittle bone disease and kept a positive attitude.  So when Robby says, “You were made to be awesome. Keep going,” He knows. He’s been there and kept going. The book is filled with ways to be awesome and spread awesomeness in the world. It’s numbered advice. It’s interviews and stories. It’s inspiration. It’s a LOT (240 pages) — you could spend hours and hours reading this book and be the better for it. #5 Let’s live in a world with more high fives. #30 Listen (more than you talk). #58 Be like cheese (or bacon) and make everything you touch better. #84 Take a moment to reflect.

nonfiction books for fifth graders 10 year olds
Harry Potter Film Wizardry
 by Brian Sibley
My kids love this book! It’s a lot of beautiful photos with details from behind the scenes of the movies.

nonfiction books for 10 year olds
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 applied to basket weaving. Fun!

good nonfiction books for elementary school kids
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.

nonfiction books for elementary fifth grade 10 year olds
Primates The Fearless Science of Jane Goodall, Dian Fossey, and Birute Galdikas 
by Jim Ottaviani & Maris Wicks ages 8 – 12
Well-told in comic version, this graphic novel captures the intersecting stories and scientific advancements of Jane Goodall, Dian Fossey and Birute Galdikas who have spent their lives studying primates.

recommended nonfiction book list for kids
 by Ben Boos
Swords is a fantastic visual and factual history of swords. The illustrations and design entice readers into the information – even if they’re not that interested in swords. Kids will pour over this book for hours and learn the history of swords, and the types of sword use for people like medieval knights, samurais, and sultans. It’s gorgeously illustrated and very well-written.


recommended nonfiction book list for 10 year olds
Leopard & Silkie One Boy’s Quest to Save the Seal Pups
 by Brenda Peterson, photographs by Robin Lindsey
A group of volunteers called Seal Sitters, watch out for baby seals who are left on Seattle shore while their mothers hunt for food. This photographic story tells the story of baby seal, Leopard, who is crowded by onlookers and dogs. Young volunteer, Miles, calls his fellow Seal Sitters to help him move the people away from Leopard. Miles and his grandpa decide to build a floating dock for Leopard so he will be safe when his mother hunts. It’s a compelling story about the real dangers that marine mammals face every day.

nonfiction books for fifth grade 10 year olds
Illusionology The Secret Science of Magic
 by Albert D. Schafer
Another lavishly illustrated Ology book, this time about illusions and magic. It’s a behind-the-scenes guide to magic feats, illusions and sleight of hand. Addictive!

Greek Myths retold by Ann Turnbull, illustrated by Sarah Young
Greek Myths took AJ a half-day to devour it’s 167 pages; she gave it the thumbs up. “NO mixing up of the myths, mom!” she exclaimed. Turnbull created the ultimate guide of Greek locations, monsters, heroes, gods, and mortals. This is a must-buy!

Plate Tectonics
The Incredible Plate Tectonics Comic
by Kanani K.M. Lee & Adam Wallenta
I highly recommend this well-written and educational comic book! George, a normal skateboarder kid, is also Geo, a superhero who can transport back in time to learn about geology. In this story, he’s back to Pangea where he learns about plate tectonics first hand! The story goes back and forth between George and Geo seamlessly. Fantastic!


nonfiction books for kids 5th grade
The Brainiest Insaniest Ultimate Puzzle Book! by Amy Goldstein, Robert Leighton, Mike Shenk
Colorful word games, mazes, puzzles, and more for kids ages 8 and up.

Best nonfiction books
The Greatest Dot to Dot Book in the World
 by David Kalvitis Want a challenge?
Be warned — these are HARD dot to dot puzzles so it’s best for kids 8 and up. Also, they are fantastic for coloring in after you complete the puzzle.

Best Activity Books for Traveling with Kids
Mad-Libs Worst-Case Scenario Survival Handbook Travel
How do you cross piranha-infested waters? This is a hilarious way to pass the time and practice your parts of speech. Plus, I love the Worst-Case Scenario books, don’t you?

Nonfiction Books for 10 Year Olds
Drawing Dragons: Learn How to Create Fantastic Fire-Breathing Dragons
 by Sandra Staple
I want this book — I wonder if even beginners like me could follow the step by step directions to draw dragons? Great for 10-year-old artists in 5th grade.

nonfiction books for 10 year olds
Tear Up This Book!
 by Keri Smith
A very popular American Girl book for fun, creativity, and crafts. My kids love this book.

best nonfiction children's books for 10 year olds

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    Hi! I’m Melissa Taylor, mom, writer, & former elementary teacher & literacy trainer. I love sharing good books & fun learning resources.

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