Use this list of good nonfiction books for 9 year olds (fourth grade) as a resource for finding books that your kids will enjoy reading.
It’s important for children to practice reading both fiction and nonfiction. It’s also a great motivator if kids are reading something they are interested in.
Go here for fiction books for 9 year olds.
ALSO READ: Nonfiction Reading Comprehension Strategies
Nonfiction Books for 9 Year Olds (4th Grade)
The Hidden Life of a Toad by Doug Wechsler
There is so much to love about this nonfiction picture book book! The text is really basic — not to hard for early elementary grades. The book sequentially shows in text and photos the development of a toad — which is fascinating! It’s longer than I would prefer but I think kids will stay engaged since the changes in the toad are quite profound.
The Story of Movie Star Anna May Wong by Paula Yoo, illustrated by Lin Wang
I really love how The Story of series introduces us to people that haven’t typically been the subjects of biographies and are unfamiliar. I developed so much respect for Anna May Wong because she found her passion in life, acting, and pursued it. Despite the blatant stereotyping and poor pay, Anna supported herself as an actress, moving to Europe for a time and then China. When she returned, she refused parts that showed Chinese in an unsympathetic light. Talk about perseverance!
Kwame Alexander’s Free Write: A Poetry Notebook (Ghostwriter) by Kwame Alexander
This fun-to-read workbook for ages 8 to 12 introduces writers to poetry, literary devices like metaphors, as well as other poetic techniques. Written in Alexander’s signature voice and style, kids will get hooked as they dive into poetry. Alexander provides example poems with fill-in-the-blanks and lots of spaces for free writes.
From an Idea to Disney How Imagination Built a World of Magic by Lowey Bundy Sichol, illustrated by C.S. Jennings
From an Idea to Nike: How Marketing Made Nike a Global Successby Lowey Bundy Sichol, illustrated by C. S. Jennings
One of Our Giant Robots Is Missing: A Solve-the-Story Puzzle Adventure by Russel Ginns and Jonathan Maier, illustrated by Andy Norman
At Roboland, Alicia gets separated from her classmates. She wanders into the employee’s only area and overhears them talking about dismantling her favorite robot, MegaTom. She knows it’s up to her to save him. Help her save MegaTom by solving the puzzles and mazes before the employees find out and catch up to them. You’ll love this exciting, interactive puzzle adventure from Puzzlooies!
Where’s the Llama? by Paul Moran, illustrated by Gergely Forizs
A group of ten llamas in the Andes in Peru decide to see the world. Can you spot them in each of the world locations like Miami Beach, New York City’s modern art gallery, a fairground in Canada, a Cambodian jungle, an ice park in China, and more? Answers are in the back plus more things to spot. We really like the artwork in this book!
Everything Awesome About Sharks and Other Underwater Creatures! by Mike Lowery
The Everything Awesome book series continues with SHARKS! Handwriting and kid-like fonts plus lots of comic illustrations and colors make this a visual feast for the eyes. (Or distracting, it can go either way.) But, it’s filled with a wealth of facts about the ocean, underwater creatures, and of course, sharks. From information about ocean zones to prehistoric sharks and kelp forests, this book covers ocean information in a fun, often hilarious, way.
Courageous Creatures and the Humans Who Help Them I Survived True Stories by Lauren Tarshis
Superb! Four compelling stories of animals and humans will keep readers engaged. From carrier pigeon hero of WW I to cheetah cubs adopted by a human, these will share true stories for any animal lover. Filled with lots of black and white photographs and factual information that supports each story. For example, read about echolocation related to the dolphin story and general information about marine animals. Highly recommended.
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.
Sleuth and Solve: 20+ Mind-Twisting Mysteries by Victor Escandell
As a teacher, I used these kinds of mind-bending puzzles in my classroom frequently. Why? Because the solutions take out-of-the-box thinking. Which is SO GOOD FOR KIDS! I love the design and format of this book… Pen and ink illustrations accompany a short mystery puzzle. Kids will love the challenge of trying to figure out the solutions– then getting to check to see if they got it right by lifting the flap.
Strange Nature: The Insect Portraits of Levon Biss by Gregory Mone, photographs by Levon Biss
Stunning photographs labeled with information about cool insects like the tiger beetle, mantis-fly, and the Orchid Cuckoo Bee accompany kid-friendly informational writing with the perfect amount of text to keep readers learning and engaged. Read where each insect lives, its size, and the most important information about the insect. You’ll love this beautiful bug book because both the photos and the writing are AMAZING.
What If You Could Sniff Like a Shark? by Sandra Markle, illustrated by Howard McWilliam
Despite the busy layout, this is an engaging, informative, and relatable book of facts about ocean animals filled with photos, illustrations, and graphic designs. On the Australian Box Jellyfish page, it explains where they live and how they use their tentacles to sting, and other fascinating facts. Then it suggests that if you could sting, too, you’d be a crime-fighting superhero.
A Brief History of Underpants by Christine Van Zandt, illustrated by Harry Briggs
It’s true– even people in ancient times wore underwear! Whether it was an Inuit in caribou skin underwear or Egyptian loincloths or quilted, padded underpants of European knights, kids will read all about the history of underwear, inventions like the sewing machine that changed the world of underwear, and plenty of fun facts about underpants! Well-written with punny humor, facts, and comic illustrations, this little nonfiction book for young readers is a delight! (Here’s a joke from the back of the book… Q: Why does a pirate wear underpants? A: To hide his booty.)
The Story of Tennis Champion Arthur Ashe by Crystal Hubbard, illustrated by Kevin Belford
The Story of series is an exceptional new biography series for early elementary readers. The books are well-written just like a narrative story. They include dialogue, description, character development, and a sequential plot. In this book, you’ll learn about Arthur Ashe, a famous tennis player who eventually died from AIDS-related complications after a blood transfusion. Not only did this quiet, kind man work hard in tennis but you’ll learn that he also worked hard for equal rights and research funding for HIV/AIDS.
Little Guides to Great Lives Nelson Mandela by Isabel Thomas, illustrated by Hannah Warren
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.
The Thrifty Guide to the American Revolution 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 you’ve decided to travel to the American Revolution, you’ll want your Thrifty Guide along for this exciting adventure!
- Where to find a decent hotel room
- How to dress
- What’s going on when you arrive
- Who is important
- Helpful hints
(“How to Fire a Musket“)
- Who to take out to lunch
(George Washington is sick of lunches with travelers to try Salem Poor or Betsy Ross instead.)
- Pranks to pull
(“If the Royal Navy stops for directions, send them to New Jersey“)
(“British and Americans Scoreboards of Killed, Wounded, and Captured”)
(“Map of Bunker Hill“)
Beavers: The Superpower Field Guides by Rachel Poliquin, illustrated by Nicholas John Frith
In this fact-filled, funny, and illustrated book, you’ll meet Elmer who, like other beavers, has superpowers like Chainsaw Teeth and an Ever-Toiling Tail. Wow, right!? After you zip through this engaging nonfiction book, I predict Elmer will be your new favorite kind of animal — and you’ll be a beaver expert, too. Excellent, engaging writing!
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.
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.
So You Want to Be a Ninja? by Bruno Vincent, illustrated by Takayo Akiyama
Engaging and entertaining, full of facts, trivia, quizzes, and fun, this is the essential illustrated guide for ninjas-in-training. Three friends travel back in time to 1789 Japan where they’re taught by famous ninjas.
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?
How to Go Anywhere (And Not Get Lost): A Guide to Navigation for Young Adventurers by Hans Aschim, illustrated by Andres Lozano
FANTASTIC! Engaging informational writing guides readers through the history of navigation to the development of more precision, new technology, and better maps. Illustrated activities throughout the book will help readers apply their new knowledge. for example, “Make Your Own Stick Chart” helps you make an ancient system of mapping the ocean and “Visualizing Declination” shows you the difference magnetic declination can make. Use this all year long in your homeschool or science classroom or throughout the summer as you spend time in nature.
Bruno the Beekeeper: A Honey Primer by Aneta Frantiska Holasova
Excellent. This brown and golden illustrated treasuring gives readers important bee-related information with lots of picture support about bees, life cycles, beekeepers, flowers, beekeeping through the seasons, harvesting, and so much more, all following Bruno’s journey of learning from his grandma about beekeeping. It’s an essential children’s guide to everything bee-related.
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.
What Makes a Monster? Discovering the World’s Scariest Creatures by Jess Keating, illustrations by David DeGrand
Monsters — real animal monsters — is a topic that kids love reading about. Keating writes in a way that gives kids lots of information in a readable, engaging way. I love the design, too –it’s a mix of photographs, illustrations, cool fonts, and bright colors. What Makes a Monster is a must-read filled with unexpected information about fascinating, dangerous animals.
Someday is Now: Clara Luper and the 1958 Oklahoma City Sit-Ins by Olugbemisola Rhuday-Perkovich, illustrated by Jade Johnson
There’s so much to love about this picture book — the captivating folk-art style illustrations with an earthy color palette, the repetitive text of “separate and unequal” and “someday was now,” plus the well-written, compelling true story!! It’s about an amazing woman named Clara who advocated for justice and equality during a time when black people weren’t permitted the same rights as white people. As a teacher, she inspired her students to believe that change was possible. Clara and her students went to the Katz drugstore and asked to be served — even though the store didn’t serve black people. She and her students returned day after day despite people yelling and throwing food. Eventually, the Katz store relented. They started to serve people of all races. Clara and her students finally could enjoy a Coke and burger without trouble. (And then prepare for the next segregated store demonstration.)
Charlotte’s Bones: The Beluga Whale in a Farmer’s Field by Erin Rounds, illustrated by Alison Carver
Erin Rounds’ writing feels like magic as she transports us back in time and back again, capturing the beautifully tragic life of one beluga whale who swam over what is now Vermont, U.S.A. “Her milky, smooth, muscled body sliced slowly through the water like scissors through silk.” But, Charlotte gets stuck in a tide pool. Her pod leaves her. Her body dies and thousands of years pass. Woolly mammoths and giant sloths disappear from the land. The land lifts. “Charlotte lay undisturbed for 11,500 years.” In 1849, railroad workers discover Charlotte’s bones. “In the middle of a farmer’s field, ten feet beneath the ground, the bones of a white whale had whispered the truth of the valley’s distant past.” The writing is excellent! Use this book as a mentor text to teach showing not telling, imagery, and sentence fluency. It’s also a lovely example of how to make science come to life through a narrative story. Brilliant.
Six Dots: A Story of Young Louis Braille by Jen Bryant, illustrated by Boris Kulikov
Fascinating and important history meet gifted storytelling in this new picture book biography about Louis Braille. We follow the life of precocious, sightless Louis who desperately wants to read and write but is disappointed with his limited options. Despite being chronically ill, a child, and lots of failed attempts, Louis invents a system for the blind to read and write that is still in use today.
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.
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.
When Green Becomes Tomatoes Poems for All Seasons by Julie Fogliano, illustrated by Julie Morstad
and i woke to a morning
that was quiet and white
the first snow
(just like magic) came on tip toes
Glow Animals with Their Own Night-Lights by W.H. Beck
I LOVE the photography in this beautiful nonfiction picture book and think you will as well. Brightly colored (glowing) plants and animals with bioluminescence pop out of the pages on black backgrounds. Each two page spread page has both large and medium sized text with the perfect amount of text — not too much! Read to find out why these creatures glow. You’ll learn how they use this adaptation for a purpose such as hunting, hiding, and tricking. Impressive.
Weird but True 8
Do your kids love the Weird But True! books as much as mine? This new edition contains 300 all-new wild and wacky facts and pictures. Want to hear a few?
- The 1904 World’s Fair featured a life-sized elephant made of almonds.
- moonbow = a nighttime rainbow
- Scientists found sharks living in an underwater volcano.
- Octopuses have blue blood and nine brains.
The Blobfish Book by Jessica Olien
I LOVE how creative this book is with a cartoon-like blobfish with a big personality who interjects said personality during the book’s photograph and textual information about life in the deepest parts of the ocean. Perfect text to picture ration (aka. not too much!) makes this a nonfiction home run!
Worlds Strangest Creepy-Crawlies Top 40 Weird and Wonderful Hair-Raising Bugs
Big, bold text and huge color photographs catch your attention immediately starting with #40, the elephant beetle and ending with #1, the exploding ant. Huh!? Yes, this ant from Malaysia explodes and dies — yikes! Each bug featured gets a 1- or 2-page spread including important facts, a habitat map, photographs, and ratings on the “strangeometer” for creepiness, superpowers, bug beauty, and fight factor. Irresistible!
Rosie Revere’s Big Project Book for Bold Engineers 40+ Things to Invent, Draw, and Make by Andrea Beaty, illustrated by David Roberts ages (ages 5 – 10)
This is an excellent, engaging activity book based on the fantastic STEM Rosie Revere, Engineer picture book. Colorful illustrations and a cool layout will entice readers to try, fail, and learn. Discover more about simple machines, build a marble run, solve engineering challenges, design a stuffed animal carrier for your bike, learn about inventors who failed a lot, and so much more.
The Navajo Code Talkers by J. Patrick Lewis, illustrated by Gary Kelley
What a story — and it’s true!! This book shares the difficult history of the Navajos and focuses on how the Navajo men used their unique language to help win WWI. The information is factual in its presentation (it could have been more emotionally charged but isn’t) which lets the readers draw their own conclusions. The illustrations perfectly depict the tone of this historical story. Very well done!
Super Hero Science (DC Comics) by Jennifer Hackett
SCIENCE – STEM
The author connects science and fan-favorite DC superheroes. For example, if your child likes the Atom, they’ll learn more about physics, matter, and atoms. Fans of Aquaman and Meraearn will enjoy reading how fish breath underwater using gills to get oxygen. This book covers soundwaves, eyesight, simple machines, and much more plus contains experiments for kids to do at home from as easy as a paper airplane to as complicated as a spectroscope. Bright colors, enticing graphics, and solid science make this a great choice for young scientists.
Added to: Superhero Books for Kids
The Dog Encyclopedia for Kids by Tammy Gagne (ages 9+)
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.
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 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. 9 year olds will appreciate this biography.
How to Draw a Unicorn and Other Cute Animals (With Simple Shapes in 5 Steps) by Lulu Mayo ages 6 – 16
My oldest daughter AJ really likes the step-by-step directions in this book. You’ll find directions for 30 animals including a llama, sloth, beaver, panda, tiger, and much more. AJ likes that she can easily draw these on her new iPad with the Pencil. (One of the best investments I’ve made last summer when JJ was so sick. If the kids are on screen time, I feel like drawing and being creative are good choices.)
Saved By the Boats: Heroic Sea Evacuation of September 22 by Julie Gassman, illustrated by Steve Moors
Mr. Rogers is famously quoted that during tragic events, it’s helpful to kids to look for the helpers. This picture book does just that. It details how after the towers fell, many people needed to get to safety and boats of every kind raced to Manhattan Island to rescue as many people as possible. Hope. That’s what this book is about, even during the darkest of times. (The author was one of the people rescued by a boat!)
Tear Up This Book! by Keri Smith
A very popular American Girl book for fun, creativity, and crafts. My kids love this book; it’s perfect for third graders, 9-year-olds.
Animal Babies: Cool & Calm Coloring for Kids
My daughters totally dig the super cute and happy images to color in this coloring book. My 15-year old has already done at least a third of the coloring pages. Color therapy for teens? Who knew!
The Disney Book: A Celebration of the World of Disney (DK)
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.
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.
Through Time The Olympics From Ancient Greece to the Present Day by Richard Platt, illustrated by Manuela Cappon
This book gives our kids background information that no one else in your family will know. It’s fascinating stuff — I just learned from my daughter all about the number of swimming pools needed in an Olympic Games. From Paris, 1900 to London 2012, we get a glimpse of each host city as well as information about the Games.
The Impossible True Story of Tricky Vic, the Man Who Sold the Eiffel Tower by Greg Pizzoli HISTORY / BIOGRAPHY
A Boy Called Dickens by Deborah Hopkinson, illustrated by John Hendrix HISTORY / BIOGRAPHY
The Right Word: Roget and His Thesaurus by Jen Bryant, illustrated by Melissa Sweet HISTORY / BIOGRAPHY
Melissa Sweet’s collage and watercolor illustrations will draw your eye immediately. Then, your 9-year-olds will be intrigued by the story of Roget, his quiet life starting as a doctor and his fascination with lists. Peter Roget decided the world needed his lists of words and he published the first thesaurus. A fascinating biography for third grade.
The Noisy Paint Box; The Colors and Sounds of Kandinsky’s Abstract Art by Barb Rosenstock, illustrated by Mary GrandPre HISTORY / BIOGRAPHY
Vasya Kandinsky was a proper but bored Russian boy until his aunt gifted him with a paint box. The paint whispered to him, he painted the sound of colors. For a time, he ignored his paints since being an artist wasn’t considered proper. Luckily for us all, he returned to his calling, painting abstract art. Wonderfully told as a narrative story, this nonfiction picture book biography is a must-read. It will make you think about not just Kandinsky but the sounds of colors and the world. Joyful!
Sports Illustrated Kids Football Then to Wow!
This amazing nonfiction book makes ME, a non-sports fan, get interested in football. The layout and design plus the photographs make me want to devour all the football facts and info. I highly recommend this for any football fan – it’s packed full of information about football back in the day (1930s) and nowadays. Excellent!
Pablo Neruda: Poet of the People by Monica Brown, illustrated by Julie Paschkis
I use this book to inspire my art journaling. I love the way the illustrator has created swirls of color embedded with words. It perfectly matches the life story of the poet Neftalí, or Pablo Neruda. The story tells how Pablo became a poet who used his poems to speak his truth passionately for his native country of Chile. It’s one of those books that is very under-recognized, I think it deserves attention for the story and for the illustrations.
Star Wars The Force Awakens Visual Dictionary
Details of costumes, weapons, and accessories. Includes three exclusive, specially commissioned cutaway models produced by Industrial Light & Magic model maker John Goodson.
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.
Wacky and Wild! Guinness World Records by Calliope Glass
The smallest living horse, a girl with the biggest collection of Hello Kitty items (one 4,000!), and the fastest snowman to run a marathon — all of these wacky facts are fun to read!
Mean Machines Customized Cars by Kane Miller
So many 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.
Don’t Read This Book Before Dinner: Revoltingly True Tales of Foul Food, Icky Animals, Horrible History, and More by Anna Claybourne
Know any kids (or adults) who like all things gross? Because this book is perfect for them! Spit and toilets and boogers and maggots…everything disgusting is covered in full-color photographs and detailed text. Awesomely distasteful!
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.
Bored No More: Quiz Book by Aubre Andrus
Kids love these quizzes and activities from American Girl.
Design By Me: Treats by Carrie Anton, Paula Riley
Hours of coloring fun! Both my girls love their Design By Me coloring books and often color while I read them bedtime stories.
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.
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!
The Monster Book of Sudoku for Kids by Will Shortz
Easy (number-based) sudoku puzzles for kids starting with 4 x 4 grids. These will keep your kids brains working hard — and maybe you, too if you want!
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 writing. Remember all the hilarious chapter titles in Riordan’s Percy Jackson books? And the witty, sarcastic voice of Percy? Yup. All here. The writing is engaging, funny, and accurate. (My pet peeve with most Greek myth books is that they mix in a little Roman and don’t even know it!)
National Geographic Why’d They Wear That: Fashion as the Mirror of History by Sarah Albee
Once my daughter and I started this interesting nonfiction book, we were engrossed from front to back. Albee writes fantastic chapter titles and headings: (Notice a theme? Nonfiction is getting GOOD, people!) “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 such as, “Why Did Napoleon Always Have His Hand in His Coat?” (Hmmm?)
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!
National Geographic Kids Little Kids First Big Book of Who by Jill Esbaum
Teacher and librarians, this book will be perfect for children looking for famous people about whom to research and write a report. Most of the famous people described, whether William Shakespeare or Elizabeth Blackwell, get a colorful spread with a full-page image with pertinent facts plus a page or two of well-written information about the person’s life and contributions. More famous people in categories like: Inventors & Scientists and Artists are given paragraphs with less but just as pertinent information. Colorful pages and graphic layouts make this another visually appealing hit for National Geographic Kids.
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!
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!
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.
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.
Just flipping through this book makes
Nocture: Creatures of the Night by Traer Scott
I, Fly The Buzz About Flies and How Awesome They Are by Bridget Heos, illustrated by Jennifer Plecas
Fractions In Disguise: A Math Adventure by Edward Einhorn, illustrated by David Clark
Feathers: Not Just for Flying by Melissa Stewart, illustrated by Sarah S. Brannen
Winnie The True Story of the Bear Who Inspired Winnie-the-Pooh by Sally M. Walker, illustrated by Jonathan D. Voss
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!
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
Harry Potter Page to Screen by Bob McCabe
This is a bit dense but great for kids who are interested in the more technical aspects of movie making.
Primates The Fearless Science of Jane Goodall, Dian Fossey, and Birute Galdikas by Jim Ottaviani & Maris Wicks
Well-told in comic format, 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.
National Geographic Kids Ultimate U.S. Road Trip Atlas
Another great, eye-catching book from the beloved National Geographic! Each state includes a map, slogan, roadside attractions and lots of impressive attractions and facts. This could inspire your family’s next road trip or trips.
LEGO Harry Potter: Characters of the Magical World by DK Publishing
My kids fight over this book — it’s that cool. All the characters get a page describing that minifigure such as when they were created, by what artist, and the thinking behind the face and outfit. Pretty fascinating stuff to my Harry Potter-addicted kids.
The Scary Places Map Book Seven Terrifying Tours by B.G. Hennessy, illustrated by Erwin Madrid
Kids will read, think, view, and do in this super-cool book of maps. The seven terrifying tours include Captain Davy Jones’ Ghostly Galleon, Land of Mythical Monsters, Transylvania, Nightmare House, and more. Each tour includes background about the horrifying horrors, the dangers, a map on a grid, and directions. For example, in the Western Terror-tories, the directions start,”Hop off the stagecoach in Tombstone J1. Gruesome Gus will meet you at the Depot. Before you head out, Gust will take you on a tour of Bone Orchard. I1.” The back of the book contains more details to spot.
Swords 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.
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.
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 slight of hand. Addictive!
Time for Kids All Access Your Behind the Scenes Look at the Coolest People, Places, and Things!
A mix of entertainment, history, geography, pop culture, and science, this awesome lift and peel the page book has something for all interests. One of my favorite pages is the cast of The Hobbit with make up, costumes, and wigs on and without. Learn about pandas, the rainforest, the White House, King Tut and how money is made– among other things.
Time for Kids All Access Your Behind the Scenes Pass to the Coolest Things in Sports
Your kids are going to LOVE the lift and look pages – they are translucent gels that lift up to reveal another image underneath. Like the page of a downhill skier, lift the top page and you can see her body’s muscles and organs. SO cool. From monster trucks to stadiums that convert from football to ice, this is one of the best nonfiction books that will keep your kids learning and reading.
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.
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.
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