If you’re looking for the best nonfiction books for kids, these lists will give you amazing informational children’s books that will engage and educate readers.
Back in the day, nonfiction was entirely written in expository format with facts and information. But, things have changed. Many books on these lists are not expository but in narrative format. This is good news for readers because the information is presented more like a story with voice and pizazz.
Make sure your readers understand that nonfiction is when the information and everything included in the book (diagrams, illustrations, etc.) is 100% true and not made up.
Now we can refine our definition of nonfiction books with more clarity using the definitions in the book 5 Kinds of Nonfiction by Melissa Stewart and Marlene Correia.
This book is ESSENTIAL reading for elementary school teachers and librarians. It classifies nonfiction writing into 5 categories:
These categories help educators give kids access to the best books for general interest, research, craft moves, and so forth.
In elementary school, many children struggle to read comprehend nonfiction books because they have more practice and experience reading fiction.
But, what will kids read primarily once they’re in high school and beyond?
NONFICTION. Aka. Informational text.
Therefore, it’s absolutely critical that we support children in reading and comprehending nonfiction books.
So how do we help children comprehend informational / expository text?
The solution to this is this…
First, we teach kids the characteristics of the text— explaining text structures like problem/solution or compare/contrast as well as text features like bolded vocabulary words, charts, and captions. This improves comprehension dramatically.
Third, we give our children more practice reading nonfiction for authentic purposes. This means reading books to learn something about that relates to our life, homework, or curiosity.
Fourth and finally, we give children access to engaging, well-written nonfiction books.
That’s where these book lists come in handy.
Look for books by topic or simply browse to find books that look interesting to stock your classroom, library, or home bookshelves.
Join other teachers, parents, and librarians who receive FREE weekly book reviews and learning resources.