9 Excellent Nonfiction Books For Kids

Not every bedtime story has to be about fairies and dragons. While fantasy and imagination are important parts of childhood, throwing some true stories and interesting facts into the mix can teach your kids about the world around them, and even spark a life-long love of learning. If you have little ones, consider sharing these fantastic works of non-fiction with them. This video was made with Ezvid Wikimaker.

Nonfiction Kids Books: Our 9 Picks

Title Author(s) Illustrator(s) Subject
1. Who Were the Tuskegee Airmen? Sherri L. Smith Jake Murray African American military pilots in World War II
2. Isaac the Alchemist Mary Losure N/A The early years of Isaac Newton's life
3. Deep Roots Nikki Tate N/A How trees affect the environment
4. A Poem for Peter Andrea Davis Pinkney Steve Johnson & Lou Fancher The history of ground-breaking picture book The Snowy Day
5. Glow W.H. Beck N/A Bioluminescent animals
6. In the Canyon Liz Garton Scanlon Ashley Wolff Hiking the Grand Canyon
7. DNA Detective Tanya Lloyd Kyi Lil Crump Genetics and forensic science
8. A Hundred Billion Trillion Stars Seth Fishman Isabel Greenberg Math and science, with a focus on large numbers
9. What in the Wild? David M. Schwartz & Yael Schy Dwight Kuhn (Photographer) Animals & nature

Fun Toys For Curious Kids

Educational toys are a great way to blend playtime with learning. Here are a few suggestions that will keep your children's minds sharp:

How to Encourage Kids to Read

A great way to start is to get a bookshelf for your child's room. If they have access to their own collection of books, it'll be easy for them to read at their own pace. And if they're looking at the shelf everyday, reading will always be on their mind. It's also important to give your kids a comfortable place to sit. This can be anything from a rocking chair to a couch to a dedicated reading nook. If they have a space that's just for them, it makes reading time all the more special. As they grow, your young ones will start to read more challenging books with words they don't know. Encourage them to look up unfamiliar terms in the dictionary so they can expand their vocabulary. Finally, if you're having trouble getting your kid interested in books in the first place, try bridging the gap between visual media and literature with graphic novels.

Why Do Kids Learn Faster Than Adults?

In Depth

Reading is a great way for children to learn new things, and in order to make this activity more fun and engaging, most authors incorporate captivating visuals and interactive challenges in their books. With that said, here are nine excellent nonfiction books for kids, listed in no particular order.

First up, at #1, we have "Who Were the Tuskegee Airmen?" by Sherri L. Smith. The eponymous aviators were the first ever African Americans to be trained as pilots in the U.S. military. They served in World War II, fighting all across Europe and North Africa throughout the course of the conflict. This book not only covers their missions around the world, but it also shines a spotlight on the issue of segregation during the early 20th century.

Next, at #2, is "Isaac the Alchemist" by Mary Losure. Renowned physicist Isaac Newton helped pave the way for modern science. Before contributing to the Scientific Revolution, he was a young boy living in an apothecary's house, where he educated himself by reading the few academic books he could acquire. Losure recounts the early life of Isaac Newton, writing about how he first developed an interest in alchemy and started conducting his own experiments at home.

Renowned physicist Isaac Newton helped pave the way for modern science.

At #3 is "Deep Roots" by Nikki Tate. Trees play an important role in our lives and the world around us, but people often underappreciate these plants' contributions to the Earth. By focusing on basic building blocks of life, such as water and air, Tate enumerates the many ways trees help the planet and the animals that call it home.

Next, at #4, is "A Poem for Peter" by Andrea Davis Pinkney, with art by Steve Johnson and Lou Fancher. When he was a boy, Ezra Jack Keats always dreamed of becoming an artist, and he continued to pursue his passion despite his father's doubts. As he grew older, he won competitions, earning awards and even job offers along the way. This story follows his life from childhood all the way to when he wrote "The Snowy Day," the very first colored picture book to feature an African American protagonist.

Next up, at #5, we have "Glow" by W.H. Beck. The deep ocean is a mysterious and dangerous part of the world that's rarely explored by humans. There, many animals rely on bioluminescence to survive, and with the help of renowned photographers and biologists, Beck aims to show readers some of the sea creatures that have this uncanny ability to glow in the dark and the different ways they use it.

The deep ocean is a mysterious and dangerous part of the world that's rarely explored by humans.

At #6 is "In the Canyon" by Liz Garton Scanlon, with art by Ashley Wolff. Through the eyes of an adventurous young hiker, readers get to learn more about the Grand Canyon and its ecosystems. The book is filled with illustrations that perfectly depict the breathtaking scenery and wildlife that one would typically encounter along the trail. At the end, Scanlon also provides an insightful glossary full of facts about the canyon's flora and fauna.

Next up, at #7, we have "DNA Detective" by Tanya Lloyd Kyi, with illustrations by Lil Crump. This book explores the basics of genetics and how scientists learned to unravel the mysteries of DNA over the years. Kyi discusses the people behind the groundbreaking discoveries that helped further mankind's understanding of genetics, such as Frederick Sanger and Rosalind Franklin. At the end of each chapter, the author gives readers an opportunity to apply what they've learned by asking them to eliminate suspects to solve a crime based on a real-life case.

At #8 is "A Hundred Billion Trillion Stars." Written by Seth Fishman and illustrated by Isabel Greenberg, it's mainly a book about the world around us and how we can make sense of it through the power of estimation. It's a very informative read that's full of large approximations, such as how many gallons of water cover the planet and how many stars are scattered throughout space.

It's a very informative read that's full of large approximations, such as how many gallons of water cover the planet and how many stars are scattered throughout space.

Finally, at #9, we have "What in the Wild?" by David M. Schwartz and Yael Schy, with stunning photographs by Dwight Kuhn. To the untrained eye, the wild is full of mysteries left behind by the animals that live there. In an effort to teach children about the wonders of nature, Schwartz and Schy challenge readers with poems that ask questions about what they see in each of the photographs in the book.