Books are one of the greatest sources of information and lessons. Consequently, there are a lot of nonfiction books for kids, too and other reading materials that you can find almost anywhere. Books also range from fiction to nonfiction, and by being a parent, you should be responsible enough to know what books your children are reading. Knowing the genre of books that your children love will also help you identify which things they are into.
Differences Between Fiction and Nonfiction
It is sometimes hard to identify if a book is fiction or nonfiction, so here are a few things that you should remember to distinguish which is which.
Fiction: These books are generally made from the author’s imagination. The plot, characters, and settings came from someone’s creative mind. Most often, these are books about mysteries, romance, fantasy, chick-lit, and crime thrillers. In addition, this is literature that has fabricated information.
Nonfiction: Books and materials that belong to the nonfiction category are those that are based on facts. These are books and literature that have events and characters that exist or may have existed in real life. Some nonfiction books are recipe books, health and fitness books, language books, science, religion, history, animal life stories, and biographies.
Why Nonfiction Books are Good for Children
Reading fiction books contribute a lot to students’ creativity, but why do we need to let them read more nonfiction books for kids instead?
1. Expand Vocabulary
Knowledge in Vocabulary is key to deep comprehending of texts and other literature. Nonfiction children’s books naturally use and integrate a more complex set of vocabulary words, thus making them easily learn new words.
2. Improves Critical Thinking and problem-solving Skills
Nonfiction children’s books offer various factual pieces of information that are not known yet to your children. Letting them read nonfiction literature allows them to understand their surroundings from a different perspective and develop life skills that would help them solve real-life problems in the future. Encouraging them to read an article about how people live in other countries lets them see the other part of the world.
3. Promotes Real World Awareness
A story about a fallen castle and how a prince saved a princess surely gives your children a moral story, but you will need to let them see scenarios in the real world that they are living. Please encourage them to read an article about a famous technology breakthrough or a cultural event. These kinds of nonfiction books allow your children to expand their horizons and not just dwell on the type of life they see and read in fantasy books.
4. Fosters Self-identity
Losing ourselves in a wonderful novel or a perfect fantasy book is easy, but we cannot just live in these imaginary worlds forever. Eventually, we will need to face real-life challenges, thus introducing nonfiction reading materials to our children will be something they would thank us for. Readers of nonfiction books easily create their own opinions about the things around them.
5. It is Fun!
Who would have thought that reading informational books can be fun? Just imagine the excitement your children could express when they get to read about how their favorite animals live and survive or how an astronaut eats in space. You can also introduce facts to them by using informational texts or even with a simple picture book.
Top 18 Must-Read Nonfiction Books For Kids
To help you decide which books to buy, we have explicitly prepared a list of the top ten must-read nonfiction books for your kids.
1. Marley Dias Gets It Done and So Can You by Marley Dias
A very inspiring book about social media and a kid activist who started the #1000blackgirlbook. For one thing, this book focuses on empowering other kids, opening them to the reality of diversity and how important literacy is.
2. Worst of Friends by Suzanne Tripp
This book incorporates humor with history and readers of this book will learn about the friendship and rivalry of Thomas Jefferson and John Adams. Moreover, this book examines the early American government.
3. Humongous Fungus by DK
Based on the title itself, this book is about the wonderful – yet weird kingdom of fungi. To emphasize, young readers will surely learn about a mushroom and other fungi species’ countless functions while having fun with the graphics.
4. Castles by DK
If your children are into knights and other royal battles, then this one would be great for them. Castles tackles the medieval rulers who built them, also the sieges and battles that captured them, and even the continents on which they are towered.
5. Truth or Lie Series by Erica S. Perl
A highly entertaining nonfiction book helps kiddos understand facts and lies about sharks, dinosaurs, presidents, and inventors.
6. The National Parks by DK
This one is great for children who love spending time and getting dirty outside under the sun. This fascinating guide to America’s 62 National Parks, all the animals, plant life, and all the adventures they have to offer will surely catch your children’s attention.
7. Some Writer!: The Story of E.B White by Melissa Sweet
A biography that examines the prolific life of the beloved children of the author, E.B White. Apart from its great illustrations, it is also full of letters and family ephemera.
8. How We Got to the Moon by John Rocco
The book will clarify to its readers that Apollo 11’s landing on the moon did not belong only to Neil Armstrong and his fellow astronauts. It shows that there were other 400,000 people, from engineers to factory workers, who helped NASA carry out the mission. Furthermore, this book is full of mind-blowing facts and remarkable stories that culminated in one giant leap for humanity.
9. Start Now!: You Can Make a Difference by Chelsea Clinton
In this nonfiction book, Chelsea Clinton talks about how children can bring a difference in their communities. This book is full of facts and inspiration, addresses problems from big to small, and encourages kids by letting them understand that no one is ever too young to start solving life problems.
10. Bubble Homes and Fish Farts by Fiona Bayrock
Though bubbles seem to be fragile and delicate, they play a very vital role in animal survival. Through this book, children will consequently discover how 16 animals, from juniper spittlebugs to whales, use bubbles in different ways.
11. King of the Wind by Marguerite Henry
I read this book when I was in kindergarten, and it’s still one of my favorites. One of the most detailed nonfiction books for children, “King of the Wind” is a heartwarming and heartbreaking account of three thoroughbreds – Seabiscuit, War Admiral, and Hard Tack – and their lives during the first half of the 20th century.
12. The Incorrigible Children of Ashton Place: The Mysterious Howling by Maryrose Wood
The first novel in a fantastic series about two orphans who are sent off to live with an uncle they’ve never heard of.
13. Amazing Grace by Mary Hoffman
A beautiful, moving story about a slave girl named Grace who was sold as a child to be a servant in North Carolina. Consequently, the story is told from Grace’s point of view; wherein she recalls her mother leaving for the North, her life in slavery, and the struggle to find freedom.
14.The Wild Robot by Peter Brown
An unusual story about Roz, who crashes on a deserted island and learns how to survive in the wild with her new animal friends. She finally feels like she belongs somewhere…
15. The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake by Aimee Bender
Talks about Rose, who can taste emotions when she eats food. Not only this story is poignant and beautiful, it will have your child think about how food makes us feel.
16. The Stinky Cheese Man by Jon Scieszka
This will have your child laughing out loud. It’s a funny retelling of the classic fairy tale “The Gingerbread Man,” only when the main character is a little on the old side.
17. The Story of Ferdinand by Munro Leaf
All about a bull who wants to smell the flowers and enjoy life. The perfect book for your child if he/she loves animals and can’t stand to see them in pain.
18. The Great Gilly Hopkins by Katherine Paterson
A compelling story about a girl whose mother has died and whose father refuses to acknowledge her. Gilly, as she’s called, is sent to live with foster parents who treat her badly. But things start looking up when she meets Crab, who helps her find happiness where she least expected it.
Books are surprisingly great partners in raising kids. As much as we want them to establish creativity, let’s also not forget that they need to learn a thing or two about the real world they are living. Introducing them to fun nonfiction books for kids while they are young gives them more power to conquer the world.
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