50 Nonfiction Books for Kids (Recommendations by Age)

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Nonfiction books are one of the most important sources of learning available to kids. Entertaining, beautifully illustrated books become cherished keepsakes for kids and families for years to come.

Let’s take a look at 50 fantastic titles for kids aged preschool through 13.

Preschool

1. The Bug Book by Sue Fliess

The Bug Book

Year: 2016
Topic: Bugs
Kids will learn all about insects in this fun, rhyming photo-filled book. The author encourages kids to grab their buckets to go on adventures looking for all kinds of creepy crawlers, climbing bugs, flying bugs, and more!

2. My First Book of Planets: All About the Solar System for Kids by Bruce Betts, PhD

My First Book of Planets: All About the Solar System for Kids

Year: 2020
Topic: Planets
Earth, Mars, Jupiter, oh my! Kids explore our incredible solar system and its many wonders in this colorful, photo-filled book written for our tiniest explorers.

3. All About Weather: A First Weather Book for Kids by Huda Harajli, MA

All About Weather: A First Weather Book for Kids

Year: 2020
Topic: Weather
What kid doesn’t love to splash around in the rain? This sweet book will teach them all about hot summer days, clouds and rainstorms, cold winter nights, and more.

4. Helpers in Your Neighborhood by Shira Evans

National Geographic Readers: Helpers in Your Neighborhood (Pre-reader)

Year: 2018
Topic: Community Helpers
Little readers get to know neighborhood helpers like mail carriers, firefighters, and teachers in this colorful book with photos. A vocabulary key of important words and wrap-up activities are included.

5. Families by Shelley Rotner and Sheila M. Kelly

Families

Year: 2016
Topic: Families
This picture book introduces kids to the many types of families in society. Kids will learn about relatives and their family trees, all while seeing images of families like theirs.

Kindergarten

1. How Plants Grow by Dona Herweck Rice

Teacher Created Materials - TIME For Kids Informational Text: How Plants Grow - Grade 1 - Guided Reading Level E

Year: 2011
Topic: Plants
Little readers will learn about plant seeds, roots, and leaves in this engaging book featuring vivid photos and easy-to-read text. The book includes step-by-step instructions about how plants grow!

2. Caterpillar to Butterfly by Laura Marsh

National Geographic Readers: Caterpillar to Butterfly

Year: 2012
Topic: Science
Beginning readers explore the metamorphosis from caterpillar to butterfly! Learn how creepy crawly caterpillars turn into beautiful winged creatures in this National Geographic Reader.

3. I Am Earth: An Earth Day Book for Kids by Rebecca McDonald and James McDonald

I Am Earth: An Earth Day Book for Kids (I Am Learning: Educational Series for Kids)

Year: 2016
Topic: Planets
Discover all there is to learn about our wonderful planet! This colorfully illustrated book opens kids’ minds to this planet we call home. Packed with fun facts and tips for keeping Earth a happy, healthy place to live.

4. Watching the Seasons by Edana Eckart

Watching the Seasons (Welcome Books: Watching Nature (Paperback))

Year: 2004
Topic: Seasons
It’s easy to learn about seasons in this colorful book that includes a glossary and pronunciation guide! Kids will be mesmerized by their walk through nature over 24 pages of educational fun.

5. Dinosaur Encyclopedia for Kids: My First Big Book of Prehistoric Creatures by George Blasing and Cary Woodruff

Dinosaur Encyclopedia for Kids: The Big Book of Prehistoric Creatures

Year: 2021
Topic: Dinosaurs
Learn about creatures who roamed the earth long ago! This encyclopedia for kids is loaded with pictures and fun facts about these fascinating animals who came before us.

1st Graders / 6-Year-Olds

1. My First Human Body Book by Patricia J. Wynne

My First Human Body Book

Year: 2009
Topic: The Human Body
Learn all about how our bodies work in this entertaining, interactive coloring book! Filled with 28 drawings, this book teaches little readers all about our body systems.

2. Amazing Sharks! by Sarah L. Thomson

Amazing Sharks! (I Can Read Level 2)

Year: 2006
Topic: Sharks
Did you know that some sharks glow in the dark? That’s just one fun fact kids will learn in this mesmerizing book about these amazing animals! Kids will learn how to respect wildlife and help sharks survive.

3. The Story of Abraham Lincoln by Carla Jablonski

The Story of Abraham Lincoln: A Biography Book for New Readers (The Story Of: A Biography Series for New Readers)

Year: 2020
Topic: Historical Figures
Learn about one of the United States’ most important presidents in this easy-to-understand book about Abraham Lincoln. His story demonstrates the values of honesty, leadership, and hard work. Readers will learn how Lincoln ended slavery and reunited America.

4. Awesome Science Experiments for Kids: 100+ Fun STEM/STEAM Projects and Why They Work by Crystal Chatterton

Awesome Science Experiments for Kids: 100+ Fun STEM / STEAM Projects and Why They Work (Awesome STEAM Activities for Kids)

Year: 2018
Topic: Science
For curious kids everywhere, this illustrated book of more than 100 experiments will have kids truly engaged. Kids learn how to make fizzy rockets, magnet-powered cars, sundials, and more. Easy-to-read directions and colorful, real-life photos bring the experiments to life!

5. Monster Trucks! By Susan E. Goodman and Michael J. Doolittle

Monster Trucks! (Step into Reading)

Year: 2010
Topic: Motor Vehicles
Kids are amazed by these big, bad vehicles! Learn fun facts like these trucks are over five feet tall! Plus, they’re as heavy as an elephant. Learn how they work and some special tricks they do.

2nd Graders / 7-Year-Olds

1. Animal Atlas for Kids: A Visual Journey of Wildlife from Around the World by Michael A. DiSpezio

Animal Atlas for Kids: A Visual Journey of Wildlife from Around the World

Year: 2021
Topic: Nature
Learn about 180 animals from all around the globe! Young readers will discover the rainforest, Asian, and Arctic Ocean habitats, among others. Perfect for encouraging a love of nature in kids.

2. The Story of Albert Einstein by Susan B. Katz

The Story of Albert Einstein: A Biography Book for New Readers (The Story Of: A Biography Series for New Readers)

Year: 2020
Topic: Historical Figures
Delve into the life of Albert Einstein, one of history’s most important scientists. Kids will learn how Einstein grew up a curious kid and how he loved to read, learn, and experiment with new ideas. A story of never giving up!

3. National Geographic Kids Almanac 2022 by National Geographic Kids

National Geographic Kids Almanac 2022, U.S. Edition (National Geographic Kids Almanac (Quality))

Year: 2021
Topic: Almanac
Loaded with fun facts, photos, activities, jokes, and comics, this new almanac covers animals, science, nature, technology, conservation, and more. It’s designed to provide hours of entertainment and learning to even the most reluctant readers who are curious about the world around them.

4. Edible Craft Kids’ Cookbook: 25 Fun Projects to Make and Eat! by Charity Mathews

Edible Crafts Kids' Cookbook Ages 4-8: 25 Fun Projects to Make and Eat!

Year: 2021
Topic: Cooking
Spark kids’ imagination with this entertaining book containing 25 recipes for sweet and savory goodies. Kids learn science and measuring skills all while having fun in the kitchen! It also includes labels for special dietary needs, such as nut-free and gluten-free.

5. Fossils for Kids: A Junior Scientist’s Guide to Dinosaur Bones, Ancient Animals, and Prehistoric Life on Earth by Ashley Hall

Fossils for Kids: A Junior Scientist's Guide to Dinosaur Bones, Ancient Animals, and Prehistoric Life on Earth

Year: 2020
Topic: Fossils
Little explorers take a trip to the past in this fascinating book designed to teach them all about fossils and where to find them. The book starts by discussing dinosaurs but goes back even further to explore tiny life forms and ancient plants!

3rd Graders / 8-Year-Olds

1. The History of the Titanic by Kelly Milner Halls

The History of the Titanic: A History Book for New Readers (The History of: A Biography Series for New Readers)

Year: 2021
Topic: History
Kids new to reading historical nonfiction will enjoy this story about one of the most dramatic shipwrecks of all time. Learn how and why the wreck occurred and how it impacted the world we live in today.

2. Wild Vet Adventures: Saving Animals Around the World by Dr. Gabby Wild and Jennifer Szymanski

Wild Vet Adventures: Saving Animals Around the World With Dr. Gabby Wild

Year: 2021
Topic: Animals
Take a journey across the continents with Dr. Gabby Wild! Learn how animals eat, play, and care for themselves in the wild. Kids also discover how to protect wildlife and endangered species.

3. National Geographic Kids Everything Battles: Arm Yourself with Fierce Photos and Fascinating Facts by James Spears

National Geographic Kids Everything Battles: Arm Yourself with Fierce Photos and Fascinating Facts

Year: 2013
Topic: History
Discover important facts about five historical battles. Learn about the battlefield and its trappings, such as armor, weapons, and uniforms. Color photos and easy-to-read sidebars keep young readers engaged.

4. All the Things: How to Draw Books for Kids by Alli Koch

All the Things: How to Draw Books for Kids

Year: 2020
Topic: Art
This book contains 42 five-minute drawing lessons for kids who are just getting started with drawing! Projects include ice cream cones, fruits, animals, and more. Special features include lay-flat binding, premium paper, and perforated pages.

5. Me and My Feelings: A Kids’ Guide to Understanding and Expressing Themselves by Vanessa Allen, MEd, NBCT

Me and My Feelings: A Kids' Guide to Understanding and Expressing Themselves

Year: 2019
Topic: Mental Health
This book is here to remind kids that everyone has emotions and that it’s okay to express ourselves in positive ways. Includes tips for staying in control, such as deep breathing and positive self-talk.

9-Year-Olds

1. Case Closed?: Nine Mysteries Unlocked by Modern Science by Susan Hughes

Case Closed?: Nine Mysteries Unlocked by Modern Science

Year: 2013
Topic: History
How can it be that entire civilizations have disappeared throughout history? This intriguing book walks young readers through mysteries that have been solved as well as those that haven’t, letting them read through the evidence and decide for themselves.

2. Mistakes That Worked: 40 Familiar Inventions & How They Came To Be by Charlotte Foltz Jones and John O’Brien

Mistakes That Worked: 40 Familiar Inventions & How They Came to Be

Year: 1994
Topic: Inventions
Did you know that sandwiches, potato chips, Coca-Cola, Silly Putty, and X-rays were all invented by accident? This book presents these and other weird facts guaranteed to keep young readers fascinated.

3. Legends: The Best Players, Games, and Teams in Basketball by Howard Bryant

Legends: The Best Players, Games, and Teams in Basketball

Year: 2017
Topic: Sports
This collection of NBA fan-favorites includes Michael Jordan, Magic Johnson, LeBron James, and Steph Curry. It includes Top 10 lists, fun facts, and great photos for basketball fans eager to learn more about the sport.

4. Fashion Design for Kids: Skill-Building Activities for Future Fashion Designers by Kerri Quigley

Fashion Design for Kids: Skill-Building Activities for Future Fashion Designers

Year: 2021
Topic: Art
Budding fashion designers everywhere will love this book created especially for them! Kids will learn about the world of fashion, how to come up with ideas, how to choose fabrics, how clothes are produced, and more! No-sew exercises are included.

5. Empowered Girls: Activities and Affirmations for Empowering Strong, Confident Girls by Allison Kimmey

Empowered Girls: Activities and Affirmations for Empowering Strong, Confident Girls

Year: 2021
Topic: Mental Health
Girl power! This book teaches girls that they can do anything! With practical advice and activities, girls can explore their intelligence, creativity, personalities, and more.

10-Year-Olds

1. The Boys’ Guide to Growing Up by Phil Wilkinson and Sarah Horne

The Boys' Guide to Growing Up

Year: 2018
Topic: The Human Body
As boys approach puberty, they have all kinds of questions. This book answers questions like: What is puberty? How do hormones work? Why is my voice getting deeper? The author also provides advice on healthy eating and exercising.

2. Architecture for Kids: Skill-Building Activities for Future Architects by Mark Moreno

Architecture for Kids: Skill-Building Activities for Future Architects

Year: 2021
Topic: Careers
What does an architect do? Delve into this book to learn all about the role they play in society, as well as what it takes to become one. The book includes fun activities and helps kids build their first portfolio!

3. 20th Century American History for Kids: The Major Events that Shaped the Past and Present by Andrea Bentley

20th Century American History for Kids: The Major Events that Shaped the Past and Present (History by Century)

Year: 2020
Topic: History
Spur kids’ interest in the historical events that shaped 20th century America. Learn about 30 major events, including the World Wars, the Civil Rights Movement, the Women’s Liberation Movement, and more. Each section provides historical context, and biographical facts are included.

4. The Fascinating Space Book for Kids: 500 Far-Out Facts! by Lisa Reichley

The Fascinating Space Book for Kids: 500 Far-Out Facts! (Fascinating Facts)

Year: 2021
Topic: Space
This encyclopedia of space facts is sure to fascinate any kid who loves science. It teaches kids about constellations, asterisms, wormholes, and more. It is loaded with interesting facts about our universe.

5. Norse Mythology for Kids: Tales of Gods, Creatures, and Quests by Mathias Nordvig, PhD

Norse Mythology for Kids: Tales of Gods, Creatures, and Quests

Year: 2020
Topic: History
Transport your kids into a world of dungeons and dragons, ladies and lords. Learn about mythical creatures and places and explore 20 of the most memorable Nordic myths!

11-Year-Olds

1. Big Thinkers and Big Ideas: An Introduction to Eastern and Western Philosophy for Kids by Sharon Kaye, PhD

Big Thinkers and Big Ideas: An Introduction to Eastern and Western Philosophy for Kids

Year: 2020
Topic: Philosophy
Kids and questions go together like cake and ice cream! That’s why this book is perfect for budding minds questioning the universe. Kids will get an introduction to philosophy in a way that’s appropriate for their age level, but that also gets them asking big questions!

2. National Geographic Kids’ How to Survive Anything: Shark Attack, Lightning, Embarrassing Parents, Popp Quizzes and Other Perilous Situations by Rachel Buchholz

How to Survive Anything: Shark Attack, Lightning, Embarrassing Parents, Pop Quizzes, and Other Perilous Situations (National Geographic Kids)

Year: 2011
Topic: How-to
What would you do if a bear in the woods confronted you? If your best friend dumped you? If you were stranded in a jungle in South America? This book by National Geographic Kids tackles it all—in a fun and authoritative way.

3. Spectacular Stories for Curious Kids: A Fascinating Collection of True Stories to Inspire & Amaze Young Readers by Jesse Sullivan and Davor Ratkovic

Spectacular Stories for Curious Kids: A Fascinating Collection of True Stories to Inspire & Amaze Young Readers

Year: 2021
Topic: True Stories
Kids will love learning about 100 stories filling over 280 pages brimming with adventures. Each story focuses on a historical event of scientific wonder meant to spark your child’s imagination.

4. The Big, Fun Kids Baking Book: 110+ Recipes for Young Bakers by Food Network Magazine

Food Network Magazine: The Big, Fun Kids Baking Book: 110+ Recipes for Young Bakers (Food Network Magazine's Kids Cookbooks)

Year: 2021
Topic: Cooking
Stuffed with recipes galore, this book is perfect for beginning bakers. Loaded with information on how to make your favorite cookies, cupcakes, sheet cakes, and more. Includes 110 recipes such as Banana Bread, Red Velvet Brownies, and Candy Bar Layer Cake!

5. Real Chemistry Experiments: 40 Exciting STEAM Activities for Kids by Edward P. Zovinka, PhD

Real Chemistry Experiments: 40 Exciting STEAM Activities for Kids (Real Science)

Year: 2019
Topic: Science
As kids get older, they want more challenging experiments. This book fits the bill! It contains 40 experiments using easy-to-find ingredients around the house. A Periodic Table is included.

12-Year-Olds

1. No Better Friend: Young Readers Edition: A Man, a Dog, and Their Incredible True Story of Friendship and Survival in World War II by Robert Weintraub

No Better Friend: Young Readers Edition: A Man, a Dog, and Their Incredible True Story of Friendship and Survival in World War II

Year: 2018
Topic: History
This true story is based on the experience of Frank Williams, a radarman in Britain’s Royal Air Force, and a dog named Judy. Frank and Judy met as prisoners of war during World War II and became close friends. The book includes sidebars about World War ll, along with photos and maps.

2. The Renaissance Thinkers: With History Projects for Kids by Diane C. Taylor

The Renaissance Thinkers: With History Projects for Kids (The Renaissance for Kids)

Year: 2018
Topic: History
Peek into the lives of Machiavelli, Thomas More, Francis Bacon, and others. Learn how these great thinkers introduced concepts that have stood the time of history. Engage in hands-on activities to reinforce learning.

3. Lies Girls Believe: And the Truth that Sets Them Free by Dannah Gresh

Lies Girls Believe: And the Truth that Sets Them Free (Lies We Believe)

Year: 2019
Topic: Mental Health
Today’s girls live in a difficult time. Use this book as a tool to help girls see twenty important truths about their lives to overcome lies about friendship, lies about the future, lies about boys, and others.

4. Brain Farts EWW Edition!: The World’s Most Interesting, Weird, and Icky Facts from History and Science for Curious Kids by Murphy Sawyer and Davor Ratkovic

Brain Farts EWW Edition!: The World’s Most Interesting, Weird, and Icky Facts from History and Science for Curious Kids

Year: 2021
Topic: Science
Learn 100 gross and weird facts about science in this silly book packed with funny illustrations. Great gift for zany kids who enjoy a good laugh; the book not only entertains but also educates.

5. Growth Mindset Journal for Boys: A Space to Embrace Challenges, Set Goals, and Dream Big by Elizabeth Sautter and Gabriel Sautter Savala

Growth Mindset Journal for Boys: A Space to Embrace Challenges, Set Goals, and Dream Big

Year: 2021
Topic: Self-Help
This book aims to help boys clarify their goals, focus on their dreams, and think positively. It’s a 160-page journal containing short writing prompts and activities for boys. Perfect as a gift or for any boy working on developing his self-esteem.

13-Year-Olds

1. The How-To Cookbook for Teens: 100 Easy Recipes to Learn the Basics by Julee Morrison

The How-To Cookbook for Teens: 100 Easy Recipes to Learn the Basics

Year: 2020
Topic: Cooking
Teenagers discover the joy of cooking with this introductory cookbook teaching them to cook meals for the family and teen-friendly foods, such as Nachos, Sloppy Joes, and more. The book includes room to take notes about how you experimented with the recipes!

2. Comparative Religion: Investigate the World Through Religious Tradition by Carla Mooney

Comparative Religion: Investigate the World Through Religious Tradition (Inquire and Investigate)

Year: 2015
Topic: World Religions
Explore why religion plays such an important role in history. Compare and contrast different religions to learn about beliefs people hold. Suggested activities include studying the National Cathedral in Washington, DC, studying the Hindu practices of yoga and mediation, interviewing a rabbi, and more.

3. Four Perfect Pebbles: A True Story of the Holocaust by Lila Perl and Marion Blumenthal Lazan

Four Perfect Pebbles: A True Story of the Holocaust

Year: 2016
Topic: Memoir
The twentieth-anniversary edition of Marion Blumenthal Lazan’s memoir recalling the horrifying days of the Holocaust contains new features such as photographs and a discussion guide. The memoir describes the terrors inflicted by the Nazis as well as the courage shown by those who escaped their atrocities.

4. The Code Book: The Secrets Behind Codebreaking by Simon Singh

The Code Book: The Secrets Behind Codebreaking

Year: 2003
Topic: Technology
This young-adult adaptation of the national bestseller contains stories about code-breakers throughout history. The book is filled with intrigue and the breaking down of complex ideas so that teens can relate.

5. Mini Habits for Teens: Small Changes to Help You Navigate Life's Challenges by Kate Gladdin

Mini Habits for Teens: Small Changes to Help You Navigate Life's Challenges

Year: 2021
Topic: Self-Help
This book tackles the question, “What is a habit?” It shows teens why healthy habits are important and how to adapt to routines. Importantly, it provides guidance for making healthy habits stick.

A Final Word

There you have it: Our list of 50 great books for kids aged preschool through thirteen.

Reading is one of our greatest pastimes and opens up children’s eyes to the world. Enjoy!

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