Best Non-Fiction Books For Kids By Age

Mum reading a non-fiction book with her son in a den in his bedroom.
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One of the best ways to ease your kids' boredom, lockdown or no lockdown, is through reading and nonfiction books can be just as captivating as fictional books.

Through nonfiction books, we're able to learn about so many different topics around the world, often finding something we can relate to which makes it that much more satisfying. At age 6-11, your kids are starting to advance their reading further, engaging in fact-driven books, world history such as World War One, and geography.

If you want to make reading even more fun, try making a cosy reading den. You might even be able to find the book you're interested in as an audiobook, so you can listen and follow along reading it!

Year 2 (6-7)

The Animal Book: A Collection of the Fastest, Fiercest, Toughest, Cleverest, Shyest--and Most Surprising--Animals on Earth By Stevie Jenkins

In this visually stunning book, Jenkins writes about more than 300 animals, and organising them under sections such as 'Predators', 'Animal Extremes' and 'Animal Senses'.  This is a great visual encyclopaedia full of interesting facts, like how most deep-sea creatures can't see red light, except one which uses it to its advantage... To find out more make sure you check out the book.

Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls By Elena Favilli, Francesca Cavallo

Featuring 100 bedtime stories that are accompanied by vibrant, beautiful illustrations by women artists, this is a must-read for fierce and inspiring girls and boys alike. From queens and sportswomen, to artists and beyond, this non-fiction book comprises a wide variety of powerful and life-changing women, some very well known, and other quietly inspiring pioneers.

Muslim Girls Rise: Inspirational Champions Of Our Time By Saira Mir

This information-packed, colourful book sets the record straight with rich biographies and vivid illustrations. Introducing young readers to the stories of Muslim women rising above challenges, staying true to themselves and becoming trailblazing leaders, everyone will find something inspiring in here.

Cover of 'Muslim Girls Rise' by Saira Mir.
Image © Salaam Reads / Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers.

Year 3 (7-8)

Frederick Douglass: The Lion Who Wrote History By Walter Dean Myers

This is a powerful picture book that narrates the story of Frederick Douglass, a self-educated slave in the American South, who became the leader of the abolitionist movement that freed enslaved people. This true story is brought to life by lush illustrations.

Grand Canyon By Jason Chin

The Grand Canyon is much more than just a giant hole in the ground as this engaging book tells us. Part non-fiction, part fiction, this picture book shows us how the plants, animals and habitats of the Grand Canyon have lived, both in the past and now, through a father-daughter hiking trip. This book is complete with a large expansive detailed map of the Grand Canyon. Make sure to bring it with you if ever visit!

My Journey to the Stars By Scott Kelly

In this gravity-defying memoir, you can discover how NASA Astronaut Scott Kelly spent his year in space.  Through fascinating pictures, we are taken on a journey from Scott's childhood, to his record-breaking achievements in space. For any aspiring astronauts, and those who like to defy, this picture book will dazzle you to the stars and back.

Cover of 'My Journey to the Stars' by Scott Kelly.
Image © Penguin Random House, published by Dragonfly Books.

Rad American Women A-Z: Rebels, Trailblazers, and Visionaries Who Shaped Our History ... and Our Future! By Kate Schatz (2015)

We think this a great way to perfect your alphabet knowledge. Featuring 26 diverse individuals in multiple professions and spanning various historical events, this is a great way to discuss what it means to not only be 'rad' but also 'radical'. From political activists like Angela Davis and Dolores Huerta, to scientists and artists, too, like writer Nora Zeale Hurston, this book covers it all.

Year 4 (8-9)

Where Is? Series By Who HQ

With 250+ titles, the Who Is series by Who HQ provides simple answers to some of our biggest questions! Telling us the innovative and creative stories of trailblazers, legends, important events and cool places, you'll never be bored with this series. It truly has something for everyone. Do you want to read about Michelle Obama, illustrated and all? Or where the Great Barrier Reef is and some unknown facts? Who HQ has all the answers.

Weird But True! Series By National Geographic Kids

In a similar way, the Weird But True! books are a series by National Geographic, this time with more than 300 facts in each book. Using fascinating and eye-catching illustrations and pictures, these books help you dip your toes into topics such as science, pop culture, food, geography and so many more. This is a quirky little reference book for every young person to have.

Cover of 'Weird but True! 6' by National Geographic Kids.
Image © National Geographic Society.

Ken Jennings’ Junior Genius Guides By Ken Jennings, Illustrated By Mike Lowery

These little interactive trivia books will make all kids feel like a genius. They'll be able to wow their family, teachers and friends with awesome facts. The interactive, illustrated books range from dinosaurs, Greek mythology, the human body and outer space.

Stephen Curry: Epic Athletes, Book One By Dan Wetzel

This is an inspiring story of one of basketball's most valuable players, Stephen Curry. The son of an NBA player, Curry wanted to be just like his dad. But he was smaller and was told he was not talented enough to make it. Through perseverance and hard work, he became one of the most valuable players, proving people wrong and breaking records with his laser-precise shots.

Year 5 (9-10)

I, Fly: The Buzz About Flies and How Awesome They Are By Bridget Heos, Illustrated By Jennifer Plecas

Bet you didn't think flies were that interesting? Well, this book will change your mind. Fly's can flap their wings 200 times faster than a butterfly! This is a fact-filled, fun presentation by Fly, the narrator, who wants to promote his species to a class of kids.

Legends, Icons & Rebels: Music That Changed the World By Robbie Robertson, Jim Guerinot, Sebastian Robertson, Jared Levine

This book is carefully and thoughtfully compiled like a music playlist as it takes you through short and compelling biographies of music legends. Detailing how these inspiring souls changed the music landscape forever, risk-takers from Johnny Cash, Bob Dylan and Billie Holiday are featured.

Cover of 'Legends, Icons & Rebels: Music That Changed the World' By Robbie Robertson, Jim Guerinot, Sebastian Robertson and Jared Levine.
Image © TUNDRA.

Best Shot in the West: The Adventures of Nat Love By Patricia C. McKissack, Frederick L. McKissack

Through the graphic novel form, this is a gripping biography of Nat Love, the most famous African American cowboy. The unique and lively art fills the pages with exciting and thrilling stories from horse-roping contests, a fierce-some lighting storm and encounters with a Native American tribe.

Year 6 (10-11)

The Girl Who Drew Butterflies, How Maria Merian’s Art Changed Science By Joyce Sidman

We all know that butterflies come from caterpillars, don't we? Well, in the seventeenth century, they actually didn't. Not until Maria Merian, one of the first naturalists, decided to observe insects and bugs.  Using her very own paintings,  we are taken on a journey through mud and bugs. A keen eye for detail is what sets this painter apart.

Stories for Boys Who Dare to be Different by Ben Brooks

100 amazing stories of amazing men, from the likes of the famous Barack Obama and Salvidor Dali, to not-so-famous men in the past and present. This book is an alternative source of role-models for young readers. From rule-breakers, to innovators, one thing unites all these daring boys: they have fantastic achievements.

Cover of 'Storied for Boys Who Dare to be Different' by Ben Brooks.
Image © Quercus.

Absolutely Everything By Christopher Lloyd

With this book, you can embark on a diverse journey across time and geography, to learn about continents, the creation of the planet, global technologies, medieval wars, many of the big questions that big thinkers often write about. Using photographs, clever design and illustrations, this fantastic book brings to life remarkable and fascinating stories.

I Am Malala: How One Girl Stood Up for Education and Changed the World By Malala Yousafzai, Patricia McCormick

This is the story of a girl who refused to be silenced. In this captivating children's edition of Malala and critically acclaimed author Patricia McCormick, Malala's true story is a tale of protest, education and determination. Nearly dying for her right to education, this inspiring biography touches many souls. This updated version includes an exclusive interview with Malala and is a must-read.

The Way Things Work Now By David Macaulay

This information-packed encyclopaedia of simple science for kids is a great resource for readers interested in learning about how things work. From developments in technology such as WiFi and windmills, to the basic lever, this book will have you knowledgeable in a wide variety of machines. Through humour and illustrations to accompany the explanations, kids will read through this book in no time.

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At Kidadl we pride ourselves on offering families original ideas to make the most of time spent together at home or out and about, wherever you are in the world. We strive to recommend the very best things that are suggested by our community and are things we would do ourselves - our aim is to be the trusted friend to parents.

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Kidadl provides inspiration to entertain and educate your children. We recognise that not all activities and ideas are appropriate and suitable for all children and families or in all circumstances. Our recommended activities are based on age but these are a guide. We recommend that these ideas are used as inspiration, that ideas are undertaken with appropriate adult supervision, and that each adult uses their own discretion and knowledge of their children to consider the safety and suitability.

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