Nonfiction books open doors to history for kids | Momaha

When we think of books for kids, we normally think of fiction – including fantasy, adventure, animal tales, mystery and more.

Rarely do we think of kids reading nonfiction books, right?

After all, when I was a kid, I thought of nonfiction books as boring. I thought of them as books you only read when you’re trying to research something for a paper you had to write for school.

But nonfiction books are so much more than that.

Today there are tons of great nonfiction books and series aimed at kids. “Nonfiction books include more text features like color photographs, illustrations, glossaries, and captions, which support and engage young readers,” according to the article “The Dazzling World of Nonfiction,” written by Donalyn Miller.

They’re fun, adventurous, funny and sometimes mysterious all while helping kids learn about real-life things. No matter what kids are interested in – whether it’s cars, animals, fashion, arts and crafts, musicians or other famous people in history – there’s a non-fiction book out there for them.

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If you’re wanting to introduce more nonfiction books into your child’s life, here are some great options to get you started.

“The Animal Book: A Collection of the Fastest, Fiercest, Toughest, Cleverest, Shyest – and Most Surprising – Animals on Earth” by Steve Jenkins



“The Animal Book: A Collection of the Fastest, Fiercest, Toughest, Cleverest, Shyest – and Most Surprising – Animals on Earth” by Steve Jenkins.


In this non-fiction book, kids can learn about more than 300 animals that are smooth and spiky, fast and slow, hop and waddle and much more. The more than 200-page book has several sections, including “Animal Senses,” “Animal Extremes” and the “The Story of Life” all with fascinating facts and infographics for kids to learn. Kindergarten through fourth grade.

“Moonshot: The Flight of Apollo 11” by Brian Floca



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“Moonshot: The Flight of Apollo 11” by Brian Floca.


The book combines simple text and vibrant illustrations to introduce a new generation of young science enthusiasts to the history-making Apollo 11 moon landing. Ages 4-7.

“Who Was?” book series by various authors



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“Who Was?” book series by various authors.


Want to learn about Princess Diana? How about Shaquille O’Neal or Laura Ingalls Wilder? These middle grade books feature illustrated biographies of significant historical figures – including artists, scientists, world leaders and more – for young readers. The series also features “What Was?” books, which talk more about topics rather than people. Topics include “What was the Titanic?” “What is Climate Change,” What is Rock and Roll ”and more. Ages 9-12.

“I Am” book series by various authors



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“I Am” book series by various authors.


This biography series is similar to the “Who Was” series but what makes them different is the point-of-view. The “I Am” book series are told as if through the eyes of the person featured in the book. The first book in the series, “I Am Sacagawea,” starts “I am only sixteen years old as I trek across the country with my infant son strapped to my back. I have a river, two lakes, and four mountain peaks named after me. I am featured on the US golden dollar. I am Sacagawea. ” The series features full-color illustrated covers, one-color illustrations throughout, a timeline, an introduction to people you’ll meet in the book, maps, sidebars and a top 10 list of important things to know at the end of every book. Fourth through sixth grade.

“DK Eyewitness” book series by various authors



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“DK Eyewitness” book series by various authors.


This series, which was first published in 1988, is still going strong with tons of titles but various authors. Books covers all kinds of topics, including animals, natural disasters, space exploration, Shakespeare and more. Each book gives facts about a specific topic and includes pictures, timelines and paragraphs of detailed information. Ages 9-12.

“She Persisted Around the World: 13 Women Who Changed History” by Chelsea Clinton



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“She Persisted Around the World: 13 Women Who Changed History” by Chelsea Clinton.


This picture book profiles the lives of 13 women who have left their mark on world history. The women include Caroline Herschel, Marie Curie, Mary Verghese, Malala Yousafzai and more. Ages 6-9.

This article originally appeared in the April 2022 issue of the Momaha Magazine.

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