Non-fiction recommendations?

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Non-fiction recommendations?

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Jan 27, 2012, 1:30pm

I know this group is the Children's Fiction group, but there isn't one for Non-Fiction so I was wondering if anyone had any great non-fiction kids book recommendations.

I'm looking for books for an 8 year old who has reading difficulties but loves books. She also loves art and drawing.

Things I'm especially interested in that I'd like to introduce and/or read about are:

- Science in small, interesting doses
- Art in the real world
- Pretty much anything in a Magic Treehouse book (she loves those and I still do, too).

Any favourites among you guys?

Modifié : Jan 27, 2012, 10:16pm

Barry the Bravest Saint Bernard by Lynn Hall is fictionalised but based on the true story of Barry. It has colour illustrations. Perhaps that or other Step-into-reading books would be enjoyed. The illustrations can be gorgeous. See these Famous Animal Stories for other colour illustrated books, should she like animals and great illustrations. They are fictionalised, based on real animals.

One thing I loved doing was drawing from illustrations or photos in books, it's good practice when you're a kid. Find a non-fiction book on the topic most enjoyed (horses? dogs? boats? etc.)

Bill Peet: An Autobiography by Bill Peet - it's an autobiography yes but has lots and lots of colour pictures of his artwork, very versatile, and she would probably find it inspiring too. There is text, but not too much for an eight-year-old and she can gradually read the whole thing as reading skills improve. It's the sort of book you could browse through repeatedly, and is definitely suitable for children/young adults to read!

Jan 27, 2012, 9:46pm

Hmm, my non-fiction tastes in book children's & adult's literature tends toward history/biography, so I don't have much but here's a few suggestions. (I'm not sure if some of these are too high/too low based on her reading abilities. Also, some of these walk the fine line between fiction & nonfiction.)

Where do Recyclable Materials Go?
Operation: Reuse It!
Pop! The Invention of Bubble Gum
Here Comes the Garbage Barge
The Teen Who Invented Television
The Boy Who Invented TV
When is a Planet Not a Planet?
Marie Curie: Giants of Science

Several of these are parts of series so there might be other relevant books, but I've only read these ones.

Just Being Audrey (fashion/cinema)
Different Like Coco (fashion)
Journey Through Islamic Arts (fine arts/art history)

Jan 27, 2012, 11:27pm

The DK Eyewitness series of books are good. There are a lot of books on various science subjects, also history and other topics. My almost 8 year old daughter enjoys them. There is a lot of information and illustrations/photos on each page.

Jan 28, 2012, 12:08am

Martin Jenkins has some great illustrated non-fiction titles (I recommend starting with Chameleons are cool and The Emperor's Egg).

The Magic Schoolbus series comes in various flavours (picture books, chapter books, etc) and is quite fun and educational.

Terry Deary has the Horrible Histories and Kjartan Poskitt has the Murderous Maths series - which are more challenging reading, but are broken into very short chapters. If she is a reluctant reader, perhaps start with one of their special illustrated editions (e.g. Murderous Maths of Everything).

It also might be worth looking at graphic novels - e.g. Clan Apis by Jay Hosler is a fascinating account of the life of bees.

Good luck! Do come back and let us know what she liked...

Modifié : Jan 28, 2012, 12:16am

The Geronimo Stilton series is fun, chapter books with colour illustrations; they're fiction, but many of the books have small boxes of facts about real-life things in the world.

Jan 28, 2012, 10:39am

I agree with Magic Schoolbus and Geronimo Stilton. My daughter (and I) really like both of them!

Fév 3, 2012, 10:00am

You're asking about non-fiction, but what about poetry? If that's at all of interest to you, then take a look at Sterling's Poetry for Young Peoiple series, and you should be able to find a number of these to take a look at in the children's section at any B&N.

For a single general anthology, I think the absolute best is Caroline Kennedy's A Family of Poems. There another anthology by Julie Andrews and her daughter, but I think it's got too much of Julie Andrews and her daughter in it, along with too much (as I recall) of Broadway lyrics, but that's just my own personal feeling.

If you're looking specifically for African-American, there's an excellent anthology (including an audio-CD) by Nikki Giovanni, Hip Hop Speaks to Children.

The reason I'm mentioning these is that they're all beautifully illustrated and should also be available for browsing in B&N.

Fév 4, 2012, 10:21am

Poetry books by Douglas Florian are great. They are not only beautifully illustrated, but each poem is actually full of scientific facts. My favorite is Insectlopedia. I saw Florian at a conference right after that book was published. He painted the illustrations on paper sacks. When sharing this book with my students I mention that, so they can understand that an artist doesn't necessarily need fancy equipment and medium.

Also, the "Let's Read and Find Out" series is good. It's been around for a long time (like since the '60s), and most of the titles have been updated and revised.

Jim Arnosky has great books about animals and nature. Check out his "Crinkleroot" books. And anything by Gail Gibbons is outstanding.

Children's non-fiction in the last couple of decades has really gotten great. Many of my students prefer NF.

Fév 4, 2012, 5:57pm

Series: Let's-Read-and-Find-Out Science
I just read one of those! What Makes a Shadow? by Clyde Robert Bulla. Some of the cover illustrations on the series page look gorgeous. Your public library or school library would have good suggestions on nonfiction for children.

Fév 5, 2012, 3:16pm

All this talk about poetry reminded me of Joyful Noise by Paul Fleischman. The poetry is all about insects, so it is science-related.