Exciting Non-Fiction Books Your Kids Won’t Want to Put Down

Getting your little ones to read non-fiction can be hard, but not impossible. Check out this list of recommendations from one parent to another.

Non-Fiction Recommendations Young Readers
two children's non-fiction recommendations book covers on an aqua backgorund with a group of drawn children in the middle.

As a mom of four, I am blessed with children who love to read. My oldest prefers non-fiction over fiction, while her one-younger sister prefers the fantasy genre. It’s my firm belief that it’s my responsibility to ensure they’re well-educated beyond that of their classrooms. I find it difficult to devour non-fiction, especially those with a more academic tone. So, when three of my four kids look at me like I have two heads when I ask them to pick a non-fiction book from their library haul that’s heavy with fiction, I completely understand.

Here are some of the non-fiction series that they usually pick up because they’re just as entertaining as they are educational.

I Survived Series by Lauren Tarshis, Illustrated by Alvin Epps

Tarshis is an amazing storyteller; she seamlessly writes fascinating stories steeped in historical facts about major events in history. This series currently has 22 books, with the 23rd anticipated to be released this December. It covers topics like Hurricane Katrina, the American Revolution, The Titanic, 9/11, and so much more. The unique nature of this series, being that the stories are told through the eyes of a youth who lived to tell the tale, adds to the excitement for the young reader who picks it up.

I Survived Hurricane Katrina, 2005 book cover of a boy in water a debris.

Who Was? Series by Who HQ

Biographies can get boring, especially for young readers. But this series by Penguin Workshop, with over 221 books in its catalog, is an illustrated guide to learning about some of the most significant people in history. From lawmakers to artists, scientists, and sports players, this series is sure to include some prominent historical figures your little ones will want to know more about. Ease your kiddo in by picking up Who Is Taylor Swift? or Who is LeBron James?.

Who is Taylor Swift book cover, with five standing paper dolls of Taylor on stage at a concert.

What Was? By Who HQ

Much Like its counterpart, the historical person series mentioned above, this series focuses on historical events rather than one person. But don’t worry, within each story are significant people who made a difference during that event. With over 60 books in this series, children can learn about anything from What Was the Age of Dinosaurs? to What was the March on Washington?. And everything in between.

What Was the Age of Dinoraurs? book cover depicting a t-rex roaring in front of triceratops and pterodactyls.

Weird but True Series by National Geographic Kids

I think weird or quirky facts are up anyone’s alley, but especially kids. Who doesn’t want to know that the megalodon could swallow a whole car or some animals have actually learned to surf? Maybe they’re interested in knowing the first Christmas carol sung in space? No matter the idea, Nat. Geo. Kids has quite the collection of fun, odd little factoids for your little one to learn. There are 51 books in this series, with over 300 facts in each one. Get ready to be swamped with, “Mom, did you know?”

Weird by True Ocean edition, book cover depicting ocean life.

Horrible Histories Series by Terry Deary

History is filled with atrocious acts and villainous people. Despite this truth, it still needs to be told to avoid making the same mistakes in the future. Terry Deary has created 30 books depicting the horribleness of the past in a way that kids can digest without washing it away and sugarcoating it on white lies. From the cruelty of the monarchy in Terrible Tudors to the fearsomeness of the Ruthless Romans, these are sure to entertain while educating.

Horrible Histories: Ruthless Romans book cover of a roman soldier in typical battle dress.

Non-fiction doesn’t have to mean stuffy academic prose on boring white paper. Children want entertainment when they read, even in non-fiction (and I think many adults do too). These books deliver the writing style along with amazing illustrations that your littles will devour and ask for seconds.

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