Kids love nonfiction books. Even reluctant readers will often sit down for hours with a good, fun fact-filled book for kids. My own two boys love all the fact books on this list. We have copies of our own, but my children almost never leave the library without a nonfiction book for kids of some sort.
In fact, at every school book fair one of the kids has bought a nonfiction book. They just eat them up. I've divided these fact intensive books into two categories. Conveniently (and not coincidentally) these two categories correspond with the age of my own two fact hungry boys. However, there is some cross-over, so check out the recommended age or take a peek inside if you are unsure which books will be right for your nonfiction books loving child. (Book cover and titles are affiliate links.)
More book lists you may enjoy:
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- 55 Science picture books for kids of all ages (includes 5 books for 11 topics)
- Nonfiction summer reading list for 4th graders
- See an index of all our book lists for kids
Nonfiction Books for PreSchool and Lower Elementary Kids
National Geographic Little Kids First Big Book of Why. What kid doesn't ask a ton of why questions! I adore this series from National Geographic. The large hardcover books are easy to hold in a lap and full of gorgeous photos. The why answers in this book cover everything from the human body to space. Plus! My favorite part is that the book encourages kids to apply the knowledge with easy to do activity suggestions.
National Geographic Kids First Big Book of Space. I could make a separate entry for all the "First Big Books of..." series. It is truly an outstanding series of non-fiction books for kids. The books all grow with the child. Each double page spread includes both basic and in-detail facts, perfect for 3-7 year olds. In addition, questions like, "If you could send a spacecraft somewhere in space to take photographs, where would you send it?" encourage kids to apply their new knowledge. Other books in the series include the following:
- First Big Book of Animals
- First Big Book of the Ocean
- First Big Book of Bugs
- Little Kids First Big Book of Dinosaurs
Jet Plane: How It Works. David Macaulay's books for older kids (and grown-ups) are so legendary, I'm quite delighted he now has a set of early readers so young kids can enjoy his great explanations of how machines work or architectural feats are constructed. Shall I tell you that my kids enjoyed the one about the toilet, most of all? See all of them:
Nonfiction Books for Upper Elementary Kids
5,000 Awesome Facts (About Everything!) (National Geographic Kids). I believe we've had this book checked out of the library for 6 months. My older son can not get enough of it. He LOVES it and remembers every detail.
National Geographic Kids Ultimate Weird but True: 1,000 Wild & Wacky Facts and Photos. Who doesn't like random and totally bizarre facts? There are also 6 compact versions of Weird but True books, with 300 facts each, including my favorite one focusing on history: Ye Olde Weird but True: 300 Outrageous Facts from History.
National Geographic Kids Quiz Whiz: 1,000 Super Fun, Mind-bending, Totally Awesome Trivia Questions. At the risk of sounding like a National Geographic advertisement, I will recommend yet ANOTHER book series from them. What can I say, the NG people really know their stuff. Be prepared, however, to be the recipient of many quizzes after you put this book in the hands of your child.
The Way Science Works. DK publishing has loads of these large, illustrated, encyclopedia type books. The format includes copious photographs and explanations that kids can delve into.
How to Be a Genius. Wouldn't we all love to know the answer to that question!!! My older son also loves the companion book, How to Be a Math Genius. The book explains the facts behind how the human brain processes and stores information, as well as including a plethora of puzzles, brain teasers and activities to keep growing minds busy (and learning).
G Is for Googol: A Math Alphabet Book and Q Is for Quark: A Science Alphabet Book. Don't be fooled by the "alphabet book" style of these books. They are not books for preschoolers! From A is for Algebra to Z is for Zzzzzz (I'm not giving that one away!), there are some intensive, yet approachable explanations for kids who love their S.T.E.M subjects.
National Geographic Kids World Atlas. I realize there are no history-specific books on this list. That's due to the particular bent of my sons's interests. However, my older son does love geography and pours over maps. We have a wall map tacked over our dining table, but that doesn't stop him from picking up his atlas (which he bought at the school book fair) for some more intensive studying.
So tell me, do your kids love facts and trivia? What are their favorite fact-filled nonfiction books?