Disclaimer: Some of these books are gifted.
Traditionally non-fiction books in schools were somewhat dry. Happily, this is no longer the case and there are now many incredible non-fiction books on the market – ideal for both tempting children to explore now topics and for giving them opportunities to explore those we look at in class in more depth. The below are just a few of those we have on our classroom shelves that are enjoyed each week. Some are gifted, some are books I’ve bought myself, all are books I would genuinely recommend.
A Journey Through Greek Myths
A beautiful introduction to Greek Mythology, aimed at KS2 and beyond, this fabulously illustrated book cannot fail to take its readers on a journey. Ideal both for reading aloud by the teacher when studying myths and legends, but equally accessible to children. I love its dip in, dip out approach. Meaning children can choose any of the myths they fancy, rather than needing to work through in chronological order.
Obsessive About Octopuses
One of a range of animal books written by Owen Davey, these are hard to beat. The fabulous bright colours and funky illustration will make sure that this is a book that even the coolest kids in the class will want to dive into. It’s bite sized informational chunks means it isn’t overwhelming for reluctant readers, yet its rich use of language will delight their teachers.
I Ate Sunshine For Breakfast
Ideal for kinaesthetic learners, this is the perfect book to accompany science lessons on both plants and food chains. Full of everything you ever wanted to know (and didn’t know you wanted to know) about plants, this book is detailed, engaging and packed full of do it yourself plant based ideas.
Jumbo The Most Famous Elephant Who Ever Lived
I defy any lover of animals, not to love this incredible book. The true story of Jumbo, a circus elephant whose extraordinary life led to important conversations about animal welfare. Perfectly pitched at KS2 level, and accompanied with utterly beautiful illustrations this book sensitively guides readers through the reality of keeping animals in captivity.
Fox: A Circle Of Life Story
The ideal accompaniment to any lesson on life cycles, this stunning picture book explores how death is the beginning rather than the end. Ideal for allowing children to explore complex ideas in a safe way, without skimping on detail or full understanding. The book has beautiful illustrations and some incredible well thought out language which will enhance pupils’ abilities to discuss the concepts raised.
Fantastically Great Women Who Changed The World
Perfect for those children who love their information in bite sized chunks, this is a fun and well presented book which will make children want to go off and discover more about the women within it. The fabulous illustrations really help to show the different dimensions of people’s lives, while the book does a fabulous job of covering women from a range of different backgrounds and fields.
The Body Image Book For Girls
A fabulous book that prepares girls for the changes their body will go through during puberty whilst teaching them to love themselves an d their body’s. Packed full of questions that girls might have and the answers that they are looking for, as well as handy tips on self care this is a book that should be on bookshelves from year six and beyond.
Time Travel: How To Be The Best Time Traveller Ever
If there was ever a book that makes history seem like the most important thing ever – this has to be it. Even the most reluctant historian will be wooed by the fabulous ideas to recreate the ways those before us lived their lives which this book contains. Ideal for supplementing virtually any historical topic studied in KS2.
Amazing Animal Earth
A short yet fabulous book which explores animals living in different continents. Packed full of fabulous language and rich illustrations this rhyming text is ideal for inclusion on classroom bookshelves.
365 Words Every Kid Should Know
A fabulous way to incorporate a word a day into teaching, or to encourage children to check out for themselves this fun guide is a wonderful way to expand the vocabulary of any KS2 class. I love how it can be read chronologically or just opened up and a word chosen at random. It’s a book that I will definitely be referring to again and again.
Survival In Space: The Apollo 13 Mission
This incredible book tells the true story of the Apollo 13 mission in a way that is accessible to all. Produced on Barrington Stoke’s yellow paper it is ideal for young space enthusiasts who want to learn more. The text is broken up with pictures which not only helps to bring the story to life but also makes this an ideal text for reluctant readers.
Survivors, Heroes and Rescue
This incredible trilogy of texts – made up of Heroes, Rescue and Survivors are ideal for confident readers who prefer non-fiction to novels. These incredible true stories feature courageous animals, daring missions and extraordinary tales of survival. All three of these books will introduce their readers to new stories and ideas, filling them with wonder about the world and those in it – prompting them to look closer and discover more.
It’s hard to decide whether I love the content or the design of this book most – because both are equally incredible. Bright, colourful and cool with bite sized information, this is the perfect book to tempt and entrance reluctant readers. It’s also proof that brief doesn’t need to be simple. A failsafe hit and a fabulous accompaniment to any topic on sound.
Everyone Can Draw
As someone who doesn’t find drawing easy, I absolutely love this book which is perfectly pitched to convince young reluctant artists to have a go at turning their art work into reality. Simple yet creative, the ideas within this fantastic book cannot fail to inspire.
Over and Under the Rainforest
This utterly beautiful book strides the line between fiction and non-fiction perfectly. Following a child’s journey into the rainforest, the reader is introduced to a whole host of rainforest creatures. The use of language is phenomenal and the extra facts about the individual animals included at the back of the book, make this a fabulous addition to any rainforest topic work.
Written in comic book style, this is one book that flies off the shelf as soon as it arrives on it. Engaging, informative and fun in equal measures it’s a book that leaves children with a whole host of fun insect facts to carry with them on their way. With writing in manageable small chunks it is ideal for reluctant readers, whilst the technical details mean that even budding entomologists will be impressed.
500 Things You Didn’t Know But Do Now
This book couldn’t be more perfect for those children who love to learn – and share – random facts. With enough information to spark interest, yet not so much that any topic feels overwhelming I absolutely love the immense range of areas that this book covers – everything from orchestras to cheese!
How To Be A Bug Warrior
Particularly topical in the current climate, this fabulous book teaches children how to be bug warriors – from washing their hands to containing their sneezes. Designed to take some of the mystique out of Covid 19 and give young children practical strategies, this is one that should definitely be added to bookshelves as we head into the winter months.
If You Come To Earth
An absolutely beautiful look at the planet upon which we live. This is a book which explores the many elements of what makes us humans living on Earth. Complete with stunning illustrations it’s a book that will make both children and adults alike consider the many facets that make up their life.