November is in full swing and you know what that means – it’s time for my top Non-Fiction November picks!
Non-Fiction is often the poor relation in school libraries. I’ve even come across a couple of schools where senior staff have decided that “non-fiction is obsolete – after all, we have the internet.” I cannot stress enough how horrifically wrong that particular person was. For that child who loves nothing more than building scale models of the Titanic on Minecraft, David Walliams is unlikely to be the key to getting them into books (brilliant though his books may be.) A book full of Minecraft hints and tips, however, is far more likely to pique their interest. Likewise, a decent fact book about the Titanic will do far more than Enid Blyton could do in her wildest dreams – especially if it contains information that will help them to make their creations even more accurate.
At any rate – there are some genuinely AMAZING non-fiction books out there. Here are a few of my favourites at the moment:
This book is simply beautiful. I can’t stress that enough. It’s also packed with details about some of the most incredible women in the world, which is incredibly important. I must admit that before reading this book, I knew who less than half of these women were. Their achievements should definitely be celebrated far, far more than they currently are.
This is probably better for later KS2 children as some of the language may go over the heads of younger kids, but it’s a book every child should own. Who knows – this book might be the one that shows your child that they too could change the world!
This book would be worth buying for the illustrations alone. Lots is a beautiful celebration of biodiversity, with stunning images that are intricately detailed. Every plant and creature in this book is based on a real one, and the result is a simply stunning book. The facts within it are just as astonishing, and will definitely spark the interest of any budding environmentalist. It really is a book that would appeal to any age-group.
The creators of Lots also produced an award winning book last year by the name of Tiny. Tiny is also a brilliant book for introducing the concept of microbes to your child. It’s definitely also worth a look!
Another great who’s-who book, this one contains people from every sphere of life who have had a massive impact on society – from Joan of Arc to Tim Berners-Lee.
The text is all in bite-sized chunks so it’s not too overwhelming, whilst having just enough information to whet any child’s appetite and leave them hunting through the library for another book on their favourite colourful character from history. This book would be a great choice for any child in KS2.
I love Ada Lovelace. She’s one of my favourite historical figures. Not only was she the daughter of the infamous Mad, Bad Lord Byron, she was the world’s first computer programmer – long before the computer even properly existed!
This book can be a bit on the wordy side, but it’s effectively the true story of Ada Lovelace’s life, told as a story. The pictures are created using cardboard dolls – like the ones Ada would have had to play with in the early Victorian times. It’s a really wonderful book about a remarkable woman!
This isn’t a particularly new book, but I came across it by chance when I was in a discount book shop, and decided to pick it up. How to build a human reads somewhat like a cross between a recipe book and a Haynes Manual. Hear me out on this one – It’s full of facts about all of the parts of the body and how to look after it. Ok – it’s a little bit of a zainy concept, but it’s fun, it’s enjoyable, and it’s a little bit different. If you come across it I recommend taking a look!
Non-fiction shouldn’t be seen as some optional added extra. For some children it’s the thing that truly makes them fall in love with reading, and at the end of the day, that’s what is important. So why not grab something factual and get reading!