Reviews, Top Picks

Non-Fiction November Top Picks – Part 2!

I know – I’ve already done one of these, but there’s just so many fantastic books out there that I really did have to make another one! And so I present to you even more top non-fic picks!

BBC Seeking Refuge: Hamid’s Story by Andy Glynne

HamidThe BBC seeking refuge series were a series of BAFTA award-winning animations created several years ago. The books are adaptations of these animations, which are based on true stories told by refugees. Obviously, as a result, the tales can be quite hard-hitting, but they’re sensitively done and well illustrated.

This is a picture book, but it’s definitely aimed more at slightly older readers rather than the youngest children in school. Don’t let the fact that it’s a picture book put you off of taking a look at it – it’s a very thought-provoking book and a brilliant starting place for important conversations about immigration and war.

Shackleton’s Journey by William Grill

Another picture book, this book won the 2015 Shackleton's JourneyKate Greenaway medal. That’s kind of a really big deal in children’s publishing, so that alone should tell you something! It has also won a raft of other prizes as well. Shackleton’s Journey is a beautifully illustrated book. I believe it’s only available in hardback format, and it’s worth it – the whole experience of reading it is almost decadent: it’s like reading a work of art.

This book makes excellent use of the white space on the pages to give a sense of the expanse, and the incredibly detailed pencil drawings are simply stunning. The true story of Shackleton’s Journey is explained in an enchanting way, and it’s really one of those books that anyone and everyone will enjoy looking at!

A Street Through Time by Steve Noon

A streetThis book is an oldie, but it’s very very good – maybe that’s why it has been reprinted so many times! Take a look down the same street over a period of 12,000 years and see how it has developed and changed. This is definitely one of those brilliant books where you find something new every single time you look at it. It’s the sort of book that grows up with children: when they’re smaller the pictures just look cool, whereas once they’ve gotten to grips with reading, the facts are perfect for capturing their interest in history and pulling them into it!


Corpse Talk: The Phoenix Presents by Adam Murphy

This one is something I’d consider to be revolutionary Corpse talkand an EXCELLENT one for the boys who just aren’t that interested in anything. Corpse Talk looks like a Graphic Novel – in fact – it IS a graphic novel, but it’s a graphic novel about a talk show where dead people are interviewed. Want to know Cleopatra’s beauty tips? Why Genghis Khan wanted to dominate the world? Why Winston Churchill took power naps? This is the book for you.

It’s hilarious, it’s a novel format, and it’s full of really amazing facts. Trust me – they won’t even realise they’re learning things!

Lego: Awesome Ideas

LegoThis book is full of inspiration that will ensnare every master builder into reading as they work out how to create bigger and better creations than ever before. I can’t even begin to explain how popular this book has been in the school library. We’ve had copies for two years and there are still constantly waiting lists for it as children dip in and out and use it as inspiration for their own creations. So what if it’s something that they don’t read cover to cover – sometimes we don’t read books cover to cover, and the art of using books in that way is just as important a skill as linear reading. If that doesn’t make sense to you, try to think of this a bit like you might a recipe book, and you’ll see what I mean.

How Super Cool Stuff Works

Super Cool StuffFirst off, this book is designed so that it looks remarkably like a laptop when you look at it. Children have flocked to it on those grounds alone. When you open it up however, it is an absolute treasure trove of information on how all sorts of things work. Ever wondered what’s inside an Xbox? wonder no more. How the Large Hadron Collider works? It’s all in here! How about a Jumbo Jet? You get the picture.

Again, this is a book to dip into, and it’s really irresistible. I’d definitely recommend it as one of my favourites.

There is so much incredible stuff out there when it comes to non-fiction. Obviously there’s also the Guinness Books of Records and suchlike as well. and those are fantastic, but it’s also worth bearing in mind that there are so many other amazing books to choose from. Facts truly are Fantastic!





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