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Non-Fiction Picks


For years now, I have felt that 20 - 30 % of the reading public truly enjoys reading traditional Non Fiction literature. Often this is not well received in the classroom K-12 and our children are told they need to be reading a novel, not an encyclopedia.

Many of our children grow up thinking they are non readers because they desire to read about science, or statistics, or history. We as their parents need to explain to our children, who love to read non fiction that they are readers, too. They just enjoy their literature from a more fact driven point of view. Enjoy the following books, I do!


For Ages 2-5 years old, maybe older for Reports

play bac seasons book coverPlay Bac Publishing, "Incredible Ocean" and "Seasons." incredible ocean book cover

The creators of Brain Quest have a new line of books with exceptional photographs and wonderfully interesting and unique facts about nature and its animals. Now available in May. Look at the previous books, Incredible Earth and Incredible Animals. The more I see and read from this new publisher, the more I like their books. The preschool books, Colors, Numbers Letters,and Shapes are brilliantly done and formatted for younger kids, too! And their sticker books are some of best I have ever seen such as EyeLike Sticker Farms or Gardens, each $6.99

$12.95 from Play Bac Publishing

For Ages 4-7 years old

Body Atlas- a map of human body book coverSteve Parker's Body Atlas: a Complete Map of Human Body.

Steve Parker is a senior scientific fellow from the Zoological Society of London and a writer of over 200 science books. He writes simple and informative books. This book is great for a report on the human body. Children older ( 7-10) will enjoy looking at the detailed and intricate drawings too. It is only 96 pages long and highly informative, and a book which will be visited often. You need to see this book!

$12.95 paperback from TickTock Media available in May 2009

For Ages 6-10 years oldbig cats book cover

Seymour Simon's Big Cats

Seymour Simon has written more than 200 children's science books. His books are always informative and have detailed photographs which give youpause at their beauty and reveal awe moment. Your detail loving youngster will spend hours going over page by page. The photographs are inspiring and endlessly fascinating for the future scientists in your family. Seymour Simon is a science writer comfortable with almost any subject (see his Human Body or Weather books). They are written in a mid fourth grade reading level. In Big Cats, Simon has visited seven big cats families such as lions, leopards, janguars, pumas, lynxs, bobcats and cheetahs. Seymour Simon will have two new books about our pet cats and dogs out this fall. Please consider ordering them both for your school library.

$6.99 paperback from HarperCollins

For Ages 8-12 years oldlife in the wild by pamela turner award winner 2008

tree kangaroo book coverPamela Turner's The Frog Scientist

New series about Scientists in the Field with informative details about the status of animals, plants and ecosystems all around the world. Pamela Turner's book, A Life in the Wild, has won the Golden Kite Non Fiction Award for 2009. It is still available in hardcover at $21.95 from Farrar, Straus & Giroux. She is a science writer who non fiction readers need to know about and discover with wondrous delight.

Two other books in this series, Scientists in the Field, have also won awards and they are: Quest for the Tree Kangaroo ($ 8.99 paperback soon) and Tarantula Scientist by Sy Montgomery, and photographer Nic Bishop. ($7.99 paperback available now) Both from Houghton Mifflin Books/Sandpiper Books
Frog Scientist, $18.00 hardcover only, from Houghton Mifflin Books available for preorder

For Ages 10-13 years old

Willaim Gerstalle's Whoosh Boom Splat: Garage Warriors Guide to Projectile Shooterswhoosh boom splat book cover

This title says it all, and if your children are anything like mine are, use extreme caution when performing these experiments. My son loved his previous books, Backyard Ballistics and the Art of the Catapult. He built a working potato cannon and we still have it. This book has 160 pages full of projects such as Jam Jar Jet or a Marshmallow shooter. Its a great way to actively learn mechanical engineering theories and laws. Physics is an active component in its projects too! But please enjoy yourself in your quest for science knowledge and fun. These books would make a great gift and are very useful for summer vacation activities.

$15.99 paperback from Three Rivers Press

For High School and Up

evil genius book coverThomas Petruzzellis' Electronic Sensors for the Evil Genius- 54 electricifying projects, & More Electronic Sensors for the Evil Genius

These two electronic science books will enlighten and entertain any teenager who loves their electronics like Ipods or laptops. Summer vacation is approaching rapidly and this year getting that summer job maybe next to impossible for our kids. These books from publisher, McGraw-Hill will keep your teenager learning and busy in a very positive ways. The 54 projects focus on our natural environment with experiments such as Jupiter radio telescope, a geiger counter for atomic radiation detection, or cloud chamber or earth field magnetometer. The projects are inexpensive, fun and safe with well illustrated instructions for the science challenged students and their parents,too! (330 pages each) Petruzzellis is a science writer published in Electronics Now and Modern Electronics magazines.

$24.99 each from McGraw Hill (Electronics)