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Non-Fiction Picks - Winter 2012


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 to 99 years old-

Simon Basher's science and reference books such Human Body or Weather or Physics

Dan Green and Simon Basher has created a brilliant single page definitions in science or reference theme books such as the The Periodic Table, or Chemistry or Grammar. The more I see and read from this new series by Basher Science, etc the more I love their books which many have posters included inside the back page. A must see and have for any classroom interested in math, science, or language skills.

$9.99 each from Kingfisher

For Ages 4-7 years old

Geoff Waring's Start With Science series with Oscar the Cat-

Oscar the Cat is a curious fellow and his interests in the world around him is varied and all inclusive. These science picture books introduce our children to core science concepts through engaging stories, and fresh illustrations. Waring's science books provides numerous ways to start our kids learning about their world and the physical ways our planet works around us! Don't forget to look up the index in each book. Oscar the Cat discoveries tell us about the nature of sound, growing bigger, electricity, light and dark, moving and rolling and things we use everyday.

$7.99 paperback from Candlewick for six books all in paperback now 2012

For Ages 6-10 years oldbig cats book cover

Seymour Simon's Cats, & Dogs, and Global Warming-

Seymour Simon has written more than 200 children's science books. His books are always informative and have detailed photographs which give you pause 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 .Seymour Simon's two new books about our pet cats and dogs are out now in paperback followed by Wolves out in 2012. 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 coverSy Montgomery's and Nic Bishop's Saving the Ghost of the Mountains- Snow Leopards in Mongolia (scientists in the field series) award winning

Snow Leopards in Mongolia( Saving the Ghost) is the newest in paperback in the, Scientists in the Field with informative details about the status of animals, plants and ecosystems all around the world.This combination of Sy Montgomery's language, and research, and Nic Bishop's photography is worth every penny spent. Stronger Than Steel-Spider Silk DNA by Bridget Heos is the newest Scientists in the Field book out in Sept.2012.

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.

Three other books in this series, Scientists in the Field, have also won awards and they are: Quest for the Tree Kangaroo ($ 8.99 paperback ) and Tarantula Scientist by Sy Montgomery, and photographer Nic Bishop. ($8.99 paperback available now) Both from Houghton Mifflin Books/Sandpiper Books.
Frog Scientist, & Saving the Ghost of the Mountain-Snow Leopards both 8.99 from Houghton Mifflin Books now available in paperback Sept. 2012.


For Ages 10-13 years old-

Robert Malone's ReCycled Robots- 10 Robot Projects

144 pages of 10 wonderfully creative projects to build, and learn about early engines and machines from Workman Publishing out October 2012. Transform old action figures into working robots from the essential accessories included in kit such as a battery operated motor, 2 wind up walkers, dowels, wire, mounting squares and templates. $26.95 and worth every penny.

Ed Sobey's MotorBoat Book- Build & Launch 20 Jet Boats, Paddle-Wheelers, Electric Submarines & More-

Ed Sobey has written numerous science project books from wooden boats to robotics. This book has 244 pages full of projects. 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. This books would make a great gift and are very useful for summer vacation activities.

$15.99 paperback from Chicago Review Press out in March 2013.

For Middle School & High School and Up

The Elements-A Visual Exploration of Every Known Atom in the Universe- by Theodore Gray - Photos by Theodore Gray & Nick Mann

Theodore Gray author of Mad Scientist, has created fascinating eye opening never before seen photographic collection of the 118 elements of our Periodic Table with an educational and entertaining approach that is uniquely Theodore Gray in his delivery and discussion of each element and its makeup. I wish I had seen this book while my kids were in middle school or high school. This book once seen, will not stay in your house because everyone will ask to borrow it for very long periods of time. Your child's teachers will want to have their own copies of this book. Please read the text carefully because every element two page spread will have surprise sentence or two which are very refreshing and insightful as well as humorous and entertaining for us arm chair scientists.This book is worth every penny!

$19.99 from Black Dog & Leventhal paperback

New in 2011 The Elements-Vault $39.99 from Black Dog & Leventhal

128 pages with real element samples and removal archival documents of major scientific discoveries and patents and worth every penny. Your young adult and family will love these books.