All posts in Nonfiction for Kids

Two Truths and a Lie: It's Alive

Two Truths and a Lie: 3 BOOK GIVEAWAY

Truth is stranger than fiction, but it is because Fiction is obliged to stick to possibilities; Truth isn’t. Mark Twain

Before I talk about this new nonfiction book coming out at the end of June, I have a “small world” story. I run the social media for two restaurants that the father of my son’s best friend owns, Common Ground. To promote Common Ground in Arlington, Massachusett’s new function room, I decided to hold a pop up Holiday Market. A local children’s book author signed up … and that person turned out to be Ammi-Joan Paquette, who lives nearby. Read more…

Environmental Nonfiction Picture Books That Call Kids to Action

Environmental Nonfiction Picture Books That Call Kids to Action

Please welcome my guest author, Patricia Newman! She has a list of nonfiction books that gets kids involved in environmental issues. I added two books to her list: Rainbow Weavers/Tejedora del Arcoiris which pairs nicely with One Plastic Bag, and Follow the Moon Home which pairs with Mission: Sea Turtle Rescue.

Her book, Sea Otter Heroes: The Predators That Saved an Ecosystem, shows how these delightful sea mammals were able to save an ecosystem in Monterey Bay. That’s personal to us because it’s my husband’s hometown!

Patricia Newman talks about the accumulation of plastic and I wanted to share this article that I just read with fascination and horror:  The Atlantic’s article, A Remote Paradise Is Now a Plastic Junkyard! It’s made my family and I start a compost bin!

The Atlantic: A Remote Island is Now a Plastic Junkyard

“Henderson Island is isolated and uninhabited—but its beaches are still covered in garbage.” 

From The Atlantic. Photo by Jennifer Lavers.

How about you? Are you and your kids concerned about the environment? What kinds of things do you talk about and do?

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This is a topic close to my heart. Ever since I read an article about young scientists sailing 1,000 miles into the Pacific Ocean to study the accumulation of plastic, I’ve been on a tear to tell kids the truth about our impact on the environment. In order for Earth to continue to support us, we have to support Earth. Kids (and adults) can celebrate Earth Day every day with the following titles.

Environmental Nonfiction Books That Calls Kids to Action

Environmental HERO stories show ordinary people making an extraordinary difference.

Mama Miti by Donna Jo Napoli, illustrated by Kadir Nelson

Wangari Muta Maathai founded the Green Belt Movement that empowered African people to fight deforestation by planting trees. Expressive text and stunning illustrations bring this powerful story to life. [nonfiction picture book, ages 4 and up]


One Plastic Bag: Isatou Ceesay and the Recycling Women of the Gambia by Miranda Paul, illustrated by Elizabeth Zunon

A beautifully written tale about how one woman cared enough to rid her village of plastic waste that attracted disease-carrying insects and killed local animals. Young readers will love the solution! [nonfiction picture book, ages 6 and up]

Rainbow Weavers/Tejedora del Arcoiris by Linda Elovitz, illustrated by Elisa Chavarri Marshall

Pair this book with One Plastic Bag. It’s a similar story about the Mayan women in Guatemala. [nonfiction picture book, ages 6 and up]

Read more…

Fun Nonfiction Fact Books for Kids & GIVEAWAY!

Fun Nonfiction Fact Books for Kids & GIVEAWAY!

I’m not sure if it’s a boy versus girl thing, but my son loves nonfiction fact books much more than my two daughters ever did. I have to say that I’m enjoying learning about various topics; I feel like I’m preparing for Jeapordy! or an intense round of Trivial Pursuit.

I’m giving away a copy of My Encyclopedia of Very Important Things by DK, a gateway book for younger kids to explore nonfiction reference books. Please fill out the Rafflecopter at the bottom to enter.

What about you? Do you and your kids like nonfiction books? Thanks for sharing your favorites in the comments!

Fun Nonfiction Fact Books for Kids

My Encyclopedia of Very Important Things by DK

This is a four-color appealing encyclopedia for younger kids. With illustrations mixed with photographs, there is plenty of explanations written in short, simple sentences to keeps kids engaged. It’s perfect for young learners with lots of questions. [nonfiction illustrated encyclopedia, ages 5 and up]

It Can’t Be True 2 by DK

This is similar to National Geographic Kids 5,000 Awesome Facts [About Everything] so when you finish up that book and feel a void, continue with this series by DK. My son and I are working our way through the National Geographic Kids series of fact books and these fact based trivia books make perfect bedtime reading material because you can start and stop at any point, making for easier “lights out.” It Can’t Be True 2 series has more illustrations with bigger type than the National Geographic Kids 5,000 Awesome Facts so it might be more appealing to reluctant readers. If you read aloud to your child, you can start at a younger age, like 5 or 6. If your child is reading independently, then this series would be perfect for ages 8 and up. [nonfiction fact book, ages 6 and up]

Read more…

National Geographic Kids 3 Book GIVEAWAY!

National Geographic Kids 3 Book GIVEAWAY!

I’m thrilled to be giving away three great nonfiction books from National Geographic Kids! My son loves the Weird But True! series, the Almanacs, and weird facts about the natural world, in general.

These are books to flip around in, to marvel at the wondrous creatures in our world, and to go back to again and again. They get reluctant readers reading and both girls and boys equally are drawn to these books. They make great holiday gifts for kids, ages 8-12!

National Geographic Kids 3 Book GIVEAWAY

Happy Holidays from National Geographic Kids!
One (1) winner receives copies of:

Read more…

5 New Picture Book Biographies To Teach Kids Perseverance

5 New Picture Book Biographies To Teach Kids Perseverance

5 Picture Book Biographies To Teach Kids Perseverance

Six Dots: A Story of Young Louis Braille by Jen Bryant, illustrated by Boris Kulikov

young Louis Braille

I never knew that Louis Braille lost his vision as a little boy from an accident with an awl. By the time he was five, he was completely blind. He dreamt of reading books but even the books at the Royal School For the Blind in Paris had large raised letters and very few words. A secret code developed by a French army captain gave him an idea. Using the awl again, he spent years developing a way to simplify the captain’s code. And this code is known today as Braille! [biography picture book, ages 4 and up]

Read more…

Fannie Mae Hamer Book event

Meeting Voices of Freedom: The Fannie Mae Hamer Author and Illustrator

It was an honor and a thrill to meet author Carole Boston Weatherford and illustrator Ekua Holmes of Voices of Freedom: Fannie Lou Hamer: The Spirit of the Civil Rights Movement. Did you know that Voices of Freedom won:

  • 2016 Caldecott Honor Book
  • 2016 Robert F. Sibert Honor Book
  • 2016 John Steptoe New Talent Illustrator Award Winner

Meeting Voices of Freedom: The Fannie Mae Hamer Author and Illustrator

The book also won a silver medal at the Society of Illustrators Original Art Show, a Parent’s Choice Gold Medal, and the Flora Steiglitz Straus Award for nonfiction from Bank Street College of Education. Read more…

Who Dream of Flying

10 Books for Children Who Dream of Flying

Please welcome my guest blogger today, author Carole Boston Weatherford! Her novel in verse just came out, a stunning perspective of the accomplishments of the Tuskegee Airmen during Jim Crow WWII America. This is a family endeavor, the dramatic scratch board illustrations are by her son, Jeffrey Boston Weatherford.

You Can Fly: The Tuskegee Airmen by Carole Boston Weatherford, illustrated by Jeffrey Boston Weatherford

… before 1940, African Americans could not become pilots in the U.S. military.

Carole Boston Weatherford’s novel in verse tells the story of the Tuskegee Airman, the pioneering African-American pilots of World War II and of life for blacks during this time. Jim Crow laws permeated the military during this time; the SS Mariposa actually had a rope to separate black soldiers from white. But it also curtailed training and leadership opportunities for African Americans, both male and female. Top brass claimed that blacks for not fit to fly.

Of the more than 400,000 pilots trained by the Civilian Pilot Training Program, only 2,000 were black; less than half of a percent. With tremendous pressure to prove their worthiness,The Tuskegee Airmen earned 900 plus medals including Distinguished Crossed, Bronze Stars and Purple Hearts. Their accomplishments paved the way for full integration of the U.S. military. [novel in verse, ages 9 and up]

She created a list of books for children who dream of taking to the skies … not unlike the pioneering aviators of the Tuskegee Institute. Need more books about flying? I have a list of female aviators: Fabulous Flying Females. What books about flying did we leave out? Thanks for sharing! Read more…

Jane Goodall: Women's History Month

Jane Goodall: Women’s History Month

In July 1960, at the age of 26, Jane Goodall traveled from England to what is today Tanzania and bravely entered the little-known world of wild chimpanzees.

Today, Jane’s work revolves around inspiring action on behalf of endangered species, particularly chimpanzees, and encouraging people to do their part to make the world a better place for people, animals, and the environment we all share. National Geographic

Jane Goodall

Jane Goodall was the first to discover that wild chimpanzees were capable of making and using tools, a revelation that turned the scientific world upside down. What’s amazing to me is that she didn’t have a background in science. Fifty years later, Jane Goodall’s work is more important than ever.

Gombe Forest in Tanzania

 Map from Betchart Expeditions.

60 Minutes goes with Jane Goodall back to the Gombe Forest in Tanzania for an intimate look at her chimpanzees. Join them for this inside look. Read more…

Top 10 Hispanic American Heritage Books For Kids

Top 10 Hispanic American Heritage Books For Kids

I was confused on the nomenclature of Hispanic American versus Latino American so I looked it up:

Hispanic: a person of Latin American or Iberian ancestry, fluent in Spanish. It is primarily used along the Eastern seaboard, and favored by those of Caribbean and South American ancestry or origin.  English or Spanish can be their “native” language.

Latino: a U.S.-born Hispanic who is not fluent in Spanish and is engaged in social empowerment through Identity Politics. “Latino” is principally used west of the Mississippi, where it has displaced “Chicano” and “Mexican American.” English is probably their “native” language. “Empowerment” refers to increasing the political, social, and spiritual strength of an individual or a community, and it is associated with the development of confidence of that individual or community in their own abilities.

A simple way of remembering the difference is this: though every Latino is a Hispanic, not every Hispanic is a Latino. Hispanic is the more inclusive term.

from Hispanic Economics

And now I’m ready to celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month with some of my favorite books for kids! How about you? What books am I missing? Thanks for sharing!

National Hispanic Heritage Month is the period from September 15 to October 15 in the United States, when people recognize the contributions of Hispanic and Latino Americans to the United States and celebrate the group’s heritage and culture.

Read more…