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Best Non-Fiction Books from 2019

Reading the non-fiction that comes in from all the leading children’s publishers in the UK is a great pleasure and I have seen it transformed in the eight years that I have been doing it. Here are some of the best non-fiction books I have seen in the last year

Best Non-Fiction Books for Key Stage 1

Pastimes and Toys: Tell Me What You Remember

Pastimes and Toys: Tell Me What You Remember

Recount/Information Text

This book explores the memories that people have of the different toys they enjoyed as a child and these first-person accounts bring the information to life. The chapters divide the toys into different categories and each category has memories from different decades showing development over time. The photographs brilliantly illustrate the memories and break the text up nicely. It is a White banded book and is an engaging and interesting read.

 

Ada Lovelace: First Facts

Biography

This interesting short biography introduces the life, historical contexts, achievements and legacy of this intriguing computer pioneer. Full-page portraits and photographs, fact boxes, glossary boxes and captions help to reduce the text and make the information accessible. It is a White banded book and is very inviting to read and enjoy.

Rivers of the United Kingdom: Great Rivers

Rivers of the United Kingdom: Great Rivers

Information Text

With facts and figures, maps, photographs and short descriptions of the uses and features of six UK rivers, and the details and locations of more, this accessible book offers young geographers a brilliant introduction to the waterways of the UK. The Gold book banded text is presented in small chunks and fact boxes and the photographs, from an osprey hunting fish in the River Tweed to canoeists riding the tidal bore on the River Severn, are dramatic and eye-catching.

Ali and Annie’s Guide to Feeling Good About Yourself

Ali and Annie’s Guide to Feeling Good About Yourself

Persuasive Text

This perfectly pitched and timely book explores the choices we can make to promote a healthy body and mind; from drinking water, being active, social activity and getting enough sleep to being kind and positive to yourself and others and having a positive attitude to making mistakes and challenges. This White banded book includes modern photography of many different children across a range of activities and a variety of appropriate and practical tips.

Sound: Boom Science

Sound: Boom Science

Explanation/InstructionText

This exciting illustrated non-fiction text with comic book style features highlights key curriculum information in a fun and engaging way. There are interesting facts, quiz-style activities, diagrams, comic strips and instructions for practical experiments in this fun Lime banded text. The bright colours, illustration style, activities and design of this book make it feel dynamic and holds the attention of readers.

Amphibians Live on Land and in Water

Amphibians Live on Land and in Water: In the Animal Kingdom

Information Text 

This bold, captivating scrapbook-style text introduces children to simple animal classification and is packed with stunning photography. It features a beautiful photographic life-cycle of a frog and lots of stunning photographs of fascinating amphibians to illustrate key information about amphibians as individual species and as a group. This book has been banded Purple and is part of a lively series on each class in the Animal Kingdom.

 

Best Non-Fiction Books for Key Stage 2

Roman Sites: Historical Places of the United Kingdom

Roman Sites: Historical Places of the United Kingdom

Information Text

By examining the Roman invasion of Britain through a remarkable selection of Roman archaeological sites this book really ties the history to a place and makes it feel more real and accessible. The aerial photography of Roman forts, roads and amphitheatres make the archaeology jump out at the reader and the chunks of text describe what the Romans were doing there and why. This spot on curriculum book has bee levelled at Dark Red and brings readers closer than ever before to the Romans who lived, marched, played and fought in Britain.

The Genius of The Benin Kingdom

The Genius of The Benin Kingdom

Information Text

This book summarises the history of the Kingdom of Benin and looks in more detail at the rulers, social structure, religion, warfare, Benin City, trade, farming, art and crafts and medicine. Features include photographs of stunning artefacts and ‘Brain Wave’ and ‘Test of Time’ text boxes that highlight inventions of the Benin Kingdom and aspects that survive today. This book gives readers a window into African history, a vibrant, skilful, successful, wealthy and powerful history, that has been denied and ignored for too long.

Stone Age: Writing History

Stone Age: Writing History

Information/Instruction Text

Alongside an informative text about the Stone Age and excellent supporting illustrations and photographs, this book encourages readers to use their new-found knowledge to complete a variety of engaging writing activities. Whether writing a job advert for a flint miner at Grimes Graves, an estate agent's blub for a Ukrainian mammoth bone hut, or an interview with a stone age farmer, these short activities give purpose to the reading and help pupils to retain their knowledge.

Eco-Cities: Putting the Planet First

Eco-Cities: Putting the Planet First

Information/Explanation text

This bright and dynamic looking book is packed with contemporary graphics and photographs and uses icons, charts, infographics and clear text to inform and educate. This book is also a hopeful and very positive response to the climate emergency showing up to date projects designed to create a more sustainable future. It is a pleasure to read, a high-interest subject for many young readers and invites you to pick it up.

The Digestive System: The Bright & Bold Human Body

The Digestive System: The Bright & Bold Human Body

Explanation Text

This stand-out book with a strong graphic style is a clear and appealing breakdown of the digestive process for readers in upper KS2. This book starts with an overview of the digestive system before taking each stage one by one and ending with digestive issues and healthy eating information. The detail is fascinating and accessible and includes brightly coloured diagrams and close-up photographs of the inside of the body. It is an irresistible read with plenty to discover and pour-over.

Earthquakes: Geographics

Earthquakes: Geographics

Explanation/Information Text

This high-interest infographic style text for upper KS2 is packed with maps, cut-away diagrams, graphics, photos, fact files and clear and concise text. The joy of this book is the clarity of the information and the layout which make it a pleasure to read and easy to navigate. It offers a surprising and significant depth of knowledge presented in an encouraging style that keeps children reading.

Materials: Adventures in STEAM

Materials: Adventures in STEAM

Information/Explanation/Instruction Text

Materials science is undoubtedly one of the most exciting areas of modern science but usually KS2 science books on the subject are rather dull and dry…this book, however, is a notable exception. The neon contemporary graphic style demands attention and the skilfully organised text draws many different aspects of the subject together to deepen children’s understanding in an exciting, new way. There are diagrams, flow charts, graphics and practical experiments. States of matter, mixtures, irreversible reactions, different types of materials and their properties and uses, composites, famous inventors and recycling are all covered. This text is exciting to look at and rich in interesting detail, from the viscosity of ketchup to how bulletproof vests are made, on all things material from magma to graphene.

Gymnastics: Get Active

Gymnastics: Get Active

Instruction Text

This practical guide offers instruction on how young gymnasts can develop their skills gradually and is accessible to those with little experience as well as of interest to those who already enjoy this sport. Young male and female gymnasts feature in the photographs that support the text and many different specialisms in this sport are represented. ‘Try This’ boxes encourage children to have a go and suggest safe and accessible activities that can be practised at home.

Posted in General By Marcia - Book Collections Manager

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