10 Must-Have Nonfiction Books for Every Elementary Classroom

Are you having trouble getting some students to read? For your fiction lovers, there are so many popular series right now - Harry Potter, the Hunger Games, and Percy Jackson to name a few.

Some of your reluctant readers might prefer nonfiction. While there is absolutely nothing wrong with the fiction genre, it is also important that we incorporate non-fiction books into our classrooms and households as well. Nonfiction can help support learning in both science and social studies, as well as broaden students' experiences about the world and careers.
Discover ten must-have nonfiction books and series for every elementary classroom!  Post focuses on books for elementary and middle school students. Post summarizes each book and provides the target age range for the book or series.

With the new Common Core Standards, nonfiction readings are being heavily encouraged. At nearly every grade level, students are expected to develop research skills across content areas with a strong focus on nonfiction, including literary nonfiction, essays, biographies and autobiographies, journals and technical manuals, and charts, graphs, and maps (ASCD.org, 2012)

Here are ten must-have nonfiction books and series for every intermediate classroom!
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“If I Ran for President” by Catherine Stier- grades 1-3.

This children’s book offers an exploration into the election process in the United States. The different parts of the election process are broken down into easily understood terms and sentences. Our youngest readers will come away with the basic knowledge of how a person can run for president and how they are elected.

Let’s Read and Find Out series - grades 2-4.

This children’s book series is broken into two levels, 1 and 2, based upon age and grade level. Each book is science themed, which supports the recent STEM push in our schools. Students will find the topics easy to understand and engaging.

Seymour Simon books - grades 3-4.

Author Seymour Simon has AMAZING science books. The photographs in his books are beautiful and really bring his subjects to life. His books cover various topics, including planets, bugs and insects, weather, and the ocean. Simon's books have won many awards.

Who Was?/Who Is? Series - grades 3-6.

This series contains the biographies of many famous individuals from Abraham Lincoln and Benjamin Franklin, all the way to the Beatles and George Lucas! The What was series is also expanding, and now includes What were the Twin Towers? and What is the Statue of Liberty?

Mike Venezia books - grades 4-6.

Author Mike Venezia also offers a wonderful and in-depth series of biographies that intermediate aged-students will love to read! His biography series include the World’s Greatest Artists, Composers, Scientists and Inventors, and U.S. Presidents.

National Geographic Kids Readers - grades 1-4.

Just like the magazine, the National Geographic Readers have amazing photographs of their subjects. This series includes both scientific and historical topics, including wildfires, mummies, and Ellis Island. This series has 4 levels, pre-reader - 4 (chapter books). This series will help your classroom library engage readers of all levels!

Christine Taylor-Butler books - grades 4-6.

Author Christine Taylor-Butler is an author who has written many young adult books in the subjects of American History, American Government, Earth and Planet Sciences, the Human Body, Technology, and World Culture. Her books include many photographs, which will appeal to older students.

Calling All Innovators: A Career For You - grades 6-8.

The books in this series explore the careers available for those students who are interested in STEM-related fields. They explain the importance of STEM subjects and how to use STEM skills to problem solve in the real world. A few of the titles include Roller Coasters, Apps, and Genetic Engineering.


Diary of A Young Girl - Anne Frank by B.M. Mooyart - grades 6-8.

This widely-popular novel contains the diary of Anne Frank, as she tells her story of growing up and living through the horrific conditions of the Holocaust.

“I Am Malala: How One Girl Stood Up for Education and Changed the World” by Malala Yousefzai - grades 7-8.

The youngest Nobel Peace Prize winner, Malala Yousefzai, fought for her right to an education at the age of 15. As a result for her standing her ground, she was shot in the head and expected not to survive. She has become a symbol of peaceful protest. This novel demonstrates to our students the importance of standing up for what they believe in.
Discover ten must-have nonfiction books and series for every elementary classroom!  Post focuses on books for elementary and middle school students. Post summarizes each book and provides the target age range for the book or series.
These books provide valuable knowledge and information. They also make learning fun and enjoyable, while still providing factual information. If you could add your favorite nonfiction books to the list, which would you pick and why? I would love to know!

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