Introducing young readers to non-fiction

Non-fiction books are a wonderful way for children to explore the world around them.  They can travel through time to visit ancient Egypt or just across the globe to see how the Chinese celebrate their New Year.  Non-fiction books can help promote a love of learning by tapping into a child’s interests.  Does your child love dolphins?  Why not use that interest as an opportunity to learn more about his or her favorite animal?  The amount of knowledge we can gain from reading non-fiction books is infinite!  But you may be wondering how to introduce your child to this genre.  Fortunately, there are a few great book series available that have made it easy for us as parents.  These highly engaging series will have your child reaching for a new non-fiction book each time he or she visits the library!

Introducing Young Readers to Non-fiction by Worn Out Pages

Non-fiction books for Early Readers

Step Into Reading books have long been a staple in teaching children how to read.  This series organizes its books into five easy steps to help parents and teachers choose the right books for their new readers:

Step 1: Ready to read

Step 2: Reading with help

Step 3: Reading on your own

Step 4: Reading paragraphs

Step 5: Ready for chapters

This series offers non-fiction books for even the youngest children who are ready to read.  Step 1 and Step 2 books are 32 pages in length and feature simple words and rhyming phrases, as well as picture clues to help children understand the text.  Steps 3 through 5 advance as you would expect as the children’s reading ability grows.  Each of the books in Steps 3 through 5 are 48 pages in length and present the facts as a story.  This series features biographies, animals, science, sports, and some of your child’s favorite characters from popular shows such as Wild Kratts and Dr. Seuss’s The Cat in the Hat.  Parents and teachers can use the convenient “Book Finder” feature on the Step Into Reading website to find just the right book for each child’s reading level.  With new books being added all the time, you are sure to find something of interest to even your youngest readers.

Buy Step Into Reading books here.

National Geographic Kids offers non-fiction books and atlases in high interest subject areas such as animals and nature, biographies, culture, sports and adventure, and science and space.  These eye-catching books feature brightly colored and interesting photographs that are sure to fascinate even your most discriminating young readers.  I’ve seen some of the smaller books at The Dollar Tree and in the Dollar Spot at Target, making them a bargain for parents or teachers.  Some, but not all, of the National Geographic Kids books are leveled.

Buy National Geographic Kids books here.

Non-fiction chapter books

If you have a young reader who is new to chapter books, then I’m sure they have already discovered the Magic Tree House series by Mary Pope Osborne.  But did you also know that there are non-fiction companion guides to go along with many of these books?   The Magic Tree House Fact Tracker series is an excellent way for children to expand on their new knowledge that they gain from the regular books, which are typically of the historical fiction genre.  I was introduced to these books when my daughter purchased the Titanic bundle from her Scholastic Book Fair.  In the bundle was book #17 Tonight on the Titanic and the Fact Tracker non-fiction companion book Titanic.  My daughter read Tonight on the Titanic and was fascinated by the story.  She was eager to learn more about the Titanic, so having the Fact Tracker companion book to go along with it was incredible!  As a first grader, it was amazing to me how much of an interest she had in something that happened over 100 years ago!  What a genius idea to create a completely separate non-fiction book so that children can continue to learn long after the story is over.

Buy Magic Tree House Fact Tracker books here.

The Who Was books have become an incredibly popular non-fiction series.  What started out as a biography series for kids has morphed into a fantastic selection of non-fiction books about not only people, but places and events, as well.  The Who Was part of the series features biographies about famous people past and present.  The What Was part of the series features a detailed account of a notable historical events.   Where Is is the newest part of the series that highlights well-known landmarks.  This is a large series that is growing all the time, which is a good thing because your child will never be lacking a entertaining non-fiction chapter book with these around.  These books are a quick read for middle grade readers, but provide pertinent information in an age appropriate manner.  They are a super way to introduce your children to non-fiction books!

Buy Who Was Books here.

Do you know of a great non-fiction series that you’d like to share?  Tell me about it in the comments below!

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