My Top 10 Non Fiction Books (for right now anyway)

I have been thinking about what my 10 favorite nonfiction (#NF10for10) book list would include. Limiting myself to just 10, is kind of like having to choose my favourite child. There are so many fabulous nonfiction books here in our library!

In the end I decided to limit it to picture books types. I've included a few books for Black History month, and then branched out. Some are old and some are new.

Viola Desmond Won't be Budged by Jody Nyasha Warner and Richard Rudnicki

Viola Desmond is sometimes called the Canadian Rosa Parks. She was asked to move from a white only section of a movie theater and refused. Even though she offered to pay the extra ticket price, she was arrested, ended up in jail overnight and was fined the next day for not paying it.

Ellington was Not a Street by Ntozake Shange

A young girl tells of the many visitors to their house. The text and images together are exquisite. It introduces readers to many influential black men. At the end is more detailed information about each of them. 
 Wilma Unlimited: How Wilma Rudolph Became the World's Fastest Woman by Kathleen Krull

This is not only one of my favourite books for Black History month, it's one of my favourite NF books of all times. Wilma has inspired many groups of children across my teaching career. Most recently, after reading it to groups of primary children, a parent come to tell me that his son came home and excitedly retold them the whole story.
Living Sunlight: How Plants Bring the Earth to Life by Molly Bang and Penny Chisholm

I adore anything that Molly Bang writes, but this might be one of my new favourites. The text is easy to comprehend, and her illustrations in this book are dramatically glorious.
The Tree Lady by H. Joseph Hopkins

I have been waiting for this book. It finally arrived just this morning. It is the amazing story of Kate Sessions, who had a vision to bring trees to the landscape of San Diego. The illustrations are rich and full of detail. The text is simple and powerful.
What Does it Mean to Be Green? by Rana DiOrio Illustrated by Chris Blair

This is part of a series. The playful illustrations and simple text that pair together perfectly.
The Boy Who Loved Math by Deborah Heiligman illustrated by LeUyen Pham

I love mathematics and so I love books about mathematicians. The young Paul Erdos, "didn't like rules in life, but liked rules in numbers." Paul was fascinated by, and full of questions about numbers, especially prime numbers. In spite of his genius, he was incompetent in many other ways.
No Monkeys No Chocolate by Melissa Stewart and Allen Young Illustrated by Nicole Wong

This is a book about how cocoa grows within its specific ecosystem. It is entertaining and delightful to read. It has a fabulous website that accompanies it and lets readers know how a book comes to fruition.
What Lily Gets from the Bee and Other Pollination Facts by Ellen Lawrence

This is one of the books from the Plantology series I got for the library this year. They are wonderful because they are filled with all kinds of text features including stunning photographs, fact boxes, and labels. Together with the text, the process of pollination easy to understand.
Dinosaurs and me by Marie Greenwood

This is a DK book so it is one of those perfect books for kids who just like to pick up a book, open it and read. Plus, it's about dinosaurs.


  1. A great list - and one worth waiting for! (Hope you are on the mend) Your post shouts about the power of great books shared! Love the feedback from the little boy's family! So pleased to see some of my favourites here - The Boy who Loved Math and No Monkeys No Chocolate have been favourites in my room this year!

  2. Have you taken your kids (at home and school) to the interactive website/timeline for No Monkeys No Chocolate? it is amazing story all on its own - you can spend a lot of time there.

    1. Yes! I shared with kids at school - even though wifi kept crashing We watched some of videos