Sunday, October 21, 2012

100 Nonfiction Books for Grades 3-5


Here are a few non-fiction texts that I would include in an intermediate grade classroom library.  Some of these texts you might want to group together into a read aloud text set or as a set of inquiry texts that students would read together in small groups. For example, I might pull together these texts to read aloud, focusing on women who acted beyond the societal expectations of their day:


  1. Annino, J.G. (2010). She Sang Promise: The Story of Betty Mae Jumper. Illustrated by Lisa Desimini. Washington, D.C.: National Geographic Press.
  2. Dray, Philip. (2008). Yours for Justice, Ida B. Wells: The Daring Life of a Crusading Journalist. Illustrated by Stephen Alcorn. Atlanta, GA: Peachtree Publishers.
  3. Love, D. Anne (2006). Of Numbers and Stars: The Story of Hypatia. Illustrated by  Pam Paparone.  New York: Holiday House.
  4. Rappaport, Doreen. (2009). Eleanor, Quiet No More. Illustrated by Gary Kelley. New York: Hyperion.
  5. Weatherford, Carole Boston. (2006). Moses: When Harriet Tubman Led Her People to Freedom. Illustrated by Kadir Nelson. New York: Hyperion.


Or I might want to provide students with a range of choices for small group reading. These texts might be appropriate choices for a study about scientific observation.
  1. Dewey, Jennifer Owings. (2000). Antarctic Journal: Four Months at the Bottom of the World. New York: Harper Collins.
  2. McGinty, Alice B. (2009). Darwin: With Glimpses into His Private Journal and Letters. Illustrated by Mary Azarian. Boston: Houghton Mifflin.
  3. Montgomery, Sy. (2007). The Tarantula Scientist. Photographs by Nic Bishop. New York: Sandpiper.
  4. Montgomery, Sy. (2009). The Quest for the Tree Kangaroo: An Expedition to the Cloud Forest to New Guinea. Photographs by Nic Bishop. New York: Sandpiper.
  5. O'Connell, Caitlin & Donna M. Jackson. (2011). The Elephant Scientist. Illustrated by Timothy Rodwell. Boston, MA: Houghton Mifflin.
  6. Webb, Sophie. (2000). My Season with Penguins: An Antarctica Journal. Boston, MA: Houghton Mifflin.
  7. Webb, Sophie. (2004). Looking for Seabirds: Journal from an Alaskan Voyage. Boston, MA: Houghton Mifflin.
  8. Webb, Sophie. (2011). Far from Shore: Chronicles of an Open Ocean Voyage. Boston, MA: Houghton Mifflin.
I hope you will pull from this list and your own and create some interesting text sets. If you do, please include a link to your work below in the comment section.





  1. Alcorn, Stephen. (2010). Odetta: The Queen of Folk. New York: Scholastic.
  2. Ancona, George. (2010). ¡Olé Flamenco! New York: Lee & Low.
  3. Annino, J.G. (2010). She Sang Promise: The Story of Betty Mae Jumper. Illustrated by Lisa Desimini. Washington, D.C.: National Geographic Press.
  4. Bess, Hester. (2009). The Secret World of Walter Anderson. Illustrated by E.B. Lewis.  Cambridge M: Candlewick.
  5. Bgacki, Tomek. (2009). The Champion of Children: The Story of Janusz Korczak. New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux.
  6. Bowen, Fred (2010). No Easy Way: The Story of Ted Williams and the Last  .400 Season. Illustrated by Chuck Pyle. New York: Dutton Juvenile.
  7. Brown, Don. (2010). All Stations! Distress! April 15, 1912: The Day the Titanic Sank . New York: Flashpoint.
  8. Brown, Tami Lewis. (2010). Soar, Elinor! Illustrated by Francois Roca. New York: Farrar, Straus & Giroux.
  9. Bruchac, Joseph. (1998). A Boy Called Slow. New York: Puffin.
  10. Campbell, Sarah. (2010). Growing Patterns: Fibonacci Numbers in Nature. Photographs by Sarah Campbell and Richard Campbell. Honesdale, PA: Boyds Mills Press.
  11. Capaldi, Gina. (2008).  A Boy Named Beckoning: The True Story of Dr. Carlos Montezuma, Native American Hero. Minneapolis, MN: Carolrhoda.
  12. Catrow, David. (2005). We the People; The Preamble to the Constitution of the United States. New York: Puffin.
  13. Chin, Jason. (2009). Redwoods. New York: Flashpoint.
  14. Chin, Jason. (2011). Coral Reefs. New York: Flashpoint.
  15. Chin, Jason. (2012). Island: Story of the Galápagos. New York: Flashpoint.
  16. Crowe, Elli.  (2007). Surfer of the Century: The Life of Duke Kahanamoku. Illustrated by Richard Waldrep. New York: Lee & Low.
  17. D’Agnese, Joseph. (2010). Blockhead: The Life of Fibonacci. Illustrated by John O’Brien. New York: Henry Holt.
  18. Demarest, Chris. (2010). Arlington: The Story of Our Nation’s Cemetery. New York: Flash Point.
  19. Dewey, Jennifer Owings. (2000). Antarctic Journal: Four Months at the Bottom of the World. New York: Harper Collins. 
  20. Dray, Philip. (2008). Yours for Justice, Ida B. Wells: The Daring Life of a Crusading Journalist. Illustrated by Stephen Alcorn. Atlanta, GA: Peachtree Publishers.
  21. Ellis, Julie. (2004). What’s Your Angle, Pythagoras? A Math Adventure. Illustrated by Phyllis Hornung. Watertown, MA: Charlesbridge.
  22. Floca, Brian. (2009). Moonshot: The Flight of Apollo 11. New York: Atheneum.
  23. Foster, Mark. (2007). Whale Port: A History of Tuckanucket. Illustrated by Gerald L.  Foster.  Boston, MA: Houghton Mifflin.
  24. Greenberg, Jan & Sandra Jordan. (2010). Ballet for Martha: Making Appalachian Spring. Illustrated by Brian Floca. New York: Flash Point.
  25. Guiberson, Brenda Z. ( 2008). Life in the Boreal Forest.  Illustrated by Gennady Spirin. New York: Henry Holt.
  26. Jenkins, Steve. (2010). Bones: Skeletons and How They Work. New York: Scholastic.
  27. Johnson, Jen Cullerton. (2010). Seeds of Change: Wangari’s Gift to the World. Illustrated by Sonia Lynn Sadler. New York: Lee & Low.
  28. Jules, Jacqueline. (2009). Unite or Die: How Thirteen States Became a Nation. Illustrated by Jef Czekaj. Watertown, MA: Charlesbridge.
  29. Kerley, Barbara. (2008). What to Do about Alice? How Alice Roosevelt Broke the Rules, Charmed the World, and Drove Her  Father Teddy Crazy! Illustrated by Edwin Fotheringham.  New York: Scholastic.
  30. Kittinger, Jo. S. (2010). Rosa’s Bus: The Ride to Civil Rights. Illustrated by Steven Walker Honesdale, PA: Boyds Mills Press.
  31. Krull, Kathleen. (2009). The Boy Who Invented TV: The Story of Philo Farnsworth. Illustrated by Greg Couch. New York: Knopf.
  32. Kurlansky, Mark (2006). The Story of Salt. Illustrated by S.D. Schindler. NY; Putnam.
  33. Lasky, Kathryn. (2012). One Beetle Too Many: The Extraordinary Adventures of Charles Darwin. Illustrated by Matthew Trueman. Cambridge, MA: Candlewick.
  34. Lasky, Kathryn. (1994). The Librarian Who Measured the Earth. Illustrated by Kevin Hawkes. New York: Little, Brown.
  35. Love, D. Anne (2006). Of Numbers and Stars: The Story of Hypatia. Illustrated by  Pam Paparone.  New York: Holiday House.
  36. Low, William.  (2007). Old Penn Station. New York: Henry Holt.
  37. Macy, Sue. (2011). Basketball Belles: How Two Teams and One Scrappy Player Put Women’s Hoops on the Map. Illustrated by Matt Collins. New York: Holiday House.
  38. Marin, Guadalupe Rivera. (2009). My Papa Diego and Me. San Francisco, CA: Children’s Press.
  39. McGinty, Alice B. (2009). Darwin: With Glimpses into His Private Journal and Letters. Illustrated by Mary Azarian. Boston: Houghton Mifflin.
  40. Miller, Debbie S. (2006). Big Alaska.  Illustrated by John Van Zyle. New York: Walker & Company.
  41. Miller, Debbie S. (2006). The Great Serum: Blazing the Iditarod Trail.  Illustrated by John Van Zyle. New York: Walker & Company.
  42. Mochizuki, Ken. (1995). Baseball Saved Us. Illustrated by Dom Lee. New York: Lee & Low.
  43. Montgomery, Sy. (2007). The Tarantula Scientist. Photographs by Nic Bishop. New York: Sandpiper.
  44. Montgomery, Sy. (2009). The Quest for the Tree Kangaroo: An Expedition to the Cloud Forest to New Guinea. Photographs by Nic Bishop. New York: Sandpiper.
  45. Myers, Walter Dean. (2008). Ida B. Wells: Let the Truth Be Told. New York: Amistad.

  46. Nelson, Kadir. (2011). Heart and Soul: The Story of America and African Americans. New York: Balzar & Bray.
  47. Nelson, S.D. (2010). Black Elk’s Vision: A Lakota Story. New York: Abrams Books,
  48. Nelson, Vaunda Micheaux. (2009). Bad News for Outlaws: The Remarkable Life of Bass Reeves, Deputy U.S. Marshall. Illustrated by R. Gregory Christie. Minneapolis, MN: Carolrhoda.
  49. O'Connell, Caitlin & Donna M. Jackson. (2011). The Elephant Scientist. Illustrated by Timothy Rodwell. Boston, MA: Houghton Mifflin.
  50. Patent, Dorothy Hinshaw. (2009). When the Wolves Returned: Restoring Nature’s Balance in Yellowstone. Illustrated by Dan Hartman. Walker Childrens.
  51. Pearce, Q. L (2011). Red Bird Sings: The Story of Zitkala-Sa, Native American Author, Musician, and Activist. Illustrated by Gina Capaldi. Milkbrook Press.
  52. Pfeffer, Wendy. (2007). A Log’s Life. New York: Aladdin.
  53. Pinkney, Andrea Davis. (2008). Boycott Blues: How Rosa Parks Inspired a Nation. Illustrated by Brian Pinkney. New York: Greenwillow.
  54. Ramsey, Calvin Alexander. (2010). Ruth and the Green Book. Illustrated by Floyd Cooper. Minneapolis, MN: Carolrhoda Books.
  55. Rappaport, Doreen. (2008). Abe’s Honest Words: The Life of Abraham Lincoln. Illustrated by Kadir Nelson. New York: Hyperion.
  56. Rappaport, Doreen. (2009). Eleanor, Quiet No More. Illustrated by Gary Kelley. New York: Hyperion.
  57. Rappaport, Doreen. (2010). Jack’s Path of Courage: The Life of John F. Kennedy. Illustrated by Matt Tavares. New York: Hyperion.
  58. Ray, Deborah Kogan. (2007). Down the Colorado: John Wesley Powell, the One-Armed Explorer. New York: Farrar, Straus & Giroux.
  59. Ripken, Carl. (2007). The Longest Season: The Story of the Orioles’ 1988. Illustrated by Ron Mazellan. New York: Philomel.
  60. Robbins, Ken. (2010). For Good Measure: The Ways We Say How Much, How Far, How Heavy, How Big, How Old. New York: Flashpoint.
  61. Schwatrz, David M. (2011). Where in the Wild? Camouflaged Creatures  Concealed—and Revealed: Ear-Tickling Poems. San Francisco, CA: Tricycle Press.
  62. Shea, Pegi Deitz. (2007). Patience Wright: America’s First Sculptor and Revolutionary Spy. Illustrated by Bethanne Andersen.  New York: Henry Holt.
  63. Siy, Alexander. (2007). Sneeze! Photographs by Dennis Kunkle. Watertown, MA: Charlesbridge Publishing.
  64. Siy, Alexander. (2007). Mosquito Bite. Photographs by Dennis Kunkle. Watertown, MA: Charlesbridge Publishing.
  65. Sneve, Virginia Driving Hawk (Sioux). (2011). The Christmas Coat: Memories of My Sioux Childhood. Illustrated by Ellen Beier. New York: Holiday House.
  66. Talbott, Hudson. (2009). River of Dreams: The Story of the Hudson River. New York: Putnam.
  67. Van Allsburg, Chris. (2010). Queen of the Falls. Boston, MA: Houghton Mifflin.
  68. Weatherford, Carole Boston. (2006). Moses: When Harriet Tubman Led Her People to Freedom. Illustrated by Kadir Nelson. New York: Hyperion.
  69. Webb, Sophie. (2000). My Season with Penguins: An Antarctica Journal. Boston, MA: Houghton Mifflin.
  70. Webb, Sophie. (2004). Looking for  Seabirds: Journal from an Alaskan Voyage. Boston, MA: Houghton Mifflin.
  71. Webb, Sophie. (2011). Far from Shore: Chronicles of an Open Ocean Voyage. Boston, MA: Houghton Mifflin.
  72. Weitzman,  David L. (2009). Pharaoh’s Boat.  Boston, MA: Houghton Mifflin.
  73. White, Linda Arms. (2005). I Could Do That! Esther Morris Gets Women the Vote. Illustrated by Nancy Carpenter. New York: Farrar, Straus & Giroux.
  74. Wise, Bill. (2009). Louis Sockalexis: Native American Baseball Pioneer. Illustrated by Bill Farnsworth. New York: Lee & Low.
  75. Yoo, Paula. (2009). Shining Star: The Anna May Wong Story. Illustrated by Lin Wang. New York: Lee & Low.
  76. Yoo, Paula. (2010). Sixteen Years in Sixteen Seconds: The Sammy Lee Story. Illustrated by Dom Lee. New York: Lee & Low.

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