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Find more Top 10 Series Nonfiction
There’s a certain sense of maturity to this year’s list of the top 10 nonfiction series launched in the past year. Thankfully, series on cell-phone safety, global disasters, and the dark side of sports are buoyed by some of our old favorites: cool jobs, cryptozoology, and weather.
Cell Phones and Society (ReferencePoint)
Gr. 9–12. Tackling a topic near and dear to teen readers’ hearts (and hands), this series looks at a
number of pressing issues, from privacy to health to culture. Compelling anecdotes bring home the sometimes difficult, but always enlightening, lessons.
Community Helpers (Bullfrog)
Pres–Gr. 1. Glossy, full-bleed photos bring a certain pop to this look at ordinary adult professions from mail carrier to firefighter.
What sets this series further apart is its willingness to reveal the unpleasant sides of each
job while still maintaining comforting tones.
Disaster Science (Cherry Lake)
Gr. 3–6. Though admittedly a tad grim, this series remains irrefutably fascinating as it applies scientific
principles and methods to a host of post-disaster scenarios ranging from plane crashes and
bridge collapses to oil spills and pandemic outbreaks—a sort of large-scale CSI.
Enduring Mysteries (Creative Education)
Gr. 5–8. Countless series have examined Area 51, the Loch Ness Monster, Bigfoot—you know the other likely suspects.
But this series excels at setting the historical stages upon which each legend grew, establishing cultural touch points, and bringing it to (scary) life with big, glossy photos.
Issues in Sports (ABDO)
Gr. 4–7. Sports are a perennial favorite on series shelves, but this intelligent, concise series
brings some much-needed gravity to the topic with sober titles such as High-Pressure Youth Sports, Equality in Sports, and Injuries and Sports. Great material for the youth sports star who might also be a reluctant essayist.
Jobs in My School (Rosen/PowerKids)
PreS–Gr. 2. This series understands that the jobs that intrigue kids are often the ones they see being
done around them every day. Yes, there are volumes on teachers and principals, but also
ones on janitors and secretaries—and it’s all executed with respect and illustrated with fly-on-the-wall photos.
Magic Science (Barron’s)
Gr. 3–6. Lively cartoon illustrations and an unflaggingly upbeat tone spur this irresistible series of home-experiment books. The ideas are creative and surprising, the instructions always clear, and the science explanations thoughtful. Pull up a chair, budding inventors.
The Smart Kid’s Guide to Everyday Life (Child’s World)
Gr. 2–4. With volumes on divorce, moving, pet death, and more, this series certainly could have been a
major bummer. But it elevates each topic—thereby making it graspable and surmountable—with historical background, light science, noncondescending language, and squiggly
The Story of the Civil Rights Movement in Photographs (Enslow)
Gr. 5–8. Short but punchy, each title in this succinctly written series introduces significant figures in such civil rights moments as the Montgomery bus boycott, the Freedom Riders, and the Little Rock Nine. This offers up a chronological look at key events with a you-are-there immediacy.
Weather Wise (Heinemann)
PreS–Gr. 1. The titles in this series (Rain, Snow, Wind, etc.) may seem familiar, but to the youngest level of readers, they are eye-openers, pairing canny explanations of hard-to-describe concepts with lovely and vivid photographs perfectly chosen to provoke delighted reactions.
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