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March 15, 2017 BOOKLIST
Find more Top 10 Series Nonfiction
A panoply of topics presents itself in this year’s best new nonfiction series. Soil, fire trucks, gross history, cartoonists, and pet mini pigs are a few of the subjects to make an appearance, guaranteeing there will be something to interest a wide range of readers.
Awfully Ancient (Gareth Stevens)
Gr. 4–8. Tackling messy topics—mangy mummies, decapitation, excrement—this series takes a lively approach to history. The colorful cartoon illustrations attack their subject matter with gusto and humor, making these informative, engaging resources.
But Is It Art? (Gareth Stevens)
Gr. 4–7. Can graffiti, tattoos, performance art, and oddball art installations really be considered art? This series asks readers to think outside of the box, utilizing eye-catching graphics and full-color photos to get young art lovers to critically evaluate art in all its forms.
Contemporary Cartoon Creators (ReferencePoint)
Gr. 6–12. Finally, a biography series about people who really matter to kids. These books look at the childhoods, influences, and careers of the creative minds behind such award-winning cartoons as The Simpsons and SpongeBob SquarePants. Fun reads, yet scholarly enough for research.
Down & Dirty: The Secrets of Soil (Bearport)
Gr. 1–3. Full of useful information, this series makes the most ordinary of substances fascinating as it explains what soil is, how it’s formed, and what it’s good for. The books are neatly laid out, with captioned color photographs and simple science experiments.
Examining Disasters (Oliver Press)
Gr. 5–8. Though books on shipwrecks, oil spills, and natural disasters aren’t hard to come by, this series stands out from the pack with its multidisciplinary approach; snazzy layouts; and compelling, clear writing. Exceptionally well organized, the text seamlessly integrates science, history, and current events.
Look Inside Machines (Flowerpot)
K–Gr. 3. This visually appealing series gets up close to some serious trucks and machinery—fire, farm, construction, big rigs—using photos and labeled cutaway illustrations to reveal the vehicles’ internal workings. Technical language mixes smoothly with bite-size facts to engage a broad range of readers.
On a Mission (Mason Crest)
Gr. 4–7. Daring and dangerous, the careers described in this series offer readers a glimpse of the training and situations encountered by the bomb squad, SWAT team, FBI, firefighters, and more. Thrilling narrative writing combines true stories with sidebar facts, color-photo illustrations, and critical-thinking prompts.
Write This Way (Lerner)
Gr. 4–7. The books in this inviting series offer solid advice to prospective authors, delving beyond the basics to discuss ways to hatch story ideas, develop characters, write rough drafts, and tackle the all-important process of revision.
Writer’s Notebook (Capstone)
Gr. 5–8. Aspiring poets and playwrights, as well as short story and nonfiction writers, will find plenty to help them hone their skills in this series. With an emphasis on providing strong foundational information and worthwhile exercises, these handsomely designed books make a real impact.
You Have a Pet What?! (Rourke)
Gr. 3–6. Adorable, full-color photos of unusual animals (mini pigs, sugar gliders, hedgehogs, etc.) give this pet-care series instant appeal. But the comprehensive text, packed with practical, clearly written information, makes these guides excellent resources in addition to delightful browsing material.
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