10 Great Nonfiction Books


It’s great to be able to participate in the #nf10for10 movement. I’ve enjoyed reading others’ posts, and I’m excited to add mine. These books are essential in my fourth grade classroom, whether as recommendations for students or as texts for lessons.


Bad News for Outlaws by Vaunda Micheaux Nelson – This is a fantastic nonfiction biography about someone you haven’t heard of. Consider using it in a lesson about headings or main idea.


Biggest, Strongest, Fastest by Steve Jenkins – Visualizing in nonfiction is so much different than in fiction. Use this book to teach how nonfiction authors help readers visualize through comparisons.


Smile by Raina Telgemeier – This book won the Young Hoosier Book Award, my state’s student-chosen literature award. It is never on the shelf.


14 Cows for America – by Carmen Agra Deedy – Amazing artwork accompanies an amazing story. It’s perfect for teaching making connections, especially if you pair it with another text about 9/11.


Elizabeth Leads the Way – by Tanya Lee Stone – My students are floored to learn that women have had the right to vote for less than 100 years. Use this book to teach almost any reading strategy, especially anything related to character.


Pigs, Pizza, and Poetry – by Jack Prelutsky – Half biography, half instructional book, all hilarious. I time this chapter book read-aloud right before we begin writing some poems of our own.


Worst of Friends – by Suzanne Tripp Jurmain – There is no book better for teaching comparing and contrast than this story of the feud between Thomas Jefferson and John Adams. I will use it for years.


Zombie Makers – by Rebecca Johnson – This book will turn your stomach. This also means it will turn the most distracted student into an attentive listener.


Dark Emperor – by Joyce Sidman – If you have a student who won’t venture outside nonfiction, this is the perfect book. It is a blend of poetry with nonfiction sidebars that those kids will love.


Indiana – by Bettina Ling – As a fourth grade teacher, I need to introduce state history to my students. I was able to get 30 copies of this book, and it is so much more engaging than reading the textbook.

I’m sure there are many books I am leaving off this list. Maybe 10 more in the future? We’ll see…


About mrwhitehb

I teach 4th grade and am the chair of the Young Hoosier Book Award Committee for grades 4-6.

Posted on February 22, 2015, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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