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Kids’ Summer Reading: Non-Fiction Recommendations from Parents

What will YOUR kids be reading this Summer? We asked a number of parents we know that question, and ended up with a fantastic list of great reads, which is sure to inspire!

big questions from little peopleThe majority of the books nominated were novels and chapter books, but some kids simply prefer fact books, and others read broadly across fiction and non-fiction.

Here are the non-fiction books those kids will be reading: favourites which they re-read over and over again, new releases they’ve picked out, and a few surprises they’ll be discovering in their Christmas stockings.

(Click on the titles or cover images below to read more about each book or purchase a copy.)

Big Questions from Little People … Answered by Some Very Big People contains answers to 120 questions asked by kids from 5 to 12. We had to smile when one mum told us:

‘my daughter prefers fact over fiction and re-reads this every opportunity she gets.
It is perfect for bedtime reading as the answer to each question only takes up a page or two.
But we have recently decided that I don’t need to read it aloud to her again until I have forgotten the answers to all the questions!’

Guinness World Records is a popular choice with many kids (boys especially), both reluctant and enthusiastic readers. As one mum told us, her boys read plenty of other things but ‘both pore over this from time to time.’ Ripley’s Special Edition has similar appeal.

Adam Spencers Enormous Book of NumbersThe mind-stretching Adam Spencer’s Enormous Book of Numbers and Wordburger from David Astle are both going to occupy kids for hours these holidays!

One travel-minded family we surveyed is enjoying This is Paris and the other books in the series (facsimiles of titles originally published in the 1950s and 60s, with highly-detailed illustrations and plenty of nostalgia appeal) as well as Usborne lift-the-flap books on architecture, like See Inside Famous Buildings.

City Atlas is also going to be in a Christmas stocking or two!

One mum told us that as well as enjoying sports-based fiction like The Kaboom Kid and Glenn Maxwell series, her 12 year old is looking forward to receiving The Keepers (technically an adult book). He and his brother are both very keen athletes and have also picked up Usain Bolt’s Faster than Lightning, although their mum cautions ‘my nine-year-old is loving this but I wouldn’t necessarily recommend it for most kids his age due to a few slightly PG rated sections! His older brother is eagerly waiting his turn.’

Malala the girl who stood up for educationAnd finally, I’ve chosen two inspiring memoirs as gifts for kids in my family: the young readers’ edition of Malala Yousafzai’s story, Malala: The Girl Who Stood Up for Education and Changed the World, and the ‘junior’ edition of Ugly by Australia’s Robert Hoge.

For more:

See our Summer Reading Novels and Chapter Books List and our selection of 10 Spectacular and Intriguing Non-Fiction Books for Kids.

We have to say a huge thank-you to all the parents – publishing and book industry colleagues, family, friends and friends-of-friends – who took time to help us with this and our other Summer Reading lists. We hope you’ve all discovered some wonderful new reads in the process!

What will your kids be reading this Summer? We’d love to hear from you in comments.

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