The best nonfiction books for classroom library are presented in this article. Kids will love reading and learning.

Although fiction books are fun to read, even the most reluctant readers enjoy nonfiction books on topics that interest them. Book clubs and great classroom libraries feature diverse books to help shape students’ education, promoting their understanding of the world and providing them with accurate information and knowledge about various subjects.

We’ve created a list of books for school and classroom libraries that students love, and teachers can incorporate into their lessons. We’ve divided the article into book topics sections to help you organize your classroom library and book bins. Each section features a brief overview of the type of nonfiction book, why students should read books on these topics, how teachers can use the books in their class, and suggestions of books for grade school, middle, and high school.

Check out these amazing books, or skip to the main content and section that interests you the most. The list of books and book topics includes biographies, science, history, nature, geography, and technology books.


What are biographies?

A biography is a well-researched true story of the life of famous and influential individuals, including historical figures, political leaders, athletes, artists, and other public figures. Biographies typically cover a person’s early life, education, career, relationships, accomplishments, challenges, and significant events.

The purpose of a biography is to give readers a comprehensive understanding of the subject’s life, personality, and impact on the world. Biographies are written in various styles, ranging from academic to narrative, and can take the form of books, articles, or other written works. They can also be fictional or nonfiction books.

Why should students read biographies?

A biography inspires students showing how one person made a difference in the world, achieving great things despite obstacles. Students experience empathy and a greater understanding of diverse perspectives when reading about a person’s struggles and triumphs. In addition, biographies provide school students with a deeper understanding of historical events when they study the lives of individuals who lived through those events.

Reading biographies improve school students’ reading, comprehension, and research skills. In addition, it encourages critical thinking and helps students develop analytical skills and form opinions about the person’s impact, motivations, and actions.

Ordinary People Change the World Gift Set – Brad Meltzer

This gift set features the true stories of Abraham Lincoln, Amelia Earhart, Rosa Parks, and Albert Einstein. Each book has an uplifting message to inspire youngsters. With these titles, 5-8-year-olds can dream their dreams of ordinary people becoming heroes. Each picture focuses on a character trait that made this ordinary person extraordainy. Excellently researched, in a conversational tone, the picture book biography gives facts, a timeline of key events, and childhood moments that influenced the person.

I am Malala (the girl who stood u for education and changed the world) – Malala Yousafzai, Patricia McCormick

Malala’s father, Ziauddin Yousafi, fought for women’s rights his entire life, and his daughter stood up for education for girls in Pakistan. However, it took an epic event, Malala (awarded Nobel Peace Prize) being shot in the head by a Taliban member, to make their plight and story known outside the borders of Pakistan.

The First Tycoon: The epic life of Cornelius Vanderbilt – T. J. Stiles

This groundbreaking, dramatic biography will grab the attention of even the most reluctant teens. Meticulously researched and well-written, the story of Cornelius Vanderbilt’s humble beginnings, through force of will, transforms into one of the richest men in the United States. His life is also the story of America’s rise; he helped launch the transportation revolution, propel the Gold Rush, reshaped Manhattan, and devised the modern corporation.

How to use biographies in the classroom

Biographies are great nonfiction books for a classroom library to inspire students to never give up on their dreams. Teachers can use biographies to teach historical events and important figures or incorporate biographies for interdisciplinary lessons. Group discussions and debates can supplement reading a biography for a more in-depth perspective.


What are science books?

Science books cover a wide range of scientific topics, science experiments, theories, inventions, and discoveries. They range from comprehensive textbook-style reference books for different grade levels to popular science books for a general audience. Likewise, reading nonfiction science books exposes students to a wide range of subjects, including physics, biology, chemistry, and astronomy.

Why should children read science books?

Science books present science in an accessible and engaging way so that students can learn and understand scientific concepts and the natural world. In addition, science books offer a foundation of knowledge about key scientific concepts and ideas that improve kids’ scientific literacy, which is valuable not only in the school classroom but in their daily lives.

Children gain a deeper understanding of the natural world and learn valuable skills that will serve them well in their adulthood when reading nonfiction books with science-related topics. In addition, science books are great building blocks for children interested in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) careers.

The Boy Who Loved Math: The improbable life of Paul Erdos – Deborah Heligman

With rich illustrations and lyrical text, this picture book tells the amazing story of Paul Erdos. Give him your date of birth; at the age of four, he could calculate in his head the number of seconds you’ve been alive. The book talks about the unique character traits that made Paul Erdos a great man, and simultaneously, it introduces young students to the world of math. It’s a fascinating read and one of the best book recommendations for second to fifth-graders.

The Disappearing Spoon, Young Readers Edition: And other true tales of rivalry, adventure, and the history of the word from the periodic table of elements – Sam Kean

If you don’t think chemistry is fun and dislike the periodic table, then you probably haven’t read the New York Times bestseller story of the disappearing spoon. This is a great classroom library book to read fascinating tales of adventures and conflict and to learn the history behind chemistry from the perspective of the elements of the periodic table.

The Elegant Universe: Superstrings hidden dimensions, and the quest for the ultimate theory – Brian Greene

This amazing book is an excellent introduction to string theory for students and the general public. Despite the complex topic, Brian Green, one of the world’s leading string theorists, explains it in a clear and helpful manner. Using everyday examples most people relate to, like the garden hose universe, Green presents the curled-up dimensions in String Theory and how they are hidden and connected to extended dimensions. This book is an excellent science book for teen readers interested in the mysteries of the universe, from the smallest quarks to supernovas. 

How to use science books in the classroom

Science books are the best nonfiction books for your classroom to interest children in science and STEM-related topics. Many science books present scientific principles in an engaging manner with fun, entertaining, hands-on activities.

A reluctant reader could be inspired to read how to do science experiments, which may lead to a love for reading and science. In addition, teachers can assign science STEM books from the school library for students to research specific scientific topics or use as supplements for class lessons.


What are history books?

A history book is a type of book that focuses on events, people, and societies of the past, not just locally but around the world. They are great for a class library to cover a wide variety of topics and events that shaped the world, including historical figures, wars, revolutions, cultural trends, and political movements. History books are written for all reading levels, from children to general readers and academics. 

Why should students read history books?

History books are excellent resources for anyone interested in understanding the past, how it shaped the present, and lessons to learn for the future. A fascinating book isn’t necessarily always a fiction book; narrative history books can be as engaging and entertaining for a wide range of readers.

However, the difference is that history book categories aren’t imagined and made-up stories but ccelebratereal-life events. It teaches kids the chronological account of events and the legacy of historical figures giving insight into who they were, their beliefs, and their impact on history. History books are also comprehensive resources providing detailed information for students to research periods, topics, and people in history. 

Who Was…?: Children’s biography series set of 12 books

This book series features twelve historical figures from different eras covering a wide range of historical topics, from scientists to world leaders and artists. The illustrated book set is a great addition to the class library for history and biography books for children in grade school. The history books set includes a variety of voices with interesting facts youngsters appreciate and brings these historical figures to life. Children discover who was Albert Einstein, Amelia Earhart, Marco Polo, William Shakespeare, King Tut, Sacagawea, Claude Monet, Neil Armstrong, Mark Twain, Walt Disney, Abraham Lincoln, and Ronal d Reagan.

Night – Ellie Wiesel

Ellie Wiesel’s Holocaust memoir is one of the best nonfiction books about the Holocaust massacres. For many, it’s history they don’t have a frame of reference for because they’ve never faced death or experienced human massacre to this extent. This thought-provoking account of survival as a teenager of the daily terrors in the Nazi death camps delves into the hidden philosophical and personal questions of what the Holocaust was, what it meant, and its legacy. This is a good book for middle schoolers and high school children. Excellently written, and with everyday examples like holding a child’s hand, the authors help the reader understand what it was like.

Unbroken: A World War II story of survival, resilience, and Redemption – Laura Hillenbrand

Unbroken is a book for teen readers, whether you enjoy history or not. Despite the topic of World War II, it is an inspiring story of a teenager in high school who went from defiance to running in the Berlin Olympics to becoming a pilot in World War II. However, Louis Zamperini’s story doesn’t end there; he survived a crash into the Pacific Ocean, sharks, thirst, starvation, to even more trials.

This New York bestseller made into a motion picture is an unforgettable and mesmerizing testimony of an unsung hero. Masterfully told, this story will engage the most reluctant reader and create an interest in history in many students – a great classroom library addition for any school library.

How to use history books in the classroom

A history book is a powerful tool a teacher can use to engage and educate their students to discover not just American history but the history of the world. These are the best books for the classroom library that supplement lessons providing children with additional information and perspectives on historical events and figures. The best history books bring history to life so that students understand and appreciate the past and its influence on the present.

Using history books in the classroom to explore topics that interest students can encourage independent reading, improve writing skills with writing assignments, and lead to lively classroom discussions.


What are nature books?

Nature books are books for students about the natural world, focusing on its diverse ecosystems, plants, animals, and living organisms. These types of books include picture books for young children, nonfiction guides to different habitats and species, and memoirs and essays exploring the relationship between humans and the natural world. 

Why should students read nature books?

These are the best books for students to learn about the natural world, enhance scientific literacy, encourage curiosity, and inspire exploration. Nature books foster a sense of awe for the natural world, inspiring students to explore their environment. These school nonfiction books encourage adventures and discoveries about the natural world in a macro and microscopic sense. Reading about real-world examples and scientific research develops students’ critical thinking, analyzing, interpretation, and problem-solving skills.  

Humongous Fungus: Underground and all around – DK

This picture book about nature highlights the mysterious kingdom of fungi. If you are interested in nature and microorganisms, then this is the perfect book for your library. With amazing illustrations, photographs, pullout tabs, and fun facts, this nature book takes children on a journey of how fungi play a critical role in the ecosystem. Fungi provide food for plants but can also destroy crops and impact your health by causing fungal infections. You’ll have to read the book to find out what zombified ants and fungi have in common.

Something Rotten: A fresh look at roadkill – Heather L. Montgomery

Nearly everyone will drive by without stopping and exploring the roadkill on the roads. However, wildlife researcher Heather Montgomery always wanted to know how a snake’s fangs retracted, so she stopped to dissect the dead snake, which was the beginning of amazing discoveries from these roadkill creatures. There is enough grossness for students in middle grade to want them to read the book. The author balanced the ew-factor with straightforward facts and insights into the scientific research with amazing results, including discovering a new bird species.

The Bird Way: A new look at how birds talk, work, play, parent, and think – Jennifer Acerkman

This is a great classroom library book for young adults. Well, written and researched, the author explores and celebrates the diversity of avian behaviors and practices. It’s an awesome adventure into the world of birds, especially birds with idiosyncrasies and distinctive, unique behaviors.

How to use nature books in the classroom

Nature isn’t boring, and nature books are excellent nonfiction books for the classroom library and valuable tools for teachers to include in science lessons. Nature books help kids learn more about their natural world and topics like ecology, biology, and environmental science. For example, a nonfiction book on ecosystems could reinforce lessons on biomes and relationships between different organisms. In addition, field trips and outdoor explorations are adventures students would rarely miss out on. The basic concepts students have learned in nature books become a reality with hands-on experiences.


What are geography books?

Geography books are nonfiction books about the physical features, climate, and culture of different regions on planet Earth. These type of books typically include a variety of visual aids, including maps, illustrations, and photographs that helps readers understand their world – a great addition to classroom libraries for visual learners. 

Why should students read geography books?

Geography books enhance students’ geography literacy by giving them a deeper understanding of the world. Sparking curiosity, geography books take students on adventures of discovering new places and cultures. In addition, this kind of nonfiction book encourages environmental stewardship when students understand the impact of human activities on the planet. 

Geography For Every Kid: Easy activities that make learning geography fun – Janice VanCleave

In Geography for every kid, the author shares amazing legends, scales, various types of maps, and more for children in elementary school. This book features activities broken down into easy-to-understand explanations, step-by-step instructions, a list of materials, and the purpose of the activity. In this unique book, children learn about the solar system, the history of mapmaking, using a map scale, finding places with a grid map, and other fascinating topics like the effect of water on climate, hurricane tracking, and how the sun affects the seasons.

Sea Monsters On Medieval And Renaissance Maps – Chet Van Duzer

A sea monster on a map will make any child wonder about the mystery behind the illustrations. The author analyzes the most interesting sea monsters on medieval and renaissance maps. These fascinating maritime creatures offer a rich history of cartography, arcane zoology, beautiful artwork, and the geography of the oceans between the 10th and 16th centuries. Were they myth, folklore, or…?

Where On Earth? Atlas: The world as you’ve never seen it before – DK

Whether geography is your favorite subject or you hate it, this educational book is one of the most fun and best nonfiction books for schools. Instead of boring facts, it presents geographical facts to motivate the least curious to discover more. For example, this planet tour reveals the best dive spots, sunken ships, the world’s tallest buildings, and where earthquakes are most likely to occur.

How to use geography books in the classroom

Great geography books for the nonfiction classroom library can encourage independent reading and promote interesting class discussions about regions, cultures, and issues. Geography books are excellent supplements to school field trips but also allow kids to travel the world through the eyes of the authors with graphic illustrations, maps, and descriptions. In addition, great books are excellent resources for research projects and homework assignments.


What are technology books?

Technology books are the best nonfiction books for your classroom to inspire technology STEM topics. These books focus on the study and application of technological innovations, their history, and their impact on society. Technology is an evolving field, and reading about technology helps students stay up to date with the latest development in the technology field.

Why should students read technology books?

Students understand the impact and implications of technology on their daily lives, politics, economy, and culture as they read technology books. In addition, technology books help students understand how technology has changed over time and how technology can be used to solve problems, create new products, provide valuable services, and the convenience of using technology.

How To Code A Sandcastle – Josh Funk

Frustrated and unsuccessful in building the perfect sandcastle, the duo, Pearl and her robot friend Pascal make new plans; what they did was they use fundamental coding concepts for their final attempt at building the perfect sandcastle. This engaging, educational story introduces young children to basic coding vocabulary and shows them how to solve problems by breaking them down into smaller steps.

Code Your Own Games!: 20 Games to create with Scratch – Max Wainwright

Most middle school students love to play video games, and many like to create their unique games. This technology book introduces key coding concepts with easy-to-follow tasks, and each chapter builds on the progress and skill level of the previous chapter. These illustrated step-by-step instructions help children create various popular types of games. It’s a great book to add to a classroom library to inspire and interest children in STEM and technology.

The Innovators: How a group of hackers, geniuses, and geeks created the digital revolution – Walter Isaacson

The New York Times bestseller Walter Isaacson author of the Steve Jobs biography, takes teen readers into a riveting experience about the history of the digital age. This amazing saga is a wonderful guide with fascinating experiences on how innovation happens. Readers start the adventures in the 1840s with Ada Lovelace and travel through time to our current digital revolution. It’s one of the best nonfiction books for your classroom library for innovative students to relate to and inspire young adults to become what they dream about, to motivate teamwork and creativity.

How to use technology books in the classroom

Technology books help give students context and background information on specific technological innovations. In addition, technology classroom library books are great springboards for class discussions on technology ethics, innovations, and their effect on the world and the future.  

These STEM books are excellent resources to teach students research skills on technology-related topics. Technology books are also integrated into the school curriculum, helping students develop important technology and computer science skills. 

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