Happy Nonfiction November! Okay, that might not be an official thing, but it sounds nice, right? And we’ll take any opportunity to bolster bookshelves with true stories of bravery, mindfulness, and scientific discovery! To celebrate all the real wonders of the world, we’re recommending our top nonfiction books of 2020!

Rise Up: Ordinary Kids with Extraordinary Stories by Amanda Li, Illustrated by Amy Blackwell (ages 8 to 12)

2020 Blue Peter Award for Best Book with Facts

Remarkable acts of ingenuity, courage, and commitment can come from anywhere in the world, through role models of all ages! Rise Up features 29 true-life tales of amazing young people who have achieved the unimaginable, each narrated in an exciting and engaging style, with visually stunning illustrations and practical skill guides.

Sounds All Around: A Guide to Onomatopoeias Around the World by Dr. James Chapman (ages 8 to 12)

Did you know that in German, a pig doesn’t say oink, it says gruntz, and when you sneeze in Japanese it’s hakushon, not achoo? With vibrant comics and fun facts, Sounds All Around takes readers on a noisy journey around the world, exploring the most interesting sounds on earth (and all the different ways of expressing them)!

You Can Change the World: The Kids’ Guide to a Better Planet by Lucy Bell (ages 8 to 12)

“An excellent resource for classroom studies of the environment and how to bring about needed change. An added bonus is the section on how to be kind to others.” —School Library Journal

Kids are on a mission to make our Earth a better, safer, happier place. With this colorful, hands-on guide, you can join in! You Can Change the World empowers kids to make a difference in their own lives and communities through concrete sustainability tips, creative projects, and inspiring profiles of young activists around the globe.

Generation Brave by Kate Alexander, illustrated by Jade Orlando (ages 10 to 15)

“A hopeful call to action.” —Kirkus Reviews

Gen Z isn’t waiting for the adults in the room to change the world. In Generation Brave, discover over two dozen stories about the regular kids who have become groundbreaking leaders, inspiring movements around the globe to save the planet, to save each other, and to build a better tomorrow.

The Book of Knowing by Gwendoline Smith (ages 13 to 19)

Informative and accessible, The Book of Knowing is a friendly, therapeutic guide for young people to understand and control their feelings. In 2015, clinical psychologist Gwendoline Smith began a Tumblr blog under the pseudonym Dr. Know. Her Gen Z-friendly approach to CBT (cognitive behavioral therapy) resonated, and the idea for this book was born. With lively art, tangible advice, and immersive activities, this book is a handy guide for dealing with big feelings that provides humor, kindness, and manageable strategies for issues that can sometimes feel out of our control.



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