Non-fiction can be serious and informative, perfect for school projects and teaching materials. Non-fiction can also be fun, readable, and informative, perfect for leisure reading and exploring topics of interest and yes, also teaching. These two are in fun picture formats, and have a narrative feel that makes them nicely accessible to kids who may be curious, but still want to enjoy their reading experience.
Cryptic Canada: Unsolved Mysteries from Coast to Coast
by Natalie Hyde
ISBN: 978 1 926 97343 2
Seven mysteries and fascinating, unexplained phenomena from across Canada have been brought together to baffle and intrigue kids who like a good puzzle. From lost ships to ice mummies, earth formations to treasures, these “history mysteries” are sure to capture the imagination of anyone who likes to pick away at a problem and spin some theories of their own.
The format lends itself to this, too, as each chapter not only tells the story, but lays out the pieces of the puzzle, looks at possible interpretations that have been considered, gives answers from experts, and talks about what questions or research avenues are still open. Who knows, this could just be the thing that sparks a love of history or archaeology in your child!
Going Up! Elisha Otis’s Trip to the Top
by Monica Kulling
ISBN: 978 1 77049 240 0
Monica Kulling has written a lot of biographies of famous people for kids, and does it in a highly readable style, telling the story rather than setting down facts. Here, she tells us about the invention of the elevator, an innovation that allowed the progress of skyscrapers to continue onward and upward to ever greater heights.
From his early inventions that simply made machinery faster to his triumphant demonstration of his safety elevator at the world’s fair, the story of Elisha’s ingenuity and his focus on safety is told, accompanied by fun illustrations with a period feel that perfectly match the story and capture the era. This may not be a major turning point in history, but it was certainly a key ingredients in shaping the cities that we know today, making this an interesting chapter for kids who enjoy history, buildings, or machines and inventions.