Home Products Blog Events and Media Login Buy J.O.Y. Journal

Nonfiction Books for Tweens That Are Not Boring

When your daughter hears the word 'nonfiction', it might conjure up the thought of a big, boring book with lots of facts and no storyline or pictures. However, more and more nonfiction titles geared towards children are appearing on the shelves.  

We picked 5 amazing, and definitely NOT BORING, nonfiction titles for upper elementary and middle grade girls. From thrill seeking women breaking barriers to how your favorite dessert came to be, these books contain facts that tell a story and keep your reader engaged. 


Thrill Seekers: 15 Remarkable Women in Extreme Sports by Ann McCallum Staats 

Perfect for grades 7 and up

Is your daughter a thrill seeker, sports lover or enjoys the outdoors? Then this book is a perfect selection, as it shares the stories of 15 unique, diverse and modern-day women in extreme sports.

Three incredible stories told in this book include Faith Dickey, a highline walker who uses the extreme sport to overcome fear, Sneha Sharma, a Formula 1 racer nicknamed 'India's Fastest Lady' and Sara Mudallal, a parkour expert and American Ninja Warrior contestant. 

Throughout the book, the author places brief facts about the history of the sport, equipment used or further explanation for the concepts covered. This title does a great job showcasing the diversity in extreme sports and reminds the reader that all these women were once beginners and they too can find their passion through exploration. 

Yummy: A History of Desserts by Victoria Grace Elliott

Perfect for grades 3 and up

Why does a donut have a hole in the middle? Why did mooncakes contain hidden secrets messages? Why are gummy bears shaped like bears? And what is the legend of the chocolate chip cookie? 

All these and more are answered in this fun, vibrant, graphic novel all about desserts. The book is hosted by three food sprites, or fairies, name Peri, Fee and Fada. Chapters are broken down by the type of dessert and contain an atlas of the history of the dessert.  The author also includes a recipe for almost all desserts, so young bakers can try their hand at homemade goodies. 

Desserts covered are ice cream, cake, brownie, donut, pie, gummy candy, cookie and macaroon. The author does a great job exploring the history behind the treat and the variations that are still popular around the world today. 

Fashionopolis: The Secrets Behind the Clothes We Wear (Young Readers Edition) by Dana Thomas

Perfect for grades 5 and up

Have you ever thought about the journey your favorite pair of jeans took to reach you?  In this title, adapted for middle-grade readers, the author takes you on a journey through the fashion industry. The book covers the process  of how our clothes are made, from growing cotton to shirts displayed in a store, and the history behind how fast fashion become the norm.

Looking to the future, the author discusses how designers, clothing brands, and manufactures are finding sustainable alternatives to traditional raw materials. Many in the fashion industry are on a mission to make fashion more circular (meaning circulating the item of clothing back into the system at end its life). 

For anyone who loves fashion or is passionate about being environmentally conscious, this is a great resource to explore all sides of fashion. The author includes a a glossary of terms and ways young people can support sustainable fashion. 

Spectacular Sisters: Amazing Stories of Sisters from Around the World written and illustrated by Aura Lewis

Perfect for grades 5 and up

A sister can be your most trusted confidant, a partner in crime, or your biggest rival. In this illustrated title, Aura Lewis explores 42 different stories of sisters. From the first siblings to climb Mount Everest to six sisters all playing field hockey and advocating for women's rights, this book covers women from across centuries making their mark in the world. 

Each story has an illustrated image of the women discussed and a two-page biography on their life accomplishments. Backmatter includes sources and further suggested reading on women in history. 

Climate Action: The Future is in Our Hands by Georgina Stevens, Illustrated by Katie Rewse

Perfect for grades 4 and up

Climate change can be experienced everywhere and while the facts can be daunting, we do have the power to change things. This title is presented like an extensive infographic, illustrating what climate change is, the causes, and how humans can be part of the solution. 

The book (which is larger in size than your average library book) is broken into four sections: Cause, Effect, Our Part and Inspiration. Each section includes definitions, facts and graphic charts to explain complex concepts to kids.

Throughout the book the author includes 'Did You Know' blocks providing advice for kids and families to put into practice the concepts discussed and reduce their carbon footprint. The author also adds 'Change Maker' sections showcasing a child or teen from around the world making an impact on our planet. 



Get 4 daily actions you can take today to support your daughter! 

How can you strengthen your bond with your tween during this part of their life? Download 4 actions you can take now to support your daughter.