Browseable Nonfiction Hotlist

Browseable nonfiction contains eye-catching design, lavish illustrations or photographs, and straightforward text. The books can be read from cover to cover for readers who want to know absolutely everything, but other readers have the freedom to focus on the content that really interests them. Read on for our best-selling browseable nonfiction titles!

Let’s Look at Monster Machines

From the Series Mini Mechanics

  • Interest Level: Grade 1 – Grade 3    
  • Reading Level: Grade 1

Engaging text and large photographs showcase machines so massive, they’re monstrous! The Mini Mechanics characters explain key features of each vehicle and how they work.

Extreme Volcanoes

From the Series When Nature Attacks

  • Interest Level: Grade 3 – Grade 6    
  • Reading Level: Grade 4

The molten rock just under Earth’s solid crust sometimes erupts suddenly and violently, causing streams of red-hot lava and scorching high-speed avalanches called pyroclastic flows. Volcanoes can bury entire cities in ash, poison the air with suffocating gases, trigger earthquakes and tsunamis, and drastically alter our climate. Witness the world’s most extreme volcanic disasters throughout history, from the Yellowstone supervolcano to Vesuvius and Krakatoa, and find out what could happen if they erupt again. Learn how volcanoes form, what causes them to erupt, and why the benefits may outweigh the dangers for the people who live near them. Discover the science and technology that could help volcanologists save lives by predicting future devastating explosions.

Genius Engineering Inventions: From the Plow to 3D Printing

From the Series Incredible Inventions

  • Interest Level: Grade 3 – Grade 6    
  • Reading Level: Grade 4

Tin cans were first produced in London in 1813. But they had to be opened with a hammer and chisel, because the can opener wasn’t invented until 1855! Check out other amazing engineering innovations, such as a popular soft drink originally sold as a “brain tonic,” an 18th-century battery called a voltaic pile, and a design from 1596 for the first flushing toilet. Fact-packed text and fun illustrations reveal clever discoveries that changed the world—and weird ideas that didn’t (like Nikola Tesla’s earthquake machine or Thomas Edison’s giant singing dolls). Learn how wonders of engineering have helped us improve our lives—from growing food to powering machinery.

Stickmen’s Guide to Your Mighty Muscles and Bones

From the Series Stickmen’s Guides to Your Awesome Body

  • Interest Level: Grade 3 – Grade 6   ·  
  • Reading Level: Grade 4

Muscles help you run, jump, play sports, and even sit still long enough to read this book. Your bony skeleton holds you up and keeps everything in its place. Let the Stickmen give you a tour of your incredible body! Find out why muscles are strong and how they get even stronger, how many bones make up your skeleton, and how your body twists, bends, and moves. Along the way, you’ll discover the world’s oldest skeleton, the longest and strongest muscle, and more. Colorful illustrations and fascinating facts reveal the inner workings of your muscles and bones.

Incredible Sports Trivia: Fun Facts and Quizzes

From the Series Trivia Time! (Alternator Books®)

  • Interest Level: Grade 3 – Grade 6   ·  
  • Reading Level: Grade 4

Did you know soccer star Cristiano Ronaldo’s legs are insured for about $148 million? Or that Seattle Seahawks fans have cheered so loudly they’ve actually caused an earthquake? Fun facts like these await in this page-turning, wow-inspiring, mind-blowing look at sports trivia! You’ll learn who made the first slam dunk in basketball and who holds the record for throwing the fastest fastball—and just how fast that speeding ball traveled. Get ready to be amazed!

The Rise of Civilization: First Cities and Empires

From the Series Human History Timeline

  • Interest Level: Grade 3 – Grade 6   ·  
  • Reading Level: Grade 4

Take an enthralling journey from the Stone Age onward, and see how our ancestors became great builders and rulers. They grew food, discovered metals, made tools, and invented writing. You will see a mighty civilization in Egypt, wise Chinese philosophy, Maya culture in Central America, the colossal Roman Empire, and much more. Illustrated maps let you compare what is happening across the globe at various moments in time. While the Santorini volcano was wiping out the Minoan civilization, flushing toilets were being invented in the Indus Valley (Pakistan). The Greeks held the earliest Olympic Games while the Zapotec built pyramids in Mexico. Find out where it all started!

Monstrous: The Lore, Gore, and Science behind Your Favorite Monsters

  • Interest Level: Grade 4 – Grade 8   ·  
  • Reading Level: Grade 6

Bursting with blood, guts, history, and science, this book is a must-have for monster lovers of all ages

Could Dr. Frankenstein’s machine ever animate a body? Why should vampires drink from veins and not arteries? What body parts are best for zombies to eat? (It’s not brains.)

This fascinating encyclopedia of monsters delves into the history and science behind eight legendary creatures, from Bigfoot and the kraken to zombies and more. Find out each monster’s origin story and the real-world history that informed it, and then explore the science of each creature in fun and surprising ways. Tips and infographics—including monster anatomy, how to survive a vampire attack, and real-life giant creatures of the deep sea—make this a highly visual and fun-to-browse book.

“A fantastically researched, absolutely delectable approach to science education.”—starred, Booklist

“Informative and entertaining throughout for readers undead or otherwise.”—starred, Kirkus Reviews

She Represents: 44 Women Who Are Changing Politics . . . and the World

  • Interest Level: Grade 8 – Grade 12   ·  
  • Reading Level: Grade 8

In a complicated political era when the United States feels divided, this book celebrates feminism and female contributions to politics, activism, and communities. Each of the forty-four women profiled in this illustrated book has demonstrated her capabilities and strengths in political and community leadership and activism, both in the United States and around the world. Written in an approachable, journalistic tone and rounded out by beautiful color portraits, history, key political processes, terminology, and thought-provoking quotes, this book will inspire and encourage women everywhere to enact change in their own communities and to pursue opportunities in public affairs.

Browseable Nonfiction is a category of Melissa Stewart’s Five Kinds of Nonfiction. This post is part of a weekly series of guest articles by nonfiction authors about their craft, their process, and their amazing books. Stay tuned each week to learn more by visiting the 5 Kinds of Nonfiction page for poster and flyer downloads, curated booklists and more. You can also follow the Lerner Blog’s 5 Kinds of Nonfiction series, or the hashtag #5KNF on FacebookTwitterInstagram, and LinkedIn.

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