Fab Five Non-Fiction: science and geography

Earth Shattering Events by Robin Jacobs and Sophie Williams

This non-fiction book is packed full of information and annotated diagrams to explore many natural disasters, one of my favourite geography topics.  Includes: Earthquakes, Tsunamis, Volcanoes and Tropical Cyclones, but also other hazards such as blizzards and hailstorms and wildfires.

For each natural disaster there are clear explanation of how it happens with supporting diagrams. Then it explores the effects on humans, and for some natural hazards gives examples of how to manage them. A world map is included showing examples of places where that natural disaster has happened. Could be a great geography task to get children to look up these places and to add more recent examples of their own. 

I love how it  includes an illustrated section on how to escape each natural hazard. This is something children and young people will relate to and will help them appreciate how dangerous they can be, but also learn how people have survived them. 

A few examples:

Love the clear text and visuals to explain Earthquakes, including a comparison of snapping your fingers to the moving of tectonic plates.

There is a great diagram on the anatomy of a Tropical Cyclone and the use of illustrations when describing the effects will help them seem more real. 

It’s great to see included other natural hazards such as wild fires. I found the page of how wildfires spread really informative.

There are many ways this non-fiction book could be used in an upper key stage 2 classroom or in key stage 3 and 4, to support both the science and geography curriculum. Highly recommend for 9/10+ years. 

Please note: For some of the hazards the text is a little bit wordy, but, in the hands of a good teacher who is aware of this it is not likely to be a problem. 

Thanks to Cicado books for a review copy.


Smart About Sharks by Owen Davey

This is part of a non-fiction book series, each featuring a different member from the animal kingdom by Owen Davey. It’s published by Flying Eye books who have an outstanding reputation for non-fiction. 


There is a great combination of interesting and informative text with graphic-style illustrations which really stand out. The kind of book you will want to keep coming back to and perfect for both home and school. 


There is loads to explore from general facts about sharks and their behaviour to interesting and fun facts about different species. You eyes will be opened to these wonderful and fascinating creatures. 


Highly recommend for 6 to 80 years. A great book for sharing and reading with others.


Thats’ Life!: Looking for the living things all around you by Mike Barfield and Lauren Humphrey


There are several really great books for children and young people exploring the animal kingdom, but this stands out in a number of unique ways. 


The book encourages the reader to be a detective and to look for signs of life. There is also a great introduction to cella. It explains how all living organisms, plants and creatures are divided into 7 Kingdoms. Then it takes a closer look at each Kingdom. 


There is good clear information with en eye-catching illustrations by Lauren Humphrey and an original layout. At the end of each Kingdom there is a one-page informative and humorous comic exploring how scientists discovered living organisms in both the past and present. Includes: Aristotle, Darwin and the discovery of botany. Mike Barfield has a real skill at providing informative text with humour. 


Highly recommend for 9 to 16 years and adults who are curious about our animal kingdom.

Nano: The Spectacular Science of the very, very small by Dr Jess Wade and Melissa Castrillion


This is a very different style of non-fiction book t the previous 3 but just as powerful. This narrative non-fiction text draws the reader in from the very beginning, with stunning illustrations by Melissa Castrillion. 


“Look around your home. Everything is made out of something”


Everything is made from something – but the way we make things, from the materials we use to the science and technology involved, is changing fast. Nano offers a fascinating narrative introduction to this cutting-edge area of STEM, better known by the name “nanotechnology”.


Written from the perspective of a young girl as she explores the very very small, this will get kids and young people thinking about and wondering about science.


This is accessible to younger readers, but is most definitely is for all ages from 4 to 84 years. 


1000 Words Stem bu Jules Pottle (published by Doris Kinsley)


Expanding your idea of what is considered non-fiction once again. This is in essence a picture and word book that explores a different STEM topic on every page. Topics include: seasons, sound, human body, vehicles and cooking.


A fantastic way to build children’s vocabulary and understanding of key science concepts. This could be used to support the learning of both Science and English in the classroom and a perfect resource for home schooling. Also great for encouraging interaction at home and talking about the things you have seen. 


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