Check out our favorite nonfiction books for 3rd graders on Epic!
Who says made-up tales are are more fun than true stories? These nonfiction books for 3rd graders are not only fascinating, some are downright weird (in the best of ways). They’ll keep your kid entertained while teaching them surprising new things about everything from the ocean, honey bees and technology to the mysteries of our cosmos and more. Who knows? You might learn a few things, too.
Intrigued yet? Check out these nonfiction books for 3rd graders below!
Nonfiction Books for 3rd Graders on Epic
Starstruck: The Cosmic Journey of Neil DeGrasse Tyson (Animated Book)
Written by: Kathleen Krull and Paul Brewer
Illustrated by: Frank Morrison
This true story of famous astrophysicist and ”guide to the Cosmos” Neil deGrasse Tyson follows his life, beginning the moment he’s blown away by what he sees in the sky theatre of the Hayden Planetarium. From there, your kid can join him on his journey, starting from the rooftop of his building, then on to Northwest Africa, New York City and beyond. Kids with a burgeoning fascination for science will be awestruck by this inspiring tale of discovery and adventure. Plus the animated video format adds an extra element of wonder to the experience.
The Magic School Bus on the Ocean Floor (Audiobook)
Written by: Joanna Cole
Illustrated by: Bruce Degen
The Magic School Bus is back! This time, Ms. Frizzle’s bus is transformed into a submarine ready to take her students into the depths of the ocean for a thrilling aquatic expedition. With Lenny the lifeguard in tow, the kids get an up-close-and-personal look at tide pools, coral reefs, hot water vents, plants, and sea animals, among other weird and wonderful things. While not technically nonfiction, this revival of a children’s classic is the perfect way to teach young learners at the 3rd grade level (and younger) about the real world of ocean and the things that live in it.
Coretta Scott (Audiobook)
Written by: Ntozake Shange
Illustrated by: Phylicia Rashad
Told from the perspective of Coretta Scott, wife of reverend and revered activist Martin Luther King Jr., this audiobook offers kids a poetic narration of a vital part of American history and crucial moment for Black people in America. This celebrated book is impactful and informative as it narrates the stirring events in the African American fight for civil rights. And it’s an excellent way to teach your child lessons from the past while inspiring them to want to help build a better future. Also available as an animated video!
Written by: Candace Fleming
Illustrated by: Eric Rohmann
Beautiful illustrations and short poetic passages make this one of the best nonfiction books for 3rd graders. Using stunningly detailed imagery and poetic language, this award-winning picture book details the life cycle of “Apis” the honeybee. On day one, Apis emerges as a tiny honeybee and sets to work serving the hive. Apis takes care of larvae in the nursery, creates wax combs to house honey, transfers pollen and eventually grows to a point where she can finally leave the hive. She branches out and becomes an adventurer bee where she can gather nectar to make the honey. Your kid will delight in learning about this bee species through Apis’s experiences.
National Geographic Readers: Alexander Graham Bell (Read-To-Me)
By: Barbara Kramer
Famous inventor Alexander Graham Bell is best known for inventing the telephone, but did you know that he also loved music, and that he wasn’t actually very good at building things? He was also a close friend of the accomplished blind-deaf activist Helen Keller. This read-aloud nonfiction book will teach your kid these interesting facts in a kid-friendly way, and show them the importance of persistence and openness to new ideas. Created by the acclaimed National Geographic Readers series, of which Bell was one of its founders, it’s sure to inspire future scientists and entrepreneurs. And when you‘ve finished this book, treat your kid to more fun facts about the history of the telephone with the book, “Telephone and Cellphones” on Epic.
Written by: Emily Kreiger
Illustrated by: Tom Nick Cocotos
Did you know fortune cookies aren’t even found in China? Or that alligators don’t really live in the sewers of New York City? Chock full of colorful photographs and funny text, this book includes hundreds of fascinating facts and interesting tidbits that prove you can’t believe everything you’re told. Each busted myth features an explanation of where it originated, which uncovers often surprising historical significance. This book gives kids the tools to break and bust myths from around the world. It’s also a winner of the Children’s Choice Book of the Year Award for grades 5-6.
By: Brianna DuMont
Here’s one of many fun picks from National Geographic Weird But True! book series. Many have heard that George Washington wore a pair of wooden teeth, but did you know that during the American Revolution he lost more battles than he won, and started his presidential term without a real job description? This must-read book dishes zany, little-known facts about our other U.S. Presidents, too. Abraham Lincoln had a talent for wrestling. Ulysses S. Grant received two different speeding tickets for riding his horse too fast. This book shows that most of our U.S. Presidents were not only interesting leaders, but had unique personal quirks.
By: Suzi Eszterhas
Wildcats may be dangerous, but this story about a wildlife photographer and a baby serval (a type of wildcat) will show that these powerful creatures have an endearing side, too. This is the story of the unique relationship between a compassionate ranger named Suzi Eszterhas and Moto, who was separated from his mother during a bushfire at just two weeks old. Without the tender care of Suzi, he wouldn’t have survived, and as she nurses him back to health and trains him how to survive they became very close. But after a year, Suzi must set him free to go back to the wild. Heartwarming and heartbreaking at the same time, this true story teaches young kids about commitment, responsibility and how to respect nature and the wild animals that inhabit it.
By: Garfield Kwan, Dana Song
Comic books and graphic novels are a super engaging way to introduce kids to topics that may otherwise not appeal to them through traditional texts. This funny book teaches them about science and marine life in a straightforward way that doesn’t‘t “talk down to them.“ It’ll also capture their imagination with 125 fact-filled pages on the ocean’s most fascinating creatures, like weedy sea dragons, acid-oozing bone-eating osedax, Yeti crabs and more. don’t know what these are? Check out the book and find out!
By: Sean Connolly
It sounds intimidating, but don’t let the ”scary” title fool you. This chapter book brings the coolest technologies to life for young readers with 27 fun, hands-on experiments. Activities include testing solar power with milk jugs and balloons, launching their own micro-satellites into orbit and more. They can explore exciting yet potentially unnerving tech of the future, like AI, 3D printing, smart clothing and even driverless cars. They’ll learn all about how these breakthroughs could improve our lives—but also their potential downsides.
The Wisdom Of Trees: How Trees Work Together To Form A Natural Kingdom
By: Lita Judge
How are trees like wizards? That’s the theme of this poetic and stunning representation of the tree science, from communication to cooperation, and how they evolve to survive.
Basketballogy: Supercool Facts You Never Knew
By: Kevin Sylvester
This collection of hard-driving facts about basketball is sure to thrill young sports fans. Learn about the game’s origins, evolution, and innovations through funny and colourful charts, graphs and illustrations.
Sharks: Nature’s Perfect Hunter
By: Joe Flood
Sharks fascinate young kids, but they fear them without knowing much about them. Learn more about different types of these predators and their importance to the ecosystem.
That’s our list of nonfiction books for 3rd graders! Want to find more entertaining children’s book lists with picks that kids of all reading levels can enjoy? Find more great books in our posts: “Best Kids’ Books to Read Online” and Best Picture Books for 4th Graders.