Two intrepid librarians

Two intrepid librarians review the best nonfiction books for children

Monday, December 19, 2016

The Best Nonfiction Books of 2016

In past years Louise and I have worked together to create our list of favorite nonfiction books, but this year Louise could not help select the best books of of the year. She is serving on a book award committee and is unable to publicly review or write about books in 2016. I worked solo on this list and made my selections based on books I have read over the past year. Reviews are linked in the list below. There are some titles on the list that I have not yet reviewed on the blog. Look for reviews of several of these books in upcoming weeks.

I'm pleased to announce that Louise will return to blogging and reviewing for The Nonfiction Detectives in February. At that time I will pass the baton; Louise will run the blog solo in 2017 while I serve on a book award committee until 2018.

2016 Best Nonfiction Books for Children


by Gail Jarrow
Calkins Creek

by Maria Gianferrari and Bigram Ibatoulline
Roaring Brook Press

by Pamela S. Turner and Andy Comins
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

by Candace Fleming and Eric Rohmann
Roaring Brook Press

by Sy Montgomery and Keith Ellenbogen
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

by Nancy F. Castaldo
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

by Chris Barton and Don Tate

History & Biography

by Rich Wallace and Sandra Neil Wallace
Calkins Creek

March Book 3
by John Lewis, Andrew Aydin and Nate Powell
Top Shelf Productions

A Poem for Peter
by Andrea Davis Pinkney, Lou Fancher and Steve Johnson
Viking Books for Young Readers

by Javaka Steptoe
Little, Brown and Company

by Pamela S. Turner and Gareth Hinds

by Shana Corey and Red Nose Studio 
Schwartz & Wade

Some Writer: The Story of E.B. White
by Melissa Sweet
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Books for Young Readers

We Will Not Be Silent
by Russell Freedman
Clarion Books


by Ashley Bryan
Atheneum Books for Young Readers

by Roxanne Orgill and Francis Vallejo

by Carole Boston Weatherford and Jeffrey Boston Weatherford
Atheneum Books for Young Readers


  1. Cathy!! Thank you so much for including Coyote Moon on this list!! I am honored to be among such amazing titles!! I've read and really enjoyed the majority of theses titles, especially Crow Smarts (since I'm a bird nerd), Some Writer for its illustrations, and Blood Brother was very powerful and timely. And Daniels is from my hometown of Keene (and I went to Jonathan Daniels Elementary School for Kindergarten, though at the time, I had no idea who it was named for!)

    I'm especially looking forward to March II & III (since I've only read I so far), and Bubonic Panic (which I won on your blog, but haven't yet read).

    Thank you again, & very happy holidays!

    And it must be so much fun for both you & Louise to serve on these committees! :)

  2. Thanks for recognizing You Can Fly: The Tuskegee Airmen, my debut book with my son, illustrator Jeffery Weatherford.

  3. I'm glad to see I already have half of the list, and I know what to order when school starts up again!