If your kids are not big fans of fiction, like my daughter Monkey, then you will appreciate this list of books for kids who don’t like fiction!
My daughter, Monkey is nine. She has always been good at reading, but from the time she was about six until now, she really does not like reading fiction. She claims it is a waste of time, and no matter what I do to try and convince her, she would rather read just about anything than fiction books.
I still make her read fiction, but for her, fiction is the dreaded assigned reading that she waits to read until the last minute. Her other assigned reading for history, science, or economics is read within a few minutes.
Although Monkey is an unusual child (at least among children I know, maybe there are more out there), we’ve learned how to work around her likes and dislikes. The list of books for kids who don’t like fiction below is all Monkey-approved.
Books for Kids Who Don’t Like Fiction
Use these books that Monkey loves as inspiration for books for kids who don’t like fiction who live in your house.
Although she chafes with just five minutes of required fiction reading, Monkey will sit for over an hour pouring over science books. She loves learning about the body, animals, weather, and rocks. When I ask her to take a book to amuse herself while we are on a long trip, she almost always brings a science book.
Learning general facts is appealing to Monkey. She doesn’t care what happens to fictional people. She would rather learn about real things. She is a practical girl and wants to know how everything works. She loves reading aloud little facts that she picks up while reading this kind of book.
Monkey loves learning new words. Once my dad gave her a little pocket dictionary (meant for adults) when she was about six or seven and she sat down one afternoon and starting reading it from cover to cover. Her favorite word book to read right now is Thesaurus. I’m not sure why she would prefer to read something that is a similar experience to reading a phone book, but hey, go after it girl. :-)
I’ve found that Monkey is more likely to tolerate fiction if it seems factual. Earlier this year, I had the hardest time getting her to read Harry Potter, but she read Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them no problem. I find it amusing and a little bit ironic that she would rather read Harry’s textbooks than about his adventures.
Non-Fiction Style Fiction We Love
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them
Mythology The Gods, Heroes, and Monsters of Ancient Greece
I used to turn up my nose at comic books simply because I prefer more descriptions in my stories and get distracted by the pictures, but Monkey loves the comic book format. At this point in my parenting career I’d rather her read comic books than nothing. Also, some comics have great story lines.
When Monkey brought out a HUGE history textbook and said she would rather read that than the fiction book I had assigned her, I knew it was time to embrace her love of non-fiction. She loves to read history of all kinds, but is naturally drawn more toward takes of history involving women.
I was a huge reader of fiction as a child and so I naturally hoped that my children also would love fiction, but so far, Monkey takes after her dad in that regard and prefers nonfiction. I have learned to see this as a good thing over the years, rather than a drawback as I thought earlier. If your children are in a similar boat, make sure to let them read some of these books for kids who don’t like fiction.
And I am still holding out hope that Bo will be a massive fiction-lover. You never know, right?