Tracey’s 2017 Favorite Nonfiction

Ever since I was young, I have liked reading popular science books, especially on biology and zoology, as well as history and other social studies topics. I would always have read books on pond life, animals (especially elephants and wolves, but even skydiving beavers), and true adventures to the Amazon and the Arctic. I’ve even been interested in books about poop or poison.

So when I look at the titles that I choose as favorites this year, I’m always surprised at the wide variety of subjects. It seems that my problem with reading nonfiction is that I don’t have a problem with reading…almost anything! When people ask what I like to read, my answer is usually “Anything but math and sports.”  But if you look closely at my list, I have included two sports books! I gave Undefeated a try only because it was written by Steve Sheinkin—and if I like a sports book, it must be amazing!

Sorry, math books.

Despite saying in my post yesterday that I can’t ever pick just one book, there is one book below that I would put at the top of this list…and I actually read it by accident.

Every weekend, I sit by the fireplace at my local coffee shop with a large coffee and read for a couple hours. One afternoon, when I arrived there, I realized that I had left my books at home. In fact, I had only one book in my car—the ARC of a biography of an artist that I had picked up only because I liked the cover. So, though biographies and books on the arts are usually low on my TBR pile, I grudgingly took it inside—and finished the whole thing in one day. Since then, I have recommended Vincent and Theo: The Van Gogh Brothers by Deb Heiligman more than any other book I’ve read this year.

Enjoy! And if I didn’t include YOUR favorite, let me know in the comments below.



Around the World in a Bathtub: Bathing All Over the Globe by Wade Bradford (ill. by Micha Archer). 9781580895446. 2017. Gr PK-2.
Big Machines : The Story of Virginia Lee Burton by Sherri Duskey Rinker (ill. by John Rocco). 9780544715578. 2017. Gr K-2.
Her Right Foot by Dave Eggers (ill. by Shawn Harris). 9781452162812. 2017. Gr K-3.
John Ronald’s Dragons : The Story of J.R.R. Tolkien by Caroline McAlister (ill. by Eliza Wheeler). 9781626720923. 2017. Gr PK-3.
Melvin the Mouth by Katherine Blanc (ill. by Jeffrey Ebbeler). 9781580897143. 2017. Gr PK-3.


Over and Under the Pond by Kate Messner (ill. by Christopher Silas Neal). 9781452145426. 2017. Gr PK-2.
The Shape of the World : A Portrait of Frank Lloyd Wright by K.L. Going (ill. by Lauren Stringer). 9781442478213. 2017. Gr 1-4.
That Is My Dream! : A Picture Book of Langston Hughes’s “Dream Variation” by Langston Hughes (ill. by Daniel Miyares). 9780399550188. 2017. Gr PK-3.
Whose Poop Is That? By Darrin Lunde (ill. by Kelsey Oseid). 9781570917981. 2017. Gr PK-2.




42 Is Not Just a Number: The Odyssey of Jackie Robinson, American Hero by Doreen Rappaport. 9780763676247. 2017. Gr 4-6.
Grand Canyon by Jason Chin. 9781596439504. 2017. Gr 3-5.
How to Be an Elephant : Growing Up in the African Wild by Katherine Roy. 9781626721784. 2017. Gr 2-5.
If Picasso Painted a Snowman by Amy Newbold (ill. by Greg Newbold). 9780884485933. 2017. Gr 2-5.
I’m Just No Good at Rhyming and Other Nonsense for Mischievous Kids and Immature Grown-Ups by Chris Harris (ill. by Lane Smith). 9780316266574. 2017. Gr 3-8.
Notorious RBG : Young Readers’ Edition by Irin Carmon & Shana Knizbnik. 9780062748539. 2017. Gr 4-6.


The Quest for Z : The True Story of Explorer Percy Fawcett and a Lost City in the Amazon by Greg Pizzoli. 9780670016532. 2017. Gr 2-5.
The Skydiving Beavers : A True Tale by Susan Wood (ill. by Gijsbert van Frankenhuyzen). 9781585369942. 2017. Gr 2-5.
Stormy Seas : Stories of Young Boat Refugees by Mary Beth Leatherdale & Eleanor Shakespeare. 9781554518951. 2017. Gr 4-7.
Thunder Underground by Jane Yolen (ill. by Josee Masse). 9781590789360. 2017. Gr 2-4.




Amazon Adventure : How Tiny Fish Are Saving the World’s Largest Rainforest (Scientists in the Field) by Sy Montgomery (photos by Keith Ellenbogen). 9780544352995. 2017. Gr 5-8.
Bound by Ice : A True North Pole Survival Story by Sandra Neil  Wallace & Rich Wallace. 9781629794280. 2017. Gr 5-8.
The Elephant Whisperer (Young Readers Adaptation) : My Life with the Herd in the African Wild by Lawrence Anthony. 9781627793094. 2017. Gr 6-9.
Poison : Deadly Deeds, Perilous Professions, and Murderous Medicines by Sarah Albee. 9781101932230. 2017. Gr 5-8.
Rewilding : Giving Nature a Second Chance by Jane Drake & Ann Love. 9781554519620. 2017. Gr 6-9.
The Secret Project by Jonah Winter & Jeanette Winter. 9781481469135. 2017. Gr 4-8.


Two Truths and a Lie : It’s Alive! by Ammi-Joan Paquette & Laurie Ann Thompson. 9780062418791. 2017. Gr 4-7.
Undefeated : Jim Thorpe and the Carlisle Indian School Football Team by Steve Sheinkin. 9781596439542. 2017. Gr 6-10.
Wicked Bugs : The Meanest, Deadliest, Grossest Bugs on Earth by Amy Stewart (ill. by Briony Morrow-Cribbs). 9781616207557. 2017. Gr 4-8.




The 57 Bus : A True Story of Two Teenagers and the Crime That Changed Their Lives by Dashka Slater. 9780374303235. 2017. Gr 7-12.
Beastly Brains : Exploring How Animals Think, Talk, and Feel by Nancy F. Castaldo. 9780544633353. 2017. Gr 7-12.
Because I Was a Girl : True Stories for Girls of All Ages edited by Melissa de la Cruz. 9781250154460. 2017. Gr 7-12.
Fault Lines in the Constitution : The Framers, Their Fights, and the Flaws That Affect Us Today by Cynthia & Sanford Levinson. 9781561459452. 2017. Gr 7-12.
Girl Code : Gaming, Going Viral, and Getting It Done by Andrea Gonzales & Sophie Houser. 9780062472502. 2017. Gr 9-12.
The March Against Fear : The Last Great Walk of the Civil Rights Movement and the Emergence of Black Power by Ann Bausum. 9781426326653. 2017. Gr 7-12.


Now or Never! : 54th Massachusetts Infantry’s War to End Slavery by Ray Anthony Shepard. 9781629793405. 2017. Gr 7-12.
Shackles from the Deep : Tracing the Path of a Sunken Slave Ship, a Bitter Past, and a Rich Legacy by Michael H. Cottman. 9781426326639. 2017. Gr 7-12.
Vincent and Theo : The Van Gogh Brothers by Deborah Heiligman. 9780805093391. 2017. Gr 9-12.




American Eclipse : A Nation’s Epic Race to Catch the Shadow of the Moon… by David Baron. 9781631490163. 2017. Gr 11-Adult.
American Wolf : A True Story of Survival and Obsession in the West by Nate Blakeslee. 9781101902783. 2017. Gr 11-Adult.
Caesar’s Last Breath : Decoding the Secrets of the Air Around Us by Sam Kean. 9780316381642. 2017. Gr 10-Adult.
Psychology : The Comic Book Introduction by Danny Oppenheimer & Grady Klein. 9780393351958. 2017. Gr 9-Adult.
Soonish : Ten Emerging Technologies That’ll Improve and/or Ruin Everything by Kelly & Zach Weinersmith. 9780399563829. 2017. Gr 10-Adult.

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