With a third-grader at home, I am always on the hunt for a good variety of nonfiction books for her. The nonfiction choice for 8 year-olds is plenty – animals, science, history, biographies, and more. The text is simple with bright illustrations. Perfect for a read-aloud or independent reading time.

21 Best Nonfiction Books for 3rd Graders (8 Years-Old)

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Here are the 21 Best Nonfiction books to keep your 3rd graders glued to reading.

You can find them in your local library or nearby bookstores. If they are unavailable locally, you can click on the links or images below to purchase from Amazon.

Nonfiction Books – Animals

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Fake Out!: Animals That Play Tricks

Your child would learn about bizarre animal behaviors from this picture book. Read about the mimic octopus that can change its shape, skin color, and texture to match its surroundings. Or how about a type of goat that faints whenever it feels threatened! The book is in short chapter-book format for early readers.

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Animal Architects

How do spiders weave such intricate webs? Why do beavers build dams? Read about all the fascinating engineers and architects of the animal world in a nonfiction narrative. Birds, insects, mammals – every category of creatures are covered. The information is accompanied by bright real pictures.

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Wild Animals of the North

From the polar bears of the north to pandas, this book takes the children along in the discovery of animals in the northern hemisphere covering each of three sections – Asia, Europe, North America. A good informational book for children in 3rd grade and above. The illustrations are big and beautiful, making this 141-page book a visual delight.

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Prehistoric Mammals

This informational nonfiction book has popular and lesser-known prehistoric mammals that once occupied the earth. Starting with dinosaurs, to woolly mammoths, saber-toothed cats – this book has all covered. The writing is engaging, accompanied by brilliant illustrations.

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Animals: A Visual Encyclopedia

Want to know how animals are related to humans? This fun nonfiction book has a page for this! It has all types of animals and insets covered. Including what they eat, their habitat, how ferocious or friendly they are. With bright sharp pictures and snippets of helpful information about each animal, this book is a good nonfiction read.

Nonfiction Books – Biographies & History

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I am Walt Disney

The person in this biography needs no introduction. Walt Disney changed the world for kids. This short nonfiction chapter book is a peek into what went behind the great mind and the innovation.

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Young Gifted and Black

This book is the celebration of 52 black icons from the past and present. The stories are empowering and inspiring. A book for parents and children to have a conversation about many historic facts and issues. With great pictures and interesting stories, pretty soon your child will have a favorite role model.

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The Story of Leonardo da Vinci

This literary nonfiction is about the life of Leonardo da Vinci – the famous painter and thinker. He was not only a great artist but ideated about modern inventions like contact lenses among other things. A bright and creative mind, Leonardo’s childhood and life story is a glorious read.

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Egypt Collection

Take a trip to ancient Egypt and read about the great pyramids, Cleopatra’s life, mummies, and more. The text is in bold, accompanied by interesting bright pictures. This historical nonfiction book with short chapters is perfect for any reluctant third grader.

Nonfiction Books – Nature & Earth Science

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Leaf Man

This is a gorgeous book has information about different leaves and activities rolled into one. Bright pictures, along with uneven cuts and pages, transform this visual book to a higher level. It reads like a beautiful story. Third graders are sure to enjoy the activities and independent reading.

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Geography: A Visual Encyclopedia

Your child will read about the geological processes that have shaped our planet for millions of years. Starting with ice ages to global warming, earthquakes, tsunamis – all periods are included in this book. Visually stunning pictures of the snowy peak of Mount Everest, dark waters of the Mariana Trench, and more – are enough to keep your child interested.

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Earth and Space Science

If your child is interested in earth science, this set of five books is a good choice. Read about the various climate and their effects, extreme weather, how the moon affects the earth, and more. The reading level is suitable for 8-years-old.

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101 Things For Kids To Do Outside

Children of all ages should spend more and more time outside- playing, making friends, learning life lessons, and picking a few skills along the way. It is the most important developmental activity missing for kids in this digital age. This book has plenty of outdoor activity ideas for all seasons. You do not need any fancy stuff to do these activities. With inspiring pictures and fun group game ideas, it is highly recommended by parents and educators.

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Where Were the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World?

Let your child take the journey along with the ancient travelers, as they narrate stories of ancient wonders of the world. Kids would love to read about the hanging garden made for the Babylonian queen. The Great Pyramids in Egypt is the only one present to date, out of these seven ancient wonders. Also, check out the other books from the Where is series.

Nonfiction Books – Science, Engineering, Activities

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The Big Book of Airplanes

Learn about airplanes of all kinds – from commercial to military to the ones farmers use for crops and even space shuttles. With complete details on each type of plane – starting with the engineering behind, operations, and task – this book is a complete guide on airplanes. With multiple pictures of each type of airplanes, this book is a visual delight.

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Space: Planets, Moons, Stars, and More!

Learn about the solar system – planets, moon, stars, asteroids, Milky Way galaxy, etc in this book. The information is presented in fun fact format. The images are real NASA pictures and large. The author broke down the tough to pronounce words for ease of reading. If you are planning to get one space nonfiction book for your child, covering all concepts, this book is the ideal choice.

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Big Science Workbook

Let your child make a rainbow on a sunny day. This science workbook is filled with many such interesting activities. There are a total of 306 activity pages and 14 answer key sheets. Topics include – plants, seeds, insects, weather, mammals, ocean life, birds, and more. Children can read and complete the activities independently. The perforated pages make it easier to tear.

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Nonfiction Reading Comprehension: Science

This narrative nonfiction book covers interesting science concepts. If you are looking for a book to practice reading, along with learning – this one is a good choice. Children can also practice their test-taking skills.

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Brain Quest Workbook

This engaging workbook has many things included. Fun hands-on activities and games cover various topics of spelling, vocabulary, reading comprehension, simple math concepts, and much more. Bright illustrations throughout make it interesting. This book is highly recommended by parents.

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The Complete Baking Book for Young Chefs

This book is for children who love to cook or bake. Step-by-step photos and pro tips make even the complex recipes easy to follow. Let your young ones bake with confidence.

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Reading & Math Jumbo Workbook

Let your child practice vocabulary, reading comprehension, writing, multiplication, fractions with this fun workbook. The pictures are colorful, and activities are in the format of interesting learning games. Also included are free stickers!

More 3rd Grader Books & Topics

How to select books for 3rd graders?

3rd graders are confident readers. They can read relatively longer sentences independently. Nonfiction books selected for 8-year-olds need to cater to their inquisitive minds while also be challenging enough to improve their reading skills. The books should be appealing with few illustrations, and the language should be simple.

Video Of 3rd Grade Nonfiction Books