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Non-fiction November

The theme of this year's Non-Fiction November is The Planet We Share and there are lots of books out there to help students explore this issue.

The theme chosen for this year reflects the widespread concern for our planet which is under serious threat – particularly from climate change and plastic pollution. These are big issues for young minds to understand and engage with, but non-fiction can help to explain the problems and suggest ways to help make a difference. Non-fiction can also provide inspiration for taking action, shine a spotlight on the wonder and beauty of the natural world and promote a real sense of hope for the future.

Looking for some inspiration for your next non-fiction read?

Have a look at The Federation of Children’s Book Group’s Book List which lists over 100 titles. This year they have also included information about a selection of magazines that provide a different ‘non-fiction’ reading experience from books.

More suggestions:

View the shortlist for The Information Book Award.

Blue Peter Awards 2020, Rise Up, Winner of Best Book with Facts: Read extracts from the shortlisted titles and winner of The Best Book with Facts award.

For more ideas for reading with this year’s theme of concern for our planet, see The Reading Agency’s The Great Outdoors booklist for children and young people, July 2020.

Try something different to your usual books, available free from Cambridgeshire Libraries:


  • Over 50 titles to choose from every month.
  • Back issues are available.
  • No limit to number of titles you can download.
  • Get notifications when a new issue is available.
  • It's free.
  • No overdue fees.
  • Compatible with PC, MAC, Apple, Android, Kindle Fire, Blackberry, and Nook devices.


  • It is free.
  • Download newspapers to read offline.
  • View local, national and international titles.
  • No overdue fees.
  • View publication back issues.

Some activity ideas

BBC Bitesize short films and quizzes:

Analysing non-fiction texts

Comparing texts

Aquila Magazine: The Earth. The Earth Issue Online Resources:
The resources include: six pages from this topical issue; Planet spotting: find the ecliptic; Design a ocean clean-up machine; Magnificent map-making; Write a newspaper article; Create a radio play; Paint a jungle landscape. Aimed at 8-13-year-olds.

You Are Eating Plastic Every Day: What’s in Our Food?
Word search activity with glossary based on the book by Danielle Smith-Llera.