School Library Journal Best Books of 2012–Nonfiction

The final installment of the Best Books of 2012 from School Library Journal features nonfiction books for all ages of children.  Here are their top picks:


Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass: The Story Behind an American Friendship by Russell Freedman

Barnum’s Bones: How Barnum Brown Discovered the Most Famous Dinosaur in the World by Tracey Fern, illustrated by Boris Kulikov


The Beetle Book by Steve Jenkins

A Black Hole Is NOT a Hole by Carolyn Cinami Decristofano, illustrated by Michael Carroll

Bomb: The Race to Build – and Steal – the World’s Most Dangerous Weapon by Steve Sheinkin


Buffalo Bird Girl: A Hidatsa Story retold by S. D. Nelson

Chuck Close: Face Book by Chuck Close

Faces from the Past: Forgotten People of North America by James M. Deem


Fifty Cents and a Dream: Young Booker T. Washington by Jabari Asim, illustrated by Bryan Collier

I Have a Dream by Martin Luther King, Jr., illustrated by Kadir Nelson


The Impossible Rescue: The True Story of an Amazing Arctic Adventure by Martin W. Sandler

Island: A Story of the Galapagos by Jason Chin

Life in the Ocean: The Story of Oceanographer Sylvia Earle by Claire A. Nivola


Little Rock Girl 1957: How a Photograph Changed the Fight for Integration by Shelley Tougas

Looking at Lincoln by Maira Kalman

The Mighty Mars Rovers: The Incredible Adventures of Spirit and Opportunity by Elizabeth Rusch


Moonbird: A Year on the Wind with the Great Survivor B95 by Phillip Hoose

Nic Bishop Snakes by Nic Bishop


Their Skeletons Speak: Kennewick Man and the Paleoamerican World by Sally M. Walker and Douglas W. Owsley

We’ve Got a Job: The 1963 Birmingham Children’s March by Cynthia Levinson