Here are some favorite books of parents and teachers alike, written for kids, ages 9 – 16, who are interested in STEM topics, experiments, and things out of this world. This list offers a mix of recent books and oldies-but-goodies.
Jack and the Geniuses: At the Bottom of the World, by Bill Nye (the Science Guy) and Gregory Mone – This first in a series of three books for middle-grade readers takes you on a scientific adventure surrounded in mystery. Jack and his foster siblings are not your usual orphans, but are geniuses, who follow a leading scientist all the way to Antarctica.
50 Things to See With a Telescope, by John A. Read – Young students can use this book to explore the constellations, galaxies, nebulae, and start clusters. Even without a telescope, this introduction to the night sky is a great read for beginner astronomers.
The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind, by William Kamkwamba and Bryan Mealer – This inspiring story of curiosity and ingenuity will appeal to adults and children alike. There is a Young Reader’s edition as well. There are even plans to make a Netflix movie based on the book.
Space! The Universe as You’ve Never Seen It Before (Smithsonian series) – From the Knowledge Encyclopedia series comes Space!, packed with amazing facts and NASA images that reveal the wonders of the cosmos.
Isaac the Alchemist: Secrets of Isaac Newton, Reveal’d, by Mary Losure – A surprising true story of the childhood of Isaac Newton, suggesting intellectual development owes as much to magic as it does to science.
Awesome Science Experiments for Kids, by Chrystal Chatterton – This book provides hands-on experiments that teach kids how to apply the scientific method. It combines fun experiments with the hows and whys behind them.
The Everything Kids’ Series – has two STEM-related books, including Science Experiments Book, by Tom Robinson, packed with fun and easy experiments that use items you already have round the house or can be acquired easily. Encourage kids to keep a science journal to write their hypothesis and look back on past experiments. The other, Astronomy Book, by Kathi Wagner and Sheryl Racine – delves into aliens, space ships, and constellations; ride on a rocket ship to the galaxy!
Hidden Figures, by Margot Lee Shetterly – This young readers’ edition tells the story of four African-American female mathematicians at NASA who were known as “human computers.”
The Toothpaste Millionaire, by Jean Merrill – Sixth-grader Rufus didn’t set out to become a millionaire, he just wanted to make his own toothpaste. Set in the 1960’s, the characters in this book are given many mathematical problems they need to solve in order to succeed.
Maker Lab: 28 Super Cool Projects, by Jack Challoner – These kid-safe projects get young inventors involved in science while also having fun. Each experiment helps them to understand why and how, by providing context with real-world examples.
Book reviews were pulled from Amazon.com.
Here are lists compiled by others: