STEM Tuesday — Chemistry ROCKS! — Book List

It’s time to explore another facet of science…chemistry. This branch of science is more than test tubes and beakers, it is the ways in which substances interact, combine, and change. These books will take kids from the science lab to the kitchen lab and through history to present day discoveries.

The Elements

Support Independent Bookstores - Visit The Disappearing Spoon: And Other True Tales of Madness, Love, and the History of the World from the Periodic Table of Elements by Sam Kean

The young readers’ version of Kean’s book of fascinating tales of the periodic table for fans of adventure, history, and of course, science.


Support Independent Bookstores - Visit The Mystery of the Periodic Table by Jeanne Bendick, Benjamin Wiker and Ted Schleunderfritz

Although a bit older than most of our suggestions, we feel it’s a worthy read. This absorbing historic look at the mysteries and discoveries of the periodic table will engage middle school and high school readers.



Support Independent Bookstores - Visit The Elements: A Visual Exploration of Every Known Atom in the Universe by Theodore Grey and Nick Mann

A photographic companion to all the books on this list. This visual book will enlighten and inspire science and art enthusiasts. This is a great reference book to keep on your shelf.


A Bit of Chemistry History

Support Independent Bookstores - Visit Poison: Deadly Deeds, Perlious Professions, and Murderous Medicine by Sarah Albee

We’ve included this title on a previous STEM Tuesday list, but it’s too good not to include here. A curious approach to this fun book will leave readers thinking twice about the plants in their garden and the medicines on their shelf.


Support Independent Bookstores - Visit Marie Curie: The Woman Who Changed the Course of Science by Philip Steele

Dig deep into the life of this important Nobel Prize-winning chemist to inspire and empower young scientists. This biography shares Marie’s school reports and family photos with young readers.



Chemistry Activity Books

Support Independent Bookstores - Visit The Book of Ingeniously Daring Chemistry: 24 Experiments for Young Scientists by Sean Connolly

Great for a rainy day or classroom chemistry exploration. These experiments use everyday items to unleash the powers of chemistry.


Support Independent Bookstores - Visit Edible Science:  Experiments You Can Eat by Jodi Wheeler-Toppen

Everyone has a laboratory right in their own home — the kitchen! Use this book to investigate how cooking and science go hand-in-hand.



Edible Inventions: Cooking Hacks and Yummy Recipes You Can Build, Mix, and Grow by Kathy Ceceri — Curious kids will devour the experiments in this book as they work their way through the kitchen lab. Projects include 3-D printing with food, cooking off the grid, chemical cuisine, and more.


Chemistry Nitty Gritty

Support Independent Bookstores - Visit Explore Atoms and Molecules! With 25 Great Projects by Janet Slingerland; illustrated by Matt Aucoin

Build a 3-D model of a molecule and more with this science activity book that focuses on the basic building blocks of matter.


Support Independent Bookstores - Visit Explore Solids and Liquids! With 25 Great Projects by Kathleen M. Reilly

This great companion title to the above book explores solids and liquids with 25 activities for your home or classroom using everyday household items.



Support Independent Bookstores - Visit Support Independent Bookstores - Visit Add Gareth Steven’s A Look At Chemistry Series to engage reluctant middle-grade readers. Titles include:  Atoms, Elements, Molecules, The Periodic Table, The pH Scale; and States of Matter.



Support Independent Bookstores - Visit Stinky Science: Why the Smelliest Smells Smell So Smelly by Edward Kay, illustrated by Mike Shiell

A fun and engaging romp into the science of stink, e.g. the chemicals smells are made of, how and why smells are linked to memories, plus gross stuff such as poop, body odor, and rotting flesh.

Pair the nonfiction titles on this list with this chemistry-themed fiction title

Support Independent Bookstores - Visit The Grave is a Fine and Private Place: A Flavia de Luce Novel by Alan Bradley

Discover the world of 12-year-old science sleuth, Flavia de Luce in this twisty, mystery novel.



For extra fun

Check out Mrs. Humphries’ class signing Chemistry Christmas on Teacher Tube.

STEM Tuesday book lists prepared by

Nancy Castaldo has written books about our planet for over 20 years including, THE STORY OF SEEDS: From Mendel’s Garden to Your Plate, and How There’s More of Less To Eat Around The World, which earned the Green Earth Book Award, Junior Library Guild Selection, and other honors. Nancy’s research has taken her all over the world from the Galapagos to Russia.  She strives to inform, inspire, and empower her readers. Nancy also serves as the Regional Advisor of the Eastern NY SCBWI region. Her 2018 multi-starred title is BACK FROM THE BRINK: Saving Animals from Extinction. Visit her at


Patricia Newman writes middle-grade nonfiction that inspires kids to seek connections between science, literacy, and the environment. The recipient of a Sibert Honor for Sea Otter Heroes, an NSTA Outstanding Science Trade Book for Eavesdropping on Elephants, and the Green Earth Book Award for Plastic, Ahoy!, her books have received starred reviews, been honored as Junior Library Guild Selections, and included on Bank Street College’s Best Books lists. During author visits, she demonstrates how young readers can be the voice of change. Visit her at



STEM Tuesday
STEM books ENGAGE. EXCITE. and INSPIRE! Join us each week as a group of dedicated STEM authors highlight FUN topics, interesting resources, and make real-life connections to STEM in ways that may surprise you. #STEMRocks!
1 Comment
  1. Thank you for this list! I’ll be looking into getting many of these books for my sixth grade homeschooler.