STEM Tuesday — Not-So-Scary STEM Books

STEM TUESDAY from the mixed up files



image from DavidArsenault


It was a dark and stormy night…which was just perfect for curling up with one of these Halloween-ish STEM books.





The Bat Scientists by Mary Kay Carson (HMH books for young readers, 2013)

There are so many creepy bat books, but this one talks about something even creepier: a killer fungus that threatens the bats’ very survival. Meet Dr. Merlin Tuttle and his team of researchers and learn about their work uncovering white-nose syndrome and searching for ways to protect the bats.



Mummies: Dried, Tanned, Sealed, Drained, Frozen, Embalmed, Stuffed, Wrapped, and Smoked...and We're Dead Serious CoverMummies: Dried, Tanned, Sealed, Drained, Frozen, Embalmed, Stuffed, Wrapped, and Smoked…and We’re Dead Serious by Chris Sloan (National Geographic Kids 2010)


Travel the world to check out thousands of years of mummified history. Learn the science of how these mummies were preserved in the past and the tools and technology used to search for their secrets in the present .





Oh, Rats!: The Incredible History of Rats and People, by Albert Marrin (Puffin, 2014)

Biology, ecology, epidemiology, and history–it’s a winning combination. Real rat history is as terrifying as a ghost story. Plus, there’s an ominous picture of a rat on the front cover.





Pumpkin Jack by Will Hubbell (Albert Whitman, 2000)

No Halloween reading list would be complete without a pumpkin book. Unfortunately, while there are a lot of interesting pumpkin picture books for young readers, the pickings are slim for older readers. Therefore, I’ll suggest Pumpkin Jack for a read-aloud or a quick reading “snack.” It uses a fictional story frame, but follows the  life cycle of a jack-o-lantern as it rots, goes to seed, and regenerates for a new Halloween celebration.


Monster Science: Could monsters survive (and Thrive!) in the real world? By Helaine Becker (Kids Can Press, 2016)

This is a silly look at six  monsters and the serious scientific questions they raise. Can a jolt of electricity really bring a person (or Frankenstein) to life? Could two species blur to form a werewolf? When is a corpse like a vampire? Everything you ever wanted to know about the real-life possibilities for Frankenstein, vampires, Bigfoot, zombies, werewolves and sea monsters.

How They Croaked by Georgia Bragg and Kevin O’Malley (Bloomsbury)

This award-winning book for reluctant readers is a fascinating collection of remarkable deaths–and not for the faint of heart.

Over the course of history, men and women have lived and died. In fact, getting sick and dying can be a big, ugly mess–especially before the modern medical care that we all enjoy today. From King Tut’s ancient autopsy to Albert Einstein’s great brain escape, How They Croakedcontains all the gory details of the awful ends of nineteen awfully famous people







How They Choked  by Georgia Bragg and Kevin O’Malley (Bloomsbury)

The team behind the bestselling How They Croaked shines a light on the darker sides of history’s most famous failures, perfect for reluctant readers!

Everyone makes mistakes. Sometimes, epic failures even lead to super successes . . . sometimes they become deep dark secrets. But remember–to fail is human, to laugh about our shortcomings divine. From Montezuma II’s mistaking a conqueror for a god to Isaac Newton turning from science to alchemy to J. Bruce Ismay’s jumping the lifeboat line on the TitanicHow They Choked knocks fourteen famous achievers off their pedestals to reveal the human side of history.



******* Have you entered our CoSTEM Contest?? There’s still time! Entries are due Midnight November 6th, 2018*************

See the details here

Enter NOW to win these prizes!

1st Place —  Receives 5 autographed STEM Books from our STEM Tuesday team + $25 Barnes & Noble Gift card

2nd Place — Receives 3 autographed STEM Books from our STEM Tuesday team + $15 Barnes & Noble Gift card

3rd Place—   Receives 2 autographed STEM Books from our STEM Tuesday team  +$10 Barnes & Noble Gift card



Jodi Wheeler-Toppen is a former science teacher and the author of the Once Upon A Science Book series (NSTA Press) on integrating science and reading instruction.  She also writes for children, with her most recent book being Dog Science Unleashed: Fun Activities to do with Your Canine Companion. For Halloween, she plans to dress like a harried mother of young children.

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!