During the month of November, we feature a list of fascinating books about famous scientists and how they think. As an extra layer, we’d like you to consider this list from the nonfiction authors’ points of view as well. What parts of these scientists lives did we focus on? What did we leave out? What do you think interested us the most? Whether you realize it or not, every nonfiction story has an angle–something that connects us AND our readers to the topic. See if you can find it in the books listed below as you dive into the minds of these scientists who have shaped their fields.
Something Rotten: A Fresh Look at Roadkill by Heather L. Montgomery; illustrated by Kevin O’Malley
Readers will meet up with a scientist searching for a cancer cure, a boy engaged in animal anatomy, and citizens joining together to save an endangered species, with the help of roadkill. A great title for kids who enjoy a little gore with their science.
Charles and Emma: The Darwin’s Leap of Faith by Deborah Heligman
Delve into the complex world of the Darwins in this award-winning title that introduces readers to the relationship of this famous couple.
Isaac the Alchemist: Secrets of Isaac Newton, Reveal’d by Mary Losure
Read about the growing mind of one of the world’s greatest scientists in this award-winning nonfiction narrative of Isaac Newton. A wonderful read for budding scientists.
Radioactive! How Irène Curie and Lisa Meitner Revolutionized Science and Changed the World by Winifred Conkling
A fascinating look at two groundbreaking and mostly unrecognized scientists who contributed to the science of nuclear energy and the race to build the atomic bomb. Readers might be more familiar with the work of Curie’s famous mother, Marie, but she was important in her own right. A terrific read for Women’s History Month and every day after.
Path to the Stars: My Journey from Girl Scouts to Rocket Scientist by Sylvia Acevedo
An inspirational memoir about a Latina rocket scientist whose early life was transformed by her membership in Girl Scouts. Acevedo is currently the CEO of Girl Scouts of the USA.
Google It! A History of Google: How Two Students’ Mission to Organize the Internet Changed the World by Anna Crowley Redding
Discover how two college students came up with an idea that has changed our world.
The Hyena Scientist by Sy Montgomery; photographs by Nic Bishop
Noted nonfiction author debunks the stereotypes of hyenas in her latest Scientists in the Field title focused on scientist Kay Holecamp.
Think Like a Scientist in the Gym by Christine Taylor Butler
In this title, the readers are the scientists testing their scientific thinking by performing a series of fun experiments using basic gym equipment. Consider asking students to record results in a science notebook.
Alexander Graham Bell for Kids: His Life and Inventions, with 21 Activities by Mary Kay Carson
This 2019 finalist for the AAAS/Subaru SB&F Prize for Hands-on Science is a perfect title for budding inventors. Readers will learn about Alexander Graham Bell’s many inventions and have the opportunity to try their hand at creating some of their own.
FICTION PAIRINGS about kids thinking like scientists:
The Lost Tribes series by Christine Taylor Butler
Christine Taylor-Butler is a trained civil engineer, and she creates smart science-centered characters in this adventure-mystery series. Five friends team up to find their missing parents, who they discover are on a secret science mission. The friends must solve puzzles, crack codes, and think logically as they race against time to find their parents and save the universe.
The Curious World of Calpurnia Tate by Jacqueline Kelly
Readers of The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate will enjoy this next tale of young, inquisitive Calpurnia. A wonderful fiction title to pair up with one of the above informational books.
***** And Finally, we’d like to say HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO US!! STEM Tuesday is celebrating our ONE YEAR Anniversary!! Thanks to all of our readers who have followed us faithfully the past year. We couldn’t do it without you. YAY for STEM/STEAM Middle Grade Books!!***
STEM Tuesday book lists prepared by:
Nancy Castaldo has written books about our planet for over 20 years including her Crystal Kite award-winning title, Beastly Brains: Exploring How Animals Think, Talk, and Feel, which delves into the study of cognition, both animal and human. Nancy’s research has taken her all over the world from the Galapagos to Russia. She enjoys sharing her adventures, research, and writing tips with students during her author visits. She strives to inform, inspire, and educate her readers. Nancy also serves as a Regional Advisor for SCBWI. Her 2018 title is Back From The Brink: Saving Animals from Extinction. www.nancycastaldo.com
Patricia Newman writes middle-grade nonfiction that inspires kids to seek connections between science, literacy, and the environment. Her Sibert Honor-winning Sea Otter Heroes dives inside the mind of marine biologist Brent Hughes as he solves a food chain mystery. Other titles include: Zoo Scientists to the Rescue, a Bank Street College Best Book and Plastic, Ahoy!, a Green Earth Book Award winner. New in 2018: Eavesdropping on Elephants: How Listening Helps Conservation. Educators describe her author visits as “phenomenal,” “fantastic,” “passionate,” and “inspirational.” Visit her at www.patriciamnewman.com.