STEM Tuesday– Survival Science — Book List

June 2024 – Species Survival

How do animals and plants survive Earth’s most extreme conditions? This month’s book list explores the unique challenges and adaptations that species face amid wildfires, polar ice, climate change, and more.


Extreme Survival: How People, Plants, and Animals Live in the World’s Toughest Places

Written by Ben Lerwill & illustrated by Daniel Long


Reading like an adventure guide, this book takes readers on a tour of the most extreme habitats our world has to offer. Each destination features facts and stories about the people and animals who live there, as well as practical tips for survival. STEM connections range from biology (animal adaptations) to earth science (climate and weather) to engineering (igloo-building), and more!


Fire Escape: How Animals and Plants Survive Wildfires (publishes June 25, 2024)

Written by Jessica Stremer and illustrated by Michael Garland

Did you know that goats can help fight wildfires? Or that charcoal beetles lay their eggs under the bark of burned trees? This fascinating book offers a multidimensional look at the science and history of wildfires. Stremer explains not only the natural adaptations that allow animals and plants to survive wildfires, but also the important role humans can play in managing forest fires and rehabilitating injured animals. The text is accompanied by “Fire Fact” boxes, photographs, and gorgeous illustrations.


Zoo Scientists to the Rescue

Written by Patricia Newman & photographed by Annie Crawley

This book takes a fresh, environmentally conscious look at zoos. It not only presents a behind-the-scenes look at what it takes to care for zoo animals, but it also presents readers with three different zoo scientists at three different zoos and the endangered species they work with. Each chapter is filled with facts and amazing photos.



Clever Creatures: How Animals and Plants Use Science to Survive

Written by Steve Mould

Imagine a corpse flower that smells like smelly socks in order to attract insects to pollinate it! Author Steve Mould takes readers on a fun journey filled with scientific facts but also laced with humor. This book takes a look at species survival based on amazing animal adaptations.



Polar Bears: Survival on the Ice (Science Comics)

Written by Jason Viola and illustrated by Jack Giallongo

From First Second’s Science Comics series comes an entertaining and informative graphic novel about a polar bear mom teaching her two cubs how to survive. Each chapter features a key survival “lesson,” like hunting, building a den, and surviving climate change. As they follow along with the cubs, readers will learn about polar bear life cycles, behaviors, adaptations, and conservation.



The Nocturnals Explore Unique Adaptations of Nighttime Animals

Written by Tracey Hecht

This book takes a look at species survival from the point of view of nocturnal animals. But it presents lesser known animals like the pangolin, woylie, tuatara, aya-aye, and jerboa. It not only features facts but also includes narrative stories about each animal so children can learn about the animals’ nocturnal habits and special adaptations.



Hopping Ahead of Climate Change: Snowshoe Hares, Science, and Survival

Written by Sneed B Collard

Climate change presents unique challenges for animals whose coats change colors with the seasons. Due to rising temperatures and earlier snowmelts, such animals have become particularly vulnerable each spring; though all the snow on the ground has melted, their coats are still white, so they are not protected by camouflage. This book, a Junior Library Guild Selection, follows biologist Scott Mills as he conducts research to understand the effects of climate change on snowshoe hares’ survival.



History Comics: The American Bison: The Buffalo’s Survival Tale

Written and illustrated by Andy Hirsch

Children will love this graphic novel that’s fun to read, with engaging illustrations, but that also educates. In the early 18th century, nearly 30 million bison once roamed the American prairie―until they were nearly driven to extinction. But a century later, they vanished. This book takes a look at what happened to these herds of bison and how to bring them back.



Bringing Back the Wolves

Written by Jude Isabella Illustrated by Kim Smith

This book takes a look at species survival from the point of view of the wolf and how one animal can make a huge difference in an ecosystem. In 1926, gray wolves began to go extinct. The government reintroduced them to Yellowstone National Park. Over time, animal populations stabilized, waterways were restored and a healthy ecosystem was recreated across the land. It shows how much animals and their ecosystems are deeply connected.



Animals Lost and Found: Stories of Extinction, Conservation, and Survival

Written by Jason Bittel & illustrated by Jonathan Woodward

Each beautifully illustrated spread of this book features a different animal species: some lost to extinction, some fighting for survival, and even a few that have been rediscovered after being presumed extinct. Its bite-sized paragraphs are easy to digest, and Bittel’s hopeful tone empowers readers as they learn about conservation efforts around the world.


This month’s STEM Tuesday book list was prepared by:

Author Lydia Lukidis


Lydia Lukidis is the author of 50+ trade and educational books for children. Her titles include DANCING THROUGH SPACE: Dr. Mae Jemison Soars to New Heights (Albert Whitman, 2024), DEEP, DEEP, DOWN: The Secret Underwater Poetry of the Mariana Trench (Capstone, 2023) and THE BROKEN BEES’ NEST (Kane Press, 2019) which was nominated for a Cybils Award. A science enthusiast from a young age, she now incorporates her studies in science and her everlasting curiosity into her books. Another passion of hers is fostering a love for children’s literacy through the writing workshops she regularly offers in elementary schools across Quebec with the Culture in the Schools program. For more information, please visit


author Callie Dean


Callie Dean is a researcher, writer, and musician living in Shreveport, LA. She writes stories that spark curiosity and encourage kids to explore their world. Her first picture book will be published in 2026. For more information, please visit



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!

Leave a Reply