STEM Tuesday– Award-winning STEM/STEAM Books– Book List

As the year comes to a close, we wanted to celebrate some of the incredible STEM books that have been published in the past few years. All of the books in this month’s list have been recognized through state or national-level awards. We know you’ll love them, too! 

book cover for "Animal Allies: 15 Amazing Women in Wildlife Research"Amazing Allies: 15 Amazing Women in Wildlife Research

by Elizabeth Pagel-Hogan (NSTA Outstanding Science Trade Books for Students, Junior Library Guild Gold Standard Selection Award)

This book chronicles 15 remarkable women who work in the field of wildlife research. They’re pioneers and work tirelessly on issues that intersect with biodiversity, species conservation, biology, and more. Some of the female scientists featured include Corina Newsome, who saves seaside sparrows, and Michelle LaRue, who uses satellites to study Antarctic birds.

Book cover for "It Takes Guts"It Takes Guts: How Your Body Turns Food Into Fuel (and Poop)

written by Dr. Jennifer Gard, illustrated by Belle Wuthrich (AAAS/Subaru Prize for Excellence in Science)

Based on the basic premise that everyone eats and poops, scientist Dr. Jennifer Gardy weaves a funny and informative book about the digestive system and microbiome. Topics include how food is processed by the body, how it turns into energy, and the role of helpful bacteria. It’s packed with engaging illustrations and even investigates the science behind burps, barfs, and farts.


Book cover of "The Secret Science of Sports"The Secret Science of Sports: The Math, Physics, and Mechanical Engineering Behind Every Grand Slam, Triple Axel, and Penalty Kick 

by Jennifer Swanson (2023 Eureka! Honor Award)

From muscle mass to carbon nanotubes, this fascinating book demonstrates how each of the STEM disciplines (science, technology, engineering, and math) can help athletes maximize their performance. Drawing on examples from tennis, soccer, swimming, field hockey, basketball, and more, Jennifer Swanson breaks down complicated scientific theories and provides practical tips for playing sports. The books’ activities are meant to engage readers’ minds and bodies as they learn to calculate batting averages and perfect their jump shots.

cover image of "Antarctica: The Melting Continent"

Antarctica: The Melting Continent 

written by Karen Romano Young, illustrated by Angela Hsieh (NSTA Outstanding Science Trade Book for Students; the New York Public Library Best Book for Kids; The Children’s Book Council Hot of the Press selection, and The Children’s Book Council 2022 Showcase selection)

Karen Roman Young investigates the vast and mysterious world of Antarctica. The book features animals such as emperor penguins, killer whales, and elephant seals. It also takes a look at how this continent is changing and what that means for our planet.

cover image of "Animal Sidekicks"

Animal Sidekicks: Amazing Stories of Symbiosis in Animals and Plants

written by Macken Murphy and Neon Squid, illustrated by Dragan Kordic (NSTA Outstanding Science Trade Book for Students

This book takes a look at bizarre symbiotic relationships in the animal kingdom. Macken Murphy, host of the popular animal podcast Species, features such relationships as  crabs that wear sea urchins as hats, bats that go to bed inside plants, and fish that clean shark teeth. Young readers will enjoy the strange, engaging, and educational information.

cover image of "Infinity: Figuring Out Forever"

Infinity: Figuring out Forever 

by Sarah C. Campbell (author and photographer) and Richard P. Campbell (photographer) (Cook Prize Silver Medalist; Bank Street Best Book of the Year; Eureka! Nonfiction Silver Honor Award (California Reading Association); Texas Library Association Texas Topaz Nonfiction Reading List)

Many middle-grade readers are fascinated by the concept of infinity, and this book delivers simple but clear explanations and thought experiments about what infinity is …and what it isn’t. Striking photos help to make the philosophical idea of endlessness more concrete. 

cover image of "Braiding Sweetgrass for Young Adults"

Braiding Sweetgrass for Young Adults: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge, and the Teachings of Plants

written by Robin Wall Kimmerer and Monique Gray Smith, illustrated by Nicole Neidhardt (NSTA Outstanding Science Trade Book for Students)

Robin Wall Kimmerer is a renowned scientist, botanist, and member of the Citizen Potawatomi Nation. She demonstrates how all living things―from strawberries and witch hazel to water lilies and lichen―provide us with gifts and lessons every day. The book is packed with scientific information and Indigenous wisdom.

cover image for "Counting in Dog Years"

Counting in Dog Years and Other Sassy Math Poems

written by Betsy Franco, illustrated by Priscilla Tey (NCTE Notable Books in Poetry)

With snappy rhyming poems on every page, Betsy Franco’s collection brings math concepts to life in relatable ways. Arithmetic operations, fractions, and geometry abound through the lens of dirty socks, birthday cakes, and hopscotch. Young readers will appreciate the rollicking humor and colorful illustrations, while older kids will be racing to keep up with the calculations.


Cover image for "Salmon: Swimming for Survival"

Salmon: Swimming for Survival

by Rowena Rae (NSTA Outstanding Science Trade Book)

In this deeply researched chapter book, Rowena Rae explores the life cycle, habitats, biology, and cultural importance of both Atlantic and Pacific salmon. Pop-outs in each chapter profile kids and adults around the world who support salmon conservation in unique ways, from citizen science projects to wildlife photography to museum education programs. Their love for these fascinating fish is contagious, and readers will be inspired to take action and protect wild salmon from the many threats to their survival.

cover image of "Outdoor School: rock, Fossil, and Shell Hunting"

Outdoor School: Rocks, Fossils, and Shell Hunting: The Definitive Interactive Nature Guide

by Jennifer Swanson (Kirkus BEST Books)

Part of the “Outdoor School” field guide series, Jennifer Swanson’s book is perfect for aspiring geologists and paleontologists! It combines scientific facts, in-depth explanations, and immersive activities to strengthen readers’ curiosity and connection to nature. From finding fossils to snorkeling for shells, this guide is full of tips and tricks for young explorers.


cover image for "Funky Fungi"

Funky Fungi: 30 Activities for Exploring Molds, Mushrooms, Lichens, and More

by Alisha Gabriel and Sue Heavenrich (2023 AAAS/Subaru SB&F Prize for Excellence in Science Books in the Children’s Science Activity Book category)

Fungi are everywhere: in our food, in the soil, and even in the air we breathe. This book provides a kid-friendly introduction to the wild world of mushrooms and molds. Packed full of craft projects, outdoor adventures, and even a recipe for corn mushroom tacos, this book puts the “fun” in fungus!

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. 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!