Posts Tagged children’s books

STEAMing Up Your 2021 Bookshelf!


Looking for some great new STEM/STEAM (Science, Technoloy, Engineering, Art and Math) and titles to add to your classroom or library this year?

Look no further than STEAMTeamBooks!


What is STEAMTeamBooks? A group of 40+ children’s authors who are passionate about all things science and technology and have new books releasing in 2021– both nonfiction and fiction!

Why create STEAMTeamBooks? It’s sometimes tough to get the word out about new books and even more difficult for teachers and librarians to discover them. That is why a lot of authors are teaming up to create debut groups, like this one. There are groups that highlight picture books and middle grade, but until now there hasn’t been a new release group dedicated solely to STEM and STEAM books.

Why are STEAM books so important? STEAM-related books bring the spirit of inquiry, discovery, and creative problem-solving to your learners while engaging them in rich literacy experiences. ​

What are some of the STEAM/STEM books you can look forward to seeing this year? 

Here is a preview. These are the books from STEAMTeam2020 authors that are releasing in 2021:





To see more, visit the website 

Follow us on Twitter and Instagram at #STEAMTeamBooks

Help us get the word out about STEAM/STEM books!

(And don’t forget to check out the Mixed Up Files very own STEMTuesday blog which will give you tips on how to use STEM/STEAM books in your classroom!) 

STEM Tuesday — Polar Ecology– Book List

You may need to pull on a pair of fuzzy wool socks and heat up a cuppa cocoa before reading these books. Get ready for some armchair adventures into the frozen polar regions.

Polar Environments

Polar Worlds, by Wade, Rosalyn.

The first half introduces the polar environment and highlights things explorers need to stay alive. The second half focuses on animals in the north and south polar regions, from puffins to penguins.




Ice: Chilling Stories From a Disappearing World,  by Laura Buller, Andrea Mills, and John Woodward

A browsable book that ranges from the prehistoric to present. Meet polar plants, frozen frogs, and other wonders of the icy world. Plenty of climate change alerts sprinkled throughout the pages.




Climate Change and the Polar Regions, by Michael Burgan.

An introduction shows how scientists study climate. Following chapters focus on the impacts of climate change to the Arctic and Antarctic, from melting ice to changing ocean currents to wildlife.



Antarctica: Enchantment of the World, by Wil Mara

Did you know there was moss and grass growing in Antarctica or frozen steam towers from active volcanoes? How about that someone was born there? In addition to amazing maps, showing all the research stations and land forms, and unbelievable photographs, this book explores the history, scientists, politics, tourism, exploitation, and folklore of Antarctica.


Polar Wildlife


The Arctic, by Wayne Lynch

It may look cold and barren, but the Arctic is filled with a diversity of wildlife. From seabirds to blubbery beasts, this photo-rich book provides a field trip to the land of the midnight sun.



Arctic Tundra : Life at the North Pole, by Salvatore Tocci

This book presents an overview of the tundra – a desert at the top of the world. Readers will see how ice and cold shape the landscape and the plants and animals that live there.




Poles Apart: Why Penguins and Polar Bears Will Never Be Neighbors by Elaine Scott

After exploring the fossil evidence of Pangea, this book offers a look at the unique physical and climactic differences of each pole, the people and animals that reside in each, and the lessons gained from explorers and scientists. It includes a good resource list of books and websites.



Frozen Realms, by Melissa Gish

Explore the deep sea beneath the North Pole! Numerous short “Ask a Scientist” features accompany photographs of amazing underwater creatures – including dragons.



Polar Scientists and Explorers


The Polar Bear Scientists (Scientists in the Field Series), by Peter Lourie

Beginning on page one, readers are in a helicopter, chasing polar bears. Once captured, the scientists collect measurements and take samples of blood, fat, and even hair. Then they fasten a radio collar around the bear’s neck and move away, so the polar bear can return to its own hunt. There’s a series of conversations with a scientist, and thoughtful comments about the impacts of a warming climate on polar bears.



Frozen Secrets: Antarctica Revealed, by Sally M. Walker

This book focuses on modern explorers and scientists. You’ll learn how to survive extreme cold and meet the scientists studying the secrets of the ice, from how it forms to how it moves. And there’s a robot!



Ice Scientist: Career in the Frozen Antarctic by Sara L. Latta

Interspersed among the realities of bone chilling cold and blinding sunlight, are descriptions of scientists who have and do work in the Antarctic. These scientists found dinosaurs, meteorites, 20,000 species of nematodes, coral, and massive glaciers in Antarctica. The engaging text and sidebars combine with chapter notes, a glossary, further reading & links to create a great look at a chilly science.




Lost in the Antarctic: The Doomed Voyage of the Endurance, by Tod Olson

Olsen writes a compelling, account of Ernest Shackleton’s ill-fated 1914 expedition to Antarctica. When their ship, the Endurance, became trapped in a sea of ice, the crew rescued whatever food and supplies they could. There are maps, photos, packing lists, and enough ice and frigid weather to make you head to the kitchen for a mug of cocoa.



Race to the Bottom of the Earth: Surviving Antarctica, by Rebecca E. F. Barone

This book chronicles the parallel journeys undertaken by Antarctic explorers. In 1910 two explorers, each leading their own expedition, set their sights on reaching the South Pole: Captain Robert Scott and Roald Amundsen. Their goal: to be the first to reach the Pole and make history. In 2018 two more explorers set off for the South Pole. Captain Louis Rudd hoped to complete the first solo crossing of Antarctica. Colin O’Brady set out on the same trek, determined to make it across the finish line first. Adventure mixes with STEM in this nail-biting story of survival.


STEM Tuesday book list prepared by:


Sue Heavenrich writes about science for children and their families, from space to backyard ecology. A long line of ants marching across the kitchen counter inspired her first article for kids. When not writing, she’s committing acts of citizen science in the garden. She blogs about science for kids and families at



Maria Marshall is a children’s author, blogger, and poet passionate about making nature and reading fun for children. She’s been a judge for the Cybils Awards from 2017 to present. Her poems are published in The Best Of Today’s Little Ditty 2017-2018, 2016, and 2014-2015 anthologies. When not writing, critiquing, or reading, she bird watches, travels the world, bakes, and hikes. Visit her at



What can be better than to spend one’s youth with an animal companion, or to have a special, even if momentary, connection with an animal? Here are some books that show this is really a good and interesting way to grow up, in a variety of happenings.  Here are some examples.

   In this series of four books, with a fifth that fits the storyline, Monica Dickens (a granddaughter of Charles) has written stories featuring a ranch owned by a retired British colonel who has set up this ranch to help retired and injured horses. Helping him run the ranch are a young teen relative, Callie; and two other teens (Dora and Steve). 

Young British teen Velvet Brown dreams of owning a horse and being the best rider around the countryside. One day in town she sees a horse being auctioned off. The owner obviously just wants to be rid of this particular horse, a piebald. Velvet amazingly manages to win the horse.  With the help of her family, and someone who works for her father, Velvet indeed learns to ride the horse well. Then her big dream begins; or seems possible. She wants to be part of a horse race. However, no girls are permitted in this race. What can Velvet do now?!

In their small town in Sonoma County, California,  11-year-old Weston and his 9-year-old sister, Wendy, search for something interesting to do during a summer. Suddenly they find some abandoned  animals and work to help them. Soon they want to help lots of animals they find, but will some people try to stop them? What can they do about that?!

12 year old Davy and his cousin Anderson (often irksome), are intrigued by lights they detect in a forest. They venture into the woods to find out what’s there. The boys make a discovery, are caught near a forest fire, and then desperately attempt to accomplish what they are determined to do!  

Young siblings Maureen and Paul have been saving their money to buy a particular horse they have seen at an annual local round-up of one of two groups of wild horses on Assateague Island (shared by the states of Maryland and Virginia). After being rounded up the caught horses are sent on a run and swim to nearby Chincoteague Island where some will be sold. This annual even happens so the wild horse herds won’t overcrowd the island. The horse the siblings are interested in, with its tell-tale white patch, has avoided capture for some years. By chance, this time, however, this horse is among the horses that are captured. The young people are all set to bargain to buy this horse, but then they find out she has her little colt with her. Will the young people be able to get enough money to buy the mother horse, and the baby too?! 

After visiting his uncle in India, young Alec is on his way home to New York by way of England, in a cargo ship. An unusual fellow passenger is a wild horse. The boy secretly makes friends with the animal by leaving a lump of sugar at the horse’s makeshift stall every night. After several days of travel, the boat is caught in a storm and is destroyed, but not before the boy manages to try to free the horse before abandoning ship. Suddenly Alex is drawn into the water while tied to the animal. For days the boy and horse, tied together, swim near each other. Then, the horse suddenly changes course, and Alex, bewildered, must follow. But then he sees that the horse has found an island. Can they both make it to the island; exhausted as they are; and then can they strive to learn to live and coexist together on the island; not knowing if there are other survivors, or if they will be ever be rescued!

A  young teen is happy living near her granddad’s farm where she can ride her very own horse whenever she wants to. Then suddenly she’s very upset when she hears of her family moving miles away. What can she do? Can she convince her granddad to let her live with him? She must strive to get his attention which is all but taken up by a neighbor woman.

A young woman who’s an artist, and handicapped, discovers a horse who is lame. The young woman so wants to help the horse. Will she and her family be able to?

A horse’s life story, told from the viewpoint of the horse.

A classic story that led to many sequels by various authors. Joe, a boy, and his dog are happy living their lives, but then the boy’s father has money difficulties and must sell the pure-bred dog. After being sold, the dog escapes and comes back home to Joe. The dog is sold again, but again finds his way back to Joe. Sold a third time, Lassie faces a giant challenge when she strives to get back home this time. Her new owner is in another nation! Can she do it?! 

  In addition to picture books and comic books, there is a series of chapter books, also considered novels for young readers, published by Whitman many years ago. These books feature a German Shepherd dog called Rin Tin Tin, and a boy named Rusty. Rusty became an orphan when his group’s wagon train was attacked. A nearby fort with an early American cavalry troop patrolling the frontier took in the boy to live with them. Rin Tin Tin, a stray German shepherd dog, lives at the fort too. The boy and dog become inseparable companions. Both the boy and the dog in these novel chapters have many adventures in the early western United States territory.  

 In this sequel to MY SIDE OF THE MOUNTAIN, and ON THE OTHER SIDE OF THE MOUNTAIN, this story features an endangered bird who was saved by Sam, a teen, who lives with his younger sister on their grandfather’s land in the Catskill Mountains in New York State.  The bird became Sam’s pet, but then a forest ranger took the bird away, saying it was illegal for the boy to have such a pet. Through the books MY SIDE OF THE MOUNTAIN and ON THE FAR SIDE OF THE MOUNTAIN, the bird, a falcon named Frightful, is part of the story, then there’s FRIGHTFUL’S STORY in which she strives to get back to Sam. 

A girl, temporarily handicapped, visiting her grandmother, is entertained with stories by a local storekeeper. One particular story intrigues her – a legend about a white lark that few people believe exists. Then one day the girl suddenly discovers something the white lark reveals to her. 

Two dogs and a cat, separated from their family, are determined to travel across country, to get back to their owners. Told from the viewpoints of the animals.

A young girl just recently comes to live with her grandmother in a remote country place, and comes to love and care about the nature that’s all around her. One day a young man happens to come into the area. He asks her where a white heron, said to be around there may be found. The girl notices that the man carryies a gun. Should she tell him where the elusive bird can be seen? The decision she makes will be a turning point in her life. The way her life turns out, at the time the story was written, in 1886, will be a hardship. Readers might consider – if a girl of today in this situation had to make such a decision, what would it be, and how would her life turn out because of it? Such an ending is telling for our present time.