One of the world’s greatest inventors, Thomas A. Edison, once said that “To invent, you need a good imagination and a pile of junk.” Well, that might,or might not be true. To find out, explore these books about invention. Perhaps you will be inspired to do a little inventing yourself. And as an added plus, these STEM titles also provide terrific links to literacy, history and art.
As always, help us out by suggesting other titles that fit this theme.
Alexander Graham Bell for Kids: His Life and Inventions by Mary Kay Carson
A biography of one of the world’s greatest inventors. A staple for any middle grade STEM shelf. Mary Kay Carson shows readers how Bell was inspired by his nearly-deaf mother and his father who created an alphabet of images of the sounds a human being can make. Includes 21 activities!
Innovation Nation: How Canadian Inventors Made the World Smarter, Smaller, Kinder, Safer, Healthier, Wealthier, Happier by David Johnston and Tom Jenkins
A fascinating look at our neighbor country’s inventors. This volume is jam-packed with fifty different inventions, including the igloo, the life jacket, and the canoe.
Isaac the Alchemist: Secrets of Isaac Newton Revealed by Mary Losure
(JLG selection) Young Isaac lived in a apothecary’s house and recorded his observations of the world in a tiny notebook. Mary Losure delves into the childhood of the great Isaac Newton in this narrative nonfiction biography that traces Newton’s development as one of the great thinkers of our time.
Higher, Steeper, Faster: The Daredevils Who Conquered the Skies by Lawrence Goldstone
(JLG selection) A historical biography of the men and women who popularized flying through their death-defying stunts. Young readers will discover loop-the-loops, corkscrews, and other daring maneuvers by male and female aviators.
Science Comics – Flying Machines: How the Wright Brothers Soared by Allison Wilgus and Molly Brooks
(JLG selection) This fun look at the Wright Brothers earned a NSTA Best STEM of 2017 honor. Before daredevils wowed us with stunts, the airplane had to be invented. Young readers will enjoy the illustrations and text as they learn about the Wright Brothers carefully recorded experiments that led to the world’s first flying machines.
Eureka! Poems About Inventors by Joyce Sidman
A perfect read for Poetry Month. This book of narrative poems explores the minds of the creators of everything from the chocolate bar to the (ahem) bra. Readers will meet Marie Curie, Leonardo da Vinci, Mary Crosby, and many other noted innovators just as their creativity blooms.
Elon Musk and the Quest for a Fantastic Future: Young Readers’ Edition by Ashlee Vance
(JLG) Read about the fascinating inventor of the TESLA and SpaceX, Elon Musk, in this young readers edition biography. Written with exclusive access to Musk and his family and friends, this book takes readers from Musk’s childhood in South Africa through adulthood and his inventions that rock the world.
STEM Tuesday book lists prepared by:
Nancy Castaldo has written books about our planet for over 20 years including her 2016 title, THE STORY OF SEEDS: From Mendel’s Garden to Your Plate, and How There’s More of Less To Eat Around The World, which earned the Green Earth Book Award and other honors. Nancy’s research has taken her all over the world from the Galapagos to Russia. She enjoys sharing her adventures, research, and writing tips. She strives to inform, inspire, and educate her readers. Nancy also serves as the Regional Advisor of the Eastern NY SCBWI region. 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. The recipient of a Sibert Honor Award for Sea Otter Heroes and the Green Earth Book Award for Plastic, Ahoy!, her books have received starred reviews, been honored as Junior Library Guild Selections, and included on Bank Street College’s Best Books lists. During author visits, she demonstrates how her writing skills give a voice to our beleaguered environment. Visit her at www.patriciamnewman.com.