Posts Tagged scientists

STEM Tuesday– Food Science — Book List



Food science focuses on many facets of our food system: chemistry, biology, nutrition, engineering and more! The books listed below are just the beginning for budding scientists who want to learn more about how food shapes our world; where it started, where it’s going and how to improve what we have.


The Story of Seeds

by Nancy Castaldo

Do you want to know where our food comes from? And where it is going? The Story of Seeds will let you know. The author investigates the importance of seeds in our world, how they’re preserved, and more importantly what readers can do to help preserve the variety of them through simple actions.






The Chemistry of Food

by Carla Mooney

Learn the science behind the food you love as you explore the chemistry within the meal. This hands-on book is a delicious way to learn more about flavors, nutrition, and the texture of food. It even includes recipes!




Forthcoming | Skyhorse Publishing

Food Weird-o-Pedia: The Ultimate Book of Surprising, Strange, and Incredibly Bizarre Facts about Food and Drink

by Alex Palmer

Want to learn weird facts about food that you can share with friends and family? This is the book for you. Each chapter offers an encyclopedia of strange facts about everything from junk food to vegetables – and then some! Learn about the odd and obscure aspects of food – including some of your favorite snacks.




Buy Food Anatomy: The Curious Parts & Pieces of Our Edible World Book Online at Low Prices in India | Food Anatomy: The Curious Parts & Pieces of Our Edible World Reviews

Food Anatomy: The Curious Parts & Pieces of Our Edible World

by Julia Rothman and Rachel Wharton

This engaging book starts with an illustrated history of food. As you continue to read, you’ll learn about street eats and short-order egg lingo. Curious? This book has the recommended daily allowance of facts and fun. You’ll be sure to eat it up.






Eating Bugs as Sustainable Food

by Cecilia Pinto McCarthy

This book tells us why eating bugs might help feed more people around the world – after all, bugs take less space, water and food than livestock. It also talks about the science behind raising bugs, and there are a ton of images and infographics.




Bugs for Breakfast: How Eating Insects Could Help Save the Planet : Boone, Mary: Books



Bugs for Breakfast: How Eating Insects Could Help Save the Planet

by Mary Boone

This book takes a look at entomophagy, the practice of eating bugs for nourishment. It talks about why it makes sense from a nutritional point of view. As a bonus, it’s good of the planet. There are recipes as well!





Introduction to Food Science: An Overview (Edible Knowledge)

by Dale W. Cox

The first book in a series of workbooks gives an introduction about food science, food processing, careers in the field, and a lot of experiments on food science theory designed for children 10 and up.







100 Things to Know About Food (Usborne)

by  Alice James, Jerome Martin, Sam Baer, Rachel Firth, Rose Hall, Federico Mariani and Parco Polo

This bright book is full of fascinating fun-filled browseable facts about food, from farming to cooking, from nutrition to tastes, and everything in between.






The Science Chef: 100 Fun Food Experiments and Recipes for Kids (Second Edition – 2020)

by Joan D’Amico and Karen Drummond

This book teaches the basics of food science through hands-on experiments and detailed recipes. How does food cook? How does popcorn pop? How does bread rise? How do beans sprout? Information about all these and much more within these pages.






Susan Summers is a wildlife enthusiast and an author. Contact her at:



Shruthi Rao is an author. Her home on the web is



STEM Tuesday– Entomology– Writing Tips & Resources




Little and Literary

When most people see a book about Onthophagus acumiantus, they might give it a pass. A book about a cheetah, a chipmunk, a chimpanzee, sure, but a beetle? And, written by a scientist? Dry, dense, info dump. No thanks.

But that bias was is old-fashioned. Come on people, this is 2023. The fact-filled books of today offer so much more.

Beetle Battles: One Scientists Journey of Adventure and Discovery by entomologist Doug Emlen could change a few minds. Let’s take a look at how this 170-page about a beetle the size of a pencil eraser could change minds about what a science book can be.

There’s nothing at all wrong about an insect book that sticks to the data—one that presents quantitative data for those who are looking—but what about those readers who aren’t quite so into numbers and charts? How can they enjoy science?

Let’s have story! Literary language! And a “So what?” that has implications about the next world war!

A Look at Language

Emlen starts his story:

Prologue: A Horrible, Hot Night

The South American country of Ecuador straddles the Andes mountain chain like a Band-Aid stretched over a knuckle. The capital city of Quito sits high on the knuckle (9,300 feet elevation), and a braided chain of bus routes threads north-south along the rugged mountain backbone, weaving in between towering volcanic peaks and a string of little cities connecting Quito with Columbian to the north and Peru to the south. The country plunges downward on either side of this backbone, steep mountainsides covered with cloud forest dropping to the scorching Pacific coast to the west, and into the sweltering Amazon basin to the east.

Can you picture it? We are not yet even in a scene—this is just the prologue—but already, I know that this writer is going to paint this story in such a way that I can feel it. I re-read the paragraph, seeking out how he did that. To me, the things that drew me in were:

  • Verbs: straddles, stretched, sits, threads, weaving, connecting, plunges, covered, dropping. I thought I’d just pick out the vivid ones, but discovered every single one was.
  • Descriptors: horrible, high, braided, rugged, towering, steep, scorching, sweltering. Not a weak one in the bunch. Bonus: all that alliteration! Someone was having fun with their writing.
  • Nouns: chain, Band-Aid, knuckle, backbone, peaks, string, cloud forest, basin. Writing it out this way, I noticed how many of those nouns create layered analogies. Not a simple one-and-done simile, but a Band-Aid (analogy anyone can relate to) over a knuckle and the city Emlen wants us to focus on is high on that knuckle. What other layered analogies can you find?

A Look at Structure

Emlen gives us 24 short chapters organized into 6 parts. The narrative, in the main text, is supported by lengthy, expository insets. These insets are not ancillary, they significant enough to each have a place in the table of contents. In addition, Emlen give us 4 journal entries—what a cool way to experience research right alongside the expert!

A Look at Approach

Emlen turns “science book” stereotype on its head by writing in first person. Sure, there are middle grade books on science topics that follow the story of a scientist (see the brilliant works of Sy Montgomery, Mary Kay Carson, Patricia Newman and many more), but this is first person. This is “I was going to solve a mystery.” “I had that one lingering problem . . . “ “I realized with a thrill. . .  This is scientific process where we are inside the mind of the scientist.

And this first person approach also gave the opportunity to turn the “scientist” stereotype on its head. Emlen intentional shows us his emotions throughout. Yes this book is about a beetle, about weapons and evolution and the human arms race, but the story is how one person followed a creature, stumbled through a long line of questions, and then tumbled onto a stage in front of the big wigs of the FBI, DOD and CIA.  His message: if we want to overcome the number one threat to our country’s security we better start looking at the horns of itty bitty beetles.

Dry, dense info dump? Nope. Today, there’s nonfiction to lure in every kind of reader out there!

Heather L. Montgomery writes about itty bitty bugs too. She’s had a ton of fun writing first person narrative middle grade books about poop and roadkill among other unsettling topics. Be on the look out for Sick! The Twists and Turns Behind Animal Germs due out February 2024! 

The O.O.L.F Files

Curious about inset/sidebar/call out terminology? Check out .

STEM Tuesday– Extinction– Book List

They say “extinction is forever” – but is it? These books address the very real threat of extinction of the living organisms that share our planet. They also show what we can do about it, how some species have recovered, and some even ask whether we should bring back “lost” species.

Animals at the EDGE: Saving the World’s Rarest Creatures by Marilyn Baillie

Dinosaurs are not the only animals who’ve gone extinct; the last marsupial Tasmanian tiger died just 75 years ago. Meet the scientists searching for proof that eleven rare animals (the last of their kind) still exist. Discover what they’ve found and their next steps in either finding or surveying and protecting these amazing animals. The conversational tone, mini biographies, “field note” sidebars, and map make this a wonderful introduction to these animals.

Gone is Gone: Wildlife Under Threat by Isabelle Groc

After explaining extinction and tallying losses, the author examines the numerous ways scientists track and evaluate species numbers and their habitats, as well as the threats each faces. Then highlights the efforts by scientists and citizens which have rescued species (eagles, condors, and right whales) and current efforts to save many others (northern white rhinos, tortoise, and ducks). “Act For Wildlife” sections focus on ways kids, and others, have made a difference.

American Jaguar: Big Cats, Biogeography, and Human Borders by Elizabeth Webb

A jaguar in the U.S.? This book starts with the discovery of a jaguar near the Arizona border and examines the hazards of habitat fragmentation on animals and plants and the work of scientists, citizens, and governments to create corridors (protected areas or over/underpasses) to save numerous species from genetic islands and extinction. Geared for slightly older readers, it uses the history of science and scientists, legends, case studies, conservation connections, and calls to action, as well as great photographs, charts, & graphs to make it very accessible.

Giraffe Extinction: Using Science & Tech To Save the Gentle Giants by Tanya Anderson

Discovering a 40% population drop (in just 30 years), scientists are racing time to study, count, and track nine subspecies of giraffes. The book details the genetics, spot identification software, specific case studies, and spotlights seven conservation efforts. It also offers citizen science suggestions and provides an awesome giraffe guide detailing each of the subspecies physiology, spot patterns, and extinction risk. The photos, charts, and graphs are both gorgeous and heart-breaking.

DeExctintion: The Science of Bringing Lost Species Back to Life by Rebecca Hirsch

Can we and should we bring back a wooly mammoth, passenger pigeon, or Tasmanian tiger?
Or maybe use the technology to prevent current threatened extinctions, such as reviving the “vanished” American chestnut trees, whooping cranes, and the black-footed ferret (once thought extinct, until a small population was discovered in 1981). An interesting look at cloning, DNA mapping and manipulation, and how frozen tissue collections have been used to create diversity in Giant pandas. Hirsch also addresses extinction in two other books: Where Have All the Birds Gone? : Nature in Crisis, in which she notes the warning signs of extinction events; and Where Have All the Bees Gone? featured in an earlier STEM Tuesday post.

Condor Comeback by Sy Montgomery, photographs by Tianne Strombeck

In 1987 the California Condor was declared officially “extinct in the wild.” Fortunately, scientists, volunteers, and everyday people worked together to return condors to the wild. Through it all, readers learn about condor society, behavior, and biology.

Save the People! Halting Human Extinction by Stacy McAnulty, art by Nicole Miles

This is a book about the potential demise of our planet: events that have occurred, are currently underway, and – hopefully – will never happen. Written with humor and sass, the author outlines a few “favorite threats” to the human species: plague, asteroids… But the biggest, most immediate threat is human-caused climate change. She lays out the problems and potential solutions and offers a To Do list at the end.

Rewilding: Giving Nature a Second Chance by Jane Drake and Ann Love

A handbook for those who want to halt extinction in its tracks. This book shows how it is possible to create core areas for wild species, corridors to connect them, and ways to support the keystone species in those habitats. Examples of rewilding include projects in urban environments as well as vast spaces.

Champion, The Comeback Tale of the American Chestnut Tree by Sally M Walker

American chestnut trees were once plentiful in our eastern forests, until 1904 when a fungus wiped out entire forests. But when that fungus showed up in Europe, some infected trees survived. Now scientists want to know if it’s possible to breed a blight-resistant variety, and others are exploring biotechnology options, such as inserting a fungus-fighting gene into the chestnut’s DNA.

For kids who love to choose their own adventures:

Can You Protect the Coral Reefs? : An Interactive Eco Adventure by Michael Burgan

Coral reefs face threats of extinction from increasing ocean temperatures and pollution. In this choose-your-own-adventure, readers learn about coral reefs and then choose a scientific research project to join (there are 3 of them, and you can come back to join another). There’s a lot about ocean research packed into this interactive informational book.

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

Sue Heavenrich, who writes about science for children and their families on topics ranging from space to backyard ecology. Bees, flies, squirrel behavior—things she observes in her neighborhood and around her home—inspire her writing. Visit her at

Maria Marshall, a children’s author, blogger, and poet who is passionate about making nature and reading fun for children. When not writing, critiquing, or reading, she watches birds, travels the world, bakes, and hikes. Visit her at