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Kim Tomsic

Friday, November 30, 2018

Books to Build STEM Collection





Readers put themselves in the shoes of the protagonists, so why not encourage kids and teens to read about characters who are scientists, technology experts, engineers, artists, and mathematicians.  Here is a recommended reading list of 2018 and 2019 picture books, middle grade novels, and young adult novels. Links to these book are posted below. Please mark as "want to read" on your Goodreads page. Happy reading! 

If you are a U.S. teacher or librarian and you'd like to build your classroom collection, please enter the giveaway. Each author will mail one copy of their book to the winning teacher or librarian's school. Make sure you follow @bkshelfdetectiv on Twitter so I can contact you via DM if you win. Winner is listed in the Rafflecopter at bottom of this post.



Picture Books

(Eifrig Publishing 02/19/2019) 

From the publisher, “In this charming STEM book, children will see how the light of the full moon inspires Aliana to create a present for her brother Gustavo, which will surprise the whole family.”   Save on Goodreads by clicking here.


Counting on Katherine by Helaine Becker  (Author), Dow Phumiruk (Illustrator) 
(Christy Ottaviano Book June, 2018)

From the publisher: “From Katherine's early beginnings as a gifted student to her heroic accomplishments as a prominent mathematician at NASA, Counting on Katherine is the story of a groundbreaking American woman who not only calculated the course of moon landings but, in turn, saved lives and made enormous contributions to history.” Save on Goodreads by clicking here.


(Chronicle Books 04/09/2019) Save on Goodreads by clicking here

A perseverance story about Hall of Fame icon Les Paul and the struggles he faced to engineer many inventions that transformed the music industry. From the publisher, "This is the story of how Les Paul created the world's first solid- body electric guitar, countless other inventions that changed modern music, and one truly epic career in rock and roll. How to make a microphone? A broomstick, a cinderblock, a telephone, a radio. How to make an electric guitar? A record player's arm, a speaker, some tape. How to make a legendary inventor? A few tools, a lot of curiosity, and an endless faith in what is possible. Featuring richly detailed, dynamic illustrations by Brett Helquist, this unforgettable biography will resonate with inventive readers young and old."

Small World by Ishta Mercurio illustrated by Jen Corace 
(Abrams Books for Young Readers (July 2, 2019) Save on Goodreads by clicking here

From the publisher: “When Nanda is born, the whole of her world is the circle of her mother’s arms. But as she grows, the world grows too. It expands outward—from her family, to her friends, to the city, to the countryside. And as it expands, so does Nanda’s wonder in the underlying shapes and structures patterning it: cogs and wheels, fractals in snowflakes. Eventually, Nanda’s studies lead her to become an astronaut and see the small, round shape of Earth far away.” 

Middle Grade Novels (ages 8-13)

The Splintered Light by Ginger Johnson 
(Bloomsbury Children’s Books September 4, 2018) Save on your Goodreads by clicking here.

From the publisher: “Ever since his brother Luc's disappearance and his father's tragic death, Ishmael has lived a monotonous existence helping his mother on their meager farm where everything is colorless. Until one morning a ray of light fragments Ishmael's gray world into something extraordinary: a spectrum of color he never knew existed. Emboldened, Ishmael sets out to find answers hoping his long lost brother might hold the key.”


(Random House Books for Young Readers (May 1, 2018)  Save on your Goodreads by clicking here.

From the publisher: “Lucy Callahan was struck by lightning. She doesn't remember it, but it changed her life forever. The zap gave her genius-level math skills, and ever since, Lucy has been homeschooled. Now, at 12 years old, she's technically ready for college. She just has to pass 1 more test--middle school!”


The 11:11 Wish by Kim Tomsic 
(Katherine Tegen/HarperCollins February 2018) Save on your Goodreads by clicking here.

Wishes, magic, and dares abound when a 7th grade math whiz tries to fit in at her new school by wishing on a magical cat clock only to suffer catastrophic consequences! In this funny "be careful what you wish for" story that features magic gone haywire, Megan Meyers turns to what she knows best—STEM—and uses the scientific method to try and sort everything out. 


(Random House, March 2018) Save on your Goodreads by clicking here.

From the publisher: “How do you grow a miracle? 
For the record, this is not the question Mr. Neely is looking for when he says everyone in class must answer an important question using the scientific method. But Natalie's botanist mother is suffering from depression, so this is The Question that's important to Natalie. When Mr. Neely suggests that she enter an egg drop competition, Natalie has hope.”


Spin the Golden Lightbulb by Jackie Yeager Book #1 in the Crimson Five series 
(Amberjack Publishing January 9, 2018) Save on your Goodreads by clicking here.

From the publisher: “It’s the year 2071 and eleven year-old Kia Krumpet is determined to build her 67 inventions, but she won't have the opportunity to unless she earns a spot at PIPS, the Piedmont Inventor’s Prep School. Kia, who has trouble making friends at school, has dreamed of winning the Piedmont Challenge and attending PIPS ever since she learned that her Grandma Kitty won the very first Piedmont Challenge. After she and four of her classmates are selected to compete for a spot at PIPS, they travel by aero-bus to Camp Piedmont to solve a task against forty-nine other state teams to earn their place at the best inventor's school in the country. 


Tiny Infinities by J.K. Diehl 
(Chronicle Books, May 2018) Save on your Goodreads by clicking here.

When Alice's dad moves out, leaving her with her troubled mother, she does the only thing that feels right: she retreats to her family's old Renaissance tent in the backyard, determined to live there until her dad comes home. In an attempt to keep at least one part of her summer from changing, Alice focuses on her quest to swim freestyle fast enough to get on her swim team's record board. But summers contain multitudes, and soon Alice meets an odd new friend, Harriet, whose obsession with the school's science fair is equal only to her conviction that Alice's best stroke is backstroke, not freestyle. Most unexpected of all is an unusual babysitting charge, Piper, who is mute—until Alice hears her speak. A funny and honest middle-grade novel, this sharply observed depiction of family, friendship, and Alice's determination to prove herself—as a babysitter, as a friend, as a daughter, as a person—rings loud and true. (For ages 10 and up).


Young Adult Novels (teen and up):

The Deepest Roots by Miranda Asebedo 
(HarperTeen September 2018) Save on your Goodreads by clicking here.

From the publisher: “Cottonwood Hollow, Kansas, is a strange place. For the past century, every girl has been born with a special talent, like the ability to Fix any object, Heal any wound, or Find what is missing. Best friends Rome, Lux, and Mercy all have similar talents, but to them, their abilities often feel like a curse. Rome may be able to Fix anything she touches, but that won’t help her mom pay rent or make it any easier to confide in Lux and Mercy about what’s going on at home. And Rome isn’t the only one. Lux has been hiding bigger, more dangerous secrets.”


What the Woods Keep by Katya de Becerra 
(Imprint September 2018) Mark as "want to read" on your Goodreads by clicking here.

From the publisher: “On her eighteenth birthday, Hayden inherits her childhood home―on the condition that she uncover its dark secrets. Hayden tried to put the past behind her, and it worked. She’s getting ready for college, living in a Brooklyn apartment, and hanging out with her best friend and roommate Del. But now it’s all catching up with her: her mother’s mysterious disappearance a decade before, her father’s outlandish theories about a lost supernatural race, and Hayden’s own dark dreams of strange symbols and rituals in the Colorado woods where she grew up.”

The Disasters by M.K. England 
(HarperCollins, December 18, 2018) Save on your Goodreads page by clicking here.

From the publisher: “Hotshot pilot Nax Hall has a history of making poor life choices. So it’s not exactly a surprise when he’s kicked out of the elite Ellis Station Academy in less than twenty-four hours. But Nax’s one-way trip back to Earth is cut short when a terrorist group attacks the Academy. Nax and three other washouts escape—barely—but they’re also the sole witnesses to the biggest crime in the history of space colonization. And the perfect scapegoats. On the run and framed for atrocities they didn’t commit, Nax and his fellow failures execute a dangerous heist to spread the truth about what happened at the Academy.”

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