Reading List

Check out these great science books at home.

Showing 21 items
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Melissa Stewart (illustrated by Higgins Bond) A Place for Bats A dozen bats are presented in this charming, fact-filled book, which introduces young readers to the ways that human action, or inaction, can affect bat populations. The engaging narrative will open children's minds to a wide range of environmental issues. Elementary 
Lita Judge Bird Talk: What Birds Are Saying and Why Common birds such as goldfinches and blue jays hold their place in this book, along with more conventionally charismatic species like sage grouse and birds of paradise. Mating calls, greeting ceremonies, communication with chicks, and strategies for avoiding predators are illustrated with appealing examples. The simple, accurate language clearly explains birds' vocalizations and will engross three-year-olds as well as adults. Elementary 
Charles Wilson and Eric Schlosser Chew on This: Everything You Don’t Want to Know about Fast Food (based upon Fast Food Nation for middle school readers). Middle School 
Mary M. Cerullo (photographs by Jeffrey L. Rotman) City Fish, Country Fish  This beautiful book describes how fish live in their natural habitats, whether in "city" coral reefs or cold "country" waters. Ocean photographer Rotman contributes stunning images that enhance Cerullo's delightful text. Elementary 
Bryn Barnard Dangerous Planet: Ten Natural Disasters that Changed History An interesting look at nine disasters. The readable text describes each occurrence and discusses how the course of history was affected by it, and to what degree. Events range from the devastating asteroid impact some 65 million years ago to the kamikaze winds that foiled invasions of Japan in 1274 and 1281 and the apocalyptic storm that staggered Edward III's army on the fields of France in 1360. Middle School 
Alexandra Horowitz Inside of a Dog: What Dogs See, Smell and Know  Bestselling book on what is going on inside the mind of our favorite animal companion. Here's a hint: snacks. Middle School 
Tom Rogers Insultingly Stupid Movie Physics Would the bus in Speed really have made that jump? Could a Star Wars ship actually explode in space? What really would have happened if you said "Honey, I shrunk the kids"? Insultingly Stupid Movie Physics is a hilarious guide to the biggest mistakes, most outrageous assumptions, and the outright lunacy at work in Hollywood films that play with the rules of science. In this fascinating and funny guide, author Tom Rogers examines 20 different topics and shows how, when it comes to filmmaking, the rules of physics are flexible. Einsteins and film buffs alike will be educated and entertained by this wise and witty guide to science in Hollywood. Middle School 
Claire A. Nivola Life in the Ocean: The Story of Oceanographer Sylvia Earle The heart of this book is the inspiring story of Sylvia Earle, world-renowned oceanographer and environmentalist. Nivola conveys Earle's passion for the ocean environment in words and images that will capture a young reader's imagination. Elementary 
Paul de Kruif Microbe Hunters A classic of medical writing which tracks the advent of modern medicine. Great read for future doctors. Middle School 
Jane Goodall My Life with Chimpanzees One of the great heroes of the natural world, Jane Goodall was the first professional observer to live among the chimpanzees like an anthropologist and discover the structure of their families and tribes, and their deep family relationships. Middle School 
Molly Bang and Penny Chisholm Ocean Sunlight: How Tiny Plants Feed the Seas From tiny aquatic plants to the biggest whale or fish, Bang and Chisholm present a moving, living picture of the miraculous balance sustaining each creature's life cycle and the food chain deep within the oceans. The lyrical text also provides a clear explanation of the role of the sun in photosynthesis on land and seas.  Elementary 
Jennifer Berne (illustrated by Vladimir Radunsky) On a Beam of Light: A Story of Albert Einstein By capturing Einstein's ideas and thought processes at a very high (but comprehensible) level, this beautifully illustrated book is a perfect introduction to the famous physicist. It's also a book the whole family can enjoy. The art, in pen and ink and rapid‑brush watercolor, is emotionally nuanced and stimulating. Elementary 
Laurie Lawlor Rachel Carson and Her Book that Changed the World Rachel Carson, a biologist and environmentalist, wrote Silent Spring, a game-changing book that pointed out the dangerous effects of chemicals on the living world. Lawlor's exploration of Silent Spring conveys the importance of the work and the impact of Carson's message.  Elementary 
Lia Kvatum (photographs by Liya Pokrovskaya) Saving Yasha: The Incredible True Story of an Adoptive Moon Bear In this lovely book, readers encounter two scientists who bring an orphaned bear cub to safe surroundings, where he is allowed to live with two other orphaned cubs. As the story unfolds, readers learn in the most direct and simple (yet enthralling) way about the steps taken to raise the cub and return him back to the wild.  Elementary 
Janet Riehecky Slime, Poop, and Other Wacky Animal Defenses Sometimes, the best defense is a good offense. The use of poop as a dousing agent and a repellent smell, and the use of vomit as a poison are just two examples of animal defenses that will capture any reader's attention. Descriptions of each offensive tactic are accompanied by an image of the attacking animal, making readers feel they are on the front lines.  Elementary 
HP Newquist The Great Brain Book: An Inside Look at the Inside of Your Head This middle school-high school level texts features great illustrations, and lively and clear explanation of how the brain works. Middle School 
Richard Preston The Hot Zone errifying, true tale of a potential outbreak of the deadly Ebola virus! Not for the faint of heart. Middle School 
Sandra Markle (illustrated by Mia Posada) The Long, Long Journey: The Godwit's Amazing Migration Markle tells a remarkable story about a shorebird, the Bar‑tailed Godwit, and its yearly migration. Outstanding full‑page color illustrations capture the life of this hardy bird from its spring birth in Alaska, to its arrival in New Zealand the following fall. The story is simple and heartwarming. Illustrations are appropriate for very young readers. Elementary 
Oliver Sacks The Man Who Mistook his Wife for a Hat Neurologist Oliver Sacks explores the unusual ways people who have experienced various kinds of brain damage perceive the world. And yes, there is a man who mistook his wife for a hat. Intriguing. Born to Run: A Hidden Tribe, Superathletes, and the Greatest Race the World Has Never Seen by Christopher MacDougall The Great Brain Book: An Inside Look at the Inside of Your Head by HP Newquist. This middle school-high school level texts features great illustrations, and lively and clear explanation of how the brain works. Middle School 
Michael Pollan The Omnivore’s Dilemma for Kids: The Secrets Behind What You Eat “What’s for dinner?” seemed like a simple question—until journalist and supermarket detective Michael Pollan delved behind the scenes. From fast food and big organic to small farms and old-fashioned hunting and gathering, this young readers’ adaptation of Pollan’s famous food-chain exploration encourages kids to consider the personal and global health implications of their food choices. In a smart, compelling format with updated facts, plenty of photos, graphs, and visuals, as well as a new afterword and backmatter, The Omnivore’s Dilemma serves up a bold message to the generation that needs it most: It’s time to take charge of our national eating habits—and it starts with you. Middle School 
Augustus Brown Why Pandas Do Handstands, And Other Curious Truths About Animals A compendium of true, fascinating, weird facts about animals.  Middle School 
Showing 21 items