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By Julia Lederhouse

Julia Lederhouse-finalReading is the gateway for children to develop a creative fascination with the world of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. In addition to helping your young reader grow in STEM-related interests, titles such as the ones below can help increase academic vocabulary, build background knowledge, and strengthen nonfiction reading comprehension.

As September approaches, consider the following books for your elementary readers to make the most of the 2015–2016 school year!


Primary (Grades K–2)

  • On a Beam of Light: A Story of Albert Einstein (Jennifer Berne): The biography of Albert Einstein becomes friendly and relatable for children in Jennifer Berne’s winsome take on the physicist’s life. Vladimir Radunsky’s illustrations help illuminate the whimsical and imaginative mind that would grow up to be one of the most foundational scientists of the 20th century.
  • Rosie Revere, Engineer (Andrea Beaty): Join Rosie in this fictional tale as she journeys to invent a flying contraption for her dear aunt. This charming story communicates one of the greatest lessons in STEM education: a “failure” is only an opportunity to learn more and create again.
  • Millions, Billions, and Trillions: Understanding Big Numbers (David Adler): David Adler helps make the mathematical world a little more concrete for young students in this exploration of very large numbers. His examples are creative, enjoyable, and can become great visual “anchors” for your young mathematician.

Intermediate (Grades 3–4)

  • The Frank Einstein Series (Jon Scieszka and Brian Biggs): This book series will charm your student with great laughs, engaging science concepts, and a look at the history of science and engineering. Jon Scieszka, one of the authors behind this series, is passionate about keeping boys engaged in reading throughout their elementary experience and onward. His award-winning books range in genre and grade level, and are sure to entertain children and parents alike.
  • Spectacular Science: A Book of Poems (Lee Bennett Hopkins): Challenge your science-loving student to explore a new genre through Lee Bennett Hopkins’s alluring picture book of poetry inspired by the scientific world and illustrated by Virginia Halsted. Passages stretch beyond the plant and animal world around us into the beautiful phenomenons such as changes in matter and the wonder of weather.

Upper Elementary (Grades 5–6)

  • The Book of Potentially Catastrophic Science: 50 Experiments for Daring Young Scientists (Sean Connolly): Sean Connolly takes his readers through seemingly “dangerous” experiments made from household items in this book. While expanding on historical scientific findings and explaining the concepts behind each experiment, students will find this book hands-on and engaging.
  • Art as Science (Christine Fleming): As many schools transition into full STEAM programs that incorporate the visual arts into problem-solving, your student may appreciate Christine Fleming’s exploration into where science and art join innovative forces. Journey into the past to view into how the pyramids were constructed and into our modern era as contemporary architects such Frank Gehry are using computer-based technology to change the beautiful skylines of our cities.

Editor’s Note: Thank you for reading today’s post! If you would like to write a review on any of these titles listed above, or another of interest to our audience, we’d love to highlight your perspective on The AAPS Blog. Please contact aapsblog@aaps.org.

Julia Lederhouse is a STEM resource teacher in Fairfax County, Virginia. She is passionate about engaging young minds and developing thinkers and problem-solvers through the elementary curriculum.