New Middle Grade Science

Science can be a hard topic to find those books that your students will actually want to pick up and read themselves without being told that they have to. These are a few new middle grade science titles that I have come across in my searches that I think reluctant readers will particularly enjoy, but can also be used in a regular classroom setting to teach about deadly diseases or about some of the weirdest animals in the world.


1467721093_01_LZZZZZZZWhen Lunch Fights Back: Wicked Clever Animal Defenses by Rebecca L. Johnson. 9781467721097. 2014. Gr 4-7.

A defense really is the best offense in this new title that is all about the weirdest animal defenses which help prevent them from becoming another animal’s next meal. This title will appeal to the boy crowd with its gross facts about a bird that has projectile poop or the hag fish which creates snot like substance, so it can slip away. This book is eye catching with its big photos which feature action shots of most of the animal defenses. This would be a good resource not only for browsing, but informing about different animals and their defensive tools.

1590787323_01_LZZZZZZZRed Madness: How a Medical Mystery Changed What We Eat by Gail Jarrow. 9781590787328. 2014. Gr 6-9.

This title is a hunt into Pellagra, a mysterious epidemic of the early 20th century. The symptoms of this disease involved a large rash, weakness, insanity, and eventually death. The account of the disease is told through firsthand accounts, newspaper clippings, and gruesome pictures of the disease. This narrative nonfiction title will appeal to readers who like a mystery thriller and it will intrigue other students to find out the cause of this deadly disease.

1554516714_01_LZZZZZZZPatient Zero: Solving the Mystery of Deadly Epidemics by Marilee Peters. 9781554516711. 2014. Gr 6-9.

To continue in the field of deadly diseases, Patient Zero is a pseudo investigation into the first person to contract a lethal disease. The time period of the diseases ranges from the Black Plague to the AIDS epidemic. There is a sense of urgency in each chapter as readers learn how a specific disease affected the population. This title will be especially relevant for epidemiology units for its chapter into the Ebola virus in Zaire which can be used to fast forward to the current Ebola epidemic.

1582704740_01_LZZZZZZZHello from 2030: The Science of the Future and You by Jan Paul Schutten. 9781582704746. 2014. Gr 4-7.

What could the future be like in 16 years? Will we be living comfortably on Earth with new technologies that help improve our life by helping create our meals or will we have traveled to another planet? Or will the world be struggling in the next 16 years with a mass extinction or global warming spinning out of control? All of these scenarios, including others are discussed within this book and there is a chapter included that discusses how we can predict what the future might be like. There is also an extensive resource list provided in the back.

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