New Elementary Science and Math Titles
Though I didn’t always like science classes when I was in school, I’ve always loved science books—maybe because I don’t get tested on them any longer? I devoured books on human anatomy, medicine, animals, dinosaurs, rocks, and space. My boys have some very different interests, and I remember going home from the library with an armload of books on sharks, snakes, alligators and crocodiles, snakes, poisonous spiders, and snakes. (Do you know how many books on snakes there were at our branch library? We read them all.)
Today my tastes in nonfiction still run toward science, and two of my favorite authors are Sam Kean and Mary Roach. (For those of you who like to read about science topics, check out their titles at the end of this post, as well as my review on Packing for Mars.)
Here are some fun books that can be used in elementary science classes and to just read for fun.
Follow the Moon Home : A Tale of One Idea, Twenty Kids, and a Hundred Sea Turtles by Philippe Cousteau and Deborah Hopkinson (ill. by Meilo So). 9781452112411. 2016. Gr K-3.
When one young girl learns about the problems that sea turtle hatchlings have with artificial lights near the short, she has a great idea. Enlisting the help of her friends, she helps many of the baby turtles reach the ocean.
I Am NOT a Dinosaur! by Will Lach. 9781454914914. 2016. Gr PK-2.
Learn about prehistoric creatures that proclaim that they definitely are NOT dinosaurs and what makes them different. Lach also goes on to explain the connection between dinosaurs and birds.
Now You See Them, Now You Don’t : Poems about Creatures That Hide by David L. Harrison (ill. by Giles Laroche). 9781580896108. 2016. Gr 1-3.
The entertaining and informational poems in this collection focus on animals and insects that use camouflage. The 19 creatures include both predators (polar bears, copperhead snakes, hawks) and prey (fawns, gray tree frog, walking stick), explaining how and why they hide. Back matter provides more information.
Outdoor Math : Fun Activities for Every Season by Emma Adbage. 9781771386128. 2016. Gr K-3.
Includes instructions for 36 outside math activities that can be used by elementary and preschool teachers and by parents.
The Book of What If…? : Questions and Activities for Curious Minds by Matt Murrie & Andrew R. McHugh. 9781582705293. 2016. Gr 4-6.
Eighty absurd and wacky open-ended questions are asked and answered in this highly entertaining book. Readers are encouraged not to stop with the answers provided in the book, but to be curious and crafty in creating their own answers, whether in words or art.
Cola Fountains and Spattering Paint Bombs by Jesse Goossens & Linde Faas. 9781935954521. 2016. Gr 2-5.
Parental supervision is recommended for most of these science experiments that can be performed in the house or backyard, but both child and adult will have a blast together. This collection of experiments includes growing crystals, building a hot lava lamp, bouncing an egg, and many others both old and new, all related by their exciting results.
Science Stunts : Fun Feats of Physics by Jordan Brown (ill. by Anthony Owsley). 9781623540647. 2016. Gr 4-6.
Following their Crazy Concoctions : A Mad Scientist’s Guide to Messy Mixtures, Brown and Owsley have gathered 25 experiments and organized them into chapters about gravity, sound, magnetism, and other physics topics. “The Science Behind the Stunt” portions give explain how each trick works.
Worms for Breakfast : How to Feed a Zoo by Helaine Becker (ill. by Kathy Boake). 9781771471053. 2016. Gr 2-5.
Dogs eat dog chow; leopard geckos eat live crickets; snakes eat small rodents. But what would you feed a platypus? Or a newborn zoo animal? Check out this fun, fact-filled “menu” of zoo animal entrees and snacks. In addition to the process of preparing the food, Becker also talks about how animals are fed, the commitment of today’s zoos to conservation, and how kids can support wild and captive animals.
BONUS TITLES…FOR OLDER TEENS AND ADULTS
Sam Kean bibliography:
The Disappearing Spoon : And Other True Tales Madness, Love, and the History of the World from the Periodic Table of the Elements. 9780316051644. 2010. Gr 10-Adult.
The Tale of the Dueling Neurosurgeons : The History of the Human Brain as Revealed by True Stories of Trauma, Madness, and Recovery. 9780316182348. 2014. Gr 10-Adult.
The Violinist’s Thumb : And Other Lost Tales of Love, War, and Genius, As Written by Our Genetic Code. 9780316182317. 2012. Gr 10-Adult.
Mary Roach bibliography:
Bonk : The Curious Coupling of Science and Sex. 9780393064643. 2008. Gr Adult.
Grunt : The Curious Science of Humans at War. 9780393245448. June 2016. Gr 10-Adult.
Gulp : Adventures on the Alimentary Canal. 9780393081572. 2013. Gr 10-Adult.
Packing for Mars : The Curious Science of Life in the Void. 9780393068474. 2010. Gr 10-Adult.
Spook : Science Tackles the Afterlife. 9780393059625. 2005. Gr 11-Adult.
Stiff : The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers. 9780393050936. 2003. Gr 10-Adult.
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