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Literary Science 2: Selected Books for Grades 6-12

© 2021, 2012 Cooperative Children's Book Center

Compiled by Megan Schliesman

The Next Generation Science Standards emphasize four broad areas of science education:

  • Life Science
  • Earth & Space Science
  • Physical Science
  • Engineering & Design

This bibliography identifies trade literature for middle and high school-age across these four broad areas for grades 6-12. The purpose is to suggest books that can engage students in science and technology subjects or research, or in critical thinking on ethical issues in science and technology. Some of these books may connect directly to what is being taught in the classroom, others invite students to make connections between the subject of the book and what they are learning in and beyond their science or technology classroom.

This list is not meant to be exhaustive or to incorporate every science/technology concept that is taught in middle and high school. Instead, it is meant to suggest ways of integrating high-quality children's and young adult literature with the science curriculum--books that can foster interest, invite discussion, and connect science and technology to literature and reading. Titles on the list include both fiction and non-fiction.

It should be noted that while the first two NGSS categories, Life Science and Earth & Space Science, offer many rich possibilities in children's and young adult literature, the other two categories, Physical Science and Engineering & Design, present more of a challenge. Therefore, these two have been combined into a single category on this list.

Life Science

Burns, Loree Griffin The Hive Detectives: Chronicle of a Honey Bee Catastrophe (Scientists in the Field). Illustrated by Ellen Harasimowicz. Houghton Mifflin /Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2010. 66 pages. Age 10 and older

Cherrix, Amy Backyard Bears (Scientists in the Field). Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2018. 73 pages. Ages 9-13

Collard, Sneed B. The Prairie Builders: Reconstructing America's Lost Grasslands. Illustrated by Sneed B. Collard. Houghton Mifflin , 2005. 72 pages. Age 10 and older

Heiligman, Deborah Charles and Emma: The Darwins' Leap of Faith. Henry Holt, 2009. 268 pages. Age 14 and older

Hopkinson, Deborah The Great Trouble: A Mystery of London, the Blue Death, and a Boy Called Eel. Knopf, 2013. 249 pages. Ages 8-12

Jarrow, Gail Red Madness: How a Medical Mystery Changed What We Eat. Calkins Creek/Highlights, 2014. 192 pages. Age 12 and older

Pearson, Mary E. The Adoration of Jenna Fox. Henry Holt, 2008. 266 pages. Age 12 and older

Peters, Marilee Patient Zero: Solving the Mysteries of Deadly Epidemics. Annick, 2014. 166 pages. Age 11 and older

Pringle, Laurence Billions of Years, Amazing Changes: The Story of Evolution. Illustrated by Steve Jenkins. Boyds Mills, 2011. 102 pages. Ages 9-14

Sidman, Joyce Ubiquitous: Celebrating Nature’s Survivors. Illustrated by Beckie Prange. Houghton Mifflin /Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2010. 32 pages. Ages 9-13

Earth & Space Science

Books of Information

Atkins, Jeannine. Finding Wonders: Three Girls Who Changed Science. Atheneum, 2016. 195 pages. Ages 10-13

Brown, Don. The Great American Dust Bowl. Illustrated by Don Brown. Houghton Mifflin , 2013. 80 pages. Age 10 and older

Brown, Don. Drowned City: Hurricane Katrina & New Orleans. Illustrated by Don Brown. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2015. 96 pages. Age 11 and older

Carson, Mary Kay. Inside Biosphere 2: Earth Science Under Glass (Scientists in the Field). Illustrated by Tom Uhlman. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2015. 79 pages. Age 10 and older

Cherrix, Amy. Eye of the Storm: NASA, Drones, and the Race to Crack the Hurricane Code (Scientists in the Field). Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2017. 73 pages. Age 10 and older

Jackson, Ellen. The Mysterious Universe: Supernovae, Dark Energy, and Black Holes. (Scientists in the Field) . Illustrated by Nic Bishop. Houghton Mifflin , 2008. 60 pages. Age 10 and older

Rusch, Elizabeth. The Mighty Mars Rovers: The Incredible Adventures of Spirit and Opportunity (Scientists in the Field). Houghton Mifflin , 2012. 79 pages. Age 10 and older

Turner, Pamela S.. Life on Earth--and Beyond: An Astrobiologist's Quest. Charlesbridge, 2008. 109 pages. Age 10 and older

Fiction

Bacigalupi, Paolo. Ship Breaker. Little, Brown, 2010. 326 pages. Age 13 and older

Farr, Richard. Emperors of the Ice: A True Story of Disaster and Survival in the Antarctic, 1910-13 . Farrar Straus Giroux, 2008. 217 pages. Age 12 and older

Kelly, Erin Entrada. We Dream of Space. Greenwillow/HarperCollins, 2020. 391 pages. Ages 9-12

Mass, Wendy. Every Soul a Star. Little, Brown, 2008. 322 pages. Ages 10-13

Pfeffer, Susan Beth. Life as We Knew It. Harcourt , 2006. 337 pages. Age 13 and older

Rhodes, Jewell Parker. Ninth Ward. Little, Brown, 2010. 224 pages. Ages 9-13

Shusterman, Neal and Jarrod Shusterman. Dry. Simon & Schuster, 2018. 390 pages. Age 13 and older

Physical Science/Engineering & Design

Books of Information

Delano, Marfe Ferguson. Genius: A Photobiography of Albert Einstein. National Geographic, 2005. 63 pages. Ages 10-13

Glass, Andrew. Flying Cars: The True Story. Clarion, 2015. 118 pages. Ages 10-15

Kamkwamba, William and Bryan Mealer. The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind. Illustrated by Anna Hymas. Dial, 2015. 293 pages. Age 12 and older

Macaulay, David. Crossing on Time: Steam Engines, Fast Ships, and a Journey to the New World. Illustrated by David Macaulay. Roaring Brook, 2019. 127 pages. Ages 9-14

Macaulay, David. Built to Last. Illustrated by David Macaulay. Houghton Mifflin /Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2010. 272 pages. Age 10 and older

Rocco, John. How We Got to the Moon: The People, Technology, and Daring Feats of Science Behind Humanity's Greatest Adventure. Illustrated by John Rocco. Crown/Penguin Random House, 2020. 256 pages. Age 9 and older

Rusch, Elizabeth. The Big One: The Cascadia Earthquakes and the Science of Saving Lives (Scientists in the Field). Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2020. 75 pages. Age 11 and older

Sayre, April Pulley. Secrets of Sound: Studying the Calls and Songs of Whales, Elephants, and Birds (Scientists in the Field). Houghton Mifflin , 2002. 64 pages. Age 10 and older

Soontornvat, Christina. All Thirteen: The Incredible Cave Rescue of the Thai Boys' Soccer Team. Candlewick, 2020. 280 pages. Age 10 and older

Fiction

Anderson, M. T.. Feed. Candlewick, 2002. 237 pages. Age 14 and older

Castellucci, Cecil. First Day on Earth. Scholastic Press, 2011. 160 pages. Age 13 and older

Fisher, Catherine. Incarceron (Incarceron, #1). Dial/Penguin, 2010. 442 pages. Age 12 and older

Houtman, Jacqueline. The Reinvention of Edison Thomas. Front Street, 2010. 189 pages. Ages 9-13

Mariz, Rae. The Unidentified. Balzer + Bray/HarperCollins, 2010. 296 pages. Age 13 and older

Smith, Lane. It's a Book. Illustrated by Lane Smith. Roaring Brook, 2010. 32 pages. Age 7 and older

Stead, Rebecca. When You Reach Me. Random House/Wendy Lamb Books, 2009. 208 pages. Ages 10-13

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