13 Middle Grade Books for Young Inventors
by Dena McMurdie
Inventors come in all ages, shapes, and sizes, but some of the most exciting ideas brew in the minds of young people. If your child loves to build things, tinker with ideas, or dream up new inventions, it’s important to foster that. One of the best and easiest ways to encourage your young inventor is by giving them plenty of books that ignite their imagination.
Here are some fantastic books to keep your child’s hands and brains busy while dreaming up new ideas.
Fantastic Fiction About Young Inventors
Project Startup #1
Shark Tank fans will love this exciting novel inspired by two innovative entrepreneurs who appeared on the show. When Hallie and Jaye get stuck working together on their business class competition, they invent a snack food made from crickets. They experience setbacks and friendship drama along the way, but their biggest challenge is convincing the judges that crickets make fantastic food.
Weird Little Robots
Magic, friendship, and creativity collide in this illustrated chapter book about a girl and her robots. Even though she’s new in town, Penny Rose couldn’t be happier. She makes a new friend, builds dozens of robots (which come to life!), and gets invited to join a super-secret science club. But the club isn’t what she expects, and Penny Rose gets stuck between it, her best friend, and a bully intent on ruining everything.
Maya and the Robot
Robot-obsessed kids will love this charming story about Maya, a girl who befriends an abandoned robot. After using her science smarts to get him running again, Maya realizes the robot is more than just a machine. He’s the friend she desperately needs right now.
The Magnificent Makers Series
Kids who enjoy Magic School Bus will love this illustrated chapter book series about a group of science-loving friends. They discover a magic portal that transports them to a laboratory filled with everything a young inventor could want. Together, the friends test experiments, create inventions, practice teamwork, and learn from their mistakes. It’s an excellent easy-to-read series for aspiring inventors.
Girls Who Code Series
Whether they’re developing an app or coding lights and music for a dance, the girls in this series face every challenge head-on. Friendship, drama, and computer science combine into a highly readable series that young inventors and casual readers alike will enjoy.
The Smartest Kid in the Universe Book 2: Genius Camp
Go to genius camp with Jake McQuade in this hilarious novel from the author of Escape From Mr. Limoncello’s Library. In the first book in the series, Jake ate some knowledge-infused jelly beans and accidentally became the smartest kid in the universe. Now, Jake faces new challenges—a diabolical inventor, a camp full of smartphone-addicted kids, a threat against his school, and the worry that his candy-induced intelligence will wear off.
Books About Famous Inventors
Every young inventor should have a copy of this book. It gives readers a peek into the lives and inventions of fifty brilliant people throughout history. Kids will learn about Thomas Crapper, who invented the flushing mechanism still used in toilets today, Ada Lovelace, the first computer programmer, and Elon Musk, among many others.
Find out what your favorite inventors were like as children with this engaging collection of biographies. Readers will learn about the lives and inventions of famous creatives like Steve Jobs, Walt Disney, and Madam C. J. Walker. If your child enjoys this book, check out the rest of the Kid Legends series for more fascinating biographies.
The Wright Brothers
Kids who love aviation, invention, and history should read this Newbery Honor-winning biography about Orville and Wilbur Wright. It takes readers through the brothers’ childhood and early days of tinkering with toys and bicycles before diving into their work with airplanes. Plenty of photos and facts make this biography a must-read.
Math Maker Lab
Math is an essential part of every invention, and this book gives readers practical, hands-on activities to sharpen their skills. Kids will use easy-to-find materials, imagination, and math to do exciting projects. It’s a must-have for busy kids who love to build.
The LEGO Ideas Book
LEGOs are an excellent way to encourage your young inventor. Hand them this bestselling book and a bucket of bricks and see what amazing things they invent. If your kid enjoys this book, check out the rest of the LEGO Ideas series for more brick-building fun.
How to Be an Engineer
Learn how to think like an engineer with the help of this hands-on activity book! Each page introduces kids to a world of STEM-related activities, ideas, and concepts. They’ll learn about their favorite inventors and how to design and build their own creations.
1,000 Inventions and Discoveries
Take a walk through invention history with this jumbo-sized book. It’s a must-read for every young inventor! From the lightbulb to the smartphone, kids will learn about the people and ideas behind everyday items.