18 Awesome STEM Books That Make Science and Technology Fun for Kids
by Melissa Taylor
STEM subjects — science, technology, engineering, and math — are a crucial part of a child’s education both now and in the future. These STEM books are filled with great stories and cool project ideas that can help lay a foundation for any mixture of STEM disciplines. We hope the books recommended here spark excitement, teach something new, and make STEM accessible to your children.
STEM Books for Kids Ages 4 - 8
Everything is a math Problem with a capital “P” thanks to Mrs. Fibonacci the math teacher! It starts at 7:15 AM when a girl wakes up and remembers it takes 10 minutes to get dressed, 15 minutes to eat breakfast, and 1 minute to brush her teeth so ... 1) if her bus leaves at 8:00 AM, will she make it on time? 2) how many minutes in 1 hour and 3) how many teeth in 1 mouth? This hilarious, math-disaster of a day continues with more math than you can imagine … but will it ever end?
How Machines Work: Zoo Break!
Pop-ups, lift-the-flaps, and levers encourage kids to get involved in this STEM adventure story about two animals, Sloth and Sengi, who try to escape the zoo using simple machines. While reading the story, you’ll also discover information on each machine — machines such as a teeter-totter, a pulley, scissors, and a bike.
Fans of Ada Twist, Scientist will love this magical book! Esther is a fairy who does not believe in magic — she believes in science. When a forest tree stops growing, she uses the scientific method to discover why. Esther's curious nature is sure to inspire your own little sprites.
What's the Weather?
Never before has learning about the weather been so fun and informative! Written by a TV weather personality and her meteorologist husband, this easily accessible nonfiction book is jam-packed with information about the water cycle, clouds, storms, extreme weather, and so much more.
Once Upon a Star
James Carter takes readers way, way back to the origins of the universe in this poetic exploration of the Big Bang. How did the planets form? Where’s our place in space? Just what, exactly, makes up the solar system? Once Upon a Star answers these questions, and others we might not even think to ask!
The Simple Science Activity Book
With integrative STEAM books like The Simple Science Activity Book, young artists don’t have to choose between arts and crafts and science and technology. Rather, with unique activities that combine the creative and analytical — studying the states of matter while building an ice sculpture, for instance — budding artists will discover their science and engineering sides, too!
Tomie dePaola’s The Quicksand Book
Tomie dePaola mixes his trademark humor and chuckle-inducing illustrations with the fascinating science of quicksand. While Jungle Girl sinks further into a pit of quicksand, Jungle Boy offers super helpful insights about how quicksand works, complete with charts and graphs. Will he stop yapping in time to help Jungle Girl out?
Count on Me
There are so many beautiful ways to see the world. For the bright young girl at the center of this book, that way of seeing is through math. As she pauses to appreciate things like the curve of a slide or the many shapes her cat can make, readers sense the inherent (and underappreciated) vibrancy of the math all around us.
Ask a ScientistAvailable from:
World-renowned scientist Robert Winston (who you may recognize from his wacky experiments on The Late Late Show with James Corden) answers 100 quirky yet vital science questions from real-life kids. Do dogs cry? Could you jump off the world? Winston responds to these inquiries with logical aplomb.Available from:
STEM Books for Ages 8 - 12
Kate the Chemist Series
Dr. Kate Biberdorf is a chemist professor who travels the country introducing kids to the exciting world of STEM. In her new middle grade series, 10-year-old Kate invites readers to help her solve science problems in her community. Future scientists might enjoy trying some experiments at home with Kate the Chemist: The Big Book of Experiments.
How We Got to Now
Steven Johnson’s bestselling book about the incredible history of innovation is now available for middle grade readers! We all tend to walk through life without appreciating the genius that made those lives possible — clean drinking water and electricity, for starters — but Johnson revels in those miraculous discoveries and explains how they set even more ideas into motion.
Nick and Tesla Series
Nick and Tesla, 11-year old twins, are budding inventors and detectives who live with their inattentive scientist uncle Newt. Each story is an action-packed mystery to solve using science and technology. Directions for some of the projects are included so readers can try them at home.
Super Cool Tech
Just like the title says, this book, with a sleek laptop-looking cover and eye-catching design and layout, showcases the coolest inventions in technology. Not only do you learn about today’s tech such as a bionic suit, a floating hotel, or a 3D printed car, but you’ll also discover future tech possibilities such as teleportation and artificial intelligence.
The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind (Young Reader’s Edition)
An inspiring true story of necessity and invention! Due to a drought, William’s African village has no water, no crops, and no income source. He researches solutions in the library and decides to build a windmill which successfully pumps water to the fields and generates electricity for his family.
Maker Lab: 28 Super Cool Projects: Build * Invent * Create * Discover
Beautiful design and photographs showcase 28 kid-friendly, easy-to-follow experiments and activities. Only household materials are required, there are three levels of difficulty, and kids will learn the real world science behind each project.
Strange But True!
It’s practically impossible to resist reading this book about the most crazy, extreme, and unusual animals, places, and occurrences in our world. Paired with gorgeous photographs, you’ll read about zombie snails, fairy chimneys, killer plants, a crater of fire called the “Door to Hell”, and much more.
Calling All Minds
Temple Grandin, a world-famous scientist, inventor, and autism spokesperson, invites young innovators to indulge their curiosities about the seemingly innocuous. She uncovers the science behind everyday inventions, relays the history of great innovators, and encourages readers to reimagine how they approach and conceive of the world.
Girls Who Code Series
In this modern, tech-centric series reminiscent of The Babysitters Club, Sophia and her fellow coders create apps, compete in hackathons, and — more than anything — learn about friendship, teamwork, and supporting one another through thick and thin. Published in partnership with the Girls Who Code nonprofit, it’s sure to entertain and inspire.
Editor’s Note: This article was originally published in 2017 and updated in 2023.