Literacies in Engineering

If you're a STEM teacher looking to build up your classroom library, it can be difficult to find texts that apply to your students and subject area. We've compiled this list of recommendations to help you find relevant books that meet your unique needs. Search by Keywords or Categories to find books related to particular topics, or just keep scrolling to review the full list.

Recommended Grades
You'll notice that we've recommended grade levels for each book, but take these with a grain of salt. Varying reading levels, the subject matter, and the amount of technical information make many of these books appropriate for older or younger students, depending on the context.
Technical Information
If a book goes into any detail about a particular process, technology, phenomenon, and so forth, we've marked it with "Contains some technical information." Books like these could be especially useful when introducing students in all grades to a new concept or asking them to do independent research.

Categories

  • Aerospace Engineering
  • Agriculture & Genetic Engineering
  • Biographical
  • Biology & Natural Science
  • Civil Engineering
  • Computer Programming
  • Electrical Engineering
  • Mathematics
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Space
  • Sustainability & Recycling
  • Thinking Outside the Box & Teamwork
  • Transportation
  • Working with What You Have & Persistence
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Disclaimer
This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant No. 1552567. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.
RISE
middle school
Suzanne Slade
persistence
high school
technical
computer programming
Mathematics
Katherine Johnson is a math genius with a natural aptitude. She skipped multiple grades in school and excelled in college. She decided to put her skills to work outside of the classroom when she applied for a job as a human computer at Langley, and the re
A Computer Called Katherine

A Computer Called Katherine

Katherine Johnson is a math genius with a natural aptitude. She skipped multiple grades in school and excelled in college. She decided to put her skills to work outside of the classroom when she applied for a job as a human computer at Langley, and the re...

RISE
Laurie Wallmark
engineering design
middle school
computer programming
thinking outside the box
Mathematics
inventing
2015
elementary school
Back in the 1800s, calculators were just on the horizon and computers were unimaginable. But Ada Byron Lovelace actually developed a program for one of the world's first calculators, and her work would go on to inspire computer programmers well into the f
Ada Byron Lovelace and the Thinking Machine

Ada Byron Lovelace and the Thinking Machine

Back in the 1800s, calculators were just on the horizon and computers were unimaginable. But Ada Byron Lovelace actually developed a program for one of the world's first calculators, and her work would go on to inspire computer programmers well into the f...

RISE
2016
high school
recycling
Susan Hood
middle school
thinking outside the box
Ada lives in an impoverished town in Paraguay where the main source of employment is a landfill. When a local man offers music lessons, she and other children are enthusiastic to sign up, but soon find that there aren't enough instruments to go around.
Ada's Violin

Ada's Violin

Ada lives in an impoverished town in Paraguay where the main source of employment is a landfill. When a local man offers music lessons, she and other children are enthusiastic to sign up, but soon find that there aren't enough instruments to go around.

biographical
middle school
2019
technical
high school
Biology
RISE
Lori Alexander
Back in the 1600s, high-powered microscopes and photographs were years away. That's why it was all the more impressive when, using a microscope he built himself, Antony van Leeuwenhoek discovered microbes
All in a Drop: How Antony Van Leeuwenhoek Discovered an Invisible World

All in a Drop: How Antony Van Leeuwenhoek Discovered an Invisible World

Back in the 1600s, high-powered microscopes and photographs were years away. That's why it was all the more impressive when, using a microscope he built himself, Antony van Leeuwenhoek discovered microbes

recycling
meghan mccarthy
high school
elementary school
sustainability
RISE
2018
When it comes to garbage, most of us consider it "out of sight, out of mind." But the problem of where to put our garbage isn't a simple one. It's perfectly exemplified by the "garbage barge" of 1987, which couldn't find anywhere to unload thousands of to
All That Trash: The Story of the 1987 Garbage Barge and Our Problem with Stuff

All That Trash: The Story of the 1987 Garbage Barge and Our Problem with Stuff

When it comes to garbage, most of us consider it "out of sight, out of mind." But the problem of where to put our garbage isn't a simple one. It's perfectly exemplified by the "garbage barge" of 1987, which couldn't find anywhere to unload thousands of to...

technical
2018
middle school
space
Jennifer Swanson
high school
RISE
Exploring space and exploring the ocean actually require many of the same skill sets and even technologies. While everyone recognizes space as the next frontier, most of the ocean is still unexplored as well.
Astronaut Aquanaut: How Space Science and Sea Science Interact

Astronaut Aquanaut: How Space Science and Sea Science Interact

Exploring space and exploring the ocean actually require many of the same skill sets and even technologies. While everyone recognizes space as the next frontier, most of the ocean is still unexplored as well.

Engineering
technical
Tammy Enz
Mathematics
high school
Agnieszka Biskup
middle school
2014
RISE
If your students love superheroes, this chapter book is sure to captivate them. Each of the four comprehensive chapters takes a deep dive into the science behind Batman's gear. An introduction on the relationship between science, engineering, and superher
Batman Science: The Real-World Science Behind Batman's Gear

Batman Science: The Real-World Science Behind Batman's Gear

If your students love superheroes, this chapter book is sure to captivate them. Each of the four comprehensive chapters takes a deep dive into the science behind Batman's gear. An introduction on the relationship between science, engineering, and superher...

thinking outside the box
RISE
elementary school
Katey Howes
2019
The rhyming text of this book inspires students to be makers in the broadest sense: making snacks, building houses, discovering new things, and so forth.
Be a Maker

Be a Maker

The rhyming text of this book inspires students to be makers in the broadest sense: making snacks, building houses, discovering new things, and so forth.

RISE
elementary school
technical
Engineering
Mathematics
Martha Freeman
middle school
2020
innovation
Born Curious tells the stories of 20 women who made important contributions to STEM, from Ellen Swallow Richards to Shirley Ann Jackson.
Born Curious: 20 Girls Who Grew Up to be Awesome Scientists

Born Curious: 20 Girls Who Grew Up to be Awesome Scientists

Born Curious tells the stories of 20 women who made important contributions to STEM, from Ellen Swallow Richards to Shirley Ann Jackson.

RISE
2020
Jen Lee Reeves
Engineering
thinking outside the box
high school
technical
middle school
Born Just Right is partly a story about design, and partly a story about learning to accept yourself and others the way they are.
Born Just Right

Born Just Right

Born Just Right is partly a story about design, and partly a story about learning to accept yourself and others the way they are.

Katheleen Krull
computer programming
Engineering
RISE
elementary school
2009
inventing
middle school
TV sets are ubiquitous in every household today, but that wasn't the case when Philo Farnsworth was a kid. He marveled at innovations like electricity and radio, and longed to be on the cutting-edge of new technologies.
The Boy Who Invented TV: The Story of Philo Farnsworth

The Boy Who Invented TV: The Story of Philo Farnsworth

TV sets are ubiquitous in every household today, but that wasn't the case when Philo Farnsworth was a kid. He marveled at innovations like electricity and radio, and longed to be on the cutting-edge of new technologies.

biographical
middle school
inventing
Engineering
2020
high school
RISE
technical
Tracy Dockray
Nicola Tesla is famous thanks to his rivalry with Thomas Edison, but Bright Dreams tells his story from the very beginning. Key chapters in his life are covered, and sidebars provide more details on concepts like electricity, alternators, generators, and
Bright Dreams: The Brilliant Ideas of Nikola Tesla

Bright Dreams: The Brilliant Ideas of Nikola Tesla

Nicola Tesla is famous thanks to his rivalry with Thomas Edison, but Bright Dreams tells his story from the very beginning. Key chapters in his life are covered, and sidebars provide more details on concepts like electricity, alternators, generators, and ...

high school
computer programming
technical
middle school
2019
RISE
Ella Schwartz
Codes have been around for ages, and so have codebreakers. Not only does this book introduce students to the purposes of codes and the histories of many codes, it shows them how to crack codes.
Can You Crack the Code? A Fascinating History of Ciphers and Cryptography

Can You Crack the Code? A Fascinating History of Ciphers and Cryptography

Codes have been around for ages, and so have codebreakers. Not only does this book introduce students to the purposes of codes and the histories of many codes, it shows them how to crack codes.

Engineering
space
elementary school
middle school
Mathematics
RISE
Tracy Sorell
2021
biographical
Mary Golda Ross started out as a teacher, but her talent and passion for STEM led her to become a key engineer on a number of top secret projects. Her outreach to other Native American and female students has helped to diversify the STEM field.
Classified: The Secret Career of Mary Golda Ross, Cherokee Aerospace Engineer

Classified: The Secret Career of Mary Golda Ross, Cherokee Aerospace Engineer

Mary Golda Ross started out as a teacher, but her talent and passion for STEM led her to become a key engineer on a number of top secret projects. Her outreach to other Native American and female students has helped to diversify the STEM field.

2019
inventing
Natascha Biebow
middle school
technical
biographical
RISE
elementary school
Crayons are so ubiquitous today they're almost taken for granted, but they weren't always around.
The Crayon Man: The True Story of the Invention of Crayons

The Crayon Man: The True Story of the Invention of Crayons

Crayons are so ubiquitous today they're almost taken for granted, but they weren't always around.

middle school
Mathematics
2017
high school
Markus Motum
technical
RISE
space
Engineering
Curiosity: The Story of a Mars Rover is told in the first-person, from the perspective of a Mars rover.
Curiosity: The Story of a Mars Rover

Curiosity: The Story of a Mars Rover

Curiosity: The Story of a Mars Rover is told in the first-person, from the perspective of a Mars rover.

RISE
high school
middle school
technical
Engineering
biographical
Elizabeth Rusch
2013
Nikola Tesla was the underdog in the Current Wars, but his revolutionary alternating current won the day. This is the story of how Tesla made and marketed his discovery
Electrical Wizard: How Nikola Tesla Lit Up the World

Electrical Wizard: How Nikola Tesla Lit Up the World

Nikola Tesla was the underdog in the Current Wars, but his revolutionary alternating current won the day. This is the story of how Tesla made and marketed his discovery

2018
high school
Mike Barfeild
technical
middle school
Natural Science
RISE
Biology
We wouldn't exactly call this book a pleasure read, but it's an excellent reference guide for students looking to learn more about the elements. Technical explanations are accompanied by colorful illustrations and graphics, and it's simple for students to
The Element in the Room: Investigating the Atomic Ingredients That Make Up Your House

The Element in the Room: Investigating the Atomic Ingredients That Make Up Your House

We wouldn't exactly call this book a pleasure read, but it's an excellent reference guide for students looking to learn more about the elements. Technical explanations are accompanied by colorful illustrations and graphics, and it's simple for students to...

Engineering
Anna C. Redding
biographical
inventing
RISE
high school
2019
middle school
technical
Elon Musk is sometimes a controversial figure. He's famous for his bold choices, which have led him to become a pioneer in fields like electric vehicles. But before he became an engineering icon, Elon spent years working hard and honing his creativity.
Elon Musk: A Mission to Save the World

Elon Musk: A Mission to Save the World

Elon Musk is sometimes a controversial figure. He's famous for his bold choices, which have led him to become a pioneer in fields like electric vehicles. But before he became an engineering icon, Elon spent years working hard and honing his creativity.

technical
Reagan Miller
elementary school
2014
Mathematics
RISE
Engineering
This introductory text shows how engineering design is responsible for many innovations that make our lives easier, from vacuums to bicycles. With lots of photographs, it shows and tells students about the discipline. It's a great precursor to a science f
Engineering in Our Everyday Lives

Engineering in Our Everyday Lives

This introductory text shows how engineering design is responsible for many innovations that make our lives easier, from vacuums to bicycles. With lots of photographs, it shows and tells students about the discipline. It's a great precursor to a science f...

inventing
RISE
2018
technical
elementary school
Ben Thompson
Erik Slader
middle school
Engineering
Every great invention was preceded by many failures, and that's the concept illustrated in Epic Fails. This chapter book includes photos depicting the Wright brothers throughout their lives, along with the numerous iterations of their flying machine.
Epic Fails: The Wright Brothers: Nose-Diving Into History

Epic Fails: The Wright Brothers: Nose-Diving Into History

Every great invention was preceded by many failures, and that's the concept illustrated in Epic Fails. This chapter book includes photos depicting the Wright brothers throughout their lives, along with the numerous iterations of their flying machine.

Betsey Harvey Kraft
RISE
middle school
elementary school
high school
Engineering
2018
biographical
technical
The Ferris Wheel is often taken for granted in a world of roller coasters and thrill rides, but without it, we wouldn't have the rides that continue to delight us to this day.
The Fantastic Ferris Wheel: The Story of Inventor George Ferris

The Fantastic Ferris Wheel: The Story of Inventor George Ferris

The Ferris Wheel is often taken for granted in a world of roller coasters and thrill rides, but without it, we wouldn't have the rides that continue to delight us to this day.

technical
2021
inventing
persistence
working with what you have
RISE
Riley Scott
teamwork
thinking outside the box
elementary school
Many American kids take soccer fields for granted, but not everyone lives in an area with enough room for one. Consider Prasit and his friends, who lived on an island in Thailand and could only play soccer when the tide went out.
The Floating Field: How a Group of Thai Boys Built Their Own Soccer Field

The Floating Field: How a Group of Thai Boys Built Their Own Soccer Field

Many American kids take soccer fields for granted, but not everyone lives in an area with enough room for one. Consider Prasit and his friends, who lived on an island in Thailand and could only play soccer when the tide went out.

2017
transportation
Tom Jackson
Nick Shepherd
middle school
high school
elementary school
technical
RISE
Students who enjoy flowcharts and diagrams will love Follow the Link. It follows modern transportation from its early roots to present day, starting with basic concepts like lava and caves. Illustrations and laser-focused text simplify the journey.
Follow the Link: A Journey Through Transportation

Follow the Link: A Journey Through Transportation

Students who enjoy flowcharts and diagrams will love Follow the Link. It follows modern transportation from its early roots to present day, starting with basic concepts like lava and caves. Illustrations and laser-focused text simplify the journey.

elementary school
RISE
2016
genetic engineering
middle school
technical
Michael Burgan
In 64 pages, Food Engineering packs a punch, breaking down in simple but detailed terms how food engineering words, key stages to understand, different industry careers, and much more
Food Engineering: From Concept to Consumer

Food Engineering: From Concept to Consumer

In 64 pages, Food Engineering packs a punch, breaking down in simple but detailed terms how food engineering words, key stages to understand, different industry careers, and much more

high school
genetic engineering
middle school
Peggy Thomas
elementary school
technical
2018
RISE
Natural Science
Lots of people associate Henry Ford with the assembly line, but fewer people realize he was a pioneer of chemurgy, the study of how everyday materials can be used as building blocks for other products.
Full of Beans: Henry Ford Grows a Car

Full of Beans: Henry Ford Grows a Car

Lots of people associate Henry Ford with the assembly line, but fewer people realize he was a pioneer of chemurgy, the study of how everyday materials can be used as building blocks for other products.

technical
middle school
Julia Finley Mosca
2017
RISE
biographical
This book has it all: a rhyming narrative, great visuals (including diagrams), a timeline, an original interview with Temple Grandin, and supplemental biographical material.
The Girl Who Thought in Pictures: The Story of Dr. Temple Grandin

The Girl Who Thought in Pictures: The Story of Dr. Temple Grandin

This book has it all: a rhyming narrative, great visuals (including diagrams), a timeline, an original interview with Temple Grandin, and supplemental biographical material.

Anna C. Redding
2018
RISE
biographical
technical
high school
middle school
It's impossible to overstate the impact Google has had on the world. Everything is at our fingertips, from historical documents to the latest movies, and Google is responsible for organizing it and making it accessible.
Google It: A History of Google

Google It: A History of Google

It's impossible to overstate the impact Google has had on the world. Everything is at our fingertips, from historical documents to the latest movies, and Google is responsible for organizing it and making it accessible.

computer programming
high school
Laurie Wallmark
2017
RISE
middle school
Even today there are far more males than females working in IT, making Grace Hopper all the more remarkable. A mathematics prodigy, she joined the Navy during WWII and programmed one of the very first computers.
Grace Hopper: Queen of Computer Code

Grace Hopper: Queen of Computer Code

Even today there are far more males than females working in IT, making Grace Hopper all the more remarkable. A mathematics prodigy, she joined the Navy during WWII and programmed one of the very first computers.

Cheryl Bardoe
2006
RISE
Natural Science
Biology
technical
middle school
biographical
Gregor Mendel was a pioneer in genetics, studying pea pods to learn about genetic traits and how they're passed down. Beautiful illustrations don't just set the scene, they also demonstrate the principle of how traits are passed down through multiple gene
Gregor Mendel: The Friar Who Grew Peas

Gregor Mendel: The Friar Who Grew Peas

Gregor Mendel was a pioneer in genetics, studying pea pods to learn about genetic traits and how they're passed down. Beautiful illustrations don't just set the scene, they also demonstrate the principle of how traits are passed down through multiple gene...

biographical
2019
middle school
RISE
Engineering
technical
elementary school
Kim Tomsic
While many people are familiar with electric guitars, and even Les Paul guitars, fewer people realize that Les Paul was so young when he pioneered the invention.
Guitar Genius: How Les Paul Engineered the Solid-Body Electric Guitar and Rocked the World

Guitar Genius: How Les Paul Engineered the Solid-Body Electric Guitar and Rocked the World

While many people are familiar with electric guitars, and even Les Paul guitars, fewer people realize that Les Paul was so young when he pioneered the invention.

biographical
middle school
elementary school
Laurie Wallmark
inventing
2019
RISE
engineering design
technical
Hedy Lamarr might not be familiar to kids today, but they're certainly familiar with movie stars like her. Hedy Lamarr's Double Life is an inspiring story about how an A-list actress was inspired by engineering design, and how she eventually contributed t
Hedy Lamarr's Double Life: Hollywood Legend and Brilliant Inventor

Hedy Lamarr's Double Life: Hollywood Legend and Brilliant Inventor

Hedy Lamarr might not be familiar to kids today, but they're certainly familiar with movie stars like her. Hedy Lamarr's Double Life is an inspiring story about how an A-list actress was inspired by engineering design, and how she eventually contributed t...

RISE
2016
technical
middle school
James Giulliver Hancock
high school
Engineering
It's hard to find interactive books for older readers, but How Cities Work breaks the mold. This book breaks down everything from concepts like allotments to fixtures like City Hall.
How Cities Work

How Cities Work

It's hard to find interactive books for older readers, but How Cities Work breaks the mold. This book breaks down everything from concepts like allotments to fixtures like City Hall.

RISE
technical
middle school
Elizabeth Mecleod
Engineering
inventing
2019
high school
Freida Wishinsky
This comprehensive book provides many examples of "accidental geniuses" who made important contributions to STEM. Along with photos and interesting information, it lays out pointers for students who want to follow in their footsteps.
How to Become an Accidental Genius

How to Become an Accidental Genius

This comprehensive book provides many examples of "accidental geniuses" who made important contributions to STEM. Along with photos and interesting information, it lays out pointers for students who want to follow in their footsteps.

technical
high school
RISE
2019
Engineering
Josh Funk
elementary school
middle school
If you want to introduce students to computer programming, you couldn't ask for a better text. We follow Pearl and her robot Pascal through an amusement park, which becomes an allegory for programming.
How to Code a Roller Coaster

How to Code a Roller Coaster

If you want to introduce students to computer programming, you couldn't ask for a better text. We follow Pearl and her robot Pascal through an amusement park, which becomes an allegory for programming.

RISE
Steven Johnson
high school
middle school
technical
2018
Engineering
inventing
How We Got Here traces the history of six key principles: Glass, cold, sound, clean, time and light. Johnson demonstrates how innovations in these fields influenced other aspects of human history.
How We Got to Now: Six Innovations That Made the Modern World

How We Got to Now: Six Innovations That Made the Modern World

How We Got Here traces the history of six key principles: Glass, cold, sound, clean, time and light. Johnson demonstrates how innovations in these fields influenced other aspects of human history.

2019
RISE
computer programming
Tami Lewis Brown
technical
Engineering
high school
Debbie Loren Dunn
middle school
thinking outside the box
Instructions Not Included tells the story of Betty Snider, Jean Jennings, and Kay McNulty: three female programmers of ENIAC, one of the world’s first computers developed during WW2.
Instructions Not Included: How a Team of Women Coded the Future

Instructions Not Included: How a Team of Women Coded the Future

Instructions Not Included tells the story of Betty Snider, Jean Jennings, and Kay McNulty: three female programmers of ENIAC, one of the world’s first computers developed during WW2.

technical
elementary school
2017
middle school
RISE
Natural Science
agriculture
Tracy Nelson Maurer
Depending on where you're located, your students may or may not have experience with plows. But everyone has farmers to thank for the food on their table, and plows are one of their most important tools.
John Deere, That's Who!

John Deere, That's Who!

Depending on where you're located, your students may or may not have experience with plows. But everyone has farmers to thank for the food on their table, and plows are one of their most important tools.

engineering design
RISE
technical
Engineering
high school
Chris Gall
elementary school
middle school
2020
If you want to know how jumbo jets fly, this is the book for you. Not only does it provide information on the development of the 747, it breaks down the scientific principles that allow jets to fly.
Jumbo: The Making of the Boeing 747

Jumbo: The Making of the Boeing 747

If you want to know how jumbo jets fly, this is the book for you. Not only does it provide information on the development of the 747, it breaks down the scientific principles that allow jets to fly.

Engineering
middle school
Sarah Aronson
thinking outside the box
elementary school
inventing
RISE
2019
Many of the books we've included have to do with people who have invented important and useful technologies. Just Like Rube Goldberg, on the other hand, is about an inventor who prided himself on creating complicated and un-useful machines
Just Like Rube Goldberg

Just Like Rube Goldberg

Many of the books we've included have to do with people who have invented important and useful technologies. Just Like Rube Goldberg, on the other hand, is about an inventor who prided himself on creating complicated and un-useful machines

inventing
2019
technical
RISE
high school
middle school
engineering design
Lela Nargi
elementary school
Poor Karl is an Abyssinian hornbill with a beak that's too short to enjoy eating like all the other hornbills. His keepers were especially worried about him, so they decided to use 3-D printing technology to create a prosthetic.
Karl's New Beak: 3-D Printing Builds a Bird a Better Life

Karl's New Beak: 3-D Printing Builds a Bird a Better Life

Poor Karl is an Abyssinian hornbill with a beak that's too short to enjoy eating like all the other hornbills. His keepers were especially worried about him, so they decided to use 3-D printing technology to create a prosthetic.

transportation
RISE
engineering design
technical
2013
middle school
Brin Floca
high school
Distilling something as complicated as a locomotive to a book that anyone can understand is a difficult feat, and Brian Floca has done it. Locomotive follows a 19th century train from the east coast to the west coast
Locomotive

Locomotive

Distilling something as complicated as a locomotive to a book that anyone can understand is a difficult feat, and Brian Floca has done it. Locomotive follows a 19th century train from the east coast to the west coast

RISE
space
2018
Roda Ahmed
elementary school
biographical
This book provides a snapshot of Dr. Mae Jemison's childhood. As an African-American girl, the odds of her becoming an astronaut were not in her favor. The narrative of this book shows how her family's encouragement helped her to overcome some of the earl
Mae Among the Stars

Mae Among the Stars

This book provides a snapshot of Dr. Mae Jemison's childhood. As an African-American girl, the odds of her becoming an astronaut were not in her favor. The narrative of this book shows how her family's encouragement helped her to overcome some of the earl...

RISE
Alison Inches
high school
2009
recycling
elementary school
middle school
While the reading level of this text is likely best suited to elementary students, the practical information is enlightening and could be useful to older students. Plastic bottles go through a complex journey from the time they're found to the time they'r
The Adventures of a Plastic Bottle

The Adventures of a Plastic Bottle

While the reading level of this text is likely best suited to elementary students, the practical information is enlightening and could be useful to older students. Plastic bottles go through a complex journey from the time they're found to the time they'r...

RISE
Nicola Davies
2017
Natural Science
elementary school
Many is more picture-heavy than text-driven, and illustrates the great diversity of life on Earth. It's a great introduction to any unit on biology, as it touches on life forms large and small. The conclusion encourages students to be mindful of how conse
Many: The Diversity of Life of Earth

Many: The Diversity of Life of Earth

Many is more picture-heavy than text-driven, and illustrates the great diversity of life on Earth. It's a great introduction to any unit on biology, as it touches on life forms large and small. The conclusion encourages students to be mindful of how conse...

biographical
elementary school
2017
RISE
space
Dean Robbins
Margaret Hamilton is a trailblazer whose aptitude for mathematics helped her rise through the ranks of institutions like M.I.T. and NASA. She built a career as a software engineer using computers to help man safely land on the moon.
Margaret and the Moon

Margaret and the Moon

Margaret Hamilton is a trailblazer whose aptitude for mathematics helped her rise through the ranks of institutions like M.I.T. and NASA. She built a career as a software engineer using computers to help man safely land on the moon.

2020
Natural Science
elementary school
RISE
Sandra Neil Wallace
sustainability
Marjory Stoneman Douglas fought for the preservation of the Everglades throughout her life -- well into her 90s! Thanks to her persistence, the Florida Everglades are protected, and birds, turtles, and plants can flourish there.
Marjory Saves the Everglades: The Story of Marjory Stoneman Douglas

Marjory Saves the Everglades: The Story of Marjory Stoneman Douglas

Marjory Stoneman Douglas fought for the preservation of the Everglades throughout her life -- well into her 90s! Thanks to her persistence, the Florida Everglades are protected, and birds, turtles, and plants can flourish there.

Mathematics
Megan Reid
elementary school
RISE
2021
Maryam Mirzakhani might not be a household name, but she broke barriers in mathematics, creating new formulas and theorems that drove numerous STEM fields forward -- despite facing adversity when it came to getting an education in Iran.
Maryam's Magic: The Story of Mathmatician Maryam Mirzakhani

Maryam's Magic: The Story of Mathmatician Maryam Mirzakhani

Maryam Mirzakhani might not be a household name, but she broke barriers in mathematics, creating new formulas and theorems that drove numerous STEM fields forward -- despite facing adversity when it came to getting an education in Iran.

biographical
RISE
2002
Margot Theis Raven
elementary school
After WWII, the children of Berlin relied on the Chocolate Pilot to deliver candy from the sky. In postwar Germany, candy was a luxury that few German children would have enjoyed without his help
Mercedes and the Chocolate Pilot

Mercedes and the Chocolate Pilot

After WWII, the children of Berlin relied on the Chocolate Pilot to deliver candy from the sky. In postwar Germany, candy was a luxury that few German children would have enjoyed without his help

RISE
2020
elementary school
technical
Natural Science
sustainability
Jonah Winter
Oil tells the true story of the lasting environmental impacts of a 1977 oil spill. While children are its audience, the book makes a clear point to readers of all ages that natural resources like oil can come at a high price, and must be treated with care
Oil

Oil

Oil tells the true story of the lasting environmental impacts of a 1977 oil spill. While children are its audience, the book makes a clear point to readers of all ages that natural resources like oil can come at a high price, and must be treated with care...

Melvin Berger
sustainability
technical
RISE
elementary school
Natural Science
1994
Biology and engineering collide when oil spills occur. This book uses the Exxon-Valdez oil spill as an example to demonstrate the devastating environmental impact. Illustrations show how oil spills happen,
Oil Spill

Oil Spill

Biology and engineering collide when oil spills occur. This book uses the Exxon-Valdez oil spill as an example to demonstrate the devastating environmental impact. Illustrations show how oil spills happen,

recycling
2015
Miranda Paul
RISE
Natural Science
sustainability
middle school
elementary school
Single-use plastic bags present a sustainability problem worldwide. They're tough to recycle, harmful to wildlife, and more are produced every day. Isatou and her friends come up with a creative solution to reduce waste while creating a sturdier product.
One Plastic Bag: Isatou Ceesay and the Recycling Women of Gambia

One Plastic Bag: Isatou Ceesay and the Recycling Women of Gambia

Single-use plastic bags present a sustainability problem worldwide. They're tough to recycle, harmful to wildlife, and more are produced every day. Isatou and her friends come up with a creative solution to reduce waste while creating a sturdier product....

RISE
middle school
2018
elementary school
thinking outside the box
biographical
inventing
high school
Tanya Lee Stone
Most people have played Monopoly at some point, but the history of the game is almost as entertaining as the game itself. In this book, learn about the original inventor of Monopoly
Pass Go and Collect $200: The Real Story of How Monopoly was Invented

Pass Go and Collect $200: The Real Story of How Monopoly was Invented

Most people have played Monopoly at some point, but the history of the game is almost as entertaining as the game itself. In this book, learn about the original inventor of Monopoly

Isabel M. Martins
technical
recycling
middle school
sustainability
2020
Ana Pego
Natural Science
Bernardo P. Carvalho
RISE
high school
Not only does Ana Pego teach us about the many devastating environmental impacts of ocean plastics, she inspires students to become activists for the issues they're passionate about
Plasticus Maritimus: An Invasive Species

Plasticus Maritimus: An Invasive Species

Not only does Ana Pego teach us about the many devastating environmental impacts of ocean plastics, she inspires students to become activists for the issues they're passionate about

high school
technical
RISE
genetic engineering
middle school
Natural Science
2019
agriculture
Gail Jarrow
We take it for granted that the food we buy at the store is safe to eat, but that wasn’t always the case. Learn about the people and systems who constantly work to eliminate dangerous ingredients
The Poison Eaters: Fighting Danger and Fraud in Our Food and Drugs

The Poison Eaters: Fighting Danger and Fraud in Our Food and Drugs

We take it for granted that the food we buy at the store is safe to eat, but that wasn’t always the case. Learn about the people and systems who constantly work to eliminate dangerous ingredients

Biology
RISE
inventing
2020
Middle
Linda Elovitz Marshall
elementary school
middle school
Elementary
The COVID-19 pandemic has brought the significance of Dr. Jonas Salk's work into clearer focus for many. A pioneer of vaccines, he helped develop flu vaccines and the polio vaccine.
The Polio Pioneer: Dr. Jonas Salk and the Polio Vaccine

The Polio Pioneer: Dr. Jonas Salk and the Polio Vaccine

The COVID-19 pandemic has brought the significance of Dr. Jonas Salk's work into clearer focus for many. A pioneer of vaccines, he helped develop flu vaccines and the polio vaccine.

Natural Science
agriculture
elementary school
persistence
RISE
Barb Rosenstock
2019
sustainability
Frank Lloyd Wright is one of the biggest names in architecture, and Prairie Boy goes back to the beginning, when he was a child fascinated by blocks and shapes.
Prairie Boy: Frank Lloyd Wright Turns the Heartland

Prairie Boy: Frank Lloyd Wright Turns the Heartland

Frank Lloyd Wright is one of the biggest names in architecture, and Prairie Boy goes back to the beginning, when he was a child fascinated by blocks and shapes.

Engineering
2013
RISE
Andrea Beauty
elementary school
They say that pictures speak louder than words, and that's certainly true in Rosie Revere, Engineer. The story is perfect for a class read-aloud or silent reading,
Rosie Revere, Engineer

Rosie Revere, Engineer

They say that pictures speak louder than words, and that's certainly true in Rosie Revere, Engineer. The story is perfect for a class read-aloud or silent reading,

elementary school
computer programming
Tracy Nelson Maurer
2019
RISE
biographical
Samuel Morse is framed as the father of modern instant communication in this beautifully illustrated biography. Maurer traces the invention of Morse code from its inception to widespread use
Samuel Morse, That's Who!

Samuel Morse, That's Who!

Samuel Morse is framed as the father of modern instant communication in this beautifully illustrated biography. Maurer traces the invention of Morse code from its inception to widespread use

Engineering
RISE
2019
middle school
elementary school
technical
Jennifer Swanson
We don't give much thought to crash test dummies every time we step into a car, but the truth is we owe them a good deal when it comes to the safety features on today's automobiles.
Save the Crash Test Dummies

Save the Crash Test Dummies

We don't give much thought to crash test dummies every time we step into a car, but the truth is we owe them a good deal when it comes to the safety features on today's automobiles.

RISE
architecture
biographical
elementary school
technical
2019
Rachel Dougherty
Readers who aren't familiar with the Brooklyn Bridge will be familiar with suspension bridges like it, and Secret Engineer not only tells the story behind the bridge, but clearly explains the technology and principles behind suspension bridges.
Secret Engineer: How Emily Roebling Built the Brooklyn Bridge

Secret Engineer: How Emily Roebling Built the Brooklyn Bridge

Readers who aren't familiar with the Brooklyn Bridge will be familiar with suspension bridges like it, and Secret Engineer not only tells the story behind the bridge, but clearly explains the technology and principles behind suspension bridges.

elementary school
Engineering
technical
2016
biographical
RISE
Shana Corey
Lots of people are familiar with the idea of subway systems, even if they don't have one in their own city. Secret Subway tells the story of Alfred Beach, who created a pneumatic subway in New York City
Secret Subway

Secret Subway

Lots of people are familiar with the idea of subway systems, even if they don't have one in their own city. Secret Subway tells the story of Alfred Beach, who created a pneumatic subway in New York City

RISE
elementary school
architecture
Rob Lloyd Jones
technical
2014
middle school
high school
David Hancock
Part of the "Usborne Flap Book" series, See Inside Great Cities is printed on light cardboard with over 70 flaps that students can lift to get a closer look inside the many illustrated buildings.
See Inside Great Cities

See Inside Great Cities

Part of the "Usborne Flap Book" series, See Inside Great Cities is printed on light cardboard with over 70 flaps that students can lift to get a closer look inside the many illustrated buildings.

elementary school
Jen Bryant
RISE
2016
technical
middle school
biographical
Louis Braille isn't on many lists of famous inventors, but he should be. Just like any engineer, Braille identified an inefficient system (reading for the blind) and worked to improve it, all on his own
Six Dots: A Strory of Young Louis Braille

Six Dots: A Strory of Young Louis Braille

Louis Braille isn't on many lists of famous inventors, but he should be. Just like any engineer, Braille identified an inefficient system (reading for the blind) and worked to improve it, all on his own

technical
RISE
biographical
2018
Stephanie Roth Sisson
elementary school
sustainability
middle school
Silent Spring changed the way Americans think about conservation, and Spring After Spring tells the story of its author, Rachel Carson.
Spring After Spring: How Rachel Carson Inspired the Environmental Movement

Spring After Spring: How Rachel Carson Inspired the Environmental Movement

Silent Spring changed the way Americans think about conservation, and Spring After Spring tells the story of its author, Rachel Carson.

Biology
2013
Bridget Heos
high school
technical
RISE
Natural Science
middle school
This is ostensibly a book about the many applications of spider silk, but the topics it covers range from baby goats to strawberries.
Stronger Than Steel: Spider silk DNA and the quest for better bulletproof vests, sutures, and parachute rope

Stronger Than Steel: Spider silk DNA and the quest for better bulletproof vests, sutures, and parachute rope

This is ostensibly a book about the many applications of spider silk, but the topics it covers range from baby goats to strawberries.

high school
Agnieszka Biskup
Tammy Enz
middle school
2017
RISE
Science
technical
Kids and adults love superheroes more than ever, making this a great text to grab their attention. This chapter book focuses on Superman's superhuman abilities, from flying to stopping trains in their tracks.
Superman Science: The Real-World Science Behind Superman's Powers

Superman Science: The Real-World Science Behind Superman's Powers

Kids and adults love superheroes more than ever, making this a great text to grab their attention. This chapter book focuses on Superman's superhuman abilities, from flying to stopping trains in their tracks.

2018
Mathematics
Engineering
RISE
elementary school
Barry Wittenstein
If you think you need to be a STEM genius to come up with a groundbreaking innovation, think again. Band-Aids were invented by a regular couple who wanted a simpler way to tend to small cuts. Here, see how the idea was born and developed, and how students
The Boo-Boos That Changed the World

The Boo-Boos That Changed the World

If you think you need to be a STEM genius to come up with a groundbreaking innovation, think again. Band-Aids were invented by a regular couple who wanted a simpler way to tend to small cuts. Here, see how the idea was born and developed, and how students...

RISE
technical
sustainability
Engineering
2012
inventing
William Kamkwamba
thinking outside the box
elementary school
Many American children don't think twice about having electricity, but it's not a given for everyone. Even in parts of the U.S. not everyone has electricity. When a young boy in Malawi loses electricity, his family and entire village stand to lose a lot.
The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind

The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind

Many American children don't think twice about having electricity, but it's not a given for everyone. Even in parts of the U.S. not everyone has electricity. When a young boy in Malawi loses electricity, his family and entire village stand to lose a lot....

Civil Engineering
History
middle school
Systems Engineering
RISE
Infrastructure
This is a great book for generating interest in a common and often forgotten topic: waste management.
The Great Stink: How Joseph Bazalgette Solved London's Poop Pollution Problem

The Great Stink: How Joseph Bazalgette Solved London's Poop Pollution Problem

This is a great book for generating interest in a common and often forgotten topic: waste management.

persistence
thinking outside the box
working with what you have
RISE
2019
high school
middle school
Pathana Sornhiran
Susan Hood
biographical
teamwork
Many of us are familiar with the story of the Thai soccer team's rescue from a flooded cave, but Titan and the Wild Boars relates the events from the perspective of one of the trapped boys
Titan and the Wild Boars: The True Cave Rescue of the Thai Soccer Team

Titan and the Wild Boars: The True Cave Rescue of the Thai Soccer Team

Many of us are familiar with the story of the Thai soccer team's rescue from a flooded cave, but Titan and the Wild Boars relates the events from the perspective of one of the trapped boys

elementary school
bridge
April Jones Price
2005
RISE
middle school
persistence
thinking outside the box
architecture
The Brooklyn Bridge is an engineering marvel, and one of the first of its kind. While students might not all be familiar with this specific bridge, they have likely crossed many bridges like it.
Twenty-One Elephants and Still Standing

Twenty-One Elephants and Still Standing

The Brooklyn Bridge is an engineering marvel, and one of the first of its kind. While students might not all be familiar with this specific bridge, they have likely crossed many bridges like it.

Carole Lindstrom
sustainability
2020
elementary school
Natural Science
RISE
Water rights are a major issue for countless Native American tribes, and We are Water Protectors explains the situation from the Ojibwe point of view.
We are Water Protectors

We are Water Protectors

Water rights are a major issue for countless Native American tribes, and We are Water Protectors explains the situation from the Ojibwe point of view.

sustainability
middle school
Natural Science
high school
technical
2019
Jess French
RISE
Although it's populated with vibrant illustrations and photos, What a Waste provides relevant statistics and facts about trash and recycling. It's a great choice for students wanting to research
What a Waste: Trash Recycling, and Protecting Our Planet

What a Waste: Trash Recycling, and Protecting Our Planet

Although it's populated with vibrant illustrations and photos, What a Waste provides relevant statistics and facts about trash and recycling. It's a great choice for students wanting to research

inventing
middle school
Kareem Abdul Jabbar
2012
RISE
technical
high school
Raymond Obstfeld
What Color is My World? is the perfect addition to any classroom library. The main narrative is about two kids fixing up their new house with mysterious Mr. Mital, who knows a lot about African-American inventors
What Color is My World?

What Color is My World?

What Color is My World? is the perfect addition to any classroom library. The main narrative is about two kids fixing up their new house with mysterious Mr. Mital, who knows a lot about African-American inventors

technical
2013
sustainability
Linda Crotta Brennan
high school
middle school
RISE
Social change is always tied to politics, and When Rivers Burned does a great job of telling the story of Earth Day's inception without polarizing. Detailed information provides a great start to research
When Rivers Burned: The Earth Day Story

When Rivers Burned: The Earth Day Story

Social change is always tied to politics, and When Rivers Burned does a great job of telling the story of Earth Day's inception without polarizing. Detailed information provides a great start to research

technical
elementary school
space
2018
RISE
Kristen Fulton
Engineering
Many people associate American rocketry with NASA, but its origins go back decades further to Robert Goddard. When Sparks Fly tells the story of Goddard's childhood interest in science,
When Sparks Fly

When Sparks Fly

Many people associate American rocketry with NASA, but its origins go back decades further to Robert Goddard. When Sparks Fly tells the story of Goddard's childhood interest in science,

inventing
RISE
engineering design
elementary school
thinking outside the box
2020
Kristen W. Larson
Although the Wright Bros. invented the first airplane, countless inventors like Lilian Todd have improved on their designs, leading to the airplanes we have today. Lilian was relentless in her quest
Wood, Wire, Wings: Emma Lilian Todd Invents an Airplane

Wood, Wire, Wings: Emma Lilian Todd Invents an Airplane

Although the Wright Bros. invented the first airplane, countless inventors like Lilian Todd have improved on their designs, leading to the airplanes we have today. Lilian was relentless in her quest