History, Art & STEM Booklists

Books make stories come alive! 

Use the lists below to discover new faces, diverse ideas and inspiration galore!

  1. STEM
  2. History (0 - 1899 AD)
  3. History (1900 - 2020)
  4. Art


Ada Twist and the Perilous Pants Opens in new window
Ada Twist and the Perilous Pants: The Questioneers, (Andrea Beaty) 

Grades 1+

Ada Twist is full of questions. A scientist to her very core, Ada asks why again and again. One question always leads to another until she's off on a journey of discovery! When Rosie Revere's Uncle Ned gets a little carried away wearing his famous helium pants, it's up to Ada and friends to chase him down. As Uncle Ned floats farther and farther away, Ada starts asking lots of questions: How high can a balloon float? Is it possible for Uncle Ned to float into outer space? And what's the best plan for getting him down?   

Beauty and the Beak Opens in new window

Beauty and the Beak: How Science, Technology, and a 3D-Printed Beak Rescued a Bald Eagle  (Deborah Lee Rose and Jane Veltkamp) 

Grades 2+

Beauty and the Beak  is a nonfiction picture book about Beauty, the wild bald eagle that made world news when she was illegally shot, rescued, and received a pioneering, 3D-printed prosthetic beak. Beauty and the Beak follows Beauty close up from the moment she uses her baby beak to emerge from her egg, through her hunt when she uses her powerful adult beak to feed herself, to the day her beak is shot off leaving her helpless. This brave and uplifting story continues through her rescue, into the months of engineering her 3D-printed prosthetic beak and intense hours of her beak surgery, to the moment she takes the first drink of water by herself with her new beak.    

Skulls Opens in new window

Skulls! (Blair Thornburgh)

You probably don't think much about skulls. So what's the big deal about them? Well, every head of every person you've ever seen has a skull inside. And that includes YOU! This smart, skull-positive story cheerfully dispels any fears kids might have about their skeletons, flipping our view of skulls from a spooky symbol to a fascinating, cool, and crucial part of our bodies.   

Hey Water Opens in new window

Hey, Water! (Antoinette Portis) 

Grades PK-2

Zoe thinks about all the ways we see water in the world in this cheerfully illustrated poem. Curious minds will enjoy additional information about water and conservation at the end. 

The Sun Opens in new window

 The Sun  (Seymour Simon) 

Grades K-3

From extreme heat to extreme size, the Sun is the center of our solar system and the reason we're able to call Earth our home. In this book, readers will learn how the Sun affects Earth's seasons, how it gives us light and heat, and what happens during a solar eclipse. A colorful design and fun fact boxes will catch readers' eyes, while informative yet manageable text sheds light on the many mysteries of the Sun. This sizzling look into the Sun will excite even the most reluctant readers.  

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What a Waste: Trash, Recycling, and Protecting Our Planet (Jess French) 

Grades PK-2

Did you know that every single plastic toothbrush ever made still exists? Or that there is a floating mass of trash larger than the USA drifting around the Pacific Ocean? It is not all bad news though. While this is a knowledge book that explains where we are going wrong, What a Waste also shows what we are getting right! Discover plans to save our seas. How countries are implementing green projects worldwide, and how to turn waste into something useful. The tiniest everyday changes can make all the difference to ensure our beautiful planet stays lush and teeming with life. 

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If Sharks Disappeared (Lily Williams) 

Grades PK-2

A healthy ocean is home to many different kinds of animals. They can be big, like a whale, tiny, like a shrimp, and even scary, like a shark. Even though sharks can be scary, we need them to keep the oceans healthy. Unfortunately, due to overfishing, many shark species are in danger of extinction, and that can cause big problems in the oceans and even on land. What would happen if this continued and sharks disappeared completely? Artist Lily Williams explores how that would affect other animals on the whole planet in this clever book about the importance of keeping sharks, and our oceans, healthy.  

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On a Beam of Light (Berne, Jennifer) 

Grades K-3

A boy rides a bicycle down a dusty road. But in his mind, he envisions himself traveling at a speed beyond imagining, on a beam of light. This brilliant mind will one day offer up some of the most revolutionary ideas ever conceived. From a boy endlessly fascinated by the wonders around him, Albert Einstein ultimately grows into a man of genius recognized the world over for profoundly illuminating our understanding of the universe. 

How to be an elephant Opens in new window

How to Be an Elephant (Katherine Roy)  

Grades 3-5

The savanna is not an easy place to live, even for African elephants, the largest land animals on earth. If it's a challenge for these 7,000-pound giants, what's it like for their newborn babies? An infant elephant has precious little time to learn the incredible array of skills that are necessary to keep up, from projecting her voice across a 10-octave range to using the 100,000 muscles in her trunk to stay hydrated. But this giant-to-be has the perfect classroom--a family herd made up of her mother, sisters, cousins, and aunts. With their, she'll learn how to survive, how to thrive, and how to be an elephant. 


Rocket to the moon Opens in new windowRocket to the Moon! Big Ideas That Changed the World (Don Brown) 

Grades PK-2

"That's one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind." On July 20, 1969, Neil Armstrong said those iconic words when Apollo 11 landed on the moon. But it wasn't just one man who got us to the moon--there was a whole team of people, plus centuries of discoveries and technologies that came before, that made it possible. From ancient Chinese rockets to the first steps on the moon, Rocket to the Moon! reveals which "bombs bursting in air" inspired the writer of "The Star-Spangled Banner," why the Russians wanted to launch a dog into Earth's atmosphere, and how exactly astronauts are able to go to the bathroom while in a rocket far off in space! 

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The Way Things Work Now (David McCaulay) 

Grades 4+

Explainer-in-Chief David Macaulay updates the worldwide bestseller The New Way Things Work to capture the latest developments in the technology that most impacts our lives. Famously packed with information on the inner workings of everything from windmills to Wi-Fi, this extraordinary and humorous book both guides readers through the fundamental principles of machines and shows how the developments of the past are building the world of tomorrow. This sweepingly revised edition embraces all of the latest developments, from touchscreens to 3D printer. Each scientific principle is brilliantly explained--with the help of a charming, if rather slow-witted, woolly mammoth. 

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Girls Who Code: Learn to Code and Change the World  (Reshma Saujani) 

Grades 4+ 

Bursting with dynamic artwork, down-to-earth explanations of coding principles, and real-life stories of girls and women working at places like Pixar and NASA, this graphically animated book shows what a huge role computer science plays in our lives and how much fun it can be. No matter your interest--sports, the arts, baking, student government, social justice--coding can help you do what you love and make your dreams come true. Whether you're a girl who's never coded before, a girl who codes, or a parent raising one, this entertaining book, printed in bold two-color and featuring art on every page, will have you itching to create your own apps, games, and robots to make the world a better place. 

How to code a sandcastle Opens in new window

How to Code a Sandcastle (Josh Funk) 

Grades K-3

Pearl and her robot Pascal use code to build a sandcastle that can withstand annoying beach-goers and out-of-control frisbees. 


Ellie engineer the next level Opens in new windowEllie, Engineer: The Next Level (Jackson Pearce) 

Grades 2-4

Ellie 's parents suggest that Ellie and her friends help out Mrs. Curran, an elderly neighbor who could use a hand around the house. Ellie is really only supposed to help with little things, like leaf raking and under-couch-cleaning, but she can 't turn down the opportunity to use her engineering prowess here and there. It 's no fun, though, when Mrs. Curran always gives Toby the credit for all things engineering, and acts like Kit and Ellie were just helping him out . . .


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Swap! (Steve Light) 

Grades K-3

Basic math becomes a clever game in this upbeat story of a young sailor who helps to restore a dilapidated ship through sly bartering. 

Sir Cumference and the off the charts Opens in new windowSir Cumference and the Off-the-Charts Dessert (Cindy Neuschwander) 

Ages 8-12

Sir Cumference and Lady Di of Ameter are in a pickle. The castle cook is sick and the Harvest Faire is coming up—who will make the special dessert for this annual event? Two bakers in town, Pia of Chartres and Bart Graf, are up to the task. But after sampling Pia’s delicious pies and Bart’s scrumptious cookies, Sir Cumference and Lady Di just can’t choose! They come up with a solution: hold a contest and let the townspeople choose the dessert to be served at the faire!

The graoes of math

The Grapes of Math: Mind Stretching Math Riddles (Greg Tang) 

Ages 7-11

This innovative and delightful book challenges children -- and parents -- to open their minds and solve problems in new and unexpected ways. By looking for patterns, symmetries, and familiar number combinations displayed within eye-catching pictures, math will become easier and quicker -- and much more fun -- than anyone could have ever imagined!