Summer STEM Reading
Ada Byron Lovelace and the Thinking Machine, by Laurie Wallmark, illustrated by April Chu. Creston Books, 2015. Ages 5 and up. Published by Berkeley publisher Creston Books, this is the true story of Ada Byron Lovelace who wrote the world’s first computer program to demonstrate its capabilities. It’s an inspiring and informative story about this 19th century mathematician. It has beautiful illustrations. Oakland resident April Chu’s drawings show many details that are important in the design of the computers and machines in the story. The book has received numerous honors including Eureka Gold Medal winner, Cook Prize finalist, Association of Children’s Librarians of Northern California Outstanding Book and Junior Library Guild Selection, among others.
How Things Work, by T.J. Resler. National Geographic Children’s Books, 2016. Ages 7-10. Learn about the secrets and science behind bounce houses, hovercraft, robotics and everything in between. This book provides quick answers and complete explanations for all things high tech, low tech and no tech (such as how glue works). It features detailed diagrams, photos, hands-on activities and fascinating facts. Find out how a microwave works, how an eraser makes pencil marks disappear, how a tablet works and more.
Stewie Boom! And Princess Penelope: The Case of the Eweey, Gooey, Gross and Very Stinky Experiment, by Christine Bronstein, illustrated by Karen L. Young. Nothing But The Truth, LLC, 2016. Ages 3-6. After brother and sister Stewie and Princess Penelope have an experiment that goes wrong, their family decides to go green and get rid of chemicals and toxins throughout their home. The book also includes a glossary of terms, tips for recycling, composting and other ways to have an eco-friendly home. Bay Area author Christine Bronstein is the wife of former San Francisco Chronicle editor Phil Bronstein, a mom, and founder of A Band of Wives, a social network and information website for women.
You Can Be a Paleontologist! Discovering Dinosaurs With Dr. Scott, by Dr. Scott D. Sampson. National Geographic Children’s Books, 2017. Ages 4-8. This is a great fit for little ones who love dinosaurs. The author, host of Dinosaur Train on PBS Kids and real-life fossil hunter, takes young readers into the field to look for dinosaurs. Kids learn how to find and dig up fossils, how they are removed from the field and prepped in the lab and how paleontologists put fossils back together into dinosaurs. Scott also encourages kids to follow their passion and become a paleontologist by offering tips, hints and advice.
Teresa Mills-Faraudo is an associate editor at Bay Area Parent and mother of two.