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10 Terrific Science Books for Middle School-Aged Kids
Welcome to the SB&F Editor's Blog. I am Maria Sosa, Editor-in-Chief of SB&F. Through this blog I hope to interact with the SB&F community and post news and information related to science books, videos, authors, opportunities and other topics of interest to our readers. I hope you find the blog useful and entertaining. Please, join the conversation by posting a comment on our Facebook page. I'd love to hear from you!


This is the second in a series of blog posts in which I will share my recommendations for holiday gifts for readers of all ages. This list features books that are suitable for students in grade 5 through 8. This year's SB&F Prize finalists are on the list, as are some of my personal favorites from among the books we reviewed this year. I limited my selection in each category to 10 picks. To see more choices, please visit our Amazon astore. See also, my earlier post to find picture books for younger readers.

  1. Temple Grandin : How the Girl Who Loved Cows Embraced Autism and Changed the World, by Sy Montgomery.  (Although she was diagnosed with autism, and her doctor recommended hospitalization, Temple Grandin's mom believed in her and sent her to school. Today, Dr. Grandin is a scientist and professor of animal science and her world-changing career revolutionized the livestock industry. This compelling biography complete with Temple's personal photos takes us inside her extraordinary mind and opens the door to a broader understanding of autism.)
  2. Invincible Microbe : Tuberculosis and the Never-ending Search for a Cure , by Jim Murphy and Alison Blank. (This "tuberculosis biography" presents an account of the diagnosis, treatment, and "cure" of the disease over time, and the social history of an illness that could strike anywhere but was most prevalent among the poor are woven together in an engrossing, carefully researched narrative
  3. Moonbird : A Year On the Wind With the Great Survivor B95, by Phillip Hoose. (He wears a black band on his lower right leg and an orange flag on his upper left, bearing the laser inscription B95. Scientists call him the Moonbird because, in the course of his astoundingly long lifetime, this gritty, four-ounce marathoner has flown the distance to the moon-and halfway back! Phillip Hoose takes us around the hemisphere with the world's most celebrated shorebird.)
  4. The Book of Blood : From Legends and Leeches to Vampires and Veins, by HP Newquist (Newquist takes young readers on an engaging tour of the world of blood, from ancient history to modern science-with an occasional trip to the very strange side of the most important tissue in our bodies. Whether the tales of vampires, medieval medical practices, and Mayan sacrificial rites captivate or terrify, this comprehensive investigation into blood's past and present will surely enthrall.)
  5. Meltdown! The Nuclear Disaster in Japan & Our Energy Future, by Fred Bortz. (This is a well written book on a difficult topic. The arc of the book starts with introducing what a tsunami is and how it is created by an earthquake. The history of nuclear power is given a quick overview before the nuclear power plant is introduced in the story)
  6. Steve Jobs, by Nick Hunter (This biography is logically organized, well- illustrated, and clearly written. This brief biography puts its emphasis on Steve Jobs' contribution as an innovator and an entrepreneur.)
  7. The Mighty Mars Rovers: The Incredible Adventures of Spirit and Opportunity, by Elizabeth Rusch. (The Mighty Mars Rovers tells the story of Spirit and Opportunity through the eyes of Steven Squyres, professor of astronomy at Cornell University and lead scientist on the mission, and several of the other scientists involved in the mission. Beautifully written and designed, the book is a perfect beginning to the story of Curiosity, which is featured on its final pages.)
  8. Seymour Simon's Extreme Earth Records, by Seymour Simon. (Seymour Simon's Extreme Earth Records provides information about places on Earth where extreme conditions exist. The information is excellent and very informative with high quality photos and colorful pages which draws the reader in and keeps interest. )
  9. What's So Mysterious About Meteorites? by O. Richard Morris. (Targeted at a younger audience, the authors--who clearly love their topic--do a fine job of making many sometimes-abstruse concepts and practices accessible, with a fine dash of personality and certainly with excitement. )
  10. Get the Scoop on Animal Poop: From Lions to Tapeworms, by Dawn Cusick. (What student can resist the world of science that opens up upon reading about insects that protect themselves from predators by camouflaging themselves to look like poop? Or about the elite group of biologists, known as "Poop Detectives," that study bird droppings for viruses and bacteria that can make people sick? There is even inspiration for budding environmentalists found in a four page spread on using animal poop as a clean energy alternative. 


Posted 17 Dec 2012 3:34 PM by Maria Sosa