A summer reading list containing exciting STEM books with great stories and authentic problems to solve may inspire kids to want to read more this summer. STEM principles incorporate four subjects: science, technology, engineering, and math. For some, these are fun subjects, but for other students, it may be difficult and daunting topics.

Here is a list of 35 stellar STEM books that could have your child change their mind and inspire them to explore these topics more.

Science Books For Kids

1.  Starstruck: The Cosmic Journey Of Neil deGrasse Tyson


Age Range: 4-8 years

When young Neil visited the countryside and realized that what he had seen at the planetarium was real, his passion for space was ignited.  Starstruck is a picture book biography of American astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson who inspired many young scientists and astronomers with his passion for the stars.

An inspiring book for young kids not to give up on their dreams when things become difficult but to press through.


2.  The Everything Kids’ Science Experiment Book

everything science

Age Range 7-12 years

In The Everything Kid’s Science Experiment Book, Tom Robinson, a high school science teacher shows kids how to create science experiments with household items. No prior science knowledge, science labs, or special equipment needed.

Experiments are clearly explained, well-planned, and follows science methodology in a fun way. Scattered between experiments are jokes, puzzles, and games. Some experiments will teach kids to be patient if they want to see the result of an experiment. It’s simple to follow experiments grouped by science fields or level of difficulty.

3.      Astronaut Aquanaut: How Space and Science Interacts

astro aqua

Age Range  8-12 years

Astronauts explore outer space as far as humans can go. Aquanauts go as deep into the oceans as humans may go. Discover how the two extremes have similar challenges to overcome.  Jennifer Swanson takes readers on a journey of ocean and space that help readers connect, compare, contrast, and recognize amazing patterns of science.

The book shows what is involved in preparation for space or ocean expedition and how traveling into space and the depths of the ocean have evolved. Colorful illustrations accompany the descriptive visit to the International Space Station and the undersea laboratory Aquarius.

4.  National Geographic Kids Brain Games

the book Brain Games

Age Range  8-12 years

Kids Brain Games is an interactive book that may challenge kids to use the greatest supercomputer, their brains. Over 100 pages filled with fun facts about each section of the brain, crazy activities like optical illusions, and brainy nuggets from a neuroscientist explaining how the brain works.

A well-written book by Jenifer Swanson that will occupy curious minds during the summer holiday and learn about their brains in a fun way.

5.      Smithsonian Maker Lab: 28 Super Cool Projects

smithsonian maker

Age Range  8-12 years

Twenty-eight projects and crafts for budding inventors that is safe to try. Each activity is explained in easy to follow steps. Ranked from easy to hard, each project has an estimated time frame of how long it should take to complete.

Using household items kids can make sticky slime, erupting volcanoes or race balloon rocket cars. Illustrated with real-life examples, the scientific principles used in the experiments are explained and placed in connection with their environment and life.

6.  The Girl Who Thought In Pictures

thought in picturesthought in pictures

Age Range  5-10 years

Diagnosed with autism and a slight chance of being able to talk, Dr. Temple Grandin didn’t allow labels to place her in a box. She became an amazing scientist. Using her mind that thought in pictures, she invented groundbreaking improvements for farms around the world.

A complete biography, fun facts, and timeline accompany the illustrated rhyming tale. Selected as one of NSTA Best STEM books for K-12, it is a wonderful inspiration for young minds to dream big and not to allow circumstances to dictate their future.

7.      Atoms Under The Floorboards: The Surprising Science Hidden In Your Home

Great high School Science book for summer

Age Range:  13 years and older

Christ Woodford uses everyday household items to explain scientific concepts and principles to nonscientists. The first chapter starts with what a house weighs, and why it doesn’t sink into the ground. Each chapter covers a topic explaining why a specific material behaves the way it does.

The science comes alive when the principles are explained using everyday items readers are familiar with like light bulbs, heat, automobiles, radio, glue, glass and more.

8.      Here We Are: Notes for Living On Planet Earth

here we are

Age Range  3-7 years

Award-winner Oliver Jeffers guides toddlers to what it means to be an Earthling. His candy-colored humans show readers what it means to live on earth. He describes the complex terrains of our planets, the animal kingdom, people of the world, and the vastness of space.

A great way for parents to introduce their babies to the world we live in.

Technology Books For Kids

9.   How To Code A Sandcastle

how to code a sandcastle book

Age Range 4-8 years

This book is a great one for the budding programmer.  All summer Pearl and her robot friend Pascal tried to build the perfect castle. Frisbees, puppies and other mishaps prevented them from succeeding. With one last chance left, they use the basics of computer coding to break down the problem and find the solution in creating that perfect sandcastle.

Non-Profit Girls Who Code, Josh Funk, and Sara Palacios use relatable situations and humor to introduce basic computer coding concepts.

10.  Coding Games In Scratch


Age Range 8-12 years

An updated version covering the 3.0 version of Scratch will be launched in August 2019.

A visual guide with clear instructions for kids with little or no coding experience. The book shows step-by-step how to code your own computer games and projects using Scratch, a popular programming language.

The second edition blends the theory with practical tasks. It teaches the kids how computer coding works but also why it works when done in a certain way.

11.  Trapped in a Video Game (Book 1)

Trapped in a Video Game I

Age Range 8-12 years

Jesse Rigsby, who hates video games, starts playing with his friend Eric. Soon they realize they are trapped in the video game and one of the game characters wants to kill them. Action packed the game should hold the attention of any video game lover.

Trapped in a Video Game is the first book in a series of five. Included in this edition is a bonus section. The More to Explore bonus section teaches the fundamentals of computer coding using a fun game.

12.  Nick and Tesla’s Solar-Powered Showdown

solar showdown

Age Range 9-12 years

A mystery to solve with solar-powered gadgets kids can make at home. The twins, Nick, and Tesla Holt’s parents are kidnapped, and they must help their uncle Newt outwit the kidnappers. During their adventures, readers will find instructions on how to build a solar-cooking hotdog cooker, an alarm, a solar car, and other useful adventure gadgets.

Nick and Teslas Solar-Powered Showdown is the last in the series of six adventures; a great summer read for mystery-loving inventors who like hands-on projects.

13.  Super Cool Tech


Age Range  8-12 years

Lift the laptop-looking book cover to discover cutting edge technology of today and what may happen in the future.

With 250 color images, X-rays, digital artwork, cross-sections, cutaways, and thermal imaging, secrets are revealed about state-of-the-art buildings, life-changing technologies, innovations for daily use like a 3D-printers.

Learn about innovative transport like the bio-bus powered by human and food waste, to a future ship called Ship Intelligence with remote piloting. Find out about the ocean cleanup project and how to become invisible.

14.  Everything Inventions (TIME for Kids book of what)

book of what

Age Range 8-12 years

The book that answers so many ‘What is’ questions curious kids ask. Questions about inventions, mysteries, and the future are covered. Over 250 facts with illustrations answer interesting questions like: What is a blimp? GPS? What is a daguerreotype? A djedi?

The glossary at the end of the book defines words and the index helps to find specific topics.

15.  Robotics for Kid Geniuses

robot bow tie

Age Range  10 years and older

A compendium of how to build robots portrayed in a way kids can understand. Although an advanced book on robotics, the concepts are explained in such a manner a beginner will be able to understand. The author uses intelligent, cute kids to teach a difficult topic in an entertaining and engaging manner.

It starts with how an atom works, an electric current flow, and how to build an electric circuit. Even if the reader doesn’t know anything about coding or electronics they will be able to follow the detailed instructions. The book gives you a list of the tools you need and how to obtain them inexpensively.

16.  National Geographic Kids Robots Sticker Activity Book

robot sticker book is fun

Age Range 4-8 years

The sticker activity book contains 1,000 robot-themed stickers. Discover high-tech robots that explore land, sea, air, and space; past inventions; bots and super bots; and how robots help humans by following the sticker prompt pages.

Coloring activities, mazes, matches, numbering and answering questions with stickers, teach kids about robots in interactively.

Engineering Books For Kids

17.  How Things Work Inside Out

how things work

Age Range 7-10 years

National Geographic For Kids takes all kinds of things apart in the book. It may be the solution in keeping your curious minded child’s hands off dissecting your toaster, cellphone or expensive camera.

Hundreds of questions are answered with beautiful illustrations and explanations; they even get to meet some inventors. Find out about self-driving cars, skyscrapers, how to transform shipping pellets into shelters and super stickers inspired by nature.

18.  The Most Magnificent Thing

most magnificent

Age Range 3-7 years

Award-winning author and illustrator Ashely Spires tells the story of a girl who wants to make the most magnificent thing. The clever use of specific verbs in groups of threes may inspire any young engineering mind.

The book explores emotional character education with handling failures to patience, to trying again. Illustrations show clearly the girl’s anger and frustration until her dog recommends a walk to rethink matters.

19.  Baby 101: Architecture for Babies

board book for babies

Age Range  2-3 years

Jonathan Little breaks down the concepts of architecture for toddlers to understand. With simple words and beautiful illustrations explains how buildings are made. The board book features famous architecture like the Colosseum and pyramids.

It may motivate your architect baby to new block building creations

20.  How Machines Work – Zoo Break!

zoo break

Age Range 7-10 years

Sloth and Sengi want to break out of the zoo with the help of machines. The adventure starts with the gear on the front cover that moves Sloth up and down. With models and illustrations six simple machines are demonstrated: levers, pulleys, inclined planes, wedges, wheels, and screws.

The interactive pull-outs, flip-outs, and pop-ups visually demonstrate the mechanics of each machine. Seems like they need some human help to activate the machines, how else are they going to get over the fence without someone pushing the seesaw?

Spreads highlight how these machines are present in everyday objects like scissors, a bike, breaks, whisks, and clocks.

21.  If I Built A Car

Age Range 3-7 years

Any young inventor who loves cars’ imagination may be triggered by Jack’s fantasy car. Inspired by Cadillacs, zeppelins, and trains the car has everything a car should and could have, including a pool and a snack bar.

Vibrant retro-futuristic illustrations and playful rhyming will capture many aspiring futuristic dreamers. It may motivate any kid’s imagination and creative thinking to design their own future transport.

22.  Rescue Mission With My STEM Invention: Engineering Story Book for Kids Volume 1

rescue mission

Age Range

6-12 years

In Rescue Mission Tiffany, Nicole, and Alan like to imagine, build and play. They are ready to take on the challenge of the annual school competition. Can their ability to solve real everyday problems be enough to win the sly Frankie twins?

Showing the process of scientific thinking the author also uses the scientific angle to demonstrate the importance of good behavior and how your actions affect others.

23.  Electronics for Kids: Play With Simple Circuits and Experiment with Electricity

electronics for kids

Age Range 10 years and older

Hands-on projects reveal the secrets of electronics.  Learn for instance how to make a battery using a lemon and how to transform a paper cup and paperclips into a spinning motor.

Explanations start simplistically and build up to more challenging concepts. For kids interested in electronics the book helps to teach and build their confidence as they progress through the book.

Included is a list of items needed for the various projects.

24.  Rosie Revere Engineer

revere engineer

Age Range 5-7 years

A New York Times bestseller, the picture book is about pursuing your passion despite failures and setbacks. Rosie loves to make things but when her uncle laughs at one of her gizmos, she stops talking about her dream to become an engineer.

With rhyming text, her story takes a new twist when Great Great Aunt Rose with her polka dot scarf arrives and tells Rosie her stories and dreams.

Math Books for Kids

25.  A Hundred Billion Trillion Stars

billions and billions

Age Range 4-8 years

Seth Fishman combines numbers and space in an interesting way. For example, there are more than a hundred trillion billion stars in space compared to thirty-seven billion rabbits on earth.

The illustrations and large numbers inspire imaginations as they try to grasp how big our world is. Many of the large numbers are written out for easy reading. While the numbers with many zeros fascinate young minds, kids are reminded that there is only one of them.

26.  Amazing Visual Math

amazing math

Age Range 8-12 years

Amazing Visual Math is a hands-on experience of basic math concepts. Over 50 interactive elements explain shapes, time, patterns, lines, adding, and subtracting.

3D visualizations and pop-ups help explain the why and how of math concepts, inspiring kids to solve math problems.  A great book to show math visually, even for younger kids but be mindful that small parts can be broken off and become a choking hazard for 3-year old and younger.

27.  Math-Terpieces: The Art of Problem-solving


Age Range 7-10 years

Using art history and elements of  12 famous paintings, Greg Tang challenges kids to a playful approach of using math to solve problems. Each spread contains a picture of a painting, a poem that highlights elements in the painting kids can apply to the math problem supplied.

According to Tang if you follow the four basic rules of problem-solving, math is a breeze: Have an open mind; look for unusual number combinations; use multiple skills; and look for patterns.

28.  Disney Princess: Lots and Lots of Look and Finds

Age Range 4-8 years

Cinderella, Belle, Rapunzel, Tania, and many more princesses will help your princess develop math skills. Over 100 busy scenes with more than 850 different things to find. By looking she’ll find and spot the differences; it improves focusing skills and encourages the discovery of lots of things to match, compare and count.

In addition to the look and find activities she may improver vocabulary skill by connecting the pictures with words.

29.  Peg + Cat: The Pizza Problem

peg cat pizza

Age Range 3-7 years

It’s lunchtime and Peg’s Pizza Place with orders streaming in. Everything was going well; Peg figured out what a half a pie was. Troubled started when there were only two and a half pies left and four orders came in. Cat helps Peg figure out how to slice the pies with different orders.

Along with Cat’s dancing and Peg’s singing the math problems are naturally part of the narrative. Visual learning is stimulated with the illustration of the math fraction problems and how to solve it.


30.  If: A Mind-Bending New Way of Looking At Big Ideas, and Numbers


Age Range 8-12 years

Author David Smith has reduced everything to a human scale. Ingeniously he has scaled big numbers and ideas down for kids to comprehend and understand. The history of the earth is condensed into a one-year timeline, all the wealth on earth is broken down to quantities of one hundred coins and the size of planets reduced to balls of different sizes.

An excellent resource for study scale and measurement in math that includes six suggested projects for those who want to delve deeper and there is a resource page at the back of the book.

31.  The Boy Who Loved Math

improbable math

Age Range 4-8 years

From the age of four, excentric mathematician Paul Erdos could calculate the number of seconds you’ve been alive in his head. He traveled around the world visiting mathematicians and working together with them.

Simple lyrics and rich illustrations take the reader on a journey of the life of Paul Erdos.

32.  How To Be A Math Genius: Your Brilliant Brain And How To Train It

math genius how to

Age Range 10- adult

Mike Goldsmith shows kids that they are better at math than they think. He proves it to them by showing them how they use algebra, logic, algorithms and other math concepts in their daily lives.

Compelling stories of math geniuses, math activities, and interesting facts and stats may demystify math concepts that could have been daunting to the reader.

STEM Books

33.  STEAM Kids

steam kids

Age Range 4 to  10 years old

Over fifty hands-on projects for kids covering Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math. Created by an MIT engineer, award-winning educators, designers, and homeschool experts, the 140 pages of activities will keep kids busy banishing any symptoms of boredom.

At the back of the book are resources to help plan a week’s activities of experiments and fun. Included is a list of where to find online information about extending projects or adding on to experiments.

34.  Women in Science: 50 Fearless Pioneers Who Changed the World

women in science

Age Range 6 and up

Women in Science tells the stories of women who have paved the way for other women in the various STEM fields. Achievements of well-known women like primatologist Jane Goodall and less-known women like African-American physicist and mathematician Katherine Johnson who calculated the trajectory of Apollo 11, are profiled in the book.

Wonderful artwork accompanies informative facts that are enough to entertain the reader without becoming an encyclopedia.

35.  STEM Starters for Kids Series

Age Range 6-10 years

STEM Starter for kids is a series of activities books where each book covers one of the STEM topics, including Arts.

Each book contains simple explanations and beautifully illustrated activities for kids to complete on each page.

The series may inspire a lifelong passion for the subject motivating a young scientist to accomplish their dreams.






Did we miss any of your favorites? Please tell us in the comments below!

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