Whether or not your kids are even interested in STEM, see what develops after reading one of the book on this list. Maybe an interest will grow?
I’ve divided this into two sections: beginning chapter books and middle grade chapter books.
Best STEM Beginning Chapter Books for Kids Ages 6 – 8
Ready to get your beginning readers interested in science, technology, engineering, and math? While you can read nonfiction books, these fiction stories integrate those topics. Read about a girl who loves rocks, genius inventors, and math-loving detectives.
Sydney & Simon: Full Steam Ahead!Bugs! (Animal Planet Chapter Books #3) (Volume 3)Rock Star #1 (Jada Jones)Frank Einstein and the Antimatter Motor (Frank Einstein series #1): Book OneLunch Walks Among Us (Franny K. Stein, Mad Scientist)Ada Lace, on the Case (An Ada Lace Adventure)Mad Scientist Academy: The Dinosaur DisasterGoldie Blox Rules the School! (GoldieBlox) (A Stepping Stone Book(TM))Dragons and Marshmallows (Zoey and Sassafras)The Case of the Terrible T. rex (Doyle and Fossey, Science Detectives)Olga and the Smelly Thing from NowhereScience No Fair!: Project Droid #1The Math Inspectors: Story One – The Case of the Claymore Diamond (Volume 1)The Computer Code Mystery (Celia Science & Anna Art) (Volume 1)Ellie, EngineerEngiNerds
Sydney & Simon Full STEAM Ahead! by Paul A. Reynolds, illustrated by Peter H. Reynolds
SCIENCE, ART, TECHNOLOGY
See many possibilities there are for using STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art, and math) in your homeschool or classrooms. Sydney and Simon are twins (like the author and illustrator) working on their flower show project. Throughout the book they work together questioning, predicting, and experimenting as well as using art, music, and technology to make their booth the best it could be. Not only did I like the creative story, but I also loved the beautiful, colorful artwork.
I adore Franny! She’s a non-social, wacky scientist kid who is always messing up her science experiments or getting into some sort of trouble. This series is totally hilarious.
Unusual characters attend this school where their wacky science teacher has built an interactive, robotic dinosaur exhibit that accidentally come to life. If your kids love science, off-beat graphic novels, they’ll love this series that mixes science and technology with fantasy in a most entertaining way.
Ruins Rules the School (Goldie Blox #1) by Stacy McAnulty
Do you know the popular Goldie Blox STEM toys? Now kids can read about Goldie’s adventures in a chapter book. And much to my delight, this book is a very enjoyable, well-written adventure. Goldie’s unique school where she can be her quirky, inventor self is officially closing after she blew off the second story. Now she must attend a “high-performing” school. The other kids aren’t as out-of-the-box as Goldie but when she enlists her new classmates to help her reopen her old school, amazing transformations occur for both Goldie and her new friends.
Zoey and Sassafras Dragons and Marshmallows #1 by Asia Citro, illustrated by Marion Lindsay
Kids love these entertaining and well-written stories that have the coolest mix of science and magic, a diverse main character, and fantastic illustrations. Zoey, like her mom, can see magical creatures and is tasked to care for any injured creatures that might need help. In this story, she uses her science skills (including research and the scientific method) to figure out how to care for a sick baby dragon.
EngiNerds by Jarret Lerner
You got to love a book that glorifies the nerds! (At least I do!!) This book is awesome. It’s about a group of kids, one of whom secretly makes robots for each person in their group of EngiNerds. Of course this all goes wrong making for a funny, fast-paced adventure your kids won’t be able to put down.
The Case of the Terrible T. Rex – Doyle and Fossey Science Detectives by Michele Torrey and Barbara Johansen Newman
The main character kids are scientists who, in this case, are researching mysteries using the scientific method. Is there really a werewolf? This science detective series include science experiments and information for readers at home.
Imagine going to school with your so-called cousin Java who is really a robot in disguise. That’s Logan’s life. But his inventor mother insists Logan keep Java’s secret. Unfortunately, the Silverspoon twins pair up with Java for the science fair. Logan’s worried Java’s secret won’t be safe for long.
Viva math! These friends love math and are proud of it — in fact, they’re sure they can use their math skills to solve crimes. This first mystery is about a jewelry store robbery. And they do solve it by finding clues that the police miss, freeing an innocent man. This is a delightful easy chapter book series.
Celia and Anna use science, art, technology, engineering, and math (STEAM) to solve mysteries. They’re on the case when their video game is hacked.
Best STEM (STEAM) Chapter Books for Kids Ages 8 – 12
You’ll notice that I’ve indicated the major STEM themes within each story. (I’m considering inventors to be engineers.) I hope it helps you find the best book to read next.
Jack and the Geniuses: At the Bottom of the WorldNick and Tesla’s High-Voltage Danger Lab: A Mystery with Electromagnets, Burglar Alarms, and Other Gadgets You Can BuildYourselfThe Friendship Code #1 (Girls Who Code)Secret CodersBrendan Buckley’s Universe and Everything in ItSpin the Golden Light Bulb (The Crimson Five)The Code Busters Club, Case #1: The Secret of the Skeleton KeyThe Case of the Missing Moonstone (The Wollstonecraft Detective Agency, Book 1)Click’dThe Evolution of Calpurnia TateThe Number Devil: A Mathematical Adventure
Jack and the Geniuses at the Bottom of the World by Bill Nye and Gregory Mone
Jack and his genius siblings, Ava and Matt, are orphans who start working for a scientist inventor named Dr. Witherspoon. The three kids accompany their inventor boss to the Arctic for a science competition where they discover that one of the researchers has gone missing. Is it because she’s made the biggest discovery of her life and another scientist is jealous? This is a fun, science-filled STEM adventure great for kids who love mysteries and technology. (And did you notice it’s co-written by Bill Nye, the Science Guy? How cool is that?)
Nick and Tesla’s High-Voltage Danger Lab by Science Bob Pflugfleder and Steve Hockensmith
Siblings, Nick and Tesla, are shipped off to live with their mad-scientist Uncle Newt for the summer while their parents are . . . doing something with soy beans in Uzbekistan? The duo discover something very suspicious happening at the old mansion down the street. They get to the bottom of the mystery using inventions and doing experiments. Plus, there are directions for you to do them at home, too. You’ll love this fast-paced, pro-science STEM series.
What’s happening at Hopper’s new school? She and her friends discover something very amazing about the birds — they’re robotic and can be controlled by numbers. Which leads the kids to go up against the scheming, evil janitor. Readers learn some basics of how to use the programming language Logo with sequence, iteration, and selection, and must apply their knowledge to help the characters. Interactive with diverse main characters makes this a very well-done STEM graphic novel.
Self-proclaimed scientist, Brendan, decides to use the scientific method to figure out what happened to his mother and grandfather’s relationship. He will discover that science can’t always figure out matters of human emotions, including prejudice.
Use your math skills and deductive reasoning along with the main characters as they write and solve codes throughout this adventurous STEM mystery story.
You’ll be inspired by 11-year old inventor-hopeful, Kia, and four classmates who live in 2071 and are getting the chance to complete for a spot at the Piedmont Inventor’s Prep School. They’ll have to be creative, work as a team, and use their STEM skills in order to succeed.
I LOVE this fantastically developed historical fiction story for several reasons – the girl-centric history is really interesting (and empowering), the characters are so well-developed you feel as if you know them, and the plot is a grand adventure! The author imagines a friendship between Ada Byron, genius daughter of Lord Byron and the world’s first computer programmer, and Mary Shelley, the world’s first science-fiction author who almost could have been friends in real life but for about a decade of years. Mary joins Ada to study with Ada’s tutor and the duo form a detective agency. In this first adventure, Mary and Ada learn about another historical figure who invented hypnotism and solve the case of a stolen heirloom.
Set in the late 1800s, 11-year-old Calpurnia loves to observe the natural world. Despite society’s expectations, her grumpy grandpa helps Callie explore her interest in science. This is contrasted with her mother’s push for Callie to be like other girls with cooking and sewing. Callie struggles to find her way through the confusion of her family’s expectations and her own interests.
Robert hates math. Until, he dreams about the Number Devil. In his dreams, Robert discovers the relevance of mathematics which when he awakes, he later applies at school. From square roots to Fibonacci numbers to mathematical theory, Robert dreams an amazing mathematical adventure.
Download my "can't put 'em down" book lists for your kids ages 3 - 13.
Also, I'll send you a bonus "23 Reasons to Read" printable poster!