Kids' Books on STEM

Looking to add a few books to your STEM afterschool program? Here are four titles I love that take on STEM topics and practices. Thanks to Kirk Robbins’ amazing blog and feed (Follow @stem_4_all) for some of these great titles.

What Do You Do with a Problem?

Written by Kobi Yamada and illustrated by Mae Besom

I love Mae Besom’s illustrations and the simplicity of this story, which are meant to offer young people the chance to think about problems. Whether you take a humanities or STEM approach to this text, it gives us a chance to think about problem-solving.

Ada Twist, Scientist

Written by Andrea Beaty and illustrated by David Roberts

A cleverly-rhymed tale of a child whose first words are “Why?” This book details the habits of mind that most scientists use, except through a child’s eyes.

Papa's Mechanical Fish

Written by Candace Fleming and illustrated by Boris Kulikov

Papa is trying to get his contraption to swim like a fish, and he works through the engineering practices in the process.

What Do You Do with an Idea?

Written by Kobi Yamada and illustrated by Mae Besom

This sweet story doesn’t include a scientist as a character, but it offers an egg-shaped character who is a lovely metaphor for an idea that can stick with you over time and offers strategies for working with ideas.Bonus –you can get a stuffed “Idea” toy to go with it.

Rosie Revere, Engineer

Written by Andrea Beaty and illustrated by David Roberts

This engineering-focused story centers on a young girl whose grandmother was the famous “Rosie the Riveter” from World War I.


Chris Dorman's picture
Also don't forget...
Iggy Peck, Architect by Andrea Beaty
The Most Magnificent Thing by Ashley Spires
What To Do With a Box by Jane Yolen and Chris Sheban

And for the all important 'soft skills'...
What Do You Do With a Problem? by Kobi Yamada
Danielle Dewees's picture
These are great! Thanks for sharing, Chris!
Lynn Farrin's picture
A favorite of mine is Marvelous Maddie (How Margaret E Knight Became an Inventor). The story has ties to my home state and is one about persistence and perserverance!

Also keep an eye out for the National Science Teachers Association list of Outstanding Trade Books. This annual list is put together by a review panel appointed by NSTA and the Childrens' Book Council. Lists go back to the mid 90's.