Go Wild for Science | General Science Series Nonfiction

Every young scientist will find something of interest in these collections that feature a variety of topics, formats, and reading levels.

What intrigues your students and captures their interest? Hands-on experiments and demonstrations? Learning about famous scientists and inventors from the past? Maybe they prefer information on possible STEM careers, animals, or outer space? All these topics are covered in this season’s general science titles. Whether you need to introduce material to very young learners or provide in-depth information on current topics to high school students, there are plenty of options. In addition to the variety of science topics, there is a range of format choices. Graphic novel adventures, lab guides, or discussions from the introductory to the advanced level are all included.



BABY PROFESSOR. All Kinds of Matter: The Characteristics of Solid, Liquid and Gas. ISBN 9781541987982.
––––. I Can Build It! A Lesson on Materials and Mixtures With Activities on Construction and Deconstruction. ISBN 9781541987999.
––––. Science Tools I Use Everyday: An Introduction to the Different Types of Tools Used in Science. ISBN 9781541987975.
ea vol: 72p. (Early Learner Science Collection). Speedy/Baby Professor. Feb. 2024. Tr. $31.99.
K-Gr 2–This collection of titles explores “science, nature, and how it works.” Topics range from a discussion of matter, to the nature of science and the kinds of tools used in its study, to mixtures and materials. Spreads balance text and images; sometimes there is a full page of text facing a full-page image. Other spreads mix images and text. Images range from photos and illustrations to infographics. Some have labels while others offer captions with more information. Glossary terms appear within the narrative in colored font and page numbers are provided in the glossary entries. Some factual and grammatical errors were present in the text. (Note: Science Tools does not have a glossary.) VERDICT This series could be used to introduce basic science concepts in lower grades. A concern is the lack of racial diversity in the images; there are few people of color in the photos or illustrations.


Upper Elementary to Middle School

BABY PROFESSOR. I’m Energized! What Is Energy? Forms of Energy and How It Is Related to Work. ISBN 9781541998285.
––––. I’ve Got the Power! Calculating Power and How Power, Work and Force are Related. ISBN 9781541998254.
––––. It’s the Law! Energy Transformations and the Law of Conservation of Energy. ISBN 9781541998292.
––––. Keep it Simple! Compound vs. Simple Machines, Types and Advantages of Simple Machines. ISBN 9781541998278.
––––. Machine vs. Man! Definition of a Machine, Mechanical Advantages and Efficiency. ISBN 9781541998261.
––––. Potential vs. Kinetic Energy: How Energy Is Transferred Between Objects. ISBN 9781541998308.
ea vol: 72p. (Work & Energy Grade 6–8 Science Collection). Speedy/Baby Professor. Feb. 2024. Tr. $31.99.

Gr 6-8–Middle school students can explore definitions of work, energy, power, and force in this set on physical science. Explanations of energy transfer, the laws that govern the transformation of energy, and how simple machines can be used to make work more efficient are among the topics covered. Illustrations, diagrams, and photos help readers visualize types of energy, applications of force, and the difference between simple and compound machines. Some of the titles include a glossary, while others define terms within the main text. Some contradictions and errors are present in the text. In Machine vs. Man there is bonus content about the tools used in carpentry. VERDICT This series could be a supplementary purchase to support physics lessons or for classroom review. A concern is the lack of racial diversity in the images; there are few people of color in the photos or illustrations.

BORGERT-SPANIOL, Megan. STEM in the Forest. ISBN 9781098291952.
––––. STEM in the Garden. ISBN 9781098291969.
––––. STEM in the Ocean. ISBN 9781098291976.
––––. STEM in the Skies. ISBN 9781098291983.
––––. STEM on the Farm. ISBN 9781098291990.
––––. STEM Underground. ISBN 9781098292003.
ea vol: 32p. (Wild STEM). ABDO/Checkerboard. Jan. 2024. Tr. $34.22.
Gr 3-6–Full-page photographs alternate with text pages to introduce readers to STEM careers in various natural settings. Each title focuses on a particular segment of the natural world such as forests, oceans, or farms. The narrative offers details of jobs like paleontology or aerospace engineering, and photo captions offer additional details about oceanographers, arborists, and beekeepers. Two “Get Wild!” activities are included in each book, with a materials list, photo, and step-by-step directions. Readers can create their own DIY seismograph, experiment with how blubber works, and enjoy other demonstrations or projects. Back matter includes a glossary, an index, and a QR code to access online resources. VERDICT Very useful for introducing STEM careers, classroom research on careers in STEM, and satisfying individual curiosity about the various jobs available in “wild” settings.

GRAY, Susan H. Investigating Plants. ISBN 9781668938201.
LOCKWOOD, Sophie. Investigating Electricity. ISBN 9781668938164.
––––. Investigating Heat. ISBN 9781668938188.
MULLINS, Matt. Investigating Ecosystems. ISBN 9781668938157.
––––. Investigating Planet Earth. ISBN 9781668938195.
––––. Investigating States of Matter. ISBN 9781668938218.
SIMON, Charnan. Investigating Compounds and Mixtures. ISBN 9781668938140.
––––. Investigating Erosion. ISBN 9781668938171.
ea vol: 32p. (Science Investigations). Cherry Lake. Jan. 2024. Tr. $32.07.
Gr 3-6–Students can explore science and engineering concepts through these hands-on activities. Topics include circuits, erosion, plants, mixtures, and solutions. Each experiment begins with a page of discussion followed by a materials list, step-by-step instructions, and a conclusion. A majority of supplies are household items such as food coloring, vinegar, and dish soap. Some activities also have a text box with an explanation of the results. The books all begin with a note to parents and students about safety, as well as a review of the scientific method. Full-color photos and illustrations, a glossary, and suggestions for further reading all support student learning. VERDICT Very useful for classroom science labs and individual experimentation.

IDZIKOWSKI, Lisa. Pet Tech. ISBN 9798765609132.
––––. Protecting Ocean Animals. ISBN 9798765609156.
––––. Wildlife Crossings. ISBN 9798765609170.
WALKER, Tracy Sue. Bionic Animals. ISBN 9798765609125.
––––. Saving Endangered Species. ISBN 9798765609149.
––––. Wildlife Conservation Technology. ISBN 9798765609163.
ea vol: 32p. (Searchlight Books—Saving Animals with Science). Lerner. Jan. 2024. Tr. $30.65.
Gr 3-5–Wildlife researchers, bionics experts, and other scientists use their skills to help animals in a variety of ways covered in these titles. Whether young readers are interested in ocean life, pets, or endangered species, they will be inspired by the amazing developments in each field. Plentiful photographs show drones that can tag ocean life, wildlife crossings over busy roadways, and satellites used to count animal populations. Sidebars take a “Deep Dive” into specific topics such as 3-D printers used to create bionic limbs for animals or “Spotlight” companies designing helpful software. Each book ends with a “Save the Day” question encouraging students to reflect on what they have read. VERDICT Highly engaging, an excellent addition to library collections and just right for those readers who always asks for more animal books.

LOMBARDO, Jennifer. Comets and Asteroids. ISBN 9781502670106.
––––. Earth’s Moon. ISBN 9781502670137.
PIERCE, Simon. Planets. ISBN 9781502670199.
REYNOLDS, Donna. Humans in Space. ISBN 9781502670168.
THORPE, Judy. The Sun. ISBN 9781502670250.
WASHBURNE, Sophie. Satellites and Space Probes. ISBN 9781502670229.
ea vol: 32p. (The Inside Guide: Space Science). Cavendish Square. Dec. 2023. Tr. $30.21.
Gr 4-8–These titles are filled with details about objects within the solar system and humankind’s exploration of space from the earliest probes and rockets to plans for future missions to Mars and beyond. The main text is divided into chapters and then broken up by subheadings into smaller chunks. Sidebars, “Fast Fact” textboxes, and captions add more detail, like the definition of a light-year or the classification of dwarf planets. Photos of early rocket launches, concept art of future exoplanet bases, and diagrams of atmospheric layers are examples of the many images. Discussion questions at the end of each book are accompanied by photos, too. Back matter also includes a glossary and suggested books and websites to find out more. VERDICT A helpful update or addition to library collections for research or individual exploration.

RAINS, Dalton. Astronauts. ISBN 9781637387368.
––––. Future Space Missions. ISBN 9781637387375.
––––. Moon Landings. ISBN 9781637387382.
––––. Probes. ISBN 9781637387399.
––––. Rockets. ISBN 9781637387405.
––––. Rovers and Landers. ISBN 9781637387412.
––––. Space Stations. ISBN 9781637387429.
––––. Telescopes. ISBN 9781637387436.
ea vol: 32p. (Exploring Space). North Star Editions/Apex. Jan. 2024. Tr. $31.35.
Gr 3-7–Written with short paragraphs, this series takes readers through various aspects of space exploration in digestible bites of text. Everything from astronauts and moon landings to future space missions are covered. Plentiful images like the early space probe Sputnik, current Artemis launches, and ISS crew members support the information. Fun facts, sidebars, and captions offer details such as, “Rockets reach speeds of more than 4.9 miles per second.” Each title also includes a glossary, comprehension questions, and a list of books for further reading. Online resources for teachers include lesson plans and curriculum correlations. VERDICT Useful for space enthusiasts in the intermediate grades, as well as for older students who need supportive text.

SAMS, Jared. The Dr. Wu Brain Switcheroo! ISBN 9781669055709.
––––. The Great Time Heist! ISBN 9781669055693.
––––. The Race of Ages! ISBN 9781669055716.
––––. The Time Quake! ISBN 9781669055723.
ea vol: 32p. (Qianna and the Quantum Train). Capstone. Jan. 2024. Tr. $36.65.
Gr 3-5–Qianna and her diverse group of friends meet famous scientists, inventors, and engineers by traveling through time and space on the Quantum Train. Readers follow along on these adventures as the kids visit Dr. Wu, George Washigton Carver, and other greats of STEM history. These time travel adventures introduce students to physics, the creation of the artificial heart, and biochemical and electrical engineering. The graphic novels have a “hip-hop spin,” and the friends meet a diverse range of science heroes from various eras. The stories are supported by back matter including a glossary, suggested books and websites for further reading, explanations of key concepts such as particle accelerators, and biographical profiles on the featured scientists. VERDICT An engaging series perfect for fans of Max Axiom and other STEM graphic series. Great for encouraging readers who may be reluctant scientists, but who enjoy the graphic novel presentation.


Upper Middle School to High School

SCIENTIFIC AMERICAN EDITORS. Cyberattacks. ISBN 9781725350168.
––––. Extraterrestrial Physics. ISBN 9781725350199.
––––. Extreme Animals. ISBN 9781725350403.
––––. Food Systems of the Future. ISBN 9781725350373.
––––. The Future of Medicine. ISBN 9781725350465.
––––. Genetic Engineering. ISBN 9781725350434.
––––. The Science of Habits: How to Make Them or Break Them. ISBN 9781725350229.
––––. The Science of Sleep. ISBN 9781725350496.
––––. The Science of Stress. ISBN 9781725350250.
––––. Understanding Cancer. ISBN 9781725350281.
––––. Understanding Pandemics and Epidemics. ISBN 9781725350311.
––––. Women in Science. ISBN 9781725350342.
ea vol: 160p. (Scientific American Explores Big Ideas). Scientific American. Dec. 2023. Tr. $43.95.
Gr 9 Up–These titles each collect articles on a common topic, and the articles within each book are grouped by theme. For instance, articles on cyberattacks cover big data, infrastructure attacks, white hat hackers, and other areas of interest. Several features make these books useful in the classroom. Reading speed and available time can be accommodated by selecting from the various lengths of articles (ranging from one to 18 pages). Another strength that makes them perfect for classroom debate and discussion is the variety of viewpoints presented. An introduction, a glossary, and a list of sources for further information support each collection. Author information is included with some articles, providing readers with the background and expertise of the writer(s) and their particular perspective on the issue. VERDICT A useful collection for discussion, debate, or research on different aspects of the various topics.

A few stand-out series deserve another mention. Lerner’s “Saving Animals with Science” really captures attention with the combination of animals and technology. While students may know about microchips for pets, they will be astounded to learn about applications for 3-D printers and drones to help animals. The riveting photos pull readers in and then final reflection questions leave them pondering what they have learned. Capstone’s graphic series, “Qianna and the Quantum Train” combines comic book-style action, a hip-hop vibe, and humor to introduce amazing scientists from across the years and showcase their contributions. The best of this season all capitalize on student interests and support further investigation.


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