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Science and Mystery: Books For Kids

With all the current emphasis on STEM and STEAM (Science Technology Engineering Art Math), it's no wonder that in recent years there has been an explosion of kid-friendly books on science, and it's absolutely amazing! Now more than ever, children can have exposure to rather complex scientific concepts almost from birth, providing opportunities for their interest to be piqued across a variety of fields from biology and botany to physics and engineering. Many of these stories include the narratives of famous scientists as well, and their personal journeys to persevere against incredible odds to follow their passions and discover new things. Want to feed your burgeoning scientists' mind and introduce them to a variety of scientific disciplines? Without further ado, check out these awesome science titles!

To Catch a Thief book
#1
To Catch a Thief
Written by Mandy Hartley
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-11

In the first book of the DNA Detectives series Annabelle and Harry's pet dog, Milly goes missing. After putting up posters and waiting on their parents they don't know what to do. But when a number of their friend's pets also vanish the children think the perpetrator is their next door neighbour and set out to prove it.

A Hint of Hydra book
#2
A Hint of Hydra
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

Thirteen-year-old chef Lailu Loganberry must stop a war between the elves and scientists in this follow-up to A Dash of Dragon, which Kirkus Reviews calls “a recipe for success.” It’s the Week of Masks, a festival held to chase away evil spirits. But Lailu doesn’t have time to worry about demons. She has bigger fish to fry—or rather, griffons, now that she’s been asked to prepare a mystical feast for the king’s executioner, Lord Elister. Unfortunately Lailu’s meal is overshadowed by the scientists’ latest invention: automatons, human-shaped machines that will respond to their masters’ every order. Most people are excited by the possibilities, but the mechanical men leave Lailu with a bad taste in her mouth. Even worse, the elves still blame the scientists for the attacks on them weeks ago, and Lailu worries that the elves might be cooking up revenge. So when she and her sorta-rival-turned-almost-friend Greg stumble across the body of a scientist, the elves are the prime suspects. With help from Greg, her best friend Hannah, and the sneaky, winking spy Ryon, Lailu has to discover the truth behind the murder, and soon—because hostilities between the elves and the scientists are about to boil over faster than hydra stew. And just ask any chef: war is bad for business.

The Case of the Barfy Birthday book
#3
The Case of the Barfy Birthday
Written by Michele Torrey and illustrated by Barbara Johansen Newman
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-11

Fifth graders Drake Doyle and Nell Fossey use their detective and scientific investigation skills to solve cases which involve food poisoning, missing terns, a haunted treehouse, and a pig in a pit.

The Case of the Crooked Carnival book
#4
The Case of the Crooked Carnival
Written by Michele Torrey
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 9-12

Fourth-graders Drake Doyle and Nell Fossey combine their detective and scientific investigation skills to solve cases involving a crooked carnival barker, a mysterious ghost, an alien plant species invading wildlife habitats and a wobbly bridge. Original.

The Case of the Mossy Lake Monster book
#5
The Case of the Mossy Lake Monster
Written by Michele Torrey and illustrated by Barbara Johansen Newman
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 9-12

Fourth-graders Drake Doyle and Nell Fossey combine their detective and scientific investigation skills to solve a variety of cases involving a hungry cat, endangered penguins, a fish-stealing monster, and a dirty election. Includes a section of scientific experiments and activities.

  1. The Case of the Graveyard Ghost - Drake Doyle and Nell Fossey, who are now in fifth grade, continue to combine their detective and scientific investigation skills to solve a variety of cases, involving a noisy laundry chute, a ruined flower show, and a ghost.

  2. Ada Twist and the Perilous Pants - In Ada Twist and the Perilous Pants, Ada must rely on her curious mind, her brave spirit, and her best pals Rosie Revere and Iggy Peck to solve a mystery in her own backyard. Ada Twist is full of questions. A scientist to her very core, Ada asks why again and again. One question always leads to another until she’s off on a journey of discovery! When Rosie Revere’s Uncle Ned gets a little carried away wearing his famous helium pants, it’s up to Ada and friends to chase him down. As Uncle Ned floats farther and farther away, Ada starts asking lots of questions: How high can a balloon float? Is it possible for Uncle Ned to float into outer space? And what’s the best plan for getting him down?

  3. Ada Lace And The Suspicious Artist - From Emily Calandrelli—Emmy-nominated host of Xploration Outer Space, correspondent on Bill Nye Saves the World, and graduate of MIT—comes the fifth novel in a fun illustrated chapter book series about an eight-year-old girl with a knack for science, math, and solving mysteries with technology. Third grader and inventor extraordinaire Ada Lace is on spring break. But it’s just a little less relaxing than she’d imagined. Nina is beside herself with excitement about meeting her favorite artist and enlists Ada and Mr. Peebles’s coding-whiz nephew to help revamp her online portfolio. When Nina finally meets Miroir, he snubs her, and her confidence is shaken—but not enough to miss the art show opening. While there, Ada spots a suspiciously familiar painting that may mean Miroir isn’t the original he claims to be. Will the friends be able to reveal the artist’s true nature, before he fools someone else?

  4. The Case of the Gasping Garbage - Fourth-graders Drake Doyle and Nell Fossey combine their detective and scientific investigation skills to solve a variety of cases involving a noisy garbage can, endangered frogs, a stuck truck, and a mysterious love letter. Includes a section of scientific experiments and activities.

Super Max and the Mystery of Thornwood's Revenge book
#10
Super Max and the Mystery of Thornwood's Revenge
Written by Susan Vaught
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

“An excellent addition to middle grade shelves, with a differently-abled main character that readers will root for.” —School Library Journal “Vaught makes Max the brash, bold star of the book, exchanging stereotypes and sympathy cards for a well-drawn character whose disability is part of who she is but not her complete identity; hopefully Max will roll ahead as the advance guard of a literary cadre.” —BCCB A Parents’ Choice Recommended Book It’s going to take more than a knack for electronics and a supercharged wheelchair for twelve-year-old Max to investigate a haunted mansion in Edgar Award–winning author Susan Vaught’s latest middle grade mystery. Max has always been a whiz with electronics (just take a look at her turbo-charged wheelchair). But when a hacker starts a slanderous Facebook page for her grandpa, Max isn’t sure she has the skills to take him down. The messages grow increasingly sinister, and Max fears that this is more than just a bad joke. Here’s the thing: Max has grown up in the shadow of Thornwood Manor, an abandoned mansion that is rumored to be haunted by its original owner, Hargrove Thornwood. It is said that his ghost may be biding his time until he can exact revenge on the town of Blue Creek. Why? Well, it’s complicated. To call him a jerk would be an understatement. When the hacking escalates, suddenly it looks to Max like this could really be Thornwood’s Revenge. If it is, these messages are just the beginning—and the town could be in danger.

Ada Lace, on the Case book
#11
Ada Lace, on the Case
Written by Tamson Weston, Emily Calandrelli and illustrated by Renee Kurilla
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 6-10

Ada Lace—third-grade scientist and inventor extraordinaire—has discovered something awful: her neighbor’s beloved Yorkie has been dognapped! With the assistance of a quirky neighbor named Nina (who is convinced an alien took the doggie) and her ever-growing collection of gadgets, Ada sets out to find the wrongdoer. As their investigation becomes more and more mysterious, Ada and Nina grow closer, proving that opposites do, in fact, attract.

The Lighthouse between the Worlds book
#12
The Lighthouse between the Worlds
Written by Melanie Crowder
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

Griffin must traverse dangerous new worlds if he hopes to save his father from a peril that threatens all of humanity in this fantastical new novel from the acclaimed author of A Nearer Moon. Griffin and his father tend to their lighthouse on the craggy coast of Oregon with the same careful routine each day. There are hardly ever any visitors, but they like it that way. Which is why, when a group of oddly dressed strangers suddenly appears, Griffin begins to see just how many secrets his father has been keeping. He never imagined that his lighthouse contains a portal to strange and dangerous worlds, or that a Society of Lighthouse Keepers exists to protect the Earth from a fearsome enemy invasion. But then Griffin’s dad is pulled through the lens of the lighthouse into one of those other worlds. With his father gone, nobody from the Society is giving Griffin any answers, so he’s on his own. Armed only with a book of mysterious notes from his parents, Griffin is determined to find his dad, no matter what dangers lurk on the other side of the portal.

The Case of the Terrible T- Rex book
#13
The Case of the Terrible T- Rex
Written by Michele Torrey and illustrated by Barbara Johansen Newman
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 9-12

Doyle and Fossey, science detectives, are on the case again-and this time they're investigating werewolves on Waxberry Hill, a perilous picnic, a fiesta fiasco, and a dino-disaster…involving a T. rex! Kids will learn all about pressure on the Earth's core, how pollution affects ecology, and more. Plus, budding scientists can try actual experiments!

Charlie Numbers and the Man in the Moon book
#14
Charlie Numbers and the Man in the Moon
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

Charlie is recruited to use his mathematical prowess to discover what happened to a box of stolen moon rocks in this follow up to Bringing Down the Mouse. The Kid: Charlie Lewis, a.k.a. Numbers. The smartest kids in sixth grade. Charlie sees the world as a series of math problems—ones that can be solved, if you know the right equations. The Team: The Whiz Kids. Charlie’s best friends are joining him undercover to recover missing moon rocks, which have disappeared from NASA’s vaults. The Target: Aerospace Infinity, the company owned by former astronaut Buzz Caldwell and hosting organization of the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum’s paper airplane contest. Working together, the Whiz Kids must master the principles of aerodynamics, wind science, and gravity to win the contest to get closer to their target. The Catch: Nothing is ever as it seems, and Charlie suspects the mission is being led by someone who isn’t what she claims to be. And messing with the government could jeopardize their futures…

    Did you enjoy our children's book recommendations? Did we miss one of your favorites? Let us know in the comments below!