Inspiring Nonfiction Stories of Science and Innovation

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Shark Lady: The True Story of How Eugenie Clark Became the Ocean’s Most Fearless Scientist (2017)
Ages 4-8

Shark Lady tells the story of Eugenie Clark, a zoologist, writer, professor, and deep-sea diver, from the trip to an aquarium where she first fell in love with sharks to her defying the odds and becoming a scientist at a time when many people thought women shouldn’t be scientists. Clark believed that sharks are graceful and beautiful creatures worthy of being studied and through her work, she helped others realize that sharks need our protection and deserve our appreciation. This book acts not only as a great introduction to marine biology and shark life, but also as is an inspiring reminder of the value of courage, perseverance, and passion.

The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind (2012)
Ages 5-8

The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind shares the true story of a 14-year-old boy from Malawi, who uses his ingenuity and perseverance in the face of drought, food shortages, and poverty to create an innovative solution. Young William discovers a way to build a windmill from junkyard scraps and successfully brings life-changing electricity to his village.

The Brilliant Deep: Rebuilding the World’s Coral Reefs: The Story of Ken Nedimyer and the Coral Restoration Foundation (2018)
Ages 6-9

Incredible illustrations and engaging narrative convey the plight of the world’s coral reefs and the ongoing efforts to save and rebuild them. The Brilliant Deep, which centers around the work of Ken Nedimyer and his Coral Restoration Foundation, offers a hopeful and inspiring tale about environmental conservation and the spirit of volunteerism.

Astronaut-Aquanaut: How Space Science and Sea Science Interact (2018)
Ages 8-12

National Geographic Kids’ Astronaut-Aquanaut offers a visually mesmerizing exploration of the connections between space science and sea science. Readers will learn about the striking commonalities in what explorers of space and sea must face, including extremes in environmental conditions such as pressure, temperature, and climate. Astronaut-Aquanaut shines a light on the incredibly important work of space and sea scientists, as well as the machines and innovations that allow them to do this work. This title will appeal to anyone who is curious to know more about our place in the universe.

Curiosity: The Story of a Mars Rover (2018)
Ages 8-12

This fact-filled, visually appealing book tells the tale of NASA’s rover Curiosity from idea to creation and finally to her incredible 350,000,000 mile voyage and mission on Mars. Told from the perspective of the lovable robot herself, Curiosity’s story and retro-style, vibrant illustrations of the Martian landscape will captivate aspiring young space explorers.

How We Got To Now: Six Innovations That Made the Modern World (2018)
Ages 10+

Steven Johnson’s adapted version of his adult bestseller How We Got to Now and its ensuing PBS series offers stories of six innovations that irrevocably altered the course of human life: glass, cold, sound, clean, time, and light. These stories of invention and discovery are sure to ignite the curiosity of young tinkerers.

Girls Think of Everything: Stories of Ingenious Inventions by Women (2018)
Ages 10-12

Girls Think of Everything is the updated edition of an incredible collection of stories about female inventors and their innovative creations. This new edition offers a more modern emphasis on diversity and technology. The women featured in this book have each taken on challenging problems and discovered unique solutions that have changed the world. Girls Think of Everything also offers a wealth of resources and inspiration for aspiring young innovators.

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