Here at Lerner, September is STEM-tember! The fields of science, technology, engineering, and math are essential to the fabric of our society. From robotics to chemistry, the STEM categories include a variety of fascinating subjects. Though historically these industries have lacked diversity, they are becoming more welcoming every year. Help encourage students to learn about science, technology, engineering, and math with our STEM-tember titles, just a handful of which are featured below!
★ Who Is a Scientist? by Laura Gehl
A Cooperative Children’s Book Center (CCBC) Choice
- Interest Level: Preschool – Grade 3
Scientists work hard in the lab and in the field to make important discoveries. But who are they really?
It turns out they are just like us! Scientists can be any race. And any gender. They can wear lab coats, jeans, or even tutus. And they are people who love to fly drones, make art, and even eat French fries!
Meet fourteen phenomenal scientists who might just change the way you think about who a scientist is.
“The photographs reflect the world’s diversity . . . Both selection of information and presentation have been thoughtfully designed to appeal to young readers. Convincing evidence that readers, too, might become scientists.” — starred, Kirkus Reviews
Be a Maker by Katey Howes, illustrated by Elizabet Vuković
Winner of the Social Justice Literature Award
- Interest Level: Preschool – Grade 3
How many things can you make in a day? A tower, a friend, a change?
Rhyme, repetition, and a few seemingly straightforward questions engage young readers in a discussion about the many things we make—and the ways we can make a difference in the world. This simple, layered story celebrates creativity through beautiful rhyming verse and vibrant illustrations with a timely message.
“Turning the page is an acceptance of the book creators’ challenge—a decision to put passive consumption and inpatient expectancy on the shelf and instead invite your hands to do, to transform and, above all, to MAKE.” — Anitra Rowe Schulte
“Together the text and the illustrations create an excellent read that will empower readers to reflect on their own lives and make a change or two or three. . . . This is more than just a book about making and engineering: Make an excellent choice to add this to the shelves.” — Kirkus Reviews
★ One Plastic Bag: Isatou Ceesay and the Recycling Women of the Gambia by Miranda Paul, illustrated by Elizabeth Zunon
A Junior Library Guild Selection
- Interest Level: Kindergarten – Grade 3
Discover the inspiring true story of Isatou Ceesay, an African woman who started a recycling movement to combat the pollution caused by plastic bags in her community.
This powerful and moving book showcases the impact of one person’s determination and ingenuity in creating positive change. It highlights the urgent need to address the plastic pollution crisis and encourages readers to take action to make a difference in their own communities. Join Isatou Ceesay and be inspired to become a changemaker in your own right.
“Simple but lyrical text conveys this beautiful, thought-provoking tale of ecological awareness and recycling. . . . An inspiring account.” — starred, School Library Journal
“Colorful textured and patterned collage artwork illustrates this inspiring true story, which concludes with more information about Isatou’s grassroots initiative.” ― Booklist
★ Infinity and Me by Kate Hosford, illustrated by Gabi Swiatkowska
An ALA Notable Children’s Book
A New York Times Best Illustrated Children’s Book
- Interest Level: Kindergarten – Grade 4
When I looked up, I shivered. How many stars were in the sky? A million? A billion? Maybe the number was as big as infinity. I started to feel very, very small. How could I even think about something as big as infinity?
Uma can’t help feeling small when she peers up at the night sky. She begins to wonder about infinity. Is infinity a number that grows forever? Is it an endless racetrack? Could infinity be in an ice cream cone? Uma soon finds that the ways to think about this big idea may just be . . . infinite.
“A stellar artistic vision of the infinite power of intergenerational love.” — starred, Kirkus Reviews
“Even for adults, this is an enormously complex idea—scientifically, mathematically, philosophically—but Hosford smoothly distills it to a manageable serving that will both engage and challenge kids. Swiatkowska’s art, too, is remarkable at this elucidation, illustrating the text literally but with appropriately disorienting and surreal details that combine to whimsical, visually stunning effect.” — The Horn Book Magazine
★ The Vast Wonder of the World: Biologist Ernest Everett Just by Mélina Mangal, illustrated by Luisa Uribe
A Children’s Book Committee at Bank Street College Best Children’s Book of the Year
- Interest Level: Grade 1 – Grade 4
Extraordinary illustrations and lyrical text present pioneering African American scientist Ernest Everett Just.
Ernest Everett Just was not like other scientists of his time. He saw the whole, where others saw only parts. He noticed details others failed to see. He persisted in his research despite the discrimination and limitations imposed on him as an African American. His keen observations of sea creatures revealed new insights about egg cells and the origins of life.
Through stunning illustrations and lyrical prose, this picture book presents the life and accomplishments of this long overlooked scientific pioneer.
“A must-purchase picture book biography of a figure sure to inspire awe and admiration among readers.” — starred, School Library Journal
“[A] vivid, inspiring tribute to a noteworthy life.” — Publishers Weekly
Picnic Planet: A Lunchtime Guide to Your Galaxy’s Exoplanets by Asa Stahl, illustrated by Nadia Hsieh
- Interest Level: Grade 2 – Grade 5
Join an astrophysicist on a trip around the galaxy to explore worlds beyond our own.
If you could go anywhere beyond our galaxy for the perfect picnic, where would you go? Asa Stahl, an NSTA award-winner for his previous book The Big Bang Book, introduces readers to some of the fascinating exoplanets we know about it. This is science at its most fantastical. What other worlds are out there, and will the young person reading this book grow up to discover even more?
“Too far to go in a spaceship but just right for a flight of imagination.”—Kirkus Reviews
Wild Inventions: Ideas Inspired by Animals by Sandra Markle
From the Series Sandra Markle’s Science Discoveries
- Interest Level: Grade 4 – Grade 6
Where do inventors find inspiration? Sometimes they look to animals—which is known as bioinspiration! Author Sandra Markle presents twelve animal adaptations and the amazing technological advancements they’ve inspired. From dolphins and bats inspiring sonar and lidar to sharks and pangolins inspiring different types of armor, explore the marvelous world of nature-based inventions.
Strange Science Series
- Interest Level: Grade 4 – Grade 7
Reality can be harsh—so why not jump to a new reality? Is that even possible?
Explore some of the most popular sci-fi tropes from popular books, shows, and movies. Then, learn how they’re grounded in reality. From alternate realities to time travel, these ideas are now part of our everyday lives, even if they’re not quite “real” yet. But is there any scientific basis behind them? Could we someday make things like warp drives, simulations, and cybernetic limbs reality? Or are we just in a perpetual plot hole? Strange Science is the series that will find out.
Graphic Science Biographies Series
- Interest Level: Grade 5 – Grade 8
Explore the lives of scientists who changed how people see the world. The books follow famous scientists from their childhoods onward, inspiring young readers to value of their own curiosity and creativity.
Find more great STEM books here!