Whether readers celebrate National Space Day in May, World Space Week in October, or simply dream of someday being an astronaut, We Dream of Space by Erin Entrada Kelly is an inspiring book. It will also appeal to those who enjoy arcade games or who have ever wondered about family, friendship, tragedy, science, and exploration. Kelly’s book follows three plot threads as it accompanies the experiences of Henry Nelson Thomas (aka Fitch), Bernadette Nelson Thomas (aka Bird), and Cash Nelson Thomas.  The perspectives of these three siblings add unique insights to being twelve and thirteen while living in Delaware in the 1980s. Fitch received hisRead More →

By using her video game skills to replicate the first eruption of the Yellowstone Super-volcano, thirteen-year-old Brianna Dobson earns the opportunity to work with world-famous geologist Dr. Samantha Grier at Yellowstone National Park for a summer of official science research.   She joins fellow nerds and intrepid explorers Kenzie Reed, Todd Henning, and Wyatt Cayanan on a geology adventure. Besides her fascination with science, Bri finds comfort in her ability to record the world.  Behind her video camera, she feels like she can take on any obstacle.  But initial work in the tunnels carved out by the team and meant to protect the planet from disasterRead More →

Middle-grade readers looking for an adventure story with a dash of history and a little mystery will likely enjoy A.M. Morgen’s new book The Inventors at No. 8. Set in 1828 London, Morgen’s historical fiction novel takes the reader on a treasure hunt with George, the Third Lord of Devonshire who is weighted by fear and self-doubt but has a stubborn streak; Ada Byron, a sharp, funny, and rarely humble girl who always has a plan swirling in her scientific mind; Oscar, a gifted artist who knows colors and the minerals that produce them; and Ruthie, an orangutan who has learned semaphore and can readRead More →

More than an adventure story, The Care and Feeding of a Pet Black Hole by Michelle Cuevas is an earth (space) science lesson as well as a grief healing journey.  Overwhelmed by the pain of loss, eleven-year-old Stella Rodriguez narrates her story to her deceased father, whose “missing you feeling” follows her everywhere.  With the Voyager 2 launch date only months away, Stella is desperate to visit with Carl Sagan who might send something into space for her on his Golden Record.  On her way home from the failed attempt, she encounters big needy eyes, “eyes that shimmered and seemed to have tiny galaxies insideRead More →

How to Be The Someday Suitcase by Corey Ann Haydu Share the lives of believable and genuine characters: Ten-year-old, curious, and easily distracted Danny who is in charge of passion and of reminding others how to have fun; eleven-year-old Clover who loves science, has a knack for observation, and is in charge of reason and reminding Danny to focus; six-year-old Jake who can make any situation lighter, sillier, and simpler because his moods are big, buzzy, and contagious. Look for scientific reasons to explain life’s mysteries but realize that science shows us both certainties and limitations to those certainties. “Ms. Mendez says the best scientistsRead More →

Readers who enjoy science and mystery are in for double the pleasure in Jack and the Geniuses at the Bottom of the World by Bill Nye and Gregory Mone.  Although the book–the first in what promises to be quite a series– is clearly a work of fiction, it has qualities of nonfiction, like back matter, notes about real science, and answers to essential questions about Antarctica, which literally is the bottom of the world. The novel features twelve-year-old Ava who builds talking toasters, motorized skateboards, and robots from spare parts; her fifteen-year-old brother Matt, an observer who thinks things through, circumvents obstacles, and forms theories from his collectedRead More →

At the end of her sophomore year, Summer Everett will travel to France to visit her father, a famous but somewhat flaky artist.  She will be spending her sixteenth birthday away from all that is familiar in Hudsonville, New York, where her mom is a philosophy professor.  In Provence, she anticipates a summer of possibility, inundated with wild surprises, maybe even her first kiss.  But without the abundant confidence and curvy figure of her BFF, Ruby Singh, Summer is plagued with uncertainty.  In fact, Summer’s favorite question is what if: What if I answer my cell phone before I board the plane for France? OrRead More →