Middle Grade Books
Inventors: Incredible Stories of the World’s Most Ingenious Inventions
Robert Winston, ill. Jessamy Hawke
Meet the masterminds behind the greatest inventions in history. The stories are as unusual as they are unique. From Mr. Kellogg, who accidentally created cornflakes after leaving grains boiling for too long to Sarah E. Goode’s fold-up bed space-saving solution—the inventors of this book have all used tons of creativity to find ways to improve our world. Each page is packed with jaw-dropping facts, with every inventor’s achievements written as a story. The inventors come from all walks of life and parts of the world, making this the perfect book for every budding inventor.
The Scientific Life of Azaleah Lane
Nikki Shannon Smith, ill. Gloria Felix
It’s a big week for Azaleah Lane. The principal, Ms. Li, is choosing a third grader to be the STEM lab monitor, and Azaleah’s name is the one picked! But the week doesn’t go quite as planned. First Azaleah gets paired up with a bossy classmate for a group project. Then the STEM lab guinea pig goes missing—on Azaleah’s watch! Can she use her scientific thinking and detective skills to get to the bottom of things before it’s too late? Or will Azaleah Lane go down as the worst STEM lab monitor ever?
Agent Asha: Mission Shark Bytes
Sophie Deen, ill. Anjan Sarkar
Computer code just got dangerous in this action-packed spy adventure series. Asha Joshi has the perfect excuse not to finish her homework. She’s just been recruited to join the top-secret Children’s Spy Agency. Her first mission: save the world. Can she do it? Asha’s a coder so she should be able to hack into the biggest tech company in the world, fight deadly sharks and figure out why the Internet has stopped working. All before bedtime. Easy, right? The story is a great way to engage young readers in coding, critical-thinking and STEM.
How to Win a Nobel Prize
Prof. Barry Marshall, ill. Bernard Caleo
A time-travelling adventure with interactive experiments for budding young scientists, by Nobel Prize winning Barry Marshall. Mary has always wanted to win a Nobel Prize and loves running her own science experiments at home. One day Mary stumbles on a secret meeting of Nobel Prize winners. Dr Barry Marshall agrees to travel with her through time to learn the secrets behind some of the most fascinating and important scientific discoveries. They talk time and space with Albert Einstein, radiation with Marie Curie, DNA with Crick, Watson and Wilkins – and much more. Filled with experiments to try at home and featuring famous Nobel prize-winners.
Perfectly Weird, Perfectly You
Camilla Pang, ill. Laurene Boglio
Diagnosed with autism age 8, Camilla saw the world very differently. But with science as her sidekick, she was able to translate ideas she could understand (like gravity, photosynthesis and algorithms) onto things she couldn’t (like peer pressure, emotions and finding your voice). Today, Camilla is a scientist and an award-winning author, and she is here to share her scientific survival guide with you – so you can grow up with the courage to be yourself, no matter how different you feel or how tricky you might find it to connect.
Wonders of the Night Sky
Raman Prinja, ill. Jan Bielecki
Inviting all who dare to wonder – come navigate the spectacular treasures of the night sky with bestselling and award-winning Professor Raman Prinja’s inspiring look into our galaxy and beyond. Wonders of the Night Sky invites children all over the world to look up – just as curious people before them have done for millennia – and to know why each wonder appears before their eyes.
Brain Power: A Toolkit to Understand and Train Your Unique Brain
Dr. Ranj Singh, ill. David O’Connell
Brains don’t look like much, do they? A touch of slime here, some squishy grey stuff there. But in fact, your brain is more powerful than any supercomputer, and it is completely fascinating. Have you ever wondered why you’re left-handed? Or why you have dreams? Or what causes pins and needles? I’ll tell you what else: your brain is completely unique. That’s right: no one else has a brain quite like yours. Including insights from neurodiverse young people, the book also features bright two-colour illustrations from David O’Connell and dyslexia-friendly design. NHS paediatrician and Sunday Times bestselling author, Dr Ranj, is here to inspire all young readers to love themselves, however their brains work.
Gaming and time travel collide in this thrilling middle-grade adventure, from bestselling author Jennifer Bell. When Arthur, Ren and Cecily investigate a mysterious explosion, they find themselves trapped in the year 2473. Lost in the Wonderscape, an epic in-reality adventure game, they must call on the help of some unlikely historical heroes to play their way home before time runs out.
The Amazing Discoveries of 100 Brilliant Scientists
Abigail Wheatley, ill. Rob Lloyd Jones
From atoms and X-rays to the Big Bang and the Internet, brilliant breakthroughs by successful scientists have changed the world. Dip inside this intriguing book to read the stories of 100 scientists and their amazing discoveries, including Marie Curie and Albert Einstein. With Usborne Quicklinks to specially selected websites where you can meet amazing scientists and try online activities.
Dr Maggie’s Grand Tour of the Solar System
Dr Maggie Aderin-Pocock, ill. Chelen Ecija
This mind-blowing book invites readers to join BBC presenter and renowned space scientist Dr Maggie Aderin-Pocock (MBE) on an epic journey through the Solar System – visiting planets, moons, asteroids and satellites, and travelling to places where no human has been before. Along the way, kids can discover how we could live on Mars, learn about the hunt for a mysterious super-Earth, have a snowball fight on Mercury, climb the tallest mountain in the Solar System and much, much more. From spotting solar flares on the Sun to exploring objects at the edge of the icy Oort Cloud, this fun, action-packed title leaves no question unanswered and no meteorite unturned.
The Bee Is Not Afraid Of Me: A Book of Insect Poems
Fran Long and Isabel Galleymore, ill. Emma Wright
Can you imagine a world without bees? Did you know that dung beetles are awesome recyclers? Insects pollinate, recycle and are an important food source for many animals – they’re tiny but mighty superheroes of the animal kingdom. This is an anthology of wild and wonderful children’s poems which will educate and excite youngsters about the fascinating world of insects.
Beetles For Breakfast…and Other Weird and Wonderful Ways We Could Save The Planet
Madeleine Finlay, ill. Jisu Choi
Following a day in the life of a child, we see how new green inventions could fit into everyday life, from brushing your teeth with biodegradable algae, to eating beetle burgers for lunch and coming home to do your homework with a pen with ink made from exhaust fumes. Open up to learn all about the cool, exciting and sometimes quite strange inventions that could be part of normal life in the future.
What’s the Point of Science?
Beautiful hand-drawn illustrations show you how history’s most ingenious and daring scientists solved mysteries that had puzzled the ancient world for millennia, triggering an age of discovery that gave us telescopes, flying machines, antibiotics, electricity, radio, and computers. Discover the amazing men and women who challenged conventional thinking and put their lives at risk to learn about everything, from planetary orbits and gold to germs, and from gunpowder to radioactivity. What’s the Point of Science? explains in super-simple terms how science really works and why it changed the world.
Skygazing: Explore the Sky in the Day and Night
Anna Claybourne, ill. Kerry Hyndman
The first half is about the sky during the daytime and discusses topics such as how big it is and why it is blue. Ancient beliefs are explored, including the idea that the sky was a solid dome, which sat atop the flat earth. When children reach the middle of the book, readers must turn it upside-down and start again from the back cover, where they will discover further facts about the night sky. There are sections on the stars, lunar cycles, space travel and light pollution. Experiments and activities for children to try are suggested throughout, for example, creating a cloud in a jar or launching a simple, handmade rocket.
The Brainiac’s Book of The Climate and Weather
Rosie Cooper, ill. By Harriet Russell
Quirky stories, interactive activities and off-the-wall infographics serve to answer young brainiacs’ urgent questions about the climate and weather. What’s the difference between the climate and weather? How do we know global warming is real? The answers to these and many more pressing questions are explored in this book through memorable stories, infographic data dumps, and by engineering a solar oven from a pizza box, among other hands-on activities. Aimed at young brainiacs who want to know how many cow farts make up the Earth’s atmosphere, and how to whip up a homemade storm.
Science Experiments at Home: Discover the science in everyday life
Susan Martineau, ill. Vicky Barker
Explore the science in everyday life with these simple, step-by-step experiments to do around the home. Each activity takes a complex, scientific concept and makes it easy for kids to understand. Young scientists will enjoy discovering the science behind the simple phenomena all around them.
Daydreams and Jellybeans
Alex Wharton, ill. Katy Riddell
From forgotten jellybeans to sparking daydreams, Alex’s poems, written for primary school age children, are both funny and thoughtful, and aim to spark familiarity and inclusion. And the illustrations from Katy Riddell will focus on the fun and dreamlike quality of the poems’ engagement with the natural world. These poems use rhyme, rhythm and free verse and are ideally suited to performance in a school setting, nurturing a love of language, reading, confidence and self-expression.
Curious Creatures Glowing in the Dark
Zoë Armstrong, ill. Anja Sušanj
Did you know that under the sea, deep in the forest, and out in the desert there are creatures that make light all by themselves? The Earth is full of curious creatures that really do glow in the dark. From fireflies and sea turtles to puffins, scorpions and squirrels, this beautifully illustrated non-fiction picture book reveals a hidden world of amazing glowing animals. How do they glow? And what is the brightest creature of all? Children will discover how and why these creatures glow and explore how humans have tried to harness their dazzling skills.
How To Teach Grown-Ups About Pluto
by Dean Regas, ill. by Aaron Blecha
Pluto has not been a planet since 2006. But this tiny world still inspires people of all ages while sparking controversy. In this delightfully witty book, astronomer Dean Regas teaches you how to educate your grown-up about the cutting-edge science of space, most crucially the reason why Pluto is not a planet anymore. Delving into the history of space discoveries, the key players who have helped our understanding of the universe (including the 11-year-old girl who named Pluto in the first place) and the ever-changing nature of science, this book will equip every reader with the tools they need to bring their grown-ups fully up to speed, and to sneak in as many amazing astronomical facts as possible.
Sabotage on the Solar Express
M. G. Leonard and Sam Sedgman, ill. Elisa Paganelli
Ride into danger with Hal and Uncle Nat on the fifth breathtaking Adventures on Trains Mystery. Billionaire train enthusiast August Reza has invited Harrison Beck and Uncle Nat on the maiden voyage of the Solar Express – the winning design of his Reza’s Rocket competition. But during the journey, they discover the train has been sabotaged, hurtling passengers into a heart-stopping, action-packed, thrill ride across the Australian Outback. Can Hal find the saboteur and stop the runaway train before disaster strikes?
Amber is chosen to be a spy by a mysterious agency after passing tests disguised as an escape room and a virtual reality game: it turns out that staying calm under pressure and excellent science and maths results do matter, after all. After her initial training – which her parents are told is part of an international STEM schools programme – Amber is sent to infiltrate an exclusive boarding school in Oslo that The Agency suspects harbours members of a cybercrime unit. At first, she’s intimidated by some of the kids there. Yet, after a while, Amber realises that she’s more than capable of playing the others at their own game and perfecting her spy skills into the bargain.
Leonardo Da Vinci’s Life of Invention
Leonardo da Vinci was a master of art, architecture, engineering, mathematics and more. Discover his relationship with the natural world, his futuristic inventions and the breadth of his artistic skill in this spellbinding celebration of his genius. Follow his early years – born to a poor mother and receiving no formal education, it is amazing that an innate fire of curiosity and imagination fuelled this man to achieve extraordinary success and a place amongst history’s elite. Learn about his legacy today – the bewitching power of the world’s most famous portrait, the Mona Lisa – as well as the influence of his inventions in modern daily life.
Harley Hitch And The Iron Forest
Vashti Hardy, ill. George Ermos
Join Harley, her robot dog Sprocket and best friend Cosmo for problem-solving adventures and mysteries in Inventia, a world where science rules and technology grows in the forest; and where exploding science projects, giant slugs and runaway robots are all part of a normal school day. The Iron Forest near Harley’s home is unlike any other – plants and trees grow cogs and hinges and other mechanical parts – and all of Inventia depends on it. So when a strange fungus is discovered, there’s a race to find a solution. Without essential parts for inventions, the town is quickly falling apart… But just who or what is behind the mysterious infestation?
The Ship of Doom (The Butterfly Club)
Greenwich, London, 15th February 1894. Luna thinks that an evening at her aunt’s butterfly club sounds deathly boring. But it turns out that the meeting is not at all as Luna expects. The Butterfly Club is a society with an unusual secret… they use time travel to plunder the future for wonders. Together with her friends, Konstantin and Aidan, and a clockwork cuckoo, Luna boards the Time Train. They travel to 1912 and find themselves aboard a great ship. They locate a man called Guglielmo Marconi and his new invention: the wireless radio. But as the ship heads into icy waters, they discover its name: The RMS TITANIC. Can Luna and the boys save Marconi and his invention from the doomed ship? And how will their actions change the rest of time?
Wild Scientists: How animals and plants use science to survive
Steve Mould, ill. John Devolle
A look at animals and plants from the point of view of their amazing scientific adaptations. If you thought all scientists wear white coats and work in labs, think again! Meet amazing engineers, such as the spiders who build immense webs from different kinds of silk; funky physicists, like the bats that can see with sound; and surprising chemists, such as the corpse flower that smells like smelly socks to attract insects to pollinate it! The science behind each genius adaptation is explained clearly in Steve Mould’s trademark humorous style and you’ll be amazed by nature’s solutions to some of the world’s trickiest problems.
Ocean Plastics Problem: A Max Axiom Super Scientist Adventure
Elizabeth Pagel-Hogan, ill. Erik Doescher
Plastic is everywhere… even in our oceans! But how did it get there, and why does it matter? In this non-fiction graphic novel, Max Axiom and the Society of Super Scientists are on a mission to find out. Using their superpowers and super-smarts, the team will break down this complex environmental issue into an exciting, fact-filled adventure so young readers can learn about the causes and effects of plastic pollution and discover steps we can all take to clean up Earth’s waters.
The Usborne Book of the Brain and How It Works
Betina Ip, ill. Mia Nilsson
This visually astonishing story takes children on a journey into and through the brain. Simple but beautifully illustrated metaphors explain the different jobs that our brains do, and how they use brain cells to accomplish them. From the senses to sleep, memories to making decisions, this book brings the wonder of brains and brain science to life. A funny and fascinating wander through the biology of the brain.
City of Rust
Railey dreams of winning the drone races with her bio-robotic gecko friend, Atti. But when a bounty hunter crashes their biggest race yet, the pair are forced to flee to the feared Junker clans who mine the rubbish orbiting the Earth. Rescued by a couple of Junker kids, they discover a danger bigger than anything they’d imagined – but can three kids, a gecko and an ancient computer save the world against the huge trash bomb (and its power-crazed creator) threatening to destroy the world? In this fun, original and thrilling middle-grade debut from Gemma Fowler, think Star Wars meets Wall-E in an ecologically-themed mystery adventure – sci-fi for a new generation!
The Nightsilver Promise
When Paisley Fitzwilliam is summoned to receive the track of stars that will determine her future, she is filled with hope for the future. But the fate she is dealt throws everything upside down. Then her mother goes missing and the closely guarded secret around her brother Dax is more at risk than ever before. It seems that the previous metal nightsilver might hold the key… A thrilling fantasy debut with immersive world-building and tons of action! The first book in a bold new trilogy, destined to be a future classic.
Shooting for the Stars: My Journey to Become Ireland’s First Astronaut
Norah Patten, ill. Jennifer Farley
In 2017 Dr. Norah Patten was one of 12 participants from around the world selected to take part in a unique scientist-astronaut training programme, Project Possum. She is now on course to become Ireland’s first astronaut! Follow Norah as she brings you on a journey high above the earth and into space. You will learn about space travel, astronaut training and life without gravity. Norah will answer those all-important questions such as how long does it take to become an astronaut and where exactly astronauts go to the toilet?! A fun and engaging book about space and becoming an astronaut but most importantly a book about following your dreams no matter how big.
When twelve-year-old Ami arrives at The Escape, she thinks it’s just a game – the ultimate escape room with puzzles and challenges to beat before time runs out. Meeting her teammates, Adjoa, Ibrahim, Oscar and Min, Ami learns from the Host that they have been chosen to save the world and they must work together to find the Answer. But as he locks them inside the first room, they quickly realise this is no ordinary game. From a cavernous library of dust to an ancient Mayan tomb, a deserted shopping mall stalked by extinct animals to the command module of a spaceship heading to Mars, the perils of The Escape seem endless. Can Ami and her friends find the Answer before it’s too late?
Deep: Dive Into Hidden Worlds
What hidden worlds lie beneath your feet? Or in the deepest parts of the ocean, where not even sunlight can reach? Come on a journey to meet glowing deep-sea creatures, zombie-making fungi and the trillions of tiny workers that live inside your own body. But be warned, things can get a little strange in the deep… Deep is an illustrated non-fiction book that explores the places hardest to reach, from the molten depths of our planet to the frigid depths of outer space. Linking seemingly diverse subject matter, it invites the reader to explore worlds hidden from view.
Into The Sideways World
When twelve-year-olds Willa and Manny hear of a mysterious animal prowling their town, they are determined to prove it is real. Following the creature into a cave one full moon, they are swept into an alternate, ideal, world – one where pollution and conflict have been conquered decades ago and even their own families seem happier. But when they return, no one believes them. So, with a global war looming in their own world, their quest for proof of the Sideways World becomes ever-more urgent, in a nail-biting race against time. And Willa and Manny will have to make an impossible decision: because once you find a perfect world, can you ever leave it behind?
Ant Clancy, Games Detective
Ray-Chay is the new virtual reality game that everyone’s playing and the world loves its eccentric billionaire creator, Kody Crunch. Ant loves gaming and feels like the only person who can’t get into Ray-Chay. But when something goes very wrong with the game, Ant is determined to help. Can Ant and his friends work out the real deadly game behind the game?
I’m a Neutrino: Tiny Particles in a Big Universe
Dr. Eve M. Vavagiakis, ill. Ilze Lemesis
Before you finish reading this sentence, trillions upon trillions of neutrinos will have passed through your body. Not sure what a neutrino is? This dazzling picture book from a renowned cosmologist introduces young readers to the smallest bits of matter known to exist. Filled with fascinating illustrations that swirl and splash the cosmos to life, this incredible STEM title shows us the wonders of our universe.
It’s Her Story: Amelia Earhart
Kim Moldofsky, ill. by Alan Brown
Amelia Earhart was the first women to fly solo across the Atlantic Ocean. She piloted many record-breaking flights, became an author, advised engineers, taught college students, and defended women’s rights. And then somewhere in the South Pacific, she disappeared on an attempted flight around the world. This is her story.
Meet Matilda Rocket Builder
Dom Conlon, ill. Heidi Canon
How difficult can it be-even for a ten-year-old-to follow in the footsteps of Neil Armstrong and the Apollo astronauts? Meet Matilda, the girl who’ll give it her best shot to learn everything she needs to learn in order to get there herself. From how to pee in zero-g to why pizzas won’t take you up and up away, this is science for the curious! Told as a journey of discovery, it’s full of easy-to-understand facts about air pressure, escape velocities, coding, and falling around the Earth, in a way which will inspire the next generation of moon walkers.
The Ten Riddles of Eartha Quicksmith
Loris Owen, ill. Hazel Guppy
Welcome to the dazzling new world of Quicksmiths, where you will encounter Strange Energy, the Mowl, Wormholes, Dark Forces and the tantalising riddle of the Ark of Ideas. When Kip Bramley receives a cryptic invitation, delivered by a beetle shaped drone which appears to be breathing, his world will change forever. Soon he finds himself chasing riddles and solving puzzles on a crazy treasure hunt set 400 years earlier by a mysterious genius. As things get dangerous, it seems much more is at stake for Kip and his family than winning top marks at his strange new school.