What makes an outstanding book for a young reader? Although it would be hard to create a rubric for every book, experienced teachers recognize them quickly. They fascinate and captivate with both their content and style. Award-winning trade books inspire young readers to want more…more information, more books, more inquiry, more science.
The 37-year-old partnership between the National Science Teachers Association (NSTA) and the Children’s Book Council has been a celebration of great books. Studying the lists over the years, it is clear that there are trends in publishing. This year—the 40th anniversary of humankind’s “one small step” on the Moon—there is high interest in both space exploration and technology. Several of the winners describe scientific achievements that occurred when most of our students’ parents were children, yet their emphasis on scientific method and the excitement of inquiry will inspire future thinking in every reader. In a sense, many of this year’s winners comprise a “stimulus” to a new generation of innovative technologists. This is also the year when the entire world has struggled to come to consensus on climate change.
Other strands have remained constant over the years; the life sciences remain the most consistent source of high-interest books at the elementary level. Many of the winners have special features that make them ideal for sharing; lyric prose that reads like poetry; large, detailed graphics and photos that can be used for inquiry; and dual-level text for young readers and their mentors to share.
To earn a designation as an “outstanding trade book” a publication need not be absolutely perfect from every perspective. Some of the books work best for certain audiences and might be less effective for others. A few were recommended with reservations that are noted in the extended NSTA Recommends review (click on the titles to read the extended versions of the reviews). But every one has the potential to be that special invitation to a lifelong adventure in science for a student near you.
Those of you who’ve enjoyed this list for years will notice a change in the categories this year. Rather than group the books according to topic, we’ve reorganized them this year according to the National Science Education Standard that they most fully support (although many will fall into more than one, and this is noted in
each annotation). You’ll also notice that this year we’ve attached some supplemental material that can be used to extend learning. Click the links at the end of the review to learn more. Happy reading!
Juliana Texley, Lead Reviewer, NSTA Recommends
About the Annotations
In addition to standard publishing information, the annotations indicate the following:
- Titles marked with are Selectors’ Choices—books that individual panel members responded to with particular enthusiasm.
- International Standard Book Numbers (ISBN) are included for all available editions (trade, library, and paperback).
- The prices are current as of January 2010.
- The notation Paper ed. (F) indicates that a paperback edition is forthcoming and whether the publisher is different from the hardcover edition.
- Reading levels [P = Primary (K–2); E = Elementary (3–5); I = Intermediate (6–8); A = Advanced (9–12)] are provided by the reviewers. They are intended as guidelines and are not meant to limit the potential use of titles.
- The reviewer’s initials follow each description (see Members of the Book Selection Panel, below).
- The most relevant National Science Content Standards are indicated by Roman numerals (see below).
National Science Content Standards: (I) Unifying Concepts and Processes, (II) Science as Inquiry,
(III) Physical Science Perspectives, (IV) Life Science, (V) Earth and Space Science, (VI) Science and Technology, (VII) Science in Personal and Social, (VIII) History and Nature of Science
Unifying Concepts and Processes in Science
Neo Leo: The Ageless Ideas of Leonardo da Vinci. Written and illustrated by Gene Barretta. Henry Holt Books for Young Readers, an Imprint of Macmillan Children’s Publishing Group. 32pp. Trade ISBN 978-0-8050-8703-1, $16.99. (E, I) Neo Leo presents a clever look at the amazing artist, inventor, engineer, and scientist Leonardo da Vinci. His original ideas inspired some of today’s most useful inventions, ranging from contact lenses to the helicopter. This book emphasizes the processes of science while referencing da Vinci’s notes and could therefore be used to introduce journaling to students. Author’s Note, Bibliography. CSW (I) Supplemental Material: Leonardo’s Workshop (Library of Congress)
Science as Inquiry
The Mysteries of Beethoven’s Hair. Russell Martin and Lydia Nibley. Illustrated with black-and-white photographs. Charlesbridge Publishing. 128pp. Trade ISBN 978-1-57091-714-1, $15.95. (E, I, A) Can you help solve the 200-year-old mystery about what caused this great musician’s poor health? After an interesting passage through history, a lock of Beethoven’s hair was analyzed with modern forensics and problem solving to reach a definitive answer. Author’s Note, Index. SMF (II, VII, VIII) Supplemental Material: Activities and Games (ArtsAlive.ca)
Written in Bone:Buried Lives of Jamestown and Colonial Maryland. Sally M. Walker. Carolrhoda Books. 144pp. Trade ISBN 978-0-8225-7135-3, $22.95. (I, A) Meticulous detail and engaging text combine to uncover the stories of people’s lives in colonial times, as discovered by investigation and excavating. Walker’s firsthand account, working alongside scientists, forensic anthropologists, and archivists, is spellbinding. There is a strong emphasis on anatomy. Photographs and clear captions enhance the amazing text. Table of Contents, Author’s Note, Source Notes, Time Line, Selected Bibliography, Further Reading and Websites, Author’s Acknowledgments, Index, Photo Acknowledgments. DLK (II) Supplemental Material: America’s Historic Triangle (Colonial Williamsburg)
The Story of Snow: The Science of Winter’s Wonder. Mark Cassino, with Jon Nelson. Chronicle Books. 36pp. Trade ISBN 978-0-8118-6866-2, $16.99. (E, M) The beauty and wonder of nature are effectively captured in this book about the formation of snow crystals. Ink drawings and magnified photographs provide views of these exquisite six-sided crystals, the structure of which is typically hidden in clusters. Formation of star-, plate-, and column-shaped crystals is described. KTR (III) Supplemental Material: Snowstorms—From Students (NASA)
A Place for Birds. Melissa Stewart. Illustrated by Higgins Bond. Peachtree Publishers. 32pp. Trade ISBN 978-1-56145-474-7, $16.95. (E, I) Beautiful illustrations and clear, concise text provide a fascinating look at a variety of birds of North and Central America, the ecosystems that support them, and efforts to save them. Included is a list of actions that individuals can take to help protect these amazing creatures. Selected Bibliography, Range Maps of selected species inside front and back cover. CSW (IV) Supplemental Material: Bird Beak Buffet (USGS)
Animals Up Close. Igor Siwanowicz. Illustrated with photographs by the author. DK Publishing. 96pp. Trade ISBN 978-0-7566-4513-7, $19.99. (E, I) Eye-catching, close-up photographs of more than 40 animals small enough to fit inside the human hand are supported by intricate details and descriptive text in this engaging book. Characteristics and vulnerabilities resulting from their small size and adaptations to improve their chances for survival provide a unique picture of these miniature aspects of nature. Foreword (Author’s Note), Table of Contents, Glossary, Index, Credits. DLK (IV) Supplemental Material: Out of the Blue (National Park Service)
Crocodile Safari. Jim Arnosky. Scholastic Press. 40pp. ISBN 978-0-439-90356-1, $22.99. (P, E) The author invites us to join his adventures studying the American crocodile in the marshes of Southern Florida. The drawings, which are simple yet accurate, help tell the story of the many days and nights spent trying to locate these shy creatures. Depictions explaining the difference between the alligator and crocodile help us examine crocodiles that shared the Earth with dinosaurs. Additional Information, Song, DVD. JCL (IV, VIII) Supplemental Material: Reptiles: Alligator & Crocodile (San Diego Zoo)
Even an Ostrich Needs a Nest: Where Birds Begin. Written and illustrated by Irene Kelly. Holiday House. 32pp. Trade ISBN 978-0-8234-2102-2, $16.95. (P, E) Curved text and multiple layers of information will capture readers’imaginations as they learn about the fascinating variety of birds’ nests. From the familiar to the unique, nesting patterns of 40 birds are portrayed in this engaging book. World Map. KTR (IV) Supplemental Material: Lesson Plans: Nest Construction and Area Management Activities (U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service)
Face to Face With Gorillas. Michael Nichols with Elizabeth Carney. National Geographic Children’s Books. 32pp. Trade ISBN 978-1-4263-0406-4, $16.95. Library ISBN 978-1-4263-0407-1, $25.90. (E) This book contains firsthand information and photographs provided by the author, who has observed gorillas “face-to-face.” Part of a series that has won many awards, the book shows both adaptations and behaviors. Conservation messages about animals and their habitats are included. Author’s Note, Glossary, Index. NSC (IV) Supplemental Material: Mountain Gorilla (National Geographic Society)
Face to Face With Penguins. Written and photographed by Yva Momatiuk and John Eastcott. National Geographic Children’s Books. 32pp. Trade ISBN 978-1-4263-0561-0, $16.95. Library ISBN 978-1-4263-0562-7, $25.90. (P, I, M) Stunning photos enlivened by refreshing text (written by the photographers themselves) put these “funny little men in tuxedos” into a completely new perspective. How You Can Help, Suggested Field Trips and Web Cams, Facts at a Glance, Glossary, Suggested Films, Books and Websites, Index. NHM (IV) Supplemental Material: Penguin (National Geographic Society)
Flying Eagle. Sudipta Bardhan-Quallen. Illustrated by Deborah Kogan Ray. Charlesbridge Publishing. 32pp. Trade ISBN 978-1-57091-671-7, $15.95. (P) Short poetic lines describe the swiftness of an eagle’s hunt. The author’s deliberate use of words and illustrations will allow children to appreciate the poetry of science. Resources. DLW (IV, VIII) Supplemental Material: Predators of the Serengeti (Oregon Zoo)
The Human Brain Book: An Illustrated Guide to Its Structure, Function, and Disorders. Rita Carter. DK Publishing. 256pp. Trade ISBN 978-0-7566-5441-2, $40. (A) This outstanding reference is filled with interesting, detailed information about every possible aspect of the human brain. Three-dimension images and other unique computer-generated visuals complement the massive volume, which also includes more than 50 brain-related diseases and disorders. Table of Contents, Glossary, Index, DVD-ROM. DLK (IV, VII) Supplemental Material: The Brain: Understanding Neurbiology (NIH)
In the Trees, Honey Bees! Lori Mortensen. Illustrated by Cris Arbo. Dawn Publications. 32pp. Trade ISBN 978-1-58469-114-3, $16.95. Paperback ISBN 978-1-58469-115-0, $8.95. (P) By peeking inside a tree, you can watch a wild colony of honey bees working together, each doing a specific job. Large, detailed illustrations enhance the text and poetry. Author’s Note, Selected Bibliography, Webliography. SMF (IV) Supplemental Material: Impact of Climate Change on Bees in Eastern Forests: Pollination in Action (EPA)
Life in the Boreal Forest. Brenda Z. Guiberson. Illustrated by Gennady Spirin. Henry Holt Books for Young Readers, an Imprint of Macmillan Children’s Publishing Group. 32pp. Trade ISBN 9780805077186, $16.99. (P, I) The boreal ecosystem, covering one-third of Earth’s total forest area, is revealed in this sumptuous book. Fir trees send warnings to one another, triggering protection against budworms, and billions of birds converge to raise young. Websites, Author’s Note. NHM (IV) Supplemental Material: Boreal Forest Succession (Alaska FWS)
Redwoods. Written and illustrated by Jason Chin. Roaring Brook Press. 40pp. Trade ISBN 978-1-59643-430-1, $16.95. (P, E) Finding a book about redwoods, a young boy goes on an imaginary journey from roots to canopy learning about the wondrous tree. The facts are embedded within a fantasy theme that makes this book one that you will want to read over and over again. The adventure is beautifully depicted by illustrations that will leave readers in awe. Additional Information. JCL (IV, VIII) Supplemental Material: Into the Redwood Forest (National Park Service)
Saving the Ghost of the Mountain: An Expedition Among Snow Leopards in Mongolia. Sy Montgomery. Color photographs by Nic Bishop. Houghton Mifflin Books for Children. 80pp. Trade ISBN 978-0-618-91645-0, $18. (E, I) Follow research biologist Tom McCarthy and his team on an expedition in the remote Altai Mountains of Mongolia as they look for the elusive snow leopard. Readers learn about these beautiful cats, the Mongolian culture, and how the people of the region are working to save the snow leopard. Acknowledgments, Note From the Author, Note From the Photographer,
Index. CMB (II, IV, VII) Supplemental Material: Learning about Mountains (Mountain.org)
Under the Snow. Melissa Stewart. Illustrated by Constance R. Bergum. Peachtree Publishers. 32pp. Trade ISBN 978-1-56145-493-8, $16.95. (P) Under the snow lies a variety of habitats in which animals live and survive during the chilly winter months. This book describes these habitats in delightful lyrics supported by watercolor illustrations that capture the wonders under the snow. NSC (IV) Supplemental Material: Hibernation-Migration Fascination (National Park Service)
Up, Up, and Away. Ginger Wadsworth. Illustrated by Patricia J. Wynne. Charlesbridge Publishing. 32pp. Trade ISBN 978-1-58089-221-6, $16.95. Paperback ISBN 978-1-58089-222-3, $7.95. (E, P) What happens after spiderlings grow and hatch?This real-life drama follows the story of baby spider and the many dangers she faces (including being eaten by her own siblings!) as she searches for a home of her own. Natural History Information. CSW (IV) Supplemental Material: Black and Yellow Argiope (FCPS)
What Bluebirds Do. Written and illustrated by Pamela F. Kirby. Boyds Mills Press. 48pp. Trade ISBN 978-1-59078-614-7, $18.95. (P, E) Vivid, up-close photographs of bluebirds portray daily activities of these familiar backyard birds. From building their nest to caring for their fledglings, the life cycle of bluebirds is presented in simple, easily read text. Bibliography, Glossary, Webliography, Additional Information. KTR (IV) Supplemental Material: Bluebird (National Geographic Society)
Where Else in the Wild? MORE Camouflaged Creatures Concealed…and Revealed. David M. Schwartz and Yael Schy. Photographs by Dwight Kuhn. Tricycle Press. 50pp. Trade ISBN 978-1-58246-283-7, $16.99. (P, E) Ear-tickling poems and amazing photography keep you guessing as you look for camouflaged creatures on each page. Fold-out photos are accompanied by interesting text that explains how important it is for each creature to be able to hide in plain sight. Author’s Note, Introduction. CSW (IV) Supplemental Material: Out of the Blue (National Park Service)
Why Are Animals Blue? Written and illustrated by Melissa Stewart. Enslow Elementary, an imprint of Enslow Publishers, Inc. 32pp. Library ISBN 978-0-7660-3251-4, $22.60. (P) Surprising examples of blue tongues, blue feet, blue feathers, and blue faces demonstrate how color can startle a predator, fool an enemy, or even warm up a body on a cool morning. Maps, Additional Readings, Websites, Index. NHM (IV) Supplemental Material: Animal Adaptations (EcoKids)
Winter’s Tail: How One Little Dolphin Learned to Swim Again. Juliana Hatkoff, Isabella Hatkoff, and Craig Hatkoff. Scholastic Press. 40pp. Trade ISBN 978-0-545-12335-8, $16.99. (P) From Clearwater’s Marine Aquarium in Florida comes the true story of Winter, an Atlantic bottlenose dolphin rescued from a crab trap. Her seriously damaged tail threatened her survival until a team specializing in the development of prosthetics for humans fitted Winter with a prosthetic tail that she is now using with great command. Author’s Notes. NSC (IV, VI) Supplemental Material: Aqua Kids—Rehabilitation of Winter the Dolphin (Aqua Kids/Clearwater Marine Aquarium)
Earth and Space Science
Cars on Mars: Roving the Red Planet. Alexandra Siy. Illustrated with fullcolor photographs. Charlesbridge Publishing. 64pp. Trade ISBN 978-1-57091-462-1, $18.95. (E, I, A) Probing the surface of Mars to find clues of the past, Cars on Mars takes readers on a trip riding Spirit and Opportunity to see whether life ever existed on the Red Planet. Quirky and fun, the book will make readers feel like they are part of the mission. Diagrams, Photographs, Maps and Charts, Glossary, Bibliography, Additional Facts. JCL (II, V, VI) Supplemental Material: Martian Atmosphere (NASA Why?Files)
Global Warming and the Dinosaurs: Fossil Discoveries at the Poles. Caroline Arnold. Illustrated by Laurie Caple. Clarion Books/Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. 40pp. Trade ISBN 978-0-618-80338-5, $17. (E) Dinosaurs lived and thrived in Earth’s polar regions and in the warm, tropical environments. This book introduces readers to the dinosaurs that inhabited the planet’s extreme climate regions and how they survived in another time of global warming. Author’s Note, Museum Listings with Websites, Index. NSC (IV, V, VIII) Supplemental Material: The Strange Lives of Polar Dinosaurs (Smithsonian Institution)
Ice Scientist: Careers in Frozen Antarctic. Sara L. Latta. Enslow Publishers, Inc. 128pp. Library ISBN 978-0-7660-3048-0,
$31.93. (I) Discover the unique opportunities that only the Antarctic can offer scientists. Follow these scientists as they explore this amazing world. Chapter Notes, Glossary, Internet Addresses, Index. DLW (V, VIII) Supplemental Material: Arctic & Antarctic Classroom Resources (National Science Foundation)
Over the Coasts: An Aerial View of Geology. Michael Collier. Mikaya Press. 120pp. Trade ISBN 978-1-931414-42-5, $34.95. (A)Come fly along the North American coastal landscapes while observing the results of geology’s shaping forces of tides, wind, waves, and weather. The text is stunningly enhanced with color photography that puts readers in the pilot’s seat. Map, Glossary, Bibliography, Index. SMF (V) Supplemental Material: NOAA Coast Watch (NOAA)
Our World of Water. Beatrice Hollyer. Henry Holt Books for Young Readers, an Imprint of Macmillan Children’s Publishing Group. 48pp. Trade ISBN 978-0-8050-8941-7, $16.99. (I, M) Science meets social studies in this photo essay introducing readers to six families on four continents. Children share how water is collected and used in their communities and, in so doing, remind us just how precious this resource is to everyone. All royalties from the sale of the book go to support Oxfam. What to Know About Water, Glossary, About the Countries. NHM (V, VIII) Supplemental Material: The Globe Program (Project Globe)
Science and Technology
The Boy Who Invented TV: The Story of Philo Farnsworth. Kathleen Krull. Illustrated by Greg Couch. Alfred A. Knopf. 40pp. Trade ISBN 978-0-375-84561-1, $16.99. Library ISBN 978-0-375-94561-8, $19.99. (E) Read the little-known story about a boy’s obsession with machines and electricity, which led to the invention of television. The story of Philo Farnsworth’s voyage from farm boy to scientific genius is an inspiring story for elementary children and a bridge to an awareness of the power of science and technology. Author’s Note, References. NSC (VI) Supplemental Material: David Sarnoff Vs. Philo Farnsworth on Broadway (YouTube)
Inventions. Glenn Murphy. Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, an imprint of Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing. 64pp. Trade ISBN 978-1-416-93865-1, $16.99. (E, I) From defining invention to bionics, this book gives readers a historical timeline of development through the ages. Each page gives readers a visual description of the
evolution of an invention while sharing facts and explaining changes. The color reproductions are eyecatching
and invite readers to turn the page. Glossary, Index. JCL (VI, VII, VIII) Supplemental Material: Putting It All Together (National Park Service)
Secret Subway: The Fascinating Tale of an Amazing Feat of Engineering. Martin W. Sandler. National Geographic Children’s Books. 96pp. Trade ISBN 978-1-4263-0462-0, $17.95. Library ISBN 978-1-4263-0463-7, $26.90. (I, A) Read how one man with a vision took on the Tammany political machine in New York City to build a subway. This is a revealing story of the interplay between science and culture. Further Reading, Sources, Illustration Credits, Index. DLW
(VI, VII) Supplemental Material: Alfred Ely Beach (About.com)
Science in Personal and Social Perspectives
Almost Astronauts: 13 Women Who Dared to Dream. Tanya Lee Stone. Candlewick Press. 144pp. Trade ISBN 978-0-7636-3611-1, $24.99. Paperback ISBN 978-0-7636-4502-1, $17.99. (E, I) This is the story of those amazing women who tried to break the gender barrier during a time when women were deemed unworthy of participating in the space program. The author portrays the “temper of the times” convincingly and with candor. Author’s Note, Appendix, Webliography, Sources, Source Notes. DLW (V, VII) Supplemental Material: Human Space Flight (NASA)
Lucy Long Ago: Uncovering the Mystery of Where We Came From. Catherine Thimmesh. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Children’s Book Group. 64pp. Trade ISBN 978-0-547-05199-4, $18. (I, A) Come along with paleoanthropologist Donald Johanson on the discovery of Lucy, the best-preserved hominid skeleton at the time it was found in 1974. He and scientists from all over the world worked to find out the answers to the many questions surrounding her and those traits that identified Lucy as a new species of hominid (Australopithecus afarensis). Glossary, Acknowledgments, Sources, Index. CMB (II, VII, VIII) Supplemental Material: People and Discoveries (PBS)
History and Nature of Science
Earth Heroes: Champions of the Wilderness. Bruce and Carol L. Malnor. Illustrated by Anisa Claire Hovemann. Dawn Publications. 144pp. Paperback ISBN 978-1-58469-116-7, $11.95. (I) What is a wilderness and why is it important? What is a hero? Each of the eight people profiled in this book was once a curious child who grew up with a love of nature and a calling to preserve and protect our environment. You can become a hero just like them! Author’s Note, Timelines, Webliography, Index. SMF (V, VII, VIII) Supplemental Material: The Works and Life of Henry D. Thoreau (Thoreau-online.org)
The Fantastic Undersea Life of Jacques Cousteau. Dan Yaccarino. Alfred A. Knopf. 40pp. Trade ISBN 978-0-375-85573-3, $16.99. Library ISBN 978-0-375-95573-0, $19.99. (P, E) Designed for young readers, this book traces the life story of Cousteau, beginning with his fascination with the sea as a young boy. Airbrushed paintings and interspersed quotations complement simple text describing his inventions, discoveries, and passion for sea life preservation. Timeline, Bibliography. KTR (VIII) Supplemental Material: Discover Amazing Extracts from the World Ocean Census Book (Cousteau Society)
Albert Einstein. Kathleen Krull. Illustrated by Boris Kulikov. Viking Children’s Books, a division of Penguin Young Readers Group. 141pp. Trade ISBN 978-0-670-06332-1, $15.99. (I, E) The author portrays Einstein first and foremost as a curious “thinker”—someone whose thinking and imagery changed, furthered, and influenced scientific thought and understanding in profound ways. The engaging text shows not only the important facts of Einstein’s life and theories but also the amazing idiosyncrasies and uniqueness of this genius. Table of Contents, Sources, Starred for Young Readers, Index. DLK (II, VIII) Supplemental Material: Journey by Starlight (Ian Flitcroft)
Into the Deep: The Life of Naturalist and Explorer William Beebe. Written and illustrated by David Sheldon. Charlesbridge Publishing. 48pp. Trade ISBN 978-1-58089-341-1, $16.95. Paperback ISBN 978-1-58089-342-8, $7.95. (P, E) . William Beebe’s achievements are vividly described and supported by full-page illustrations. A pioneer in ecology, his lifelong quest to study animals inspired him to design a deep-sea diving vessel. The Bathysphere allowed him to observe underwater species in their natural setting and changed the way scientists explored ocean life. Quotes, Glossary, Bibliography. KTR (IV, VIII) Supplemental Material: Brief History of Marine Biology and Oceanography (University of California)
Look to the Stars. Buzz Aldrin. Illustrated by Wendell Minor. G. P. Putnam’s Sons, a division of Penguin Young Readers Group. 40pp. Trade ISBN 978-0-399-24721-7, $17.99. (P, E) This introduction to the history of space science and exploration is engaging and informative. Excellent research and clear, compelling text are supported with lifelike paintings that encapsulate all aspects of space history for young readers. A chronology of the Apollo missions is included. Quotations from important contributors to space and flight science enhance the text. Table of Contents, Author’s Note, Afterword, Time Line, Selected Resources, Websites. DLK (V, VII,
VIII) Supplemental Material: Human Space Flight (NASA)
Mission Control, This is Apollo: The Story of the First Voyages to the Moon. Andrew Chaikin. Illustrated by Alan Bean. Viking Children’s Books, a division of Penguin Young Readers Group. 114pp. Trade ISBN 978-0-670-01156-8, $23.99. (I, A) The American goal of getting humans safely to and from the Moon is chronicled in this book that details
the Apollo missions. Illustrated with a mixture of historic photographs and paintings by astronaut Alan Bean,
this book takes readers on one of the greatest adventures of all time—getting humans to the Moon. Apollo
101: A Quick Review, A Word from the Artist, Introduction, Epilogue, About the Paintings, The Write Stuff: How We Wrote this Book. CMB (V, VIII) Supplemental Material: Human Space Flight (NASA)
One Giant Leap. Robert Burleigh. Illustrated by Mike Wimmer. Philomel Books, a division of Penguin Young Readers Group. 40pp. Trade ISBN 978-0-399-23883-3, $16.99. (P, E) In this beautifully illustrated book, readers are taken along on the journey of Apollo 11 as the Eagle lands on the Moon. The text is rich, allowing readers to feel the sensations of being on the Moon just as Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin did 40 years ago. Author’s Note. CMB (V, VIII) Supplemental Material: Human Space Flight (NASA)
One Small Step: Celebrating the First Men On the Moon. Jerry Stone. Roaring Brook Press. 24pp. Trade ISBN 978-1-59643-491-2, $24.95. (P, I) See how one young man’s scrapbook became a tribute to the first men on the Moon. This book has the look and feel of a genuine scrapbook. DLW (V, VII, VIII) Supplemental Material: Human Space Flight (NASA)
Young Charles Darwin and the Voyage of the Beagle. Ruth Ashby. Illustrated by Suzanne Duranceau. Peachtree Publishers. 128pp. Trade ISBN 978-1-56145-478-5, $12.95. (E, I) This fascinating biography of Charles Darwin focuses mainly on his five-year journey on the HMS Beagle and ties in how the observations he made on his journey helped lead him to develop his theory of evolution by means of natural selection. Introduction, Bibliography, For Further Reading, Author’s Note. CMB (II, IV, VIII) Supplemental Material: Animals, Adaptation, and the Galapagos Islands (Scholastic)
Members of the Book Selection Panel
J. Carrie Launius (JCL), Chair
Hazelwood School District,
Carla Billups (CMB)
Fifth Grade Teacher, Jonathan Valley Elementary School, Maggie Valley, North Carolina
Nancy Chesley (NSC)
Elementary Science and Literacy Specialist,
Maine Mathematics and Science Alliance,
Suzanne Flynn (SF)
Donna L. Knoell (DLK)
Educational Consultant/Review Columnist,
Shawnee Mission, Kansas
Nancy McDonough (NHM)
Second Grade Teacher, Walter Stillman School, Oll Tappan, New Jersey
Kristin Rearden (KTR)
Clinical Assistant Professor, Science Education,
University of Tennessee,
Cindi Smith-Walters (CSW)
Professor of Biology and Co-Director of the MTSU Center for Environmental Education, Check Murfreesboro, Tennessee
Diana Wiig (DLW)
University of Wyoming, Laramie, Wyoming
Visit CBC’s and NSTA’s websites atwww.cbcbooks.org and www.nsta.org. Expanded reviews of these award-winning books are available at www.nsta.org/recommends.
Call for Submissions for 2011 Outstanding Science Trade Books for Students K–12
Deadline for submissions: June 15, 2010
- Titles should be for grades K–12.
- All titles must originate from a children’s publishing company or division and must be published (not simply distributed) by a publisher incorporated in the United States.
- Titles must be published in 2010.
- Titles originally published abroad are eligible only if they have a 2010 U.S. publication date; reprints or licensed editions of titles initially published in the United States before 2010 are not eligible.
- Original paperbacks are eligible; paperback reprints are not. If a book is published simultaneously in hardcover and paperback, either edition may be submitted. If both editions are submitted, they constitute separate entries.
- Revisions are eligible only if the book has been newly illustrated or if substantial text, constituting at least 25% of the book, has been changed or added.
- Math books are not eligible unless the mathematical principles are applied to scientific functions such as measuring for experiments, using statistical models for scientific research, and so on.
- Textbooks, workbooks, kits, experiment-only books, and activity books are not eligible.
- Spanish-language editions of titles published in English before 2010 are not acceptable. Spanish-language editions published simultaneously with English-language editions in 2010 are eligible.
- Fiction is eligible if the book has substantial science content.
Number of titles you may submit
Each participating publisher may submit an unlimited number of titles.
Books should have value for both classroom studies and library collections supporting students’ work.
Full submission guidelines will be available in late April, 2010 at www.cbcbooks.org.
About the Books and the Selection Process
The books that appear in this annotated bibliography selected as Outstanding Science Trade Books were published in 2009. They are intended primarily for grades K–12. They were selected by members of a book review panel appointed by the National Science Teachers Association (NSTA) and assembled in cooperation with the Children’s Book Council (CBC). NSTA and CBC have cooperated on this bibliographic project since 1973.
The panel looks at both content and presentation. Selection is based generally on the following criteria:
- The book has substantial science content.
- Information is clear, accurate, and up-to-date.
- Theories and facts are clearly distinguished.
- Facts are not oversimplified to the point that the informa-tion is misleading.
- Generalizations are supported by facts, and significant facts are not omitted.
- Books are free of gender, ethnic, and socioeconomic bias.
The panel also uses rigorous selection guidelines relating to the presentation of material, including the following: logical presentation and a clear sequence of ideas; appropriate content level for the intended audience; compatible text and illustrations; illustrations that are accurate representations in size, color, and scale; appropriate trim size and format of the book for the subject and audience; and well-organized layout that advances the text. The panel also gives attention to the quality of binding, paper, reproduction, and the appropriateness of typeface. Each panel member reads all the books, but annotations reflect only the appraisal of the individual panelist whose initials appear at the end of each entry.
Publishers’ names appear in abbreviated form; complete names and addresses are available from the CBC and in standard reference works such as Children’s Books in Print. CBC’s Member List is available at www.cbcbooks.org/about/members.html.
Titles are arranged by subject category. Although some titles are appropriate for more than one category, the books have been placed where their usefulness in science education appears greatest. Panelists have also indicated the National Science Content Standards (see About the Annotations, above) to which the books relate. Where more than one standard is listed, the most applicable standard is given first.
About CBC and NSTA
The Children’s Book Council (CBC) is a nonprofit trade organization that encourages the use and enjoyment of books and related literacy materials for young people. The official sponsor of Children’s Book Week, the CBC supports reading-encouragement programs both independently and with other national and international organizations. The CBC’s members are U.S. publishers and packagers of trade books for children and young adults and producers of book-related materials for young people. For more information, visit www.cbcbooks.org. The National Science Teachers Association (NSTA) is an organization of science education professionals and has as its purpose the stimulation, improvement, and coordination of science teaching and learning. For further information on NSTA membership and services, visit www.nsta.org or call 800-722-NSTA.