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Outstanding Science Trade Books for Students K–12: 2022

Books published in 2021


Winning Titles


The Beak Book

Robin Page

Simon & Schuster

This beautifully illustrated book helps young children determine how the different sizes and shapes of bird beaks are adapted to help birds weave nests, catch fish or climb trees.

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Beavers: Radical Rodents and Ecosystem Engineers

Frances Backhouse

Orca Book Publishers

Radical rodents? Pests or ecological heroes? After reading the biology, history and ecology presented in this book, you will gain a fresh perspective on this furry, familiar, favorite organism.   

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The Body Book

Illustrated by Hannah Alice

Candlewick Press / Nosy Crow

Explore seven systems of the human body in this elementary-aimed board book. The book includes see-through, layered pages of body systems surrounds by facts about each system.

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Curious About Fish

Cathryn Sill, illustrated by John Sill

HHPPI / Peachtree

Colorful, detailed illustrations are accompanied by clear descriptions of fish features and behaviors. This information helps young children learn all about fish.

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The Dirt Book: Poems About Animals That Live Beneath Our Feet

David L. Harrison, illustrated by Kate Cosgrove

HHPPI / Holiday House

Dive into this book to read a series of poems about life beneath our toes from the perspective of insects, animals, and non-living things.

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Disasters by the Numbers: A Book of Infographics

Steve Jenkins

Clarion Books

Packed with data, this engaging book describes the science behind disasters with detailed infographics and illustrations.

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Dr. Fauci: How a Boy from Brooklyn Became America's Doctor

Kate Messner, illustrated by Alexandra Bye

Simon & Schuster

With colorful imagery and an engaging narrative, readers will learn about the life of Dr. Anthony Fauci from his early beginnings to his efforts to keep us safe and healthy.

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Evelyn Hooker and the Fairy Project

Gayle E. Pitman, illustrated by Sarah Green

Magination Press

Alternating between biographical text and poetic verse, this book chronicles the life of Evelyn Hooker, a psychologist whose research led to the APA’s removal of homosexuality as a mental disorder.

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Fearless World Traveler: Adventures of Marianne North, Botanical Artist

Laurie Lawlor, illustrated by Becca Stadtlander

HHPPI / Holiday House

Spirited and adventurous, Marianne North traveled the world documenting plants; she created more than 800 oil botanical paintings. This picture book tells the story of her persistence, journeys, and contributions to the field of botany.

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Fossils from Lost Worlds

Damien Laverdunt, Hélène Rajcak

Gecko Press

Walk in the footsteps of the first fossil researchers to discover the earliest animal life on Earth.  Explore the story of a spiny sea worm without tail or head, a walking fish, a peaceful sea dragon, and many other amazing creatures.

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Fred & Marjorie: A Doctor, a Dog, and the Discovery of Insulin

Deborah Kerbel, illustrated by Angela Poon

Owlkids Books / Owlkids

This thought-provoking graphic novel shares the work of Frederick Banting and Charles Best and their discovery of insulin as a treatment of Type 1 Diabetes.

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Fungarium: Welcome to the Museum

Ester Gaya, illustrated by Katie Scott

Candlewick Press / Big Picture Press

A true museum of a book representing many of the beautiful, mysterious, and fu(ng)ky fungi in the world! Learn about the biology, the diversity, and their interactions as you explore the fungi galleries.

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Hello, Earth!: Poems to Our Planet

Joyce Sidman, illustrated by Miren Asiain Lora

Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co. / Eerdmans Books for Young Readers

The Earth’s inhabitants highlight the diversity of Earth’s ecosystems, plants, and different locations and processes on the Earth through poetic prose.

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History Smashers: Plagues and Pandemics

Kate Messner, illustrated by Falynn Koch

RHCB / Random House BFYR

Through captivating stories, illustrations, and comic-style inserts, learn about and find connections between some of the worst plagues and pandemics in history and how we have responded.

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If Bees Disappeared

Lily Williams

MCPG / Roaring Brook Press

Imagine a world without chocolate or apples. If bees disappeared, we’d have neither. Learn about the plight of the bees in this picture book.

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Inside In: X-Rays of Nature's Hidden World

Jan Paul Schutten, illustrated by Arie van 't Riet

Greystone Kids

Stunning collection of x-ray photographs of organisms and their natural habitats with informative descriptions that encourage the reader to closely examine the photographs to uncover the hidden side of nature.

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A Life Electric: The Story of Nikola Tesla

Azadeh Westergaard, illustrated by Júlia Sardà

PYR / Viking BFYR

Explore the groundbreaking inventions and explore the private life of Nikola Tesla.  Learn about his love of animals and his inventions that led us to use alternating current (AC).

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Masters of Disguise: Camouflaging Creatures & Magnificent Mimics

Marc Martin

Candlewick Press / Candlewick Studio

This entertaining and engaging book showcases twelve animals from around the world through beautiful illustrations and detailed information about the adaptations of each master of disguise. The book also includes a fun hidden picture puzzle for each animal.

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Ocean Planet: Animals of the Sea and Shore

Ben Rothery

Tilbury House

Learn about many living things that are found in the diverse ecosystems in and on the shores of our mighty oceans. The beautiful illustrations interspersed with facts help the reader understand how the oceans shape life on Earth.

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Over and Under the Canyon

Kate Messner, illustrated by Christopher Silas Neal

Chronicle Books

A journey through a canyon helps the reader explore the different living creatures that call a canyon home and contribute to the ecosystem.

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Pooper Snooper

Jennifer Keats Curtis with Julianne Ubigau, illustrated by Phyllis Saroff

Arbordale Publishing

A dog’s nose helps to locate and sniff out the poop (scat) of a Pacific pocket mouse once thought to be extinct.

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Saving Sorya: Chang Sun Bear

Trang Nguyen, illustrated by Jeet Zdung

PYR / Dial Books

Inspiring and beautifully illustrated graphic novel about a young Vietnamese girl’s journey to becoming a wildlife conservationist.

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Scientists: Inspiring Tales of the World's Brightest Scientific Minds

Isabel Thomas, illustrated by Jessamy Hawke


Sixty-six scientists and their work are featured.  The format first breaks the scientists into their fields and then introduces each based on when they lived.

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The Secret Life of the Sloth

Laurence Pringle, illustrated by Kate Garchinsky

BMK / Astra Publishing House / Boyds Mills Press

It’s no longer a secret! Beautiful illustrations and storytelling take the reader on a journey through a year in the life of a young female sloth.

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She Persisted: Virginia Apgar

Sayantani Dasgupta and Chelsea Clinton, illustrated by Alexandra Boiger and Gillian Flint

PYR / Philomel Books

The inspiring story of Dr. Virginia Apgar who revolutionized a method that vastly improved the life of new-born babies! Her unique style and persistence led the way for her students, her colleagues, and the medical world!

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Summertime Sleepers: Animals That Estivate

Melissa Stewart, illustrated by Sarah Brannen


This book has beautiful examples of how animals in a variety of habitats sleep in the summer instead of the winter. Animals estivate, or have summertime sleep, to avoid heat stress.

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Tracking Tortoises: The Mission to Save a Galápagos Giant

Kate Messner

Lerner Publishing Group/Millbrook Press ™

Follow field biologists, veterinarians and volunteers as they work to keep the current Galapagos tortoise populations healthy. Life history, evolution, and geology complete a picture of the islands, the tortoises, and our efforts to keep these ancient reptiles from extinction.

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Wonder Women of Science: Twelve Geniuses Who Are Currently Rocking Science, Technology, and the World

Tiera Fletcher; Ginger Rue, illustrated by Sally Wern Comport

Candlewick Press

Explore the amazing range of women who are tackling our modern-day challenges. Find out more about their many careers, from veterinarian to computer scientists to microbiologist, and learn about their personal journeys to see how you can follow in their path.

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