An Unvetted Book List

[It’s possibly a liability that I have always liked and used the word “vet” now that it’s such a loaded term . . . ]

I recently created a list of supplemental readings for the science classes at my co-op. I can’t say I have read them all, but I did try to choose something beyond the canned biography series when that was possible. The “5-7” and “8-10” categories apply specifically to what’s being taught in the co-op classes, and not really to recommended age ranges for the books.

I would really love to hear any books that you have read and would recommend. Or, if you have read any of these and love or hate them, I’d love to hear that too. We have George’s Secret Key to the Universe, which is not really Violet’s cup of tea but she did read it all the way through. And if you’ve known my husband for a while you would not be surprised that we have a well-used copy of Journey to the Ants. (And sorry I don’t have lovely Amazon links and photos — Victoria has been sick for a few days now and I am way too overloaded!)

Semester One

Genetics and Health:

Gregor Mendel, The Friar Who Grew Peas, Cheryl Bardoe (2006)
Gregor Mendel: Father of Genetics, Roger Klare (1997)

Genetics and Geneticists:
Baa! The Most Interesting Book You’ll Ever Read About Genes and Cloning, Cyntha Pratt Nicolson (2001)
Rosalind Franklin and the Structure of Life, Jane Polcovar (2006) [Watson & Crick’s female partner who doesn’t always get the attention she deserves as a pioneering female scientist!]
DNA pioneer: James Watson and the Double Helix, Joyce Baldwin (1994)
What Mad Pursuit: A Personal View of Scientific Discovery, Francis Crick (1988) [for strong readers]
A Passion for Science, Lewis Wolpert and Alison Richard (1989) [includes an interview with Francis Crick]

The Physical World and Space
Stephen Hawking:
not much for younger children, but for older children or strong readers, try
George’s Secret Key to the Universe, Stephen and Lucy Hawking (2007)
Stephen Hawking: Unlocking the Universe, Sheridan Simon (1991)

Odd Boy Out, Don Brown (2004)
Neil Armstrong: One Giant Leap for Mankind, Tara Dixon-Engel and Mike Jackson (2008)
Ellen Ochoa, First Latina Astronaut, Lila and Rick Guzman (2006) [the author has asked that I remove this book from the list, but has declined to explain why, so I guess, don’t read this book?]
Neil, Buzz, and Mike Go to the Moon, Richard Hilliard (2005) [especially for younger readers]
Godspeed, John Glenn, Richard Hilliard (2006) [especially for younger readers]
Sally Ride, Elizabeth Raum (2006)
Reaching for the Moon, Buzz Aldrin (2005)
Mae Jemison: The First African American Woman in Space, Magdalena Alagna (2004)
Sally Ride and the New Astronauts: Scientists in Space, Karen O’Connor (1983)
Find Where the Wind Goes: Moments from My Life, Mae Jemison (2001)

Semester Two

Ecology and Earth:

E. O. Wilson and the Ants (not specifically about E. O. Wilson):
Life and Times of the Ant, Charles Micucci (2003)
Flute’s Journey: The Life of a Wood Thrush (1997)
Ma Jiang and the Orange Ants, Barbara Ann Port (2000)

E. O. Wilson:
Science Giants: Life Science, Alan Ticotsky (2006)
Journey to the Ants: A Story of Scientific Exploration, Bert Holldobler and Edward O. Wilson (1998) [Not a children’s book, but a classic for adults that strong young readers might also love]
Ants and the Natural World:
the books listed for 5-7 would also be good for 8-10 year olds who still enjoy quality picture books
The Woods Scientist, Stephen Swinburne (2002)
You Are the Earth: Know the Planet so You Can Make it Better, David Suzuki (2000)

Living Things:

Young Teddy Roosevelt, Cheryl Harness (1998)
Theodore Roosevelt, Conservation President, Susan DeStefano (1993)
Theodore Roosevelt: Naturalist/Statesmen, Joyce Blackburn (1967)

Audubon: The Boy Who Drew Birds, Jacqueline Davies (2004)
Audubon: Painter of Birds in the Wild Frontier, Jennifer Armstrong (2003)
Capturing Nature: The Writings and Art of John James Audubon (1993) [incorporates Audubon’s words and writings]

p.s Great big tip o that hat to Nina, whose awesome list of beautiful books for older children reminded me to keep searching!



Filed under Curriculum, Love this Book

4 responses to “An Unvetted Book List

  1. I don’t know if I can add to this right now. But I am certainly going to print out this list and refer to it next time I go to the library. Thanks!

  2. Grace has a Hraness book in her stack for Duke Tip’s Science Independant Study, as well as a Biography on Mimi Koehl and “The Most Beautiful Roof in the World”. She also wants to read
    Great list! Thanks for doing it! I hope you feel better:)

  3. I hope Victoria feels better soon.

  4. Ami has read this beautifully photographed book a couple of times, “The Chimpanzees I Love” Saving THeir World and Ours by Jane Goodall”. It would be in your older range.

    Ami would probably enjoy “The Boy Who Drew Birds”.

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