One of my favourite activities when my children were young was to visit the public library during the summer holidays to take part in the annual summer reading challenge. I love the way that this initiative has grown over the intervening years and with my science head on, I was delighted to see the Gadgeteers theme for summer 2022. Noticing a number of books that I’ve previously read and reviewed on the list, I thought that I’d post a summary of my reviews in case they help anyone to make their first choices.
Picture Books: here is the official list
One More Try written by Naomi Jones and illustrated by James Jones. Cute shapes demonstrate the principles of perseverance, resilience and tessellation.
The Little Pirate Queen written by Sally Anne Garland. An inspiring tale of a little girl who has learnt to create something from the resources she has at hand, can be read on a literal or metaphorical level and I think therefore appropriate for any class within a primary school.
Early Reader Books: here is the official list
Marv and the Dino Attack by Alex Falase-Koya, illustrated by Paula Bowles. A superhero powered by kindness and imagination saves the day at the Natural History Museum.
Middle Grade Books: here is the official list
Beetles for Breakfast written by Madeleine Finlay and illustrated by Jisu Choi. A stylishly illustrated exploration of the application of biology to solve some of the problems our planet will face over the coming decades. An absolute feast for the brain!
Sabotage on the Solar Express written by MG Leonard and Samuel Sedgman, illustrated by Elisa Paganelli. Futuristic fuel cells, scientific sabotage and a runaway train in the red heart of Australia all contribute to an edge-of-the-seat, runaway train detective adventure.
Harley Hitch and the Iron Forest written by Vashti Hardy, illustrated by George Ermos. A thoroughly engaging and entertaining mystery for readers aged 8+, with scientific exploration and discovery at its core. Illustrations throughout make this a great choice for children who are emerging readers.
Escape Room written by Christopher Edge and illustrated by David Dean. A fast-paced, immersive adventure with mathematics and artificial intelligence driving the plot.
I hope that you all enjoy these marvellous stories which introduce STEM principles, and find many more books at your local public library, to entertain and engage you in new ideas over the summer holiday.