This month, in honour of Science Week, our focus is all things science. I absolutely loved science at school, and as a teacher one of my favourite subjects to take as an ‘extra’ was science. In my experience, people of all ages are fascinated by ongoing discoveries about the way the world – and the universe – works. Here are some recommendations for some science books you and your library should have.
Graeme Base is a wonderful author and illustrator, and the BumbleBunnies series is his way of introducing even the smallest of children to STEM concepts around identifying and solving problems. In this delightful series, the BumbleBunnies – Jet, Spinner and Pop – solve everyday problems that happen in their backyard. There are currently two books, The Pond and The Sock, with a third, The Gate coming out in late August.
One of the most awkward questions any of us can be asked is, ‘Where do babies come from?’ The Amazing True Story of How Babies are Made was created to help you answer just this question. This fantastic book outlines the difference between boys and girls, and then explains exactly where babies come from, from fertilisation through to birth and feeding, using the correct terminology and illustrations which are both informative and humorous. A great resource for your home and library (and a great gift for anyone with small people about to start asking awkward questions!).
There are so many amazing Usborne books on science, it’s hard to pick just one (my personal favourite is Lift-the-Flap Periodic Table), but I have settled on the Science Encyclopedia for this forum. This incredibly comprehensive book covers a huge range of topics in an approachable manner. Children are invited to think about the everyday impacts of the concepts they are reading about with ‘See for yourself’ panels for each section. There are also QR codes which link to videos discussing or demonstrating the material covered in the text. This book is suitable for students from middle primary through to upper secondary.
If, like me, you are a little bit in love with Brian Cox, and you consider the ABC’s Stargazing must-watch TV, then The Planets is just the thing for you. This absolutely stunning book will have both children and adults entranced with its beautiful photographs and incredibly detailed discussion of the formation, composition and discovery of the planets in our solar system. While advanced ideas are discussed in this glossy volume, the photographs and accessible language mean that this is suitable for use in both primary and secondary schools.
Read of the Month – After my binge of Karin Slaughter books (I may have reached double digits!), I decided I needed to take a break from gruesome murders, so I gave Taking Tom Murray Home a read. I was not disappointed.
Jack Murray is thirteen and a bit, and he and his family are about to lose their dairy farm to the bank. When his dad, the eponymous Tom Murray, accidently kills himself after setting their homestead alight in an act of defiance, life takes some truly unexpected turns: a slow-moving, horse-drawn funeral procession; a growing media storm with his mum, Dawn, at the centre; and people are starting to take the convoy’s #BURN a bit too seriously.
This book had me laughing out loud, shedding a tear, and cheering for the Murrays and their ragtag group of supporters. A book very much of the moment with references to issues currently front and centre in Australia’s consciousness. Highly recommended if you’re after a read which is both entertaining and thought-provoking.