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Find more Top 10 Science and Health Books for Youth
This year’s top 10 science and health books, reviewed in Booklist between December 1, 2014, and November 15, 2015, cover everything from slithery creatures on the ocean floor to the programming language used to sail to the stars.
Ada Byron Lovelace and the Thinking Machine. By Laurie Wallmark. Illus. by April Chu. 2015. Creston, $17.99 (9781939547200). Gr. 1–3.
With delicate illustrations, this picture book reveals Ada Lovelace’s lifelong fascination with math and her legacy: a computer language called Ada in her honor.
Ebola: Fears and Facts. By Patricia Newman. 2015. illus. Millbrook, lib. ed., $31.99 (9781467792400). Gr. 6–9.
This timely, evenhanded look at Ebola addresses not only the origin and spread of the disease but also issues of epidemiology, global politics, and media literacy.
How Machines Work: Zoo Break! By David Macaulay. Illus. by the author. 2015. DK, $19.99 (9781465440129). Gr. 1–4.
With clever foldouts and intricate illustrations, Macaulay introduces simple machines while telling the comical story of two animals inventively trying to escape their zoo enclosure.
How to Swallow a Pig: Step-by-Step Advice from the Animal Kingdom. By Steve Jenkins and Robin Page. Illus. by Steve Jenkins. 2015. HMH, $17.99 (9780544313651). Gr. 2–5.
This amusing introduction to the animal kingdom takes an off-kilter approach: step-by-step instructions for weird animal skills. Detailed cut-paper collage artwork illustrates each step.
Human Body Theater. By Maris Wicks. Illus. by the author. 2015. First Second, $14.99 (9781626722774). Gr. 5–8.
Balancing a playful, cartoonish style with detailed diagrams and lucid descriptions, Wicks presents systems of the human body with the help of a jaunty skeleton emcee.
The Octopus Scientists: Exploring the Mind of a Mollusk. By Sy Montgomery. Illus. by Keith Ellenbogen. 2015. HMH, $18.99 (9780544232709). Gr. 5–8.
Packed with full-color photos, this enthusiastic entry in the Scientists in the Field series follows a team of researchers hunting for elusive octopuses off the coast of French Polynesia.
The Rain Wizard: The Amazing, Mysterious, True Life of Charles Mallory Hatfield. By Larry Dane Brimner. 2015. illus. Boyds Mills/Calkins Creek, $16.95 (9781590789902). Gr. 5–7.
Most kids haven’t heard of Hatfield, who used a top-secret mix of chemicals to “coax” rain. Was it real or just a hoax? Budding scientists will be reeled in by this intriguing mystery.
Terrible Typhoid Mary: A True Story of the Deadliest Cook in America. By Susan Campbell Bartoletti. 2015. illus. HMH, $17.99 (9780544313675). Gr. 6–9.
In a surprisingly sympathetic tone, Bartoletti sheds some light on the sensational story of Typhoid Mary, debunks misconceptions, and raises provocative questions about public health and privacy.
This Strange Wilderness: The Life and Art of John James Audubon. By Nancy Plain. 2015. illus. Univ. of Nebraska, $19.95 (9780803248847). Gr. 7–10.
Accompanied by excellent color illustrations, Plain chronicles Audubon’s adventurous life and the importance of his groundbreaking bird paintings in an absorbing, meticulously researched narrative.
Trapped! A Whale’s Rescue. By Robert Burleigh. Illus. by Wendell Minor. 2015. Charlesbridge, $17.95 (9781580895583). PreS–Gr. 3.
Based on a real event, this picture book uses stately illustrations and informative text to movingly tell the story of a humpback whale entangled in fishing nets but later freed by friendly divers.
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