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Find more Top 10 Science and Health Books for Youth
Birds, bones, black holes, and bugs (both of the infectious and insectile kind) headline this list of the best science and health books of the past year, all of which received starred reviews in Booklist.
Barnum’s Bones: How Barnum Brown Discovered the Most Famous Dinosaur in the World. By Tracey Fern. Illus. by Boris Kulikov. 2012. Farrar/Margaret Ferguson, $17.99 (9780374305161). Gr. 1–4.
Using language brimming over with personality, Fern tells the story of Barnum Brown, who was hired by New York’s Museum of Natural History to dig up the biggest and best bones out there.
The Beetle Book. By Steve Jenkins. Illus. by the author. 2012. Houghton, $16.99 (9780547680842). Gr. 3–5.
Jenkins is in top form with this large-format look at the hard-shelled insect. Intricate, precise images of beetles against white pages combine clarity of form with subtlety of texture.
A Black Hole Is Not a Hole. By Carolyn Cinami DeCristofano. Illus. by Michael Carroll. 2012. Charlesbridge, $18.95 (9781570917837). Gr. 4–6.
DeCristofano condenses recent astronomical discoveries into a high-energy account of what we know of the universe’s most unobservable secrets. Diagrams, photos, and illustrations give readers plenty to ponder.
Invincible Microbe: Tuberculosis and the Never-Ending Search for a Cure. By Jim Murphy and Alison Blank. 2012. Clarion, $17.99 (9780618535743). Gr. 6–10.
Murphy collaborates with Blank to present a striking and well-illustrated history of tuberculosis that traces the disease from a 500,000-year-old skull to modern-day triumphs and setbacks.
Just Ducks! By Nicola Davies. Illus. by Salvatore Rubbino. 2012. Candlewick, $15.99 (9780763659363). K–Gr. 3.
This amiable, easygoing picture book seamlessly combines fiction and nonfiction to tell the story of a girl observing mallard ducks throughout an entire year.
Life in the Ocean: The Story of Oceanographer Sylvia Earle. By Claire A. Nivola. Illus. by the author. 2012. Farrar/Frances Foster, $17.99 (9780374380687). K–Gr. 3.
A stunning picture-book biography of Sylvia Earle, a marine scientist whose daring exploits are told through lyrical text and delicately detailed artwork of a world most can only dream about.
The Mighty Mars Rovers: The Incredible Adventures of Spirit and Opportunity. By Elizabeth Rusch. 2012. Houghton, $18.99 (9780547478814). Gr. 5–8.
Rusch spotlights the principal science investigator of the Mars Exploration Rover Mission, at the same time detailing the process of information gathering on the Red Planet.
Moonbird: A Year on the Wind with the Great Survivor B95. By Phillip Hoose. 2012. Farrar, $21.99 (9780374304683). Gr. 7–12.
Hoose turns his attention to the endangered rufa red knot, in particular a single bird that has flown over 325,000 miles in its lifetime. Beautifully written and meticulously researched.
Ocean Sunlight: How Tiny Plants Feed the Seas. By Molly Bang and Penny Chisholm. Illus. by Molly Bang. 2012. Scholastic/Blue Sky, $18.99 (9780545273220). K–Gr. 3.
This densely informative story of how sunlight fuels the ocean’s microscopic phytoplankton is illustrated with intricate, mysterious, and dramatic paintings.
Steve Jobs: The Man Who Thought Different. By Karen Blumenthal. 2012. Feiwel and Friends, $16.99 (9781250015570). Gr. 7–10.
Blumenthal connects the dots in the all-too-short life of the perfectionist founder of Apple. Original interviews and a smart use of research make for an expansive look at the man.
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