2014 GAS Science Book & Activity Club Contest Recommended Book List

GAS Science Book & Activity Club Contest


Suggested Books, Grades 3-5


A Place for Turtles. Melissa Stewart. Peachtree Publishers. 32 pages. $16.95
ISBN 978-1561456932
Turtles from all over, the different ecosystems that support them, and ways people can help. A blend of story and fact.

Cougar: A Cat with Many Names. Stephen Person. Bearport Publishing. 32pp. $19.95
Library ISBN 978-1-61772-569-2
The cougar story: their habitats, predation, child-rearing, andterritoriality, presented through narrative and photographs, creates an awareness of these wild animals and their necessary adaptations to humans impinging on their natural environments. Includes Cougar Facts and a “People Helping Cougars” section.

A Dragonfly’s Life. Ellen Lawrence. Bearport Publishing. 24pp. (K-5)  $17.95
Library ISBN 978-1-61772-594-4.
Written in the style of a student’s journal, with dated entries from June 1 to September 30, and including observations and illustrations, this book documents a dragonfly’s metamorphosis in a most engaging way.
Includes a suggested science lab.

Giant Pacific Octopus: The World’s Largest Octopus. Leon Gray. Bearport
Publishing. 24pp. $17.95
Library ISBN 978-1-61772-730-6
Through detailed photographs and surprising facts, learn how the world’s largest octopus hides from enemies, hunts for food, and squirts ink in self-defense.

Handle with Care: an Unusual Butterfly Journey. Aubrey Smith. Millbrook Pr. Trade. 32 pp. $29.26
ISBN 978-0761393429
A blue morpho butterfly makes the journey from a pupa in a Costa Rica greenhouse to the butterfly garden at the Boston Museum of Science. Would be great to pair with a butterfly field trip.

Here Come the Humpbacks! April Pulley Sayre. Illustrated by Jamie Hogan. Charlesbridge. 40pp. $17.99.
ISBN 978-1-58089-405-0
As you follow the humpback whales from winter childbirth in the Caribbean to summering in the northern Atlantic, the whales will “sing” their adventurous migration. Teachers or parents can help students with informational sidebars.

How to Build a Robot (With Your Dad). Ellen Lawrence. Michael O’Mara. 168 pages. $19.99
ISBN 978-1-84317878
Moms welcome too.  Twenty robot projects to make with everyday or cheap materials. Robot suits and jet packs, edible robots, grow-their-own-hair robots, and more.

Lives of Scientists: Experiments, Explosions (and What the Neighbors Thought). Kathleen Krull. Illustrated by Kathryn Hewitt. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. 96pp. $20.99.
ISBN 978-0-15205-909-5
The lives of world-changing scientists come to life through this collection of short biographies. From Albert Einstein to Jane Goodall, the author shares intriguing details about twelve amazing science pioneers.

Meat-Eating Plants: Toothless Wonders. Ellen Lawrence. Bearport Publishing. 24pp. $17.95
ISBN 978-1-61772-589-0
Stunning detailed photographs and easy to read text capture you directly inside meat-eating plants. Maps include locations where they arefound. There are also Picture ScienceWords and a recommended science lab investigation.

Next Time You See a Pill Bug. Emily Morgan. NSTA Kids, an Imprint of NSTA Press. (K-5) 32pp. $9.95
ISBN 978-1-936959-17-4
Wonderful closeup photographs of the pill bug, its habitat, and the curious kids observing them. Descriptions are clear and informative. Activities for kids.

Ocean Sunlight: How Tiny Plants Feed the Sea. Penny Chisholm and Molly Bang. The Blue Sky Press. 48 pages. $18.99
ISBN 978-0545273220
A beautifully illustrated book clearly explaining the ocean ecosystem, from photosynthesizing plankton to whales.

Primates: The Fearless Science of Jane Goodall, Dian Fossey, and BirutèGaldikas. Jim Ottaviani. Illustratedby Maris Wicks. First Second Books.. 144pp. $19.99.
ISBN 978-1-59643-865-1
Read about these dedicated and brave female scientists as comic strip heroes. Inspirational!

Roseate Spoonbill: Pretty in Pink. Stephen Person. Bearport Publishing. 32pp. $19.95
ISBN 978-1-61772-570-8
The history of this bird from the eyes of Biologist Jerry Lorenz. The book has photographs of all the stages of
life, its habitat, what it eats and how the Everglades need to be protected so this bird can survive.

What’s the Big Idea? Amazing Science Questions for the Curious Kid. Vicki Cobb. Sky Pony Press. 208 pp. $12.95.
ISBN 978-1620876855
Short, engaging chapters cover questions about energy, motion, matter, and life. Humor and examples. Includes thought experiments and hands-on experiments.

Seymour Simon’s Extreme Oceans. Seymour Simon. Chronicle Books. 60pp. $17.99.
ISBN 978-1-45210-833-9,
Explore the most extreme parts of the ocean with amazing photographs, unbelievable facts, and record-breaking information that will keep you engaged on this incredible adventure.

Slimy Science and Awesome Experiments. Susan Martineau. B Small Publishing. 48 pp. $8.99
ISBN 978-1908164629
Explorations in grossness with no need for special materials.  Ectoplasmic gunk, balloon belchers, floating eyeballs, pus-filled boils, and more.

Too Hot? Too Cold? Keeping BodyTemperature Just Right. CarolineArnold. Illustrated by Annie Patterson. Charlesbridge. 32pp. $17.95.
ISBN 978-158089-276-6.
No matter where we live, or what climate we live in, people and animals need to keep their temperature “just right”. Remarkable connections made between humans and other animals around the world show how they adapt to heat and cold year round.

When the Wolves Returned.  Dorothy Patent. Walker Childrens. 40 pp. $17.95.
ISBN 978-0802796868
Dual-level text and full-color photographs show how the Yellowstone ecosystem is being restored with the re-introduction of wolves.

Who Says Women Can’t Be Doctors? The Story of Elizabeth Blackwell. Tanya Lee
Stone. Illustrated by Marjorie Priceman. Christy Ottaviano Books/ Henry Holt. 40pp. $17.99
ISBN 978-0-8050-9048-2, $17.99.
While no one would say this today, in Elizabeth Blackwell’s day women weren’t allowed to
be doctors. This inspiring story recounts the challenges she faced in becoming the first U.S. female doctor in 1849.

The Eagles Are Back. Jean Craighead George. Illustrated by Wendell Minor. Dial, an Imprint of Penguin RandomHouse. 32pp. $16.99
ISBN 978-0-80373-771-6
The beloved children’s author tells of the miraculous renaissance of the American bald eagle. Beautifu lillustrations from landscape artist Wendell Minor add to the magic of this inspiring picture book that reinforces the idea that people can make a difference.

Things That Float and Things That Don’t. David A. Adler. Illustrated by Anna Raff.
Holiday House. 32pp. $16.95
ISBN 978-0-82342-862-5
Using charming illustrations and easily understood text, the basic principles of flotation and density are explained. Readers are asked to perform fun, simple experiments demonstrating the relationship of floating and sinking to density.

Up, Up in a Balloon. Lawrence Lowery. Illustrated by Gordon Laite. NSTA Kids. 36pp. $10.95.
This book can be used to learn about air as matter and what happens when the temperature of the air is changed. The book also has an engineering flavor as revisions are made constantly to make the balloon.

Electrical Wizard: How Nikola Tesla Lit up the World. Elizabeth Rusch. Illustrated by Oliver Dominguez. Candlewick Press. 40pp. $16.99.
ISBN 978-0-76365-855-7
A perfect example of how science and engineering can work together naturally. Science is embedded in all  the design thinking that Tesla used. Great illustrations.

Eight Dolphins of Katrina: A True Tale of Survival. Janet Wyman Coleman. Illustrated by Yan Nascimbene. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. 40pp. $16.99.
ISBN 978-0-54771-923-8
This touching story describes how eight dolphins raised in captivity were swept out to sea by Hurricane Katrina’s storm surge. The dolphins stayed together and cared for each other, which is credited with helping them survive one of the worst natural disasters in U.S. history.

Papa’s Mechanical Fish. Candace Fleming. Illustrated by Boris Kulikov. Margaret Ferguson Books / Farrar Straus Giroux Books for Young Readers. 40pp. $16.99
ISBN 978-0-374-39908-5,
An ambitious inventor leads the way to designing an underwater mechanical device. Based on true events, this story illustrates the challenges of design and the perseverance that motivate scientists and engineers into further discoveries. Fiction.


Suggested Books, Grades 4-7


Along Came Galileo. Jeanne Bendick. Beautiful Feet Books. 95 pp. $11.95.
ISBN 978-1893103016
A human and accessible biography of the great astronomer and physicist. Easy to read with simple, clear illustrations.

The Dolphins of Shark Bay. Pamela S. Turner. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. 80pp.  $18.99
ISBN 978-0-54771-638-1
A true story about the lives of dolphins in Shark Bay and how they use sponges to find food.  A Scientists in the Field series book.

Noah Zarc: Mammoth Trouble. D. Robert Pease. Evolved Publishing. 214 pp. $11.95.
ISBN 978-1622534043
Witty, fast-paced science fiction about a 31st century family that rescues earth animals from extinction. Main character is a twelve-year-old paraplegic boy pilot.  Fiction.

One Minute Mysteries: 65 More Short Mysteries You Solve With Science. Eric Yoder and Natalie Yoder. Science,Naturally! 188pp. $9.95.
ISBN 1-9384920-0-5
A great way to gets students thinking scientifically. One page scenarios give clues to the solution, but lots of “out of the box” thinking is required to come up with the answers. Mysteries cover life, physical, and earth/space science, plus a section that requires math knowledge to solve.

Something Stinks! Gail Hedrick. Tumblehome Learning. 192pp. $7.95.
ISBN 978-0-98500-089-9
What is killing fish on the Higdon River? Seventh-grade reporter Emily decides to find out, and the more obstacles she and her friends run up against, the more determined they become. Fiction. Discussion and activity guide.

Mistakes that Worked: 40 Familiar Inventions and How They Came to Be. Charlotte Jones. 96 pp. $11.99. ISBN 978-0385320436
From silly putty to doughnut holes, here are products whose inventors stumbled across them, sometimes not realizing what they had found until years later. Amusing anecdotes and wacky illustrations.

Kelvin McCloud and the Seaside Storm. Michael Erb. Tumblehome Learning. 244 pp. $9.95
A wealthy banker dies in a hailstorm, but is it hail that killed him? Henry Alabaster and his meteorologist uncle use their knowledge of weather to investigate. Lots of great weather information wrapped in adventure. Fiction. Discussion and activity guide. 

Cool Science Tricks. 50 Fantastic Feats for Kids of All Ages. Daniel Tatarsky. Anova Books. 112 pp. $14.99
From making matches dance without touching them to making sound waves visible, a series of fun demonstrations in physics, biology, chemistry, and factoids.

The Galactic Academy of Science series. Tumblehome Learning. Time travel, mystery, and science: in each book, middle school students travel through time and encounter real scientists of the past as they gather the knowledge they need to solve a current crime. The books need not be read in order.  Sample discussion guides and activities can be found here, for the following books. 

The Desperate Case of the Diamond Chip. Pendred Noyce. 145 pages. $9.95 ISBN 978-0985000806. Who stole the valuable new invention, a computer chip made of diamond? Clinton and Mae travel through time and learn the history of electronics to find out.

The Furious Case of the Fraudulent Fossil. Barnas Monteith. 184 pp, $9.95 ISBN 978-0985000851. Anita and Benson suspect the new missing link fossil is a fraud, but how can they prove it?

The Vicious Case of the Viral Vaccine. Pendred Noyce and Roberta Baxter. 160 pp. $9.95 ISBN 978-0985000875.  Is the new universal flu vaccine safe? Clinton and Mae visit epidemics and vaccines of the past to find out.

The Harrowing Case of the Hackensack Hacker. Barnas Monteith and Roberta Baxter. 175 pp. $9.95 ISBN 978-0985000882. The evil Dr G is kidnapping kids and hacking into computers to control the future. Can Benson and Anita stop him?

The Baffling Case of the Battered Brain. Pendred Noyce. 144 pages. $9.95 ISBN 978-0989792417. Is the mysterious stranger taking bribes to throw soccer games? And after a blow to the head, is Clinton in any condition to investigate?  Mae and Clinton learn about concussion and brain science in this time travel adventure.

The Cryptic Case of the Coded Fair. Barbara and Robert Tinker and Pendred Noyce. 192 pp. $10.95 ISBN 978-0989792424. Dr G is sending coded messages to disrupt the international science fair. The G.A.S. kids have to break his code and come up with one of their own to stop him.  With a computer program to code and decode messages.

The Perilous Case of the Zombie Potion. Pendred Noyce. 192 pp. $9.95 ISBN 978-0989792431. To save Sam’s mother from a threatening visitor from the future, the G.A.S. kids have to learn everything they can about zombies—and maybe even bring one home.


Suggested Books, Grades 6-8


Beyond the Solar System: Exploring Galaxies, Black Holes, Alien Planets,and More. Mary Kay Carson. Chicago Review Press. 144pp. $18.95.
ISBN 978-1-61374-544-1
This book explores the field of astronomy through its historical development. Well-illustrated and includes twenty-one activities that complement the text.

Eruption! Volcanoes and theScience of Saving Lives. Elizabeth Rusch. Illustrated by Tom Uhlman.
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. 80pp. $18.99
ISBN 978-0-54750-350-9
Volcanologists are using science and technology to “take the pulse of volcanoes” in order to avert disasters that have led to loss of lives and land around the globe.

When Rivers Burned: The Earth Day Story. Linda Crotta Brennan. Illustrated by Lisa Greenleaf. Apprentice Shop Books. 80pp. $24.95.
ISBN 978-0-98425-499-6
Follow this incredible journey that begins with two men concerned with environmental issues. Through a series of historical events, the story includes amazing photographs and a timeline of actions that eventually establish the first Earth Day in America.

The Tapir Scientist: Saving South America ’s Largest Mammal. Sy Montgomery. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. 80pp. $18.99.
ISBN 978-0-54781-548-0
The reader travels with a team of scientists as they study the tapir, an elusive South American mammal
sometimes called the gardener of the forest. This book presents an authentic picture of scientific research in the field and thepeople who engage in it.

Scaly Spotted Feathered Frilled: How Do We Know What Dinosaurs Really Looked Like? Catherine Thimmesh. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. 64pp. $17.99
ISBN 978-0-54799-134-4 Track the scientific process as dinosaurs’ appearances change throughout history, with colored paintings created by respected paleoartists. It is a fascinating process, using only what is left of dinosaurs, whose images evolve with each new discovery.