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Genre: Non-fiction

Curriculum subject: Science

Grades: 3 – 7


From physics to forensics, from the largest clouds to the tiniest ants, from Issac Newton to elephant dung, Exploratopia overflows with things readers can explore using the simplest, everyday items, such as eggs, paper clips, soda bottles, vinegar, and plastic cups. Kids will love these innovative activities and will have fun learning all at the same time.



“Practiced young experimenters ready to strike out on their own will find enticing science demonstrations on nearly every page of this inviting collection. Each of the 21 sections contains a half dozen or more entries that feature easily gathered ingredients, clear directions, and color photos or diagrams that are not only informative but often arresting as well.” –SLJ


“With many color photos, cartoon-style drawings, and well-labeled diagrams, the book is brightly illustrated and visually appealing, from its eye-catching endpapers right through to the appended (and sure-to-be-consulted) “Hints, Tips, & Answers.” Better written and more engaging than most science experiment books, this book encourages children to learn through reading, observations, and experimentation.” —Booklist


Ben and Me

Ben & Me by Robert LawsonBen and Me

By Robert Lawson

Genre: Historical Fiction

Curriculum Subject: Social Studies: History; Science: Inventions

Grades: 3 – 7


Ever wonder where inventors get their ideas? As it turns out, the great inventor Benjamin Franklin got his best ideas from a mouse named Amos! Funny, interesting and wise, this classic tale has been a favorite for generations. Once you’ve met Amos and read his account, you’ll never think of Ben Franklin-or American history-quite the same way.


Explore this historical time period even further in this new edition of award-winning author Robert Lawson’s classic tale, with additional bonus material, including a map of Ben Franklin’s travels!


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Space Taxi Series by Wendy Mass & Michael Brawer

Archie Morningstar’s dad drives a taxi through outer space!


And with the help of a talking cat named Pockets, Archie and his dad help fight crime across the universe.




A new sci-fi chapter book series from Wendy Mass and Michael Brawer

filled with humor, adventure, and plenty of science to impress your friends and teachers.



space taxiArchie Takes Flight

Curriculum Subject: Adventure: Aliens/ Ghosts; Science: Astronomy/ Space/ Aviation

Grades: 1–3


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It’s not every day a regular kid like Archie gets to wake up at midnight. But today is Take Your Kid to Work Day, and Archie is finally allowed to ride along in his dad’s taxi cab. He has been waiting eight years, eight months, and eight days for this moment to arrive.  But he’s about to discover his dad is no ordinary cab driver…In fact, he drives an intergalactic space taxi! All night long, he shuttles aliens from one corner of the universe to another. And being a space taxi copilot is no easy task: Archie must steer them into wormholes, keep them from crashing into planets, deal with a very unusual cat…and save the universe from an evil mastermind!





water planet

Water Planet Rescue

Curriculum Subject: Adventure: Aliens/ Ghosts; Science: Astronomy/ Space/ Aviation

Grades: 1–3


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In the second book in this series, Archie, his dad, and Pockets fly to a planet in peril: someone is stealing the water from this underwater world! Can Archie and Pockets save the day?









alien disguise

Archie’s Alien Disguise

Curriculum Subject: Adventure: Aliens/ Ghosts; Science: Astronomy/ Space/ Aviation

Grades: 1–3


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In the third book in the series, Archie, his dad, and Pockets visit a planet that resembles medieval Earth in every way but its inhabitants, who have rainbow colored hair and extra eyes. To beat the evil organization B.U.R.P., the trio must disguise themselves as aliens and rescue a princess! When Archie must act on his own, can he find the courage to save the day?








The Galactic B.U.R.P.

Curriculum Subject: Adventure: Aliens/ Ghosts; Science: Astronomy/ Space/ Aviation

Grades: 1–3


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In this fourth book in the series, Archie is taken to the criminal organization B.U.R.P.’s mothership where he must outsmart evil masterminds!











★ “This blend of rollicking adventure and a splash of science will make this series a hit with young readers.” – School Library Connection, starred review


★ “With wacky adventure, imaginative settings and wildly varied ETs, this series has endless potential. Archie’s sense of wonder and dedication to his newfound responsibility are inspirational. Line drawings and a trio of science facts further enhance this enjoyable interstellar romp. Its likable hero is just one reason to love this intergalactic space adventure.” – Kirkus, starred review



The Earth Book

The Earth Book by Todd ParrThe Earth Book

Written & illustrated by: Todd Parr

Format: Picture Book

Curriculum Subjects: Science: Ecology; Personal Development: Responsibility

Grade: P-1


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With his signature blend of playfulness and sensitivity, Todd Parr explores the important, timely subject of environmental protection and conservation in this eco-friendly picture book which features lots of easy, smart ideas on how we can all work together to make the Earth feel good – from planting a tree and using both sides of the paper, to saving energy and reusing old things in new ways.




Dinotrux by Chris GallDinotrux

by Chris Gall

Format: Picture Book

Curriculum Subjects: Adventure: Animals; Science: Biology

Grade: PreK-1st


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HONK! CRASH! BURP! CRUNCH! Look out, cavemen, or you’ll be lunch!


Millions of years ago, DINOTRUX ruled the earth. These mighty part-truck, part-dino demolition dynamos rumbled, plowed and bulldozed their way through the centuries. Chris Gall guides you on a safari through the wild world of these mechanical monsters of prehistoric times, from the nosy Craneosaurus and the mega-hungry Garbageadon to the big bully of the jungle, Tyrannosaurus Trux! Look out for a fold-out surprise at the end!



★ “Dinotrux ruled their world, now they’re likely to rule this one too. Bellow on!” – Kirkus Reviews


★“Comically overheated narration … fire-roasted settings and hilariously imagined creatures.” – Publishers Weekly


★ “This title will be hard to keep on the shelves.” – School Library Journal

Pi in the Sky

pi in the skyPi in the Sky

By Wendy Mass

Genre: Middle Grade Adventure

Curriculum Subject: Adventure: Science Fiction, Science: Astronomy/Space/Aviation, Science: Math

Grade: 3-7


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Joss is the seventh son of the Supreme Overlord of the Universe, and all he gets to do is deliver pies. That’s right: pies. Of course these pies actually hold the secrets of the universe between their buttery crusts, but they’re still pies.


Joss comes from a family of overachievers, and is happy to let his older brothers shine. But when Earth suddenly disappears, Joss is tasked with the not-so-simple job of bringing it back. With the help of an outspoken girl from Earth named Annika, Joss embarks on the adventure of a lifetime and learns that the universe is an even stranger place than he’d imagined.



★ “Full of fascinating science and clever humor, Mass’s story shines as bright as the stars of Joss’s universe. A high-stakes extraterrestrial adventure that’s as exciting as it is fun.” –Publishers Weekly, starred review


“Could be a Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy for kids…Science and absurdity frolic together to gleeful effect.” –Kirkus Reviews


“The humorous banter and interesting physics factoids keep readers entertained…A unique, mind-stretching title for science-fiction lovers, and the entertaining high jinks and evolving relationship between Joss and Annika give it an even wider appeal.” –School Library Journal



The Curious Garden

The Curious Garden

By Peter Brown

Genre: Picture Book

Curriculum Subjects: Science: Agriculture/Botany

Grade: P-1



One boy’s quest for a greener world… one garden at a time.

While out exploring one day, a little boy named Liam discovers a struggling garden and decides to take care of it. As time passes, the garden spreads throughout the dark, gray city, transforming it into a lush, green world. 

This is an enchanting tale with environmental themes and breathtaking illustrations that become more vibrant as the garden blooms. Red-headed Liam can also be spotted on every page, adding a clever seek-and-find element to this captivating picture book.


“A quiet but stirring fable of urban renewal, sure to capture imaginations … In Brown’s utopian vision, the urban and the pastoral mingle to joyfully harmonious effect.” –Publishers Weekly, starred review


“An ecological fable, a whimsical tale celebrating perseverance and creativity, and a rousing paean, encouraging every small person and every big person that they too can nurture their patch of earth into their very own vision of Eden.”  –The New York Times


“Art is spectacular … might inspire children to engage in small projects to improve their own neighborhoods.” —School Library Journal


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The Drowned Cities

The Drowned Cities

By Paolo Bacigalupi

Genre: Science Fiction

Curriculum Subjects: Survival, Science Fiction, Friendship

Grade: 9-12


SLJ Best Book of 2012  |  Kirkus Best Books of 2012  |  2013 Tayshas Reading List


In a dark future America where violence, terror, and grief touch everyone, young refugees Mahlia and Mouse have managed to leave behind the war-torn lands of the Drowned Cities by escaping into the jungle outskirts. But when they discover a wounded half-man–a bioengineered war beast named Tool–who is being hunted by a vengeful band of soldiers, their fragile existence quickly collapses. One is taken prisoner by merciless soldier boys, and the other is faced with an impossible decision: Risk everything to save a friend, or flee to a place where freedom might finally be possible.


This thrilling companion to Paolo Bacigalupi’s highly acclaimed Ship Breaker is a haunting and powerful story of loyalty, survival, and heart-pounding adventure.




[quote]★”Beautifully written, filled with high-octane action, and featuring badly damaged but fascinating and endearing characters” – PW[/quote]

[quote]★”Arguably, the novel’s greatest success lies in the creation of a world that is so real, the grit and decay of war and ruin will lay thick on the minds of readers long after the final page. – Kirkus Reviews[/quote]




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Every Soul a Star

Every Soul A Star

By Wendy Mass

Genre: Realistic Fiction

Curriculum Subject: Friendship, Self-Discovery

Grade: 3-7


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At Moon Shadow, an isolated campground, thousands have gathered to catch a glimpse of a rare and extraordinary total eclipse of the sun. Three lives are about to be changed forever.


Ally likes the simple things in life-labyrinths, star-gazing, and comet-hunting. Her home, the moon shadow campground, is a part of who she is. She refuses to imagine it any other way.


Popular, gorgeous (everybody says so), a future homecoming queen for sure. Bree wears her beauty like a suit of armor. But what is she trying to hide?


Overweight and awkward, jack is used to spending a lot of time alone. But when opportunity knocks, he finds himself in situations he never would have imagined.


Told from three distinct voices and perspectives, Wendy Mass weaves an intricate and compelling story about strangers coming together, unlikely friendships, and finding one’s place in the universe.



★ “Readers who like… Lynne Rae Perkins’s Criss Cross and Jerry Spinelli’s Stargirl books will also enjoy this compelling and through-provoking story.” –School Library Journal


“Confirming her mastery of the middle-grade novel, Mass combines astronomy and storytelling for a well-balanced look at friendships and the role they play in shaping identity.” –Publishers Weekly