The best recent books on science, technology, and health encompass a wonderful range of subjects,
from nautical codes and seed smuggling to reproductive
rights and the now-extinct great auk. All books were
reviewed in Booklist between December 1, 2015, and
November 15, 2016. —Julia Smith
Ada Lovelace, Poet of Science: The First Computer
Programmer. By Diane Stanley. Illus. by Jessie Hartland.
2016. Simon & Schuster/Paula Wiseman, $17.99
(9781481452496). Gr. 2–4.
With charming and witty illustrations, this picture-book
biography on computer-science pioneer Ada Lovelace captures her smarts as well as her
Alpha, Bravo, Charlie: The Complete Book of Nautical Codes. By Sara Gillingham. Illus.
by the author. 2016. Phaidon, $19.95 (9780714871431). K–Gr. 2.
This brilliantly designed abecedary introduces kiddos to four different systems of nautical communication—signal flag, Morse code, semaphore, and phonetic alphabet—along
with a handful of information about boats and sea travel.
Grand Canyon. By Jason Chin. Illus. by the author. Feb. 2017. Roaring Brook/Neal Porter,
$19.99 (9781596439504). Gr. 2–5.
In a book filled with arresting artwork and fascinating information, Chin offers a virtual
hiking tour of the Grand Canyon, replete with modern views and geologic history.
Grow! Raise! Catch! How We Get Our Food. By Shelley Rotner. 2016. Holiday, $16.95
(9780823436439). PreS–Gr. 2.
Writer and photographer Rotner uses accessible text and vivid, color-splashed photos
to show young readers who exactly grows the crops, raises the animals, and catches the
fish they eat.
Lesser Spotted Animals: The Coolest Creatures You’ve Never Heard Of. By Martin
Brown. Illus. by the author. Jan. 2017. David Fickling, $18.99 (9781338089349). Gr. 2–5.
This witty compendium of animal facts spotlights unsung heroes of the animal kingdom
while incorporating meaningful information on conservation and challenges faced by
many of these creatures.
Radioactive! How Irène Curie and Lise Meitner Revolutionized Science and Changed the
World. By Winifred Conkling. 2016. Algonquin, $17.95 (9781616204150). Gr. 7–12.
This joint biography examines two important female scientists who have been largely
overlooked by history, highlighting their accomplishments and contributions to the advancement of nuclear science.
Reproductive Rights: Who Decides? By Vicki Oransky Wittenstein. 2016. Lerner/Twenty-First Century, lib. ed., $38.65 (9781467741873). Gr. 9–12.
Though slim, this volume offers an exhaustive look at the history of human reproduction and contraception, drawing in legal and moral debates and global perspectives.
The Story of Seeds: From Mendel’s Garden to Your Plate, and How There’s More of Less to
Eat around the World. By Nancy Castaldo. 2016. HMH, $17.99 (9780544320239). Gr. 8–11.
Surprisingly engrossing, this well-researched discussion of seeds ranges from standard
topics like biodiversity and sustainability to their unexpected involvement in international
politics and biopiracy.
Tiny Stitches: The Life of Medical Pioneer Vivien Thomas. By Gwendolyn Hooks. Illus. by
Colin Bootman. 2016. Lee & Low, $17.95 (9781620141564). Gr. 3–6.
Vivid watercolor illustrations bring to life the obstacles faced and great achievements
made by African American Vivien Thomas in the field of neonatal surgery.
The Tragic Tale of the Great Auk. By Jan Thornhill. Illus. by the author. 2016.
Groundwood, $18.95 (9781554988655). Gr. 2–5.
An eye-opening and fascinating look at the penguin-like great auk that beautifully presents the myriad factors that contributed to its extinction.
TOP 10 SCIENCE & HEALTH BOOKS FOR YOUTH
Continued on p. 48
sign better treatments. Included are color
photos, sidebars, QR codes to videos with
supplemental information, an index, a further reading list, and Internet resources. Key
icons encourage readers to build knowledge,
gain awareness, explore possibilities, and expand their viewpoints through the content.
This brief but informative text will be useful as a supplement for research projects.
What Is the Future of 3D Printing?
By Hal Marcovitz.
2016. 80p. illus. ReferencePoint, $29.95
(9781682820667). 621.9. Gr. 7–12.
Although developed in the 1980s, 3-D
printing wasn’t available for consumer use
until recently. While 3-D printing has become a fun part of the maker movement,
this volume in the Future of Technology series looks at practical and innovative uses of
3-D printing for shaping modern life. The
opening chapter explains the 3-D printing
process, particularly how it’s more flexible
and less wasteful than traditional manufacturing. Subsequent chapters focus on how 3-D
printing is revolutionizing transportation,
medicine, homes, and space travel. Each topic
includes numerous real-world examples, both
successfully completed projects and those in
the works. Readers will be amazed by “
Robot-boats” that scan waterways too dangerous for
humans, new skin bioprinted for burn victims, and pizzas printed to feed astronauts on
spaceflights. The scant photo illustrations are
counterbalanced with fascinating descriptions
of these astounding technologies, and while
there is no summarizing chapter, individual
sections do a great job of addressing current
limitations of 3-D printing and its future development. An inspiring resource for students
who want to turn their pastime into a STEM
career. —Angela Leeper
Astronomy Lab for Kids: 52 Family-
By Michelle Nichols.
Dec. 2016. 144p. illus. Quarto/Quarry, $24.99
(9781631591341). 520.78. Gr. 1–4.
Astronomy need not be a topic that is
above kids’ heads. This book offers plenty
of experiments, demonstrations, and activities that are designed to explain fundamental
concepts about space in ways that young
people can connect to their everyday experiences. Basic scientific practices, such as
keeping a record of observations in a journal, are encouraged. Thematic chapters cover
ideas such as the size and scale of objects in
space, principles of light and gravity, and the
position of the stars in the night sky. While
most activities require adult guidance, the
supplies required can easily be culled from
objects around the house. Creative enrich-