Are you looking to send your kids off on vacation with a list of awesome summer reading STEM fiction books?
The following list shares some fun and creative summer reading STEM books for the elementary, middle, and high school levels. The genres range from math science fiction to cooking to mystery, so you're kids will surely find something they'll enjoy reading!
Part One: Elementary Level
1.) Missing Math: A Number Mystery
by Loreen Leedy
Amazon Synopsis: In Missing Math, the numbers all over town suddenly disappear. The animals can’t count, use the phone, or even find out what time it is. Rulers, money, and computers have all become completely useless...Can the town’s detective solve this numerical mystery? Will he ever bring the numbers back home again? Loreen Leedy’s clever rhyming text PLUS her amusing digitally painted illustrations EQUALS proof that we need math each and every day.
2.) One Grain Of Rice: A Mathematical Folktale
by Demi Huang
Amazon Synopsis: Long ago in India, there lived a raja who believed that he was wise and fair. But every year he kept nearly all the people's rice for himself. Then a village girl named Rani devises a clever plan, using the surprising power of doubling to win more than one billion grains of rice from the raja.
3.) The King's Chessboard
by David Birch
Amazon Synopsis: A great story for children learning mathematical concepts, The King’s Chessboard tells the story of a wise man who refuses the king’s reward for completing a favor. When the king insists the man accept a reward, the man proposes a deal: He will take a payment of rice equal to each square on the king’s chessboard—doubling the amount he receives with each day. This quickly empties out the royal coffers. . . .
4.) Max's Math
by Kate Banks
Amazon Synopsis: Max and his two brothers hop into a car and go looking for problems they can solve. They cruise down highway number 4 on their way to Shapeville, but they see an abandoned number along the way. Is it a 6? Is it a 9? And what's it doing on the side of the road? Once the trio reach Shapeville, there's another problem: a flood washed away all of the squares. Max and his brothers must show the town how to bring their shapes back together!
5.) The Doorbell Rang
by Pat Hutchins
Amazon Synopsis: Each ring of the doorbell brings more friends to share the delicious cookies Ma has made. This terrific and suspenseful read-aloud picture book about friendship, sharing, and cookies can also be used to introduce basic math concepts to young children. "Refreshing, enjoyable and unpredictable."
Part Two: Middle School Level
6.) Pythagoras and the Ratios: A Math Adventure
by Julie Ellis
Amazon Synopsis: Pythagoras and his cousins want to win a music contest, but first they must figure out how to play their instruments in tune, something that's never been done before. While trying to fix the problem, Pythagoras makes an important discovery--notes that sound pleasant together have a certain mathematical relationship. When Pythagoras applies this ratio to his cousins' pipes and lyres, the result is music to the ears.
7.) The Adventures of Penrose the Mathematical Cat
by Theoni Pappas
Amazon Synopsis: Penrose, a cat with a knack for math, takes children on an adventurous tour of mathematical concepts from fractals to infinity. When the fractal dragon jumps off the computer screen and threatens to grow larger than the room itself, Penrose must find out if fractal patterns can work in reverse, getting smaller instead of larger.
8.) Sir Cumference and the Dragon of Pi (A Math Adventure)
by Cindy Neuschwander
Amazon Synopsis: Sir Cumference, Lady Di of Ameter, and Radius are back in their second Math Adventure! This time, a potion has changed Sir Cumference into a fire-breathing dragon. Can Radius change him back? Join Radius on his quest through the castle to solve a riddle that will reveal the cure. It lies in discovering the magic number that is the same for all circles.
Are YOUR kids ready for these fun daily math challenges this summer?
9.) Fractions in Disguise
by Edward Einhorn
Amazon Synopsis: When a valuable fraction goes missing, George Cornelius Factor (a.k.a. GCF) vows to track it down. Knowing that the villainous Dr. Brok likes to disguise his ill-begotten fractions, GCF invents a Reducer—a tool that strips away the disguise, reducing the fraction and revealing its true form. Equal parts of action and humor add up to a wholly entertaining introduction to simplifying fractions.
10.) Math Curse
by Jon Scieszka
Amazon Synopsis: Did you ever wake up to one of those days where everything is a problem? You have 10 things to do, but only 30 minutes until your bus leaves. You have 3 shirts and 2 pairs of pants. Can you make 1 good outfit? Then you start to wonder: Why? Why do 2 apples always have to be added to 5 oranges? Why can't you just keep 10 cookies without someone taking 3 away? Because you're the victim of a Math Curse. That's why. But don't despair. This is one girl's story of how that curse can be broken.
Part Three: Upper Middle + High School Level
11.) The Number Devil: A Mathematical Adventure
by Hans Magnus Enzensberger
Amazon Synopsis: In twelve dreams, Robert, a boy who hates math, meets a Number Devil, who leads him to discover the amazing world of numbers: infinite numbers, prime numbers, Fibonacci numbers, numbers that magically appear in triangles, and numbers that expand without. As we dream with him, we are taken further and further into mathematical theory, where ideas eventually take flight, until everyone - from those who fumble over fractions to those who solve complex equations in their heads - winds up marveling at what numbers can do.
12.) The Man Who Counted: A Collection of Mathematical Adventures
by Malba Tahan
Amazon Synopsis: The Man Who Counted is a book on recreational mathematics and curious word problems by Brazilian writer Júlio César de Mello e Souza, published under the pen name Malba Tahan.
13.) The Math Inspectors
by Daniel Kennedy
Amazon Synopsis: Armed with curiosity and their love for math, Stanley, Charlotte, Gertie and Felix race around town in an attempt to solve the mystery. Along the way, they butt heads with an ambitious police chief, uncover dark secrets, and drink lots of milkshakes at Mabel's Diner. But when their backs are against the wall, Stanley and his friends rely on the one thing they know best: numbers. Because numbers, they never lie.
Did your favorite STEM fiction book make the cut? Share your thoughts and suggestions in the comments section below!
By Anthony Persico
Anthony is the content crafter and head educator for YouTube's MashUp Math and an advisor to Amazon Education's 'With Math I Can' Campaign. You can often find me happily developing animated math lessons to share on my YouTube channel . Or spending way too much time at the gym or playing on my phone.