In May, my fourth middle grade novel, The Firefly Code will be released. The book is set in a utopia built by artists and scientists — STEAM people, if you will. Genetic engineering, artificial intelligence, and more STEM related topics all play a part, and I hope it will raise questions in young readers minds about the challenges and opportunities we face. Coupled with my work bringing the maker movement to my libraries and connecting it with literacy, I have STEAM books on the brain. So, I went out looking for new and upcoming STEAM related books for 2016. I am sure there are many more, so please add your own in the comments!
Ada Twist, Scientist by Andrea Beaty (September): The latest from Beaty and illustrator David Roberts follows a curious, scientifically-minded girl named Ada Twist.
Big Friends by Linda Sara, illustrated by Benji Davies (January): This book celebrates friendship — and the infinite possibilities of a cardboard box.
More-igami by Dori Kieber, illustrated by G. Brian Karas (May): The starred Kirkus review says it all: the story “encourages patience, practice, and sharing creativity, and finishes with a simple origami lesson for readers to try. A gem.”
Middle Grade / Chapter Books:
Cleo Edison Oliver, Playground Millionaire by Sundee T. Frazier (January): This book includes entrepreneurship plus a model of a classroom “Passion Project”.
Spaced Out by Stuart Gibbs (April): The second book in the Moon Based Alpha series has 12-year-old detective Dashiell Gibson solving a mystery on the first moon base.
The Wild Robot by Peter Brown (April): What happens when a robot is stranded on a deserted island?
Awesome Minds: The Inventors of LEGO Toys by Erin Hagar, illustrated by Paige Garrison (April): Who better to inspire young inventors than the people who invented one of their favorite toys?
Ada’s Violin: The Story of the Recycled Orchestra of Paraguay (May): The true story of Ada Rios, an aspiring violin player without the money for an instrument, music teacher Favio Chávez, and an orchestra playing instruments made from recycled materials from the landfill.