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STEM Related Books Sponsored by

Rolling Readers Space Coast, Inc. Commentary:


Military careers are often hard for all involved, but for the children of those military personnel, it can be even harder. Many children may not understand the situation and may worry about their parent(s). Kathleen Benner Duble’s book, Pilot Mom addresses this issue in a creative way while also providing interesting information about airplanes. We are thankful to the men and women who have bravely served/continue to serve our country. With the high impact of military careers on children, and the educational information about airplanes provided, we chose to highlight Pilot Mom as our November S.T.E.M. book of the month. Good for Grades PreK-4.



From Booklist – PreK to Gr3

“Mom, the pilot of a plane that refuels fighter jets in mid-air, is leaving for a training mission in Europe, and her daughter is both proud and afraid of what can happen. As mother and daughter prepare to part, they go through a comforting ritual. The girl, with help from her friend K. C., fills the pockets of Mom's flight suit: a pocketknife, a hat and gloves, and a lucky coin. The girls then travel with Mom to the air base and visit the cockpit of Mom's KC-135. As preparations continue, Mom talks about past adventures, which Duble fits smoothly into the narrative, along with a good deal of information about airplanes and flying. The pastel watercolors, sometimes showing cloudy skies in shades of gray, reflect the girl's emotional roller coaster as she sees her mother off. A paean to flying, this is also a strong "can do" message for girls.”
Connie Fletcher-Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved 

From School Library Journal – Gr2 to Gr4

“When her friend excitedly wakes her by yelling, ‘Time to suit up!’ Jenny rises slowly. Today is the day she is supposed to show K. C. where her mom works. But Jenny is not as thrilled, because her mother is a tanker pilot in the Air Force and is about to go on a training mission in Europe. Although the girl knows that this trip is not the same as when her mom went off to war, her uneasiness is clear. As they complete their usual ritual of filling the pockets of her flight suit, the woman speaks honestly and openly about the pride she takes in her work, and the realities of her duties. On the tarmac, she reminds Jenny that she is on a routine mission and will be able to call home often. The quality of the watercolor-and-ink illustrations is inconsistent and the art doesn't always support the story. For example, when Jenny asks, "But what if there is a war?" mother and daughter are barely distinguishable underneath an Air Force jet depicted on the facing page. Still, the book is a worthwhile addition as there is a shortage of material addressing this issue.”

Wanda Meyers-Hines, Ridgecrest Elementary School, Huntsville, AL

Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Brevard County Library link.
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“An exhilarating introduction to the moves and history of airplanes. ‘White Clouds Blue Sky above Eagles fly…’ Cougars, Panthers, Camels, and Mosquitos. What do these animals have in common? Their names identify the historic airplanes that take flight at the spectacular airshow event. In simple, poetic words and skillfully reread illustrations, Anastasia Suen and Cecco Mariniello introduce the world of flight to children. Youngsters can follow their favorite airplanes as they take off and soar, swoop, creep, and leap about the pages of this book. So climb on board and come for a ride, but don’t forget to bring a jacket. It gets chilly in the skies!” 

–Grade K to 2-

Brevard County Library link.
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“Vivid colors dominate the paintings contrasted on opposite pages. . . For budding plane enthusiasts, the names of the actual planes are provided.”

– Grades PK to 1 –

Brevard County Library link.
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“A collection of biographies of ten American adventurers including Robert Peary, Amelia Earhart, Neil Armstrong, and Christa McAuliffe.”

– Grades 6 to 9 –

Brevard County Library link.
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“Richly textured and brightly colored illustrations fashioned from torn and cut papers attract attention to this simple story. Young Benny has five new pennies and is given five different ideas on how to spend them. His mother advises him to look for something beautiful; his sister suggests something nice to wear. Benny's brother tells him to buy something good to eat, which is   similar to the input given by his dog and cat. Clever Benny is able to fulfill all five requests and, in the process, gives a basic introduction to money and spending. The text's appealing repetition of phrases with slight variation in rhymes, together with the three-dimensional-like illustrations, makes this a perfect choice for story time read alouds.”

–Ages 4 to 6-

Brevard County Library link.
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“A great combination of a lesson learned while having fun. The 21st Street Sluggers decide to hold a car wash to raise money for new T-shirts for the play-offs. CJ becomes the self-appointed bookkeeper, collecting $3.50 from each customer and making change while the rest of the team does the actual washing. Change is made in numerous ways and profits are tallied both in totals and by types of coins. In the end, the money is raised and the kids are wet. Colorful illustrations both enhance the story line and elucidate the math lesson with clear tabulations for the money counting and change. Follow-up activities and a reading list are included.”

–Grades 2 to 3- 

Brevard County Library link.
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When both children and adults alike hear the word “math,” they often do not have positive feelings. However, math is an essential part of everyday life, whether you are purchasing a toy that you really want or paying bills. Reading stories about math are a great way to gain a child’s attention and keep them focused on learning something they may not particularly love. Harriet Ziefert’s book, You Can’t Buy a Dinosaur with a Dime is the perfect fit for connecting an interesting story with learning math skills, which is why it is our S.T.E.M. book of the month for October. Ziefert covers essential topics such as spending, saving, and earning which make this book great for Grades 1-3.    

Brevard County Library link.
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“In this bright and bouncy concept book, the Pigs turn their house upside down looking for spare change so that they can go out to dinner. Readers are invited to count along as the porkers dig out cash from the socks drawer, pennies from under the bed, quarters from the closet, and a five-dollar bill from the washing machine. Answers are hidden in the illustrations. The Pigs' reward is a trip to the Enchanted Enchilada. The whole menu is reproduced, complete with prices, so readers can figure out what the family can afford to eat and how much money they will have left over. A final page recaps all the amounts and shows the multiplication and addition necessary to find the answers. The vibrant illustrations are done in yellow, turquoise, pink, orange, and green. Those hues, along with the cacti in the yard and the Mexican restaurant, give the book a Southwestern flair. The Pigs are wildly dressed, from the daughter's fishnet stockings to the father's floppy black-and-white bow tie. After they have heard the story once, children will enjoy going back and studying the pictures. An entertaining tool for reinforcing math skills that should be especially useful in whole-language curriculum.

–Grades 1 to 3-

Brevard County Library link.
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OTHER stem books

AUGUST stem books


July 20, 2019, we celebrated the 50th Anniversary of the first man walking on the Moon! How amazing to be here today, living on the “Space Coast” of Florida and experiencing this historical event. We can only imagine what it was like for those who “lived” it in real-time. All kinds of celebrations commemorating the event have taken place or are planned, especially at the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex. In fact, that first moonwalk by a person, our very own astronaut, Neil Armstrong, is such a huge historical occurrence for the entire world, that there are even exhibits and shows to see in other countries! For example, NASA partnered with the Queensland Museum in Brisbane, Australia to host an exhibit specifically chronicling manned space flight there, while honoring Andrew Thomas, a recently retired NASA Astronaut who was born in Australia. There are many, many books, mostly non-fiction and biographical, written about the missions leading up to the moonwalk and beyond. We chose our highlighted book for the month to be, Margaret and the Moon – written by Dean Robbins and illustrated by Lucy Knisley. This children’s book is about Margaret Hamilton, who was great in math and after her studies, she is recognized as the person who handwrote programming code that would allow the spacecraft computer used for the Apollo missions, and ultimately the one that landed a man on the moon, to solve any problems it might encounter. Facts are presented with colorful, fun illustrations added in, making it a great read-aloud for younger children and independent reading or reading with support for children up to 3rd grade.

Neil Armstrong

Meet the Famous Astronaut

This is a biography of Neil Armstrong that is written specifically for children.

– Upper Grades–

Brevard County Public Library link for this book:

Summary: “In 1961, President Kennedy issued a challenge: before the end of the decade, the United States would land a person on the moon and return him safely to Earth—a bold proclamation at the time given that only one US astronaut had ever been to space, for just 15 minutes. To answer President Kennedy’s call, NASA embarked on the Apollo missions: a complicated, dangerous, and expensive adventure involving 400,000 people. Before the missions were over, NASA astronauts had made eleven Apollo flights, six of which landed on the moon, and eight astronauts had lost their lives.The Apollo Missions for Kids tells the story of this pivotal era in space exploration from the perspective of those who lived it—the astronauts and their families, the controllers and engineers, and the technicians and politicians who made the impossible possible. The book includes a timeline, resources for further study, and places to visit to see Apollo mission artifacts, along with 21 hands-on activities to better understand the missions and the science behind them.” – Grades 4-6 –

Brevard County Public Library link for this book: 

OTHER stem books

“When a terrible drought struck William Kamkwamba’s tiny village in Malawi, his family lost all of the season’s crops, leaving them with nothing to eat and nothing to sell. William began to explore science books in his village library, looking for a solution. There, he came up with the idea that would change his family’s life forever: he could build a windmill. Made out of scrap metal and old bicycle parts, William’s windmill brought electricity to his home and helped his family pump the water they needed to farm the land.”

– Grades 4 to 7 –

Brevard County Public Library link for this book:

Everyday day of the week, many of our children wake up and go to bed without understanding the effort that’s needed to keep the basic amenities or modern life available. Kids are unaware of the sources of energy that powers their lights and electronics, the origin of the water they brush, rinse, and shower with, and what about the funky smelling stuff that fuels the heat and those gas stoves. We want to enlighten the younger kids on this knowledge, so we chose to highlight Chris Butterworth’s book, How Does My Home Work?, as March’s S.T.E.M. book of the month. In this book, the author describes the sources of electricity, water and gas for the house as well as how one can start saving energy. Good for Grades K-3rd and an educational and interesting book to read aloud to children in any grade.

Another Oscar book that introduces simple scientific concepts to children. Some lovely visual representations of scientific concepts, and good models for asking questions to extend learning”

-PreK to 3rd-

Brevard County Public Library link for this book:

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