A List of 28 Recent Science Biographies for Kids (Toddlers and Up)

Solving the Puzzle Under the Sea

If your house is anything like ours, you probably have books–personally owned or library-borrowed–filling up your kid(s)’ room. We have STEM-related and non STEM-related books alike. Many of our STEM books focus on various concepts, but some instead are science biographies my wife and I use to introduce our daughter to various scientists and their achievements.

This list focuses on favorably reviewed science biographies for kids published in the last 5 years. Or, biographies already announced and scheduled to be published in 2017.

A few may be more inventors or mathematicians than scientists, but their achievements are no less important. And their biographies have just as much ability to spark an interest for science in kids.

Marie Curie (Little People, Big Dreams)

Brief Biography:

Marie Curie’s accomplishments are all the more amazing given the societal roadblocks she had to overcome: being a woman in the late 19th and early 20th century. She was the first woman to receive the Nobel Prize in 1903 and helped discover the existence of radium and polonium (named after her native country Poland).

Recommended Ages: 5 – 8 years old

Lexile Score: Not Yet Released

Pages: 32 pages

Expected Publication Date: April 18, 2017

Science Biographies For Kids: Marie Curie

Charlie and the Tortoise

Brief Biography:

Charles Darwin was a naturalist and geologist who lived during the 19th century. Many know him from his theories on evolution, including the idea that all life descends from common ancestors. His work on evolution culminated in the publication of his book On the Origin of Species.

Recommended Ages: 1 – 8 years old

Lexile Score: None

Pages: 24 pages

Charlie and the Tortoise
Swimming with Sharks: The Daring Discoveries of Eugenie Clark

Brief Biography:

Eugenie Clark, or the “Shark Lady”, was a female Japanese-American scientist (specifically, an ichthyologist) who studied shark behavior and fish in the order Tetraodontiformes. Unsurprisingly, this book focuses most on her research related to sharks. She spent much of her time dispelling assumptions about the behavior and intelligence of sharks. She often advocated for the protection of their marine environments.

Recommended Ages: 5-8 years old

Lexile Score: 770

Pages: 24 pages

Swimming with Sharks
Margaret and the Moon

Brief Biography:

Margaret Hamilton always had a love for math, which ultimately lead to a career in astronomy and working for NASA. NASA used her handwritten code in conjunction with the Apollo 8Apollo 9Apollo 10, and Apollo 11 space missions.

Recommended Ages: 4-8 years old

Lexile Score: None

Pages: 40 pages

Margaret and the Moon

Karl, Get Out of the Garden: Carolus Linnaeus and the Naming of Everything

Brief Biography:

Carolus (Karl) Linnaeus was an 18th century Swedish botanist and zoologist who is most commonly known for his system for naming organisms. This has earned him the moniker Father of Modern Taxonomy.

Recommended Ages: 7-10 years old

Lexile Score: 770

Pages: 40 pages

Karl Get Out of the Garden
Newton’s Rainbow

Brief Biography:

Isaac Newton’s accomplishments are quite well-known. What makes this biography interesting is the detailed look at Newton’s early years, starting with his upbringing in an apothecary’s house and his documenting observations in a notebook.

Recommended Ages: 4-8 years old

Lexile Score: Not Yet Released

Pages: 48 pages

Expected Publication Date: April 18, 2017

Newtons Rainbow
Ada’s Ideas: The Story of Ada Lovelace, the World’s First Computer Programmer

Brief Biography:

Ada Lovelace lived only 37 years but still managed, through her friendship with Charles Babbage, known by some as the “father of the computer”, to be the first computer programmer. She constructed the first algorithm for the Analytical Engine.

Recommended Ages: 6-9 years old

Lexile Score: None

Pages: 40 pages Adas Ideas
Snowflake Bentley

Brief Biography:

Williams “Snowflake” Bentley devoted much of his life to perfecting the art of photographing snowflakes. His method involved capturing the snowflakes on black velvet and taking the image before they melted. Ultimately, Bentley captured more than 5,000 pictures. Many of his images can be seen in the book Snowflakes in Photographs or in the Buffalo Museum of Science digital library.

Recommended Ages: 4-7 years old

Lexile Score: 830

Pages: 32 pages

Snowflake Bentley
Girls Think of Everything: Stories of Ingenious Inventions by Women

Brief Biography:

The book covers a range of female inventors.

Recommended Ages: 10-12 years old

Lexile Score: 960

Pages: 64 pages

Girls Think of Everything

Small Wonders: Jean-Henri Fabre and His World of Insect

Jean-Henri Fabre was a French naturalist and entomologist (and referred to by some as the father of modern entomology). Fabre was known for his detailed observations of insects and for his lively telling about those observations.

Recommended Ages: 6-9 years old

Lexile Score: AD880

Pages: 32 pages

Small Wonders: Jean Henri Fabre and His World of Insects
Ada Byron Lovelace and the Thinking Machine

Brief Biography:

Ada Byron Lovelace’s brief biography appears earlier.

Recommended Ages: 5-9 years old

Lexile Score: None

Pages: 40 pages

Ada Byron Lovelace and the Thinking Machine
On a Beam of Light: A Story of Albert Einstein

Brief Biography:

Albert Einstein does not need much introduction. He received the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1921. He is most well known for developing the general theory of relativity and for this equation on mass-energy equivalence (or, more commonly known as e=mc2).

Recommended Ages: 6-9 years old

Lexile Score: AD680

Pages: 56 pages

On a Beam of Light
The Boy Who Loved Math: The Improbable Life of Paul Erdos

Brief Biography:

Paul Erdos was always fascinated by numbers and became known as the The Magician from Budapest. He also considered one of the most prolific mathematicians in the 20th century. Erdos was a frequent collaborator with other mathematicians and spent much of his time figuring out unsolved problems rather than focusing on theoretical concepts.

Recommended Ages: 5-8 years old

Lexile Score: 550

Pages: 48 pages

The Boy Who Loved Math: The Improbable Life of Paul Erdos
The Watcher: Jane Goodall’s Life with the Chimps

Brief Biography:

Jane Goodall began her observations by watching robins from her home. She is most famous for her studying of chimpanzees in Tanzania and her lifelong efforts to preserve them.

Recommended Ages: 5-8 years old

Lexile Score: AD820

Pages: 48 pages

The Watcher: Jane Goodalls Life with Chimps
Solving the Puzzle Under the Sea: Marie Tharp Maps the Ocean Floor

Brief Biography:

Marie Tharp was an American geologist and oceanographic cartographer. She overcame early restrictions in her career (due to her gender) to create, in partnership with Bruce Heezen, the first scientific map of the ocean floor.

Recommended Ages: 4-8 years old

Lexile Score: 750

Pages: 40 pages

Our Review: 9.5/10 (check full review here)

Solving the Puzzle Under the Sea
Six Dots: A Story of Young Louis Braille

Brief Biography:

Louis Braille lost his ability to see when he as 5 years old. Determined to read, he developed his own alphabet, a system to allow blind people to enjoy the written word.

Recommended Ages: 4-8 years old

Lexile Score: None

Pages: 40 pages

Six Dots: A Story of Young Louis Braille
Mr. Ferris and His Wheel

Brief Biography:

George Ferris started his career testing and inspecting metals for railroads. Later, he designed the ferris wheel in response to challenge for American engineers to design a monument for the World’s Columbian Exposition. His completed structure seated 2,160 people, using 36 cars with 40 chairs each.

Recommended Ages: 6-10 years old

Lexile Score: 900

Pages: 40 pages

Mr. Ferris and His Wheel
Ada Lovelace, Poet of Science: The First Computer Programmer

Brief Biography:

Ada Lovelace’s brief biography appears earlier on this page.

Recommended Ages: 4-8 years old

Lexile Score: 810

Pages: 40 pages

Ada Lovelace, Poet of Science
Papa’s Mechanical Fish

Brief Biography:

Lodner Phillips, an American inventor, created a submarine that could traverse the bottom of Lake Michigan.

Recommended Ages: 4-8 years old

Lexile Score: 480

Pages: 40 pages

Papas Mechanical Fish
Odd Boy Out: Young Albert Einstein

Brief Biography:

Albert Einstein’s brief biography appears earlier on this page.

Recommended Ages: 4-7 years old

Lexile Score: 830

Pages: 32 pages

Odd Boy Out: Albert Einstein
A Weed is a Flower: The Life of George Washington Carver

Brief Biography:

George Washington Carver was an American botanist and inventor. He was also born into slavery but later became free once slavery was abolished. Raised by his former owners who encouraged his intellectual pursuits, Carver gained a quality education. He later was praised by blacks and whites for his contributions to agriculture, including alternative crop suggestions and his bulletins. One bulletin included over one hundred recipes that included peanuts.

Recommended Ages: 4-8 years old

Lexile Score: 640

Pages: 32 pages

A Weed is a Flower: The Life of George Washington Carver
Look Up!: Henrietta Leavitt, Pioneering Woman Astronomer

Brief Biography:

Henrietta Leavitt was born in the nineteenth century, a time during which few women were involved in astronomy. This did not stop Leavitt as eventually changed the field by discovering a method that would ultimately allow other astronomers to better determine the breadth of the universe.

Recommended Ages: 4-8 years old

Lexile Score: AD600

Pages: 32 pages

Look Up!: Henrietta Leavitt, Pioneering Woman Astronomer
Now & Ben: The Modern Inventions of Benjamin Franklin

Brief Biography:

Ben Franklin held many titles during his life: Founding Father, statesman, author, printer, political scientist, postmaster, scientist, inventor, etc. Everyday, humans interact with several of his inventions. He is credited with the discovery of electricity which powers much of the world today. He was also instrumental in the understanding of population, Atlantic Ocean currents, meteorology, and cooling.

Recommended Ages: 5-9 years old

Lexile Score: 910

Pages: 40 pages

Now and Ben: The Modern Inventions of Benjamin Franklin

Manfish: A Story of Jacques Cousteau

Brief Biography:

Jacques Cousteau had a diverse life. At different times he was a naval officer, filmmaker, explorer, scientist, photographer, author, and more. Cousteau is often credited with discovering processes and technology that would eventually lead to the current scuba technology in use today. He is also credited with over 120 television documentaries and more than 50 books, as well as the establishment of an environmental protection foundation that continues even after his death.

Recommended Ages: 6-9 years old

Lexile Score: AD800

Pages: 38 pages

Manfish: A Story of Jacques Cousteau
Blockhead: The Life of Fibonacci

Brief Biography:

Fibonacci, an Italian mathematician, is often considered to be the most talented Western mathematician during the Middle Ages. During his early life, he traveled extensively, discovering the Hindu-Arabic system. This lead him to publish Book of Abacus which led to the widespread use of the system in Europe. Today, he is best known for the Fibonacci sequence.

Recommended Ages: 6-9 years old

Lexile Score: 570

Pages: 40 pages

Blockhead: The Life of Fibonacci

Electrical Wizard: How Nikola Tesla Lit Up the World

Brief Biography:

Nikola Tesla was a Serbian-American scientist who is best known for contributing to the design of modern alternating current (AC) electrical system. Tesla received over 300 patents worldwide for his inventions. He also had a longstanding feud with Thomas Edison.

Recommended Ages: 8-12 years old

Lexile Score: 840

Pages: 56 pages

Electrical World: How Nikola Tesla Lit Up the World

The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind

Brief Biography:

William Kamkwamba is the boy who harnessed the wind. He was inspired to do so when his village lost their crops due to a drought which struck Malawi. His solution to future droughts was to build a windmill which could generate electricity that could then pump water to support farms.

Recommended Ages: 10 years old and up

Lexile Score: 860

Pages: 304 pages

The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind

Isaac the Alchemist: The Secrets of Isaac Newton

Brief Biography:

Newton’s brief biography can be found above.

Recommended Ages: 10 years old and up

Pages:  176 pages

Isaac the Alchemist

About Brian 63 Articles
Brian is an engineer, librarian, and general STEM enthusiast who hopes his daughter one day conquers the world. Even if it is just one of her own creation.

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