Best STEM Books

NSTA Unveils 2017 List of Top Science Trade Books K12

The National Science Teachers Association, in conjunction with the Children’s Book Council, has released its annual list of “Outstanding Science Trade Books for Students K–12: 2017.” The list represents the best science trade books published in 2016 for students in kindergarten through 12th grade.

Members of a book review panel made up of science educators and literacy professionals appointed by NSTA selected 57 books for the list from a roster of about 200 submissions. The list of winning titles includes topics that range from Florence Nightingale to strange, unusual and cool animals and features illustrated picture books, thoughtful stories, biographies and encyclopedia-type texts.

Titles include “About Marine Mammals,” “Animals by the Numbers,” “Feathered Dinosaurs,” “Flying Frogs and Walking Fish,” “Marie Curie for Kids,” “Next Time You See a Cloud” and “Poop Detectives.”

The review panel used rigorous guidelines to select the top books, according to a news release. Criteria include the amount of science content; presentation of material in a clear, accurate and up-to-date manner; differentiation of theories and facts; avoidance of over-simplification; the use of facts to support generalizations; and freedom from gender, ethnic and socioeconomic bias. The panel also chooses books based on other specifications, including appropriate content level for the intended audience and accuracy of illustrations.

“The Outstanding Science Trade Books list is the best resource available for teachers — and parents — who are in search of great books that can strengthen reading skills while teaching and reinforcing science concepts,” said David Beacom, NSTA’s chief content officer, in a statement.

NSTA and CBC have collaborated on the list of Outstanding Science Trade Books for Students since 1973 in an effort to help science educators access quality books that support student learning in science education. In addition to the website, the list will appear in the March 2017 issue of NSTA’s elementary, middle and high school journals for teachers.

About the Author

Richard Chang is associate editor of THE Journal. He can be reached at

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