It’s National Science Week – check out these 4 great books for young scientists!

by |August 12, 2019
National Science Week

This week is National Science Week in Australia, our annual celebration of science and technology!

We reap the benefits of science and engineering every single day – it’s given us so much valuable knowledge about the natural world. Science is all about discovery, facts learned through experiments and observation. It’s about asking questions and developing methods for applying what we’ve learned so we can create a better world. Most of all, it’s about the beauty of life and nature in its wondrous state. Children especially are natural scientists, full of curiosity, questions, and a yearning to investigate and discover.

This year, the theme for National Science Week is…

Destination Moon: more missions, more science!

The theme honours the 50th anniversary of the moon landing (celebrated here in my previous blog post and in our Shoot for the Moon collection), but today I’ve gathered four of the best books for budding young scientists that are a little more earthbound in their concerns. I hope you enjoy them!

National Science Week

Australian Backyard Earth Scientist

by Peter Macinnis

Australian Backyard Earth Scientist

Sydney-based author Peter Macinnes is a passionate and enthusiastic lover of science who has won plenty of awards for his brilliant writing. Here he presents a collection of activities and experiments about earth science that will knock your socks off. All the projects are simply explained and easily produced, ranging from topics such as weather and geology to climate change and carbon-dating fossils.

This book is full of astounding facts and they’re all supported with detailed explanations and wonderful illustrations. This is hands-on, take-home-science that gets straight to the joy, a book that is engaging and captivating for all who are curious. “Simple science is good science” says Macinnes and it is hard to disagree. I recommend this book heartily.

For ages 10+ – buy it here.


Our Little Inventor

by Sher Rill Ng

Our Little Inventor

This captivating picture book tells the story of little Nell, who invents a device that will fix the growing problem of air pollution in her city. Though Nell faces resistance from the controlling men of Big City who don’t take her seriously, she is determined to keep working.

With its themes of empowerment, climate change, and resilience in the face of overwhelming challenges, Our Little Inventor is actually a very hopeful story. We should all be like Nell and work towards making a difference for the good of society, regardless of societal expectations and naysayers. Melbourne-based author-illustrator Sher Rill Ng has gifted us with a heartfelt tribute to ingenuity that is beautifully illustrated and touching. An inspiring STEM storybook for our times.

For ages 4+ – buy it here.


How to Save the Whole Stinkin’ Planet

by Lee Constable and James Hart (Illustrator)

How to Save the Whole Stinkin' Planet

Subtitled “A Garbological Adventure,” this is the first book by Science Communicator and TV host Lee Constable and it’s a blend of scientific facts, practical activities and challenging adventures. Readers are encouraged to become ‘Waste Warriors’ who appraise their home garbage situation and make improvements.

Reading this book is really like embarking on a journey, one that demands involvement. You can’t make any excuses here because the author has addressed them already. With this book, you are empowered and entrusted to make the world better, starting with your own patch. This is a huge responsibility and only superheroes need apply. There are hands-on activities, there is humour, there are fart jokes, and there is science. This is probably the best book I’ve encountered for proactively motivating and engaging young readers on environmental issues. Captain Garbology rules, so join her and get amongst it!

For ages 9-11 – buy it here.


Ask a Scientist

by Professor Robert Winston

Ask a Scientist

Gather 100 of the best questions about our planet from kids around the world and you are likely to get some doozies, but this book really surprises. The kids ask questions that range across all disciplines: chemistry, physics, human body, Earth, space, and natural science. The contributions can be weird and unexpected, including things you’ve always wanted to know but would never ask (for instance, just what exactly is a booger and where does it come from?). Put these queries to renowned Professor Robert Winston and the result is amazing.

Clear and fun responses from the good Professor will enlighten you to all kinds of facts, from twinkling stars to bubbles in boiling water. Each is addressed in a short, sweet, but satisfyingly comprehensive way, even the few where scientists are uncertain. This is a great book to dip into at any point, always fun and always informative.

For all ages – buy it here.


Click here to find out more about National Science Week!

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About the Contributor

Robert O'Hearn is the non-fiction specialist at Booktopia HQ. He has been a bookseller for over three decades and can't seem to stop. He is an aspiring apiarist and likes playing Joy Division songs on mandolin. He is generally harmless.

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