• Laura

Black Lives Matter in STEM - Children's Book Recommendations

Updated: Sep 28, 2020

With everything that's happened this year, I've been trying to learn more about what I can do personally as a citizen and also as a mum.

My daughters are big book fans, so one thing I did was to have a sort of audit of their books to check how much diversity we are representing in our house. There's a noticeable shift in many of our more modern books towards including a more diverse range of characters. However they're rarely the main character and so this is something I'm going to personally address for our book collection going forward.

I know a lot of people have shared book recommendations and I've been gratefully taking note. As Inventors & Makers, I wanted to do something a bit different and share some book recommendations with you that are specifically in the STEM fields, an area underrepresented by POC and particularly black women.

Here are some of my picks ordered by age. Hope you enjoy them!

1. Baby Loves Aerospace Engineering

Book cover for baby loves aerospace engineering

Authors: Ruth Spiro and Irene Chan

Recommended ages: 1-3

About: part of the Baby Loves Science series, this book explores the basics of flight, tying it all into a baby's world.

Buy it on Amazon

2. Future Engineer

Future Engineer Book cover

Author: Lori Alexander

Recommended ages: 2-4

About: part of the Future Baby series, this book sees Baby showing curiosity about how things work as she proves she has what it takes to become an engineer.

Buy it on Amazon

3. Ada Twist Scientist

Ada Twist Scientist Book Cover

Author: Andrea Beaty

Recommended ages: 4-7

About: part of the series made famous by the award-winning Rosie Revere, in this book Ada Twist demonstrates boundless curiosity and love of science as she questions 'Why?' and investigates to find out answers for herself.

Buy it on Amazon

4. The Doctor with an Eye for Eyes: the Story of Dr. Patricia Bath

The Dr with an eye for eyes book cover

Author: Julia Finley Mosca

Recommended ages: 4-7

About: in this award winning book, read about the real life story of Patricia Bath. Children find out how Patricia made it her mission to become a doctor and persevered even when racism, poverty and sexism got in her way. It also includes a complete biography, fun facts and a timeline to connect with her real life achievements.

Buy it on Amazon

5. The Girl with a Mind for Math: The Story of Raye Montague

The girl with a mind for math book cover

Author: Julia Finley Mosca

Recommended ages: 4-8

About: this award winning book, forms part of the same series as Dr. Patricia Bath above. In this story, read about Raye Montague and her journey to becoming an engineer. Children learn about how sexism and racial inequality challenged her dream, even meaning her greatest achievement was kept a secret for decades. It again includes a complete biography, fun facts and a timeline.

Buy it on Amazon

6. Counting on Katherine

Counting on Katherine book cover

Author: Helaine Becker

Recommended ages: 5-9

About: this authorised biography follows the true story of Katherine Johnson from her gifted childhood when she loved to count everything, to her role as the mathematical genius who helped make the historic Apollo 11 moon landings possible.

Buy it on Amazon

7. Hidden Figures: The True Story of Four Black Women and the Space Race

Hidden Figures book cover

Author: Margot Shetterly

Recommended ages: 5-8

About: this picture book brings the inspiring true story of four women who helped NASA launch the first men into space. Featuring Dorothy Vaughan, Mary Jackson, Katherine Johnson and Christine Darden, it shows how being really good at maths can help you change the world.

Buy it on Amazon

8. 101 Black Women in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics: Leaders in Black History

101 Black Women in STEM book cover

Author: L.A. Amber

Recommended ages: 7+

About: this boook honours incredible and inspiring black women from across all the sciences from the 1800s to today. It gives information about the cultural attitudes, historical forces and social realities that made science what it is today. It also includes some information about STEM-related concepts and associated careers in a motivating and engaging way.

Buy it on Amazon

Inventors & Makers run award-winning online and in-person STEM and design classes for children aged 2-11. Take a look at all of our current classes on our website.

Inventors & Makers is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to products in the Amazon store.

We have chosen books that we recommend impartially. 

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