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Common Core Connections through Literature

Here's a list of amazing books for students that cover a wide range of science topics:

Abayomi, the Brazilian Puma. Darcy Pattison. Illustrated by Kitty Harvill. Mims House.
A heart-warming story of an orphaned puma cub.

About Habitats: Forests. Cathryn Sill. Illustrated by John Sill. Peachtree Publishers.
Major types of forests depicted through simple text and full-page illustrations.

About Parrots. Cathryn Sill. Illustrated by John Sill. Peachtree Publishers.
Children can enjoy the beautiful, colorful illustrations while learning about these interesting birds found on five continents.

Amazing Giant Sea Creatures. DK Publishing. DK Publishing.
Enjoy an ocean adventure with giant sea creatures in this engaging fold-out flaps book.

The Animal Book. DK Publishing. DK Publishing. 

Artistically illustrated animals show diversity and extremes.

The Animal Book. Steve Jenkins. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. 

Encyclopedic reference source for science and engineering practice: obtaining, evaluating, communicating information.

Animalium. Jenny Broom. Candlewick Press/Big Picture Press.
Gallery-style illustrations of animals and habitats with descriptive supporting text

Animals That Make Me Say OUCH! Dawn Cusick. Charlesbridge/Imagine Publishing.
A collection of animals with amazing defense adaptations that can inflict pain and even death if threatened.   

Animals That Make Me Say WOW! Dawn Cusick. Charlesbridge/Imagine Publishing.
Our world is shared with animals that use amazing adaptations to help them survive with WOW skills.

Animals Upside Down. Steve Jenkins and Robin Page. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. 

Popup action to illuminate great animal facts and supporting glossary.

At Home in Her Tomb. Christine Liu-Perkins. Illustrated by Sarah S. Brannen. Charlesbridge.
A true story of womans body that was remarkably preserved for over 2000 years and was excavated to reveal a treasured time capsule.

A Baby Elephant in the Wild. Caitlin OConnell. Photos by Caitlin O'Connell and Timothy Rodwell. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Books for Young Readers.
Rare photos that depict the life of a baby elephant, weaving in facts, issues of survival, and social behavior.

Batman Science. Tammy Enz and Agnieszka Biskup. Capstone/Capstone Young Readers.
The Cape Crusader as a scientist? The science behind the Dark Knight.

Beetle Busters. Loree Griffin Burns. Photos by Ellen Harasimowicz. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Books for Young Readers.
A community's quest to combat an invasive beetle species in Massachusetts.

Behold the Beautiful Dung Beetle. Cheryl Bardoe. Illustrated by Alan Marks. Charlesbridge.
Incredible story of the importance of the dung beetles and their role on the earth.

Beneath the Sun. Melissa Stewart. Illustrated by Constance R. Bergum. Peachtree Publishers.

A wonderful look at how wild animals survive the heat in a variety of habitats.

Best Foot Forward. Ingo Arndt. Holiday House.  Engaging mystery foot leading to new connections to adaptations.

Beyond the Solar System. Mary Kay Carson. Chicago Review Press.  Great connections to the nature of science.

Bone Collection: Skulls. Camilla de la Bedoyere and Rob Colson. Illustrated by Sandra Doyle. Scholastic/Scholastic Paperback Nonfiction.
A fascinating collection of unique skulls featuring over 44 animals ranging from a humpback whales to human.

Chasing Cheetahs. Sy Montgomery. Photos by Nic Bishop. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Books for Young Readers.
Fascinating real life rescue in Namibia, Africa that saves lives every day.

Cougar. Stephen Person. Bearport Publishing.
Intriguing text about an animal that is affected by urban development.

The Dolphins of Shark Bay. Pamela S. Turner. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.
Research with an outstanding international emphasis and information on instinctive behaviors.

A Dragonfly’s Life. Ellen Lawrence. Bearport Publishing.
Journal format with exceptional, life-size photos.

The Eagles Are Back. Jean Craighead George. Penguin/Dial.
A bird’s-eye view of the life of an eagle, with food chain information.

Eat Like a Bear. April Pulley Sayre. Macmillan Children’s/Henry Holt Books for Young Readers.
Follow a bear through a year of its life.

Eight Dolphins of Katrina. Janet Wyman Coleman. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.
Beautiful story of survival and the relationship between working scientists.

Electrical Wizard. Elizabeth Rusch. Candlewick Press.
Story of Tesla will light up your life; science and engineering work together naturally.

Eruption! Elizabeth Rusch. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.
Real world applications of volcano science and technology.

Ferdinand Fox’s First Summer. Mary Holland. Sylvan Dell Publishing.
Primary read-aloud with gorgeous photos to share.

Flight of the Honey Bee. Raymond Huber. Candlewick Press.
Multi-layered text; narrative and informational with great illustrations and language.

Frog Song. Brenda Z. Guiberson. Macmillan Children’s/Henry Holt Books for Young Readers.
Gorgeous illustrations in watercolor accurately portray frogs and toads in various habitats.

Giant Pacific Octopus. Leon Gray. Bearport Publishing.
A great book about the world’s largest octopus.

Here Come the Humpbacks! April Pulley Sayre. Charlesbridge.
A great, multilayered migration study.

Hide-and-Seek Science. Emma Stevenson. Holiday House.
Complex graphics of 293 camouflaged animals in various environments.

Lifetime. Lola M. Schaefer. Chronicle Books.
Common core math and science and good STEM connections to animal behavior; science numbers come to life.

Lives of Scientists. Kathleen Krull. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.
Great possibilities for integration; nature of science and NGSS connections, terrific nonfiction text.

The Long, Long Journey. Sandra Markle. Lerner/Millbrook Press.
The 7,000-mile journey of the Godwit, illustrated, from Alaska to New Zealand.

Meat-Eating Plants. Ellen Lawrence. Bearport Publishing.
Academic vocabulary; appealing photos; does a great job of describing plants.

National Geographic Kids Bird Guide of North America. Jonathan Alderfer. National Geographic Society.
Strong additional nonfiction features and beautiful photos enhance this guide.

National Geographic Kids First Big Book of the Ocean. Catherine D. Hughes. National Geographic Society.
A look at the oceans through the perspective of Earth’s oceans.

Next Time You See a Firefly. Emily Morgan. NSTA Kids/an imprint of NSTA Press.
Fascinating information, with author’s notes; brings inquiry alive.

Next Time You See a Pill Bug. Emily Morgan. NSTA Kids/an imprint of NSTA Press.
In-depth study of a crustacean; bright, bold photography to guide inquiry.

Next Time You See a Sunset. Emily Morgan. NSTA Kids/an imprint of NSTA Press.
Amazing photographs with universal appeal to draw in the reader, illustrating a difficult concept; well-written questions guide study of shadows.

No Monkeys, No Chocolate. Melissa Stewart and Allen Young. Charlesbridge.
An environmental lesson on a rainforest relationship, set off by humor.

Ocean Counting. Janet Lawler. National Geographic Society.
Early primary; a great display of counting and modeling at that level.

On the Move. Scotti Cohn. Sylvan Dell Publishing.
Migration moves the imagination, and also discusses animal behavior.

One Minute Mysteries. Eric Yoder and Natalie Yoder. Science, Naturally!
Listening and argumentation in small segments, prompting inquiry.

Papa’s Mechanical Fish. Candace Fleming. A Margaret Ferguson Book, Farrar, Straus and Giroux Books for Young Readers, an imprint of Macmillan Children’s Publishing Group.
The design and engineering process illustrated in a story based on ingenuity.

A Place for Turtles. Melissa Stewart. Peachtree Publishers.
Diverse habitats, citizen science, and treatment of invasive species.

Primates. Jim Ottaviani. Macmillan Children’s/First Second Roaring Brook Press.
Observes much that has never been recorded before.

Roseate Spoonbill. Stephen Person. Bearport Publishing.
Unique topic highlights with field science the adaptations of and peril to this species.

Scaly Spotted Feathered Frilled. Catherine Thimmesh. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.
Science and art combine; collaboration between scientists.

See What a Seal Can Do. Chris Butterworth. Candlewick Press.
Special text features enhance the informational book.

Seymour Simon’s Extreme Oceans. Seymour Simon. Chronicle Books.
Captivating photographs support treatment of an intriguing topic, including ocean science technology.

Snow School. Sandra Markle. Charlesbridge.
Wonderful language with a unique vocabulary of lessons learned about survival in winter.

Something Stinks. Gail Hedrick. Tumblehome Learning.
Citizen science becomes real in this story about girls who use scientific methods.

Stripes of All Types. Susan Stockdale. Peachtree Publishers.
Great primary book on patterns; features used for defense and camouflage.

Stronger Than Steel. Bridget Heos. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.
Bioengineering, with great photos to illustrate the processes.

The Tapir Scientist. Sy Montgomery. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.
Another book in the award-winning series of real-world science, with great timelines.

Things That Float and Things That Don’t. David A. Adler. Holiday House.
This treatment on density is most appropriate at middle level.

Too Hot? Too Cold? Caroline Arnold. Charlesbridge.
Elementary treatment of heat and temperature, including the survival and adaptations of humans and animals.

Tracking Tyrannosaurs. Christopher Sloan. National Geographic Society.
Great science charts; anatomy takes the treatment to another level and includes size and geologic movement over time.

Ultimate Bugopedia. Darlyne Murawski and Nancy Honovich. National Geographic Society.
A complete reference with photos of diverse species that illustrate them in detail; good reference for research.

Up, Up in a Balloon. Lawrence F. Lowery. NSTA Kids/an imprint of NSTA Press.
Elementary level treatment of ballooning, with emphasis on cooperative engineering.

Volcano Rising. Elizabeth Rusch. Charlesbridge.
Young scientists will enjoy this narrative of volcanoes around the world.

What If You Had Animal Teeth!? Sandra Markle. Scholastic Press/Scholastic Paperbacks.
What if you could have another animal’s teeth? Elementary treatment of adaptations.

What’s In There? Robie H. Harris. Candlewick Press.
This very honest, age-appropriate treatment of pregnancy is best used by parents.

When Rivers Burned. Linda Crotta Brennan. Apprentice Shop Books.
The history of Earth Day teaches an outstanding environmental lesson.

Who Says Women Can’t Be Doctors? Tanya Lee Stone. Macmillan Childen’s/A Christy Ottaviano Book, Henry Holt Books for Young Readers.
Inspiring story of first female doctor in America is relevant today.

Yummy! Shelley Rotner and Sheila M. Kelly. Holiday House.
Visually appetizing nutrition book for early childhood.