I just got my hands on a very interesting book for the younger set: it’s aimed at kids in grades 5-8, and it’s a description of the life and work of a real live scientist, someone who does both field and lab work, and studies development and the effects of environmental toxins on reproduction. The man is Tyrone Hayes at UC Berkeley, and the book is The Frog Scientist(amzn/b&n/abe/pwll), by Pamela Turner. It’s excellent stuff — it humanizes the scientist and also does a very good job of letting kids see what scientists actually do in their research, and why they’re doing it. If you’ve got a young one who’s thinking about being a scientist when she or he grows up, you might want to grab this book as a little inspiring incentive.
Plus it has lots of fabulous photos of frogs. You can’t go wrong.
One other thing: the School Library Journal is having a battle of the books, with a poll to bring a book up into the final round of voting. There’s a shortage of science books in the listing: there’s The Frog Scientist, and another one about Darwin, Charles and Emma, but otherwise, while the other books may be very good (I have heard good things about The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate, and it’s not because it has the word “evolution” in the title), there isn’t much in the way of kid’s books on science. If you’re familiar with any of these, vote!