The best books for siblings and scientists

Sarah Marie Jette Author Of What the Wind Can Tell You
By Sarah Marie Jette

Who am I?

I’ve been an elementary school teacher for 14 years. In that time, I’ve read a lot of children’s books. In my classroom, science is one of my students’ favorite subjects. Though they love fantasy and magic, they are inspired by the power of science. Each of the books I’ve recommended is part of my classroom library, is used in a read-aloud or as a mentor text in writing lessons. My students connect with the characters and experience the marvels of science along with them. These books are some of their favorites.

I wrote...

What the Wind Can Tell You

By Sarah Marie Jette,

Book cover of What the Wind Can Tell You

What is my book about?

Isabelle is fascinated by wind. And this year, she's determined to win the middle school science fair with her wind machine. She's just as determined to have her brother, Julian, who has a severe form of epilepsy and uses a wheelchair, serve as her assistant. But after Julian has a grand seizure, everything changes. Isabelle is suddenly granted entry into Las Brisas, a magical world where Julian's physical limitations disappear, and one, she discovers, that he visits every night. The more Isabelle explores Las Brisas, the more possibilities she sees―for Julian, and for herself―and the more she finds herself at odds with her parents.

Debut author Sarah Marie A. Jette has told, with remarkable insight and humor, a powerful story of a family struggling to love without fear.

The books I picked & why

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Down to Earth

By Betty Culley,

Book cover of Down to Earth

Why this book?

Betty Culley writes the most beautiful books. Down to Earth is about a boy named Henry who watches a meteor fall from the sky. It crashes onto the land owned by his family and causes some magical changes in his community. Some people fear it, others want to use the meteor for profit. As I read the book, I learned so much about meteors and nature, but also about love, family, and friendship.

Maya and the Robot

By Eve L. Ewing, Christine Almeda (illustrator),

Book cover of Maya and the Robot

Why this book?

Maya loves science and has been counting the days until she can present at the 5th grade science fair. However, it doesn’t turn out as she hopes… Presenting at the science fair may be the moment Maya has always dreamed of, but, the journey leading her there is a heart-warming adventure. Over the course of the story, Maya builds a robot, helps her friend Mr. Mac at his store, and navigates her first school year separated from her two best friends. Maya's love of science is contagious, as is the joy in this book.

The Care and Feeding of a Pet Black Hole

By Michelle Cuevas,

Book cover of The Care and Feeding of a Pet Black Hole

Why this book?

Stella is grieving the death of her father. When a black hole follows her home one day, Stella is able to hide away all the memories she hopes to forget. In this touching and funny tale, Stella and her brother come together in their sadness. Yes, it is a story of grief, but it is also a story centered on science. I learned a lot about black holes in this book and there’s enough space jokes and puns to keep all space nerds laughing for days.

We Dream of Space

By Erin Entrada Kelly,

Book cover of We Dream of Space

Why this book?

We Dream of Space is set in the month leading up to the Challenger disaster. The three main characters are siblings navigating their own troubles while their parents constantly fight. Each chapter is told from either Cash, Bird, or Fitch’s perspective. The siblings don’t seem to have a lot in common, besides their science teacher, Ms. Salonga, whose lessons center on the Challenger shuttle launch. When it seems like the siblings have lost themselves, and lost each other, they come together in the face of the tragedy. The story is layered with science. And the undeniable bond between Cash, Bird, and Fitch reads true.

Black Brother, Black Brother

By Jewell Parker Rhodes,

Book cover of Black Brother, Black Brother

Why this book?

Black Brother, Black Brother doesn’t have science as its main focus, unless you consider the sport of fencing as a science. I’m including this book because of the complexity of the sibling relationship. Trey is white, popular, and athletic. Donte is black and bullied at his school. Even though they share the same parents (Civil Rights lawyer mom and, and computer architect dad), their experiences in school and in the world are completely different because of their skin color. Dante finds his place, his confidence, and himself when he takes up fencing with the help of an inspiring coach. 

I am half-Mexican. My siblings present as white, I do not. This story touched on the many complexities faced by siblings who are physically different -- as with me and my siblings, and with the characters in my book.

5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in change, fencing, and twins?

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And, 3 books we think you will enjoy!

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