65 books like Wood, Wire, Wings

By Kirsten Larson, Tracy Subisak (illustrator),

Here are 65 books that Wood, Wire, Wings fans have personally recommended if you like Wood, Wire, Wings. Shepherd is a community of 11,000+ authors and super readers sharing their favorite books with the world.

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Book cover of Queen of Physics: How Wu Chien Shiung Helped Unlock the Secrets of the Atom

Andi Diehn Author Of Forces: Physical Science for Kids

From my list on children’s books about physics.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have always been fascinated by how the world works. What gives gravity so much power? Why is it easier to lift things with levers and pulleys? Why do we have electricity inside of our own bodies?! The world is amazing. My job editing nonfiction books for kids puts me on the front lines of some of the smartest science writing out there. While I had no hand in the making of the following five picture books about physics, they are still some of my favorites because of the way they peel back the mysterious layers of the world to show us the science hidden in our daily lives.

Andi's book list on children’s books about physics

Andi Diehn Why did Andi love this book?

A book that encompasses both the study of science and the role of women in the world, this beautiful picture book explores the life of Wu Chien Shiung, a Chinese American scientist who worked in particle and nuclear physics during a time when women weren’t encouraged to have scientific careers.

By Teresa Robeson, Rebecca Huang (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

5 authors picked Queen of Physics as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

When Wu Chien Shiung was born in China 100 years ago, girls did not attend school; no one considered them as smart as boys. But her parents felt differently. Naming their daughter "Courageous Hero," they encouraged her love of learning and science. This engaging biography follows Wu Chien Shiung as she battles sexism at home and racism in the United States to become what Newsweek magazine called the "Queen of Physics" for her work on how atoms split. Along the way, she earned the admiration of famous scientists like Enrico Fermi and Robert Oppenheimer and became the first woman hired…


Book cover of Classified: The Secret Career of Mary Golda Ross, Cherokee Aerospace Engineer

Laurie Wallmark Author Of Code Breaker, Spy Hunter: How Elizebeth Friedman Changed the Course of Two World Wars

From my list on biographies of women in STEM.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve always loved math and science. When I decided to become a writer, I knew I wanted to share this love with children through my writing. Did I know I would one day have five published picture book biographies of women in STEM and three more on the way? Absolutely not. I feel fortunate I’ve had the opportunity to tell the stories of many unsung women scientists and mathematicians. To this end, I keep an ever-growing, ever-changing list of possible subjects for future biographies.

Laurie's book list on biographies of women in STEM

Laurie Wallmark Why did Laurie love this book?

What do you think of when you picture an aerospace engineer? It’s probably some white guy in a white shirt. A native woman certainly doesn’t fit that stereotype, but that didn’t matter to Mary Gold Ross. It’s so rare to see books biographies about people who are Native working in STEM, yet representation matters.

By Traci Sorell, Natasha Donovan (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Classified as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 8, 9, 10, and 11.

What is this book about?

Discover the story of how a math-loving girl blazed a trail for herself and others in this American Indian Library Association Youth Literature Award Honor Picture Book, Classified: Secret Career of Mary Golda Ross, a biography for children ages 7 – 11

Mary Golda Ross designed classified airplanes and spacecraft as Lockheed Aircraft Corporation's first female engineer. Find out how her passion for math and the Cherokee values she was raised with shaped her life and work.

Cherokee author Traci Sorell and Métis illustrator Natasha Donovan trace Ross's journey from being the only girl in a high school math class…


Book cover of Whoosh! Lonnie Johnson's Super-Soaking Stream of Inventions

Kerry Aradhya Author Of Ernő Rubik and His Magic Cube

From my list on nonfiction picture books with inventions kids love.

Why am I passionate about this?

Not long ago, while rummaging through old storage containers in our garage, I came across a board game I had invented during elementary school. But I hadn’t made it for a school project or because anyone had asked me to make it. I had made it simply because I was passionate about creating…and I still am. As a children’s author, science editor, and dancer, I am fascinated by the creative process. I chose these books because they depict many of the ups, downs, and often unexpected outcomes of the creative process, all within the context of inventions for kids!

Kerry's book list on nonfiction picture books with inventions kids love

Kerry Aradhya Why did Kerry love this book?

People are drawn to books when they can see themselves in the characters, even if the characters are very different from them. With this book, I immediately identified with the young Lonnie Johnson, who loved to tinker and could never find enough space for his creative materials! 

In Lonnie’s case, his materials were rocket kits, bolts, screws, and junkyard treasures, so it’s no wonder he grew up to be an engineer and inventor. Kids will be inspired by his abundance of ideas, grit, and determination to solve any challenge that gets in his way!

By Chris Barton, Don Tate (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

4 authors picked Whoosh! Lonnie Johnson's Super-Soaking Stream of Inventions as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Celebrate the inventor of the Super Soaker in this inspiring picture book biography about Lonnie Johnson, the maker behind one of the world's favorite toys.

 
You know the Super Soaker. It’s one of top twenty toys of all time. And it was invented entirely by accident. Trying to create a new cooling system for refrigerators and air conditioners, impressive inventor Lonnie Johnson instead created the mechanics for the iconic toy.
 
A love for rockets, robots, inventions, and a mind for creativity began early in Lonnie Johnson’s life. Growing up in a house full of brothers and sisters, persistence and a…


Book cover of The Diamond and the Boy: The Creation of Diamonds & the Life of H. Tracy Hall

Vivian Kirkfield Author Of From Here to There: Inventions That Changed the Way the World Moves

From my list on budding inventors.

Why am I passionate about this?

As a child, I loved stories about people who accomplished extraordinary things – I read our set of encyclopedias from cover to cover. Those first forays into research stood me in good stead when I started writing nonfiction picture books about people who believed that nothing is impossible if you can imagine it – people like Robert Goddard who climbed a cherry tree when he was 13 and looked at the moon and decided he was going to build a vehicle that could take people there. As a teacher and as a parent, I read picture books on a daily basis, and as a writer for children, I love sparking the curiosity of young readers.

Vivian's book list on budding inventors

Vivian Kirkfield Why did Vivian love this book?

We often tell our children that they are like precious jewels – and this story shows them how the struggles of nature and the struggles of life can hone a rock…and a person…into something glorious! I love how the author shows the process that creates a natural diamond side by side with the process that created the person who invented the first machine to produce industrial diamonds. This true story of the author’s grandfather includes vibrant back matter to inform the reader without slowing down the gripping and heartfelt narrative. My favorite books unfold with stories about true people who persevered against immense challenges – and The Diamond and the Boy checks every box.

By Hannah Holt, Jay Fleck (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Diamond and the Boy as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 4, 5, 6, and 7.

What is this book about?

Told in a unique dual-narrative format, The Diamond and the Boy follows the stories of both natural diamond creation and the life of H. Tracy Hall, the inventor of a revolutionary diamond-making machine. Perfect for fans of Rosie Revere, Engineer, and On a Beam of Light: A Story of Albert Einstein. This nonfiction picture book is an excellent choice to share during homeschooling, in particular for children ages 4 to 6. It’s a fun way to learn to read and as a supplement for activity books for children.

Before a diamond is a gem, it’s a common gray rock called…


Book cover of ADA Byron Lovelace & the Thinking Machine

Vivian Kirkfield Author Of From Here to There: Inventions That Changed the Way the World Moves

From my list on budding inventors.

Why am I passionate about this?

As a child, I loved stories about people who accomplished extraordinary things – I read our set of encyclopedias from cover to cover. Those first forays into research stood me in good stead when I started writing nonfiction picture books about people who believed that nothing is impossible if you can imagine it – people like Robert Goddard who climbed a cherry tree when he was 13 and looked at the moon and decided he was going to build a vehicle that could take people there. As a teacher and as a parent, I read picture books on a daily basis, and as a writer for children, I love sparking the curiosity of young readers.

Vivian's book list on budding inventors

Vivian Kirkfield Why did Vivian love this book?

Picture books are a unique genre because there are really three people who participate in telling the story – the author, the illustrator, and the children who are reading and/or listening. With each page turn, ADA Byron Lovelace and the Thinking Machine brings us to another time and allows us to become part of that history – a time before computers and other electronic devices proliferated our lives and before women in science were accepted. The lush illustrations and the lyrical text capture my heart each time I read this book, and I love how we get a small peek into the life of the main character’s famous parents, Lord Byron, and Lady Anne Isabella Milbanke.

By Laurie Wallmark, April Chu (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked ADA Byron Lovelace & the Thinking Machine as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Ada Lovelace, the daughter of the famous romantic poet, Lord Byron, develops her creativity through science and math. When she meets Charles Babbage, the inventor of the first mechanical computer, Ada understands the machine better than anyone else and writes the world's first computer program in order to demonstrate its capabilities.


Book cover of Patricia's Vision: The Doctor Who Saved Sight

Vivian Kirkfield Author Of From Here to There: Inventions That Changed the Way the World Moves

From my list on budding inventors.

Why am I passionate about this?

As a child, I loved stories about people who accomplished extraordinary things – I read our set of encyclopedias from cover to cover. Those first forays into research stood me in good stead when I started writing nonfiction picture books about people who believed that nothing is impossible if you can imagine it – people like Robert Goddard who climbed a cherry tree when he was 13 and looked at the moon and decided he was going to build a vehicle that could take people there. As a teacher and as a parent, I read picture books on a daily basis, and as a writer for children, I love sparking the curiosity of young readers.

Vivian's book list on budding inventors

Vivian Kirkfield Why did Vivian love this book?

Having experienced several eye operations, I really connected with this story about a female African American ophthalmologist who pioneered laser surgery and received a patent for the ingenious device used to perform the delicate procedure of removing cataracts. An important book on so many layers, Patricia's Vision is a mirror for children in marginalized groups to see themselves as successful professionals, a window for other children to observe a diverse person in the role of an inventor and a doctor, and a sliding glass door for all to envision their own endless possibilities. The story also shows how young Patricia Bath grew up with hopes and dreams, and plans of what might be – and it will empower young readers today to build their dreams into reality.

By Michelle Lord, Alleanna Harris (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Patricia's Vision as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The inspiring story of Dr Patricia Bath, a groundbreaking ophthalmologist who pioneered laser surgery - and gave her patients the gift of sight. Born in the 1940s, Patricia Bath dreamed of being an ophthalmologist at a time when becoming a doctor wasn't a career option for most women, especially African-American women. This empowering biography follows Dr Bath in her quest to save and restore sight to the blind, and her decision to "choose miracles" when everyone else had given up hope. Along the way, she co-founded the American Institute for the Prevention of Blindness, invented a specialised laser for removing…


Book cover of Joan Procter, Dragon Doctor: The Woman Who Loved Reptiles

Karlin Gray Author Of Anne and Her Tower of Giraffes

From my list on picture-book biographies for young animal lovers.

Why am I passionate about this?

I write picture-book biographies and my latest book focuses on the first giraffologist, Dr. Anne Innis Dagg. While researching this book, I learned about so many people who have dedicated their lives to studying and protecting animals. Almost always, their love of wildlife began in childhood. So why not inspire young animal lovers today with true stories about people who share their passion for wildlife?

Karlin's book list on picture-book biographies for young animal lovers

Karlin Gray Why did Karlin love this book?

There is so much to love about this biography on scientist Joan Procter—from a girl having a tea party with lizards... to her journey of becoming a scientist and curator... to her alliance with real-life dragons! And every spread of this book slithers with stunning reptiles thanks to illustrator Felicita Sala. In the back matter, readers learn that the zoologist died at the young age of 34 due to complications from a chronic illness. But because of this inspirational biography, Procter’s story—and love of reptiles—will live on and on in the minds of young readers. 

By Patricia Valdez, Felicita Sala (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

4 authors picked Joan Procter, Dragon Doctor as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 4, 5, 6, and 7.

What is this book about?

Back in the days of long skirts and afternoon teas, young Joan Procter entertained the most unusual party guests: slithery and scaly ones, who turned over teacups and crawled past the crumpets... While other girls played with dolls, Joan preferred the company of reptiles. She carried her favorite lizard with her everywhere - she even brought a crocodile to school!

When Joan grew older, she became the Curator of Reptiles at the Natural History Museum. She went on to design the Reptile House at the London Zoo, including a home for the rumored-to-be-vicious komodo dragons. There, just like when she…


Book cover of Emmy Noether: The Most Important Mathematician You've Never Heard of

Mara Rockliff Author Of Try It! How Frieda Caplan Changed the Way We Eat

From my list on biographies of Jewish women.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am a children’s author best known for digging up fascinating, often funny stories about famous people—and forgotten people who deserve to be famous again. After a trip to Israel with the PJ Library program, which sends free books each month to hundreds of thousands of Jewish children and their families, I was spurred to find out more about the many brilliant, bold, creative, persistent, and too often unsung Jewish women who have made a difference in our world.

Mara's book list on biographies of Jewish women

Mara Rockliff Why did Mara love this book?

This might be the most important picture book biography I’d never heard of. Why do all of us know Albert Einstein but not Emmy Noether, who sewed up a hole in his theory of relativity and went on to a discovery that transformed physics? Three guesses why. Like every account of the many brilliant women of STEM who were barred from classrooms, denied degrees, refused fair pay, and robbed of credit for accomplishments, Emmy’s story is often enraging. Add a narrow escape from the Nazis followed by a tragically early death, and you might not expect a fun read. But Becker and Rust manage to inject plenty of kid-friendly humor, and the scientific explanations were so clear and colorful that even I could (almost) understand. 

By Helaine Becker, Kari Rust (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Emmy Noether as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 6, 7, 8, and 9.

What is this book about?

In this engaging and inspiring biography, a groundbreaking but relatively unknown woman finally gets her due as one of the most influential mathematicians of the twentieth century.

Emmy Noether is not pretty, quiet, good at housework or eager to marry --- all the things a German girl is expected to be in her time. What she is, though, is a genius at math. When she grows up, she finds a way to first study math at a university (by sitting in, not actually enrolling) and then to teach it (by doing so for free). She also manages to do her…


Book cover of How to Code a Sandcastle

Vicky Fang Author Of Invent-a-Pet

From my list on inspiring girls in STEM.

Why am I passionate about this?

I love encouraging kids to explore engineering, design, and technology! I am a former Google product designer for kids and families. I started writing to address a growing need for coding education, particularly for girls and kids of color. Stories are a wonderful way to demonstrate concepts and to invite kids to approach STEM with creativity and imagination. I picked a range of books for this post, from non-fiction to fantastic, because different kids will respond to different kinds of stories. Through these books, I hope that kids will find inspiration and tools for creative problem-solving, for STEM and beyond.

Vicky's book list on inspiring girls in STEM

Vicky Fang Why did Vicky love this book?

Josh Funk and illustrator Sara Palacios bring fun into coding with this cute picture book. Pearl and her robot figure out how to build a sandcastle using basic coding concepts such as commands, loops, and functions. It’s a wonderful introduction to code with a fun story that kids will enjoy. You can also check out another adventure with Pearl and her robot in How to Code a Rollercoaster.

By Josh Funk, Sara Palacios (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked How to Code a Sandcastle as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 4, 5, 6, and 7.

What is this book about?

Pearl and her trusty rust-proof robot, Pascal, need to build a sandcastle before summer vacation is over, and they're going to do it using code. Pearl breaks the big we-need-a-sandcastle problem into smaller steps, then uses sequences, loops, and other basic coding concepts to tell Pascal exactly what to do. There are a lot of humorous mishaps along the way, but just when it looks like the sandcastle might never get built, Pearl uses her coding skills to save the day and create something even better: a gorgeous sandcastle kingdom!


Book cover of Bracelets for Bina's Brothers

Vicky Fang Author Of Invent-a-Pet

From my list on inspiring girls in STEM.

Why am I passionate about this?

I love encouraging kids to explore engineering, design, and technology! I am a former Google product designer for kids and families. I started writing to address a growing need for coding education, particularly for girls and kids of color. Stories are a wonderful way to demonstrate concepts and to invite kids to approach STEM with creativity and imagination. I picked a range of books for this post, from non-fiction to fantastic, because different kids will respond to different kinds of stories. Through these books, I hope that kids will find inspiration and tools for creative problem-solving, for STEM and beyond.

Vicky's book list on inspiring girls in STEM

Vicky Fang Why did Vicky love this book?

This adorable picture book by Rajani LaRocca and illustrated by Chaaya Prabhat is about a girl named Bina who wants to make bracelets for her brothers for Raksha Bandhan, a Hindu holiday. Through this sweet story, the book explores patterns and sequences, introducing kids to math concepts in a fun and playful way.

By Rajani LaRocca, Chaaya Prabhat (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Bracelets for Bina's Brothers as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Celebrate diversity, math, and the power of storytelling!

For the Hindu holiday of Raksha Bandhan, Bina is determined to make beaded bracelets for her brothers all by herself. She finds out which colors her brothers like and dislike and sets to work. Working with her every-other-one beading pattern causes Bina to discover something new about patterns--and her brothers.

Storytelling Math celebrates children using math in their daily adventures as they play, build, and discover the world around them. Joyful stories and hands-on activities make it easy for kids and their grown-ups to explore everyday math together. Developed in collaboration with…


5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in pilots, aeronautics, and the Wright brothers?

11,000+ authors have recommended their favorite books and what they love about them. Browse their picks for the best books about pilots, aeronautics, and the Wright brothers.

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