Take 5: Weird Science
I recently received a special grant from my Friends of the Library grant to update our YA collection. They tacked on an additional $500.00 with the challenge that they wanted me to add more math and science related books in the collection. So the challenge was this: Can you find some YA titles that talk about science and math? Here are my Take 5; 5 ya titles with enough science to meet the bill but action, adventure and more . . .
For nonfiction titles, I am a huge fan of the Basher Science books (found here). They are definitely aimed at the younger end of the YA spectrum in terms of layout and design BUT you can’t beat them for their simple, straightforward presentation of the information. They won’t give you in depth information for a report, but they will help you understand the basics and serve as a great ready reference tool for your basic questions. I bought a collection of these for my tween at home for a really good price through the Scholastic book fair (which I love and The Mr. hates because of what it does to his wallet).
In addition, here are 5 of my favorite YA fiction titles that have just enough science in them to fit the bill and get teens thinking while providing quality thrills, chills and just a dash of romance.
Unwind and Unwholly by Neal Shusterman
This is a great dystopian read with a look at what a future where parents can decide to “unwind” their children may look like. In Unwholly, out this year and amazing, they also dabble in creating a modern day Frankenstein. Unwind is one of my favorite dystopians, out before dystopians were all the rage.
BZRK by Michael Grant
Nanotechnology: What can we do with it? What should we do with it? This is a great guy read. Mature content. I am looking forward to the sequel, I really liked this one. Read my full review here.
Virals and Seizures by Kathy Reichs
A group of teens live on a secluded island where their parents are all scientists. Like those meddling kids from Scooby Doo, these teens just can’t keep their nose out of things and in the process of trying to solve an old missing persons case they find their lives forever changed – literally. This series is popular with my teens. I read book 1 and it was a decent read.
What’s Left of Me by Kat Zhang
In this vision of the future, each body is born with two souls with the expectation that only one of them will remain. The recessive soul is expected to “settle.” But what happens when they don’t? Is there a scientific cure? I just finished this book and will be reviewing it in a few days. In the end, it is definitely recommended.
Delirium and Pandemonium by Lauren Oliver
Can we alter teenagers, cut the part out of them that makes them able to love? In Lauren Oliver’s brilliant dystopian, the future has declared love a disease and all teens undergo a surgery that renders them cured from its curse. Moving, brilliant, and thought provoking. This is a must read.
And of course, Origin by Jessica Khoury.
Filed under: BZRK, Collection Development, Jessica Khoury, Kat Zhang, Kathy Reichs, Lauren Oliver, Mad Science, Michael Grant, Neal Shusterman, Reader's Advisory, Scholastic, Science, Science Fiction, Seizures, Virals
About Karen Jensen, MLS
Karen Jensen has been a Teen Services Librarian for almost 30 years. She created TLT in 2011 and is the co-editor of The Whole Library Handbook: Teen Services with Heather Booth (ALA Editions, 2014).
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