Engineers Week takes place February 20 – 26 and is a great opportunity to interest young people in engineering and technology careers.
These pictures books will help inspire preschool-early elementary ages, while the elementary-age books below are for older readers.
Picture Books for Preschool and Early Elementary:
Rosie may seem quiet during the day, but at night, she’s a brilliant inventor of gizmos and gadgets who dreams of becoming a great engineer. When her Great-Great-Aunt Rose (Rosie the Riveter) comes for a visit and mentions her one unfinished goal, Rosie sets to work building a contraption to make her aunt’s dream come true.
Sarah E. Goode was one of the first African-American women to get a U.S. patent. Working in her furniture store, she recognized a need for a multi-use bed and through hard work, ingenuity, and determination, invented her unique cupboard bed.
Jabari Tries by Gaia Cornwall
Jabari is making a flying machine in his backyard! “It’ll be easy. I don’t need any help,” he declares. But it doesn’t work! Jabari is frustrated. Good thing Dad is there for a pep talk and his little sister, Nika, is there to assist, fairy wings and all.
Follow-up: Jabari Jumps, about overcoming fears.
A little girl has a wonderful idea. With the help of her canine assistant, she is going to make the most magnificent thing! She knows just how it will look. She knows just how it will work. But making the most magnificent thing turns out to be harder than she thinks.
What Do You Do With An Idea? by Kobi Yamada
A boy has an idea which makes him uncomfortable at first, but he discovers it is magical and that, no matter what other people say, he should give it his attention.
If I Built a House by Chris Van Dusen
Imaginative Jack describes the kind of house he would build – one with a racetrack, a flying room, and a gigantic slide.
Follow-up: If I Built a School – available in OverDrive as an eBook
Papa’s Mechanical Fish by Candace Fleming
In the summer of 1851, with encouragement and ideas provided by his family, an inventor builds a working submarine and takes his family for a ride. Includes notes about Lodner Phillips, the real inventor on whom the story is based.
In this adaptation of the Little Red Hen fable, Ruby wants to build a fort, but her three brothers refuse to help, so when the fort is finished, Ruby will not let them join her – until the boys come up with a few embellishments for the fort, like a mailbox, a garden, and a fresh coat of paint.
Follow-up: The Little Blue Bridge by the same author.
Boxitects by Kim Smith
Meg loves to create things from cardboard boxes, deeming herself a boxitect. When a new student joins her maker school, she discovers she’s a boxitect too. Can the two girls learn to work together?
The Dumpster Diver by Janet S. Wong
Once a month – every week in the summer – Steve the electrician dons special gear and, with the help of youngsters who live in his building, dives into a dumpster seeking useful objects that they can transform into imaginative new ones.
Chronicles the life and achievements of the NASA engineer and inventor, from his childhood to his accidental invention of the Super Soaker water gun.
Books for Elementary Readers:
Engineered!: Engineering Design at Work by Shannon Hunt
This book explores nine feats of engineering and the step-by-step process that engineers followed to get to a winning solution.
Mary Golda Ross designed classified projects for Lockheed Aircraft Corporation as the company’s first female engineer. Find out how her passion for math and the Cherokee values she was raised with shaped her life and work.
The Book of Massively Epic Engineering Disasters by Sean Connolly
Provides step-by-step instructions for experiments using readily obtainable materials that demonstrate scientific principles related to engineering disasters.
Skyscrapers: The Heights of Engineering by John Kerschbaum
This graphic novel presents a history of the skyscraper, examining how they are designed and the science involved in building them.
Follow-up: Skyscrapers! With 25 Activities for Kids
The Apollo Missions for Kids: The People and Engineering Behind the Race to the Moon: With 21 Activities by Jerome Pohlen
The story behind the historic race to the moon, from the perspective of the Americans who lived it – the astronauts and their families, the controllers and engineers, the technicians and politicians who made the impossible possible.
Ellie, Engineer by Jackson Pearce
In this chapter book, when Ellie, who loves to invent and build things, decides to build a doghouse as a gift, she needs to get past the boys-against-the-girls neighborhood feud and ask for help.
A chapter-book follow-up to the picture book, Rosie Revere, Engineer. When Rosie is unable to invent a contraption to help one of Aunt Rose’s friends, she calls on classmates Iggy Peck and Ada Twist to help.
Follow-up: Ada Twist and the Perilous Pants
The Incredible Work of Engineers with Max Axiom, Super Scientist by Agnieszka Biskup
Max Axiom has a mission. The National Space Agency wants to build a lunar colony, but it needs a team of top-notch engineers to get the job done. Join Max as he scours the globe to learn about incredible engineers and the amazing things they do.
Follow-up: Super Cool Construction Activities with Max Axiom by Tammy Enz, available as an eBook in hoopla.
Cardboard Box Engineering by Jonathan Adolph
Working with simple household tools, kids can follow the step-by-step photographic instructions to exercise their design smarts, expand their 3D thinking, and learn the basics of physics and engineering with activities that have real-life applications.
The Unofficial Guide to Engineering in Minecraft by Sam Keppeler
Why do people build with arches? Why do we use stone in some places and wood in others? What’s a foundation? How do you plan a road or construct a bridge? The answers to these questions can help gamers in Minecraft and in the real world!
Structural Engineering – Learn It, Try It! by Tammy Enz
Have you ever stared in wonder at a huge suspension bridge or a towering sky scraper? Then structural engineering might just be the career path for you! Learn the basics from a real-life expert and get some hands-on experience.