Reading List

Nonfiction

Animal Robots
by Erika Shores

This book provides good examples of real-world robots.

A Computer Called Katherine: How Katherine Johnson Helped Put America on the Moon
by Suzanne Slade (author) & Veronica Miller Jamison (illustrator) 

This biography of Katherine Johnson, a NASA mathematician, is filled with beautiful pictures and inspirational text that will encourage kids to reach for their goals.

Grace Hopper: Queen of Computer Code
by Laurie Wallmark (author) & Katy Wu (illustrator) 

Introduces one of the most famous women in computer science, who wrote one of the first programming languages and coined the term “computer bug.”

Hidden Figures: The True Story of Four Black Women and the Space Race
by Margot Lee Shetterly (author) & Laura Freeman (illustrator)

This book introduces readers to Dorothy Vaughan, Mary Jackson, Katherine Johnson, and Christine Darden, and their once-hidden contributions to space exploration.

Humanoid Robots: Running into the Future
by Kathryn Clay

This short book describes specific humanoid robots that have been built and shows how they have evolved over time. It also provides robot facts and defines words that students may not already know. Humanoid Robots would be a great book to allow students to read on their own. It would also work well as a read aloud, as there are plenty of stopping points for discussion.

Margaret and the Moon
by Dean Robbins (author) & Lucy Knisley (illustrator) 

A great introduction to pioneering software engineer Margaret Hamilton, who wrote the code that saved NASA’s first lunar landing.

National Geographic Readers: Robots
by Melissa Stewart

This book from National Geographic Kids provides students with information about robots. It discusses how they work and what robots can do for us. This is a great introductory informational text, as it briefly touches on several aspects of robotics rather that discussing any one topic in depth.

Robots at Your Service
by Kathryn Clay

This book will teach students about how robots are used in everyday life. It discusses how robots can work to complete jobs such as building electronic devices in factories and performing difficult surgeries in hospitals. It also talks about some everyday robots that can help people to do things like mow their lawns or vacuum their homes.

Robots in Space
by Kathryn Clay

This book provides good examples of real-world robots.

Robots Slither
by Ryan Ann Hunter
(author) & Julia Gorton (illustrator)

This book talks about all of the different things that robots can do, from deep sea dives to smiling. Showing the range of tasks that robots can complete can help students to see the value in learning about robotics and how it may apply in their areas of interest.

Tiny Robots
by Kathryn Clay

This book provides good examples of real-world robots.

Fiction

Beautiful Oops!
by Barney Saltzberg

This is a story that can help students to see that making mistakes is not a bad thing. It illustrates how your mistakes can be used to create something beautiful and new that you didn’t expect.

Doll-E 1.0
by Shanda McCloskey

An enjoyable and engaging story with a plucky heroine that combines technology with creative play. Filled with vivid illustrations, Charlotte and her canine sidekick Bluetooth both entertain and delight.

The Girl Who Never Made Mistakes
by Mark Pett & Gary Rubinstein

This is a good book for teaching students that making mistakes is okay and that the fear of making a mistake can lead us to live less-than-extraordinary lives.

Hello Ruby
by Linda Liukas

This three-book series teaches computer science concepts as part picture book and part creative activity book. In the first book, Adventures in Coding, kids are introduced to computational thinking ideas. The second book, Journey Inside the Computer, covers an introduction to computer software and hardware. The third book, Expedition to the Internet, explains the basics behind the internet in the same playful fashion.

How to Code a Sandcastle
by Josh Funk (author) & Sara Palacios (illustrator)

A little girl named Pearl builds a sandcastle by breaking down her task into small steps and giving her robot Pascal instructions using code. This picture book from the non-profit Girls Who Code explores fundamental coding concepts and is a great introduction to computer science.

The Most Magnificent Thing
by Ashley Spires

The main character in this book decides that she is going to make something magnificent, but wants to give up when she fails at first. However, her dog encourages her to keep trying, and she is able to achieve her goals. This book can help students to see the value in perseverance. The girl in the book also looks back on her past failures and finds bits and pieces of each one that worked. This aspect of the book shows students that they can learn something from their mistakes.

Oh No!: Or How My Science Project Destroyed the World
by Mac Barnett (author) & Dan Santat (illustrator)

In this book, the main character talks about things that she wishes she had done, like teaching her robot to read; then she designs a robot that fixes these problems. This is a good book for talking about thinking a problem the whole way through and making revisions.

Robot Zot!
by Jon Scieszka (author) & David Shannon (illustrator)

This fun and sometimes silly book draws attention to some everyday machines that students may not think of as robots. Showing students where robots are used during one’s normal routine, not just for special tasks or in labs, can help them to understand how robots are becoming more prevalent and how they apply to real life.

Rosie Revere, Engineer
by Andrea Beaty (author) & David Roberts (illustrator)

This book emphasizes the importance of persistence and encourages kids to keep trying when things don’t work perfectly the first time. This would make a good read aloud before a CS project, as it reminds students of the value in revising again and again, until their program is just right.

Rosie Revere and the Raucous Riveters
by Andrea Beaty (author) & David Roberts (illustrator)

Rosie is helping her grandma and friends, who were riveters in WWII, with a new invention. But despite all her efforts Rosie just can’t make her engineering project work! This chapter book shares lessons around teamwork, the importance of taking breaks, overcoming frustration, and the power of perseverance.

Rox’s Secret Code
by Mara Lecocq (author), Nathan Archambault (author), & Jessika von Innerebner (author)

A fun tale of a young coder and her runaway robot creations. In addition to an inspiring and plucky heroine, this book offers an associated app that teaches coding principles.

Thanks for the Feedback, I Think
by Julia Cook (author) & Kelsey De Weerd (illustrator)

This would be a good book to read aloud before beginning any project. It can help students learn how to give feedback that is helpful and constructive, how to take feedback from others, and how to use feedback to make improvements in the future.

What Do You Do with an Idea?
by Kobi Yamada (author) & Mae Besom (illustrator)

This book encourages children to take hold of their ideas and pursue them, no matter how big, strange, or difficult they may be.