Check out these STEM-inspired children's books featuring Black characters to encourage your reader to dream big this summer! These are also great reads for nurturing a passion for learning before the first day of school in the fall.
"Cookie & Milk: A Scientifically Stunt-tastic Sisterhood" by Michele McAvoy, illustrated by Jessica Gibson
Cookie and Milk are opposites: Cookie enjoys math and science subjects while Milk would rather play sports. Yet, the two best friends are able to bring the best out of each other despite their differences. Through their relationship, McAvoy touches upon the themes of diversity, STEM, and friendship. Watch this read-along from McAvoy!
"Abby Invents Unbreakable Crayons" by Dr. Arlyne Simon, illustrated by Diana Necsulescu
Learn about scientific processes, research, and inventions with Abby as she tries to invent the world's first unbreakable crayons. This is a great story that encourages readers to become problem-solvers. Read-along with Dr. Simon here.
"Indigo Blume and the Garden City" by Kwame Alexander, illustrated by JahSun
Nine-year-old Indigo joins a "Go Green" contest in hopes of building a rooftop garden. Although her friends doubt her idea, she manages to grow a garden and help clean up the community. Indigo's story centers around environmentalism and community building, both great themes to discuss with young readers! Watch this Indigo Blume read-along.
"Mae Among the Stars" by Roda Ahmed, illustrated by Stasia Burrington
Inspired by the first African American Woman who space traveled, Mae Jemison, Mae Among the Stars tells readers that every dream is worth having and believing in as long as you work hard to achieve it. Check out this Mae Among the Stars read-along.
"Look Up With Me: Neil deGrasse Tyson - A Life Among the Stars" by Jennifer Berne, illustrated by Lorraine Nam
Continuing off the theme of space, Berne shares the story of Neil deGrasse Tyson. Before becoming a famous astrophysicist, young Neil had a curiosity for the world beyond the city lights. Learn about Neil's interest in science and the universe with this Look Up With Me read-along.
"Jabari Tries" by Gaia Cornwall
Jabari wants to create a flying machine that soars across his backyard. However, he realizes that invention isn't as easy as he thought it would be. With a little bit of encouragement from his father and his sister, Jabari learns that persistence is all you need to make your dreams a reality. Watch this Jabari Tries read-along.
"Baby Loves Gravity!" by Ruth Spiro, illustrated by Irene Chan
Why does food fall when Baby drops it? Spiro introduces the idea of gravity to even the youngest of readers in Baby Loves Gravity! See a read-along for Baby Loves Gravity.
,"The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind" by William Kamkwamba and Bryan Mealer, illustrated by Elizabeth Zunon
William Kamkwamba's village is suffering from a drought, and everyone is struggling to get by. Without any water or surviving crops, how can the community come together? Follow William as he learns how to build a windmill out of scraps and harness the wind to generate energy for his village. Watch The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind read-along.
"How to Code a Sandcastle" by Josh Funk, illustrated by Sara Palacios
Pearl and Pascal want to make the perfect sandcastle, but they keep getting interrupted! Pearl learns how to break down the problem step by step using coding concepts such as sequences and loops. This book introduces readers to the fun of coding. Here is a How to Code a Sandcastle read-along video.
"Doc Like Daddy" by Dr. Crystal Bowe, illustrated by Jajaf Thompson
Dr. Bowe shows readers how parents can serve as powerful role models. This story inspires children that they can be whatever they want to be! Watch this Doc Like Daddy read-along!
Read to Succeed Asheville/Buncombe (R2S) is a local, independent nonprofit on a mission to help close the