5 Middle School Science Novels You Don’t Want to Miss

One of my favorite ways to bring science curriculum to life is using novels in the science classroom!

Science novels in the middle school classroom are a great way to help students see science in the real world, extend and enrich the curriculum, and build a love of reading!

These middle school science novels make a great addition to your classroom library or classroom read-alouds!

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I’ve been doing a lot of reading this year and want to share 5 of my new favorite books to use in science class.

1. The Lion of Mars by Jennifer L. Holm

I’ve always wondered what it would be like to live on Mars! This book paints a “realistic” picture of life on the Red Planet.

After reading this book in our school book battle, this is my new favorite science novel for middle school!

This space adventure is a quick read, perfect for a read aloud! (In fact, I’m going to kick off the school year with this one!)

The main character is an 11 year old boy who has lived his entire life on a colony on Mars. When the adults in the colony begin to get mysteriously ill, it is up to the children of the colony to figure out how to save the adults.

The characters in this novel are so relatable to students and the book is filled with scientific information about planet Mars and a fun look at what life could be like someday.

2. A Long Walk to Water by Linda Sue Park

This book tells two intersecting stores of 11 year old Sudan children which take place in two different time periods in Sudan, about 25 years apart. It was an easy read, even though the two stories flip-flop between chapters.

This inspiring story centers around the basic human need of water and the hardships that surround it.

3. I Survived book series

Doing a unit on weather or natural disasters? The “I Survived” book series are quick, captivating, and easy to read.

This bundle includes 5 amazing stories that blend history and science!

  • The Children’s Blizzard, 1888
  • The Titanic Disaster, 1912
  • The Great Boston Molasses Flood, 1919
  • The Japanese Tsunami, 2011
  • The Henryville Tornado, 2012

4. Night of the Twisters by Ivy Ruckman

This book seemed familiar to me when I read it. Then I realized that I read this book in in fifth grade! It’s still as timeless and exciting as I remember!

What I didn’t realize as a child was that this book is realistic fiction based on a tornado outbreak in 1980 that produced series of destructive tornadoes in Grand Island, Nebraska.

The book is written from the perspective of a 12 year old boy and his best friend who live through the “Night of the Twisters.”

Although I haven’t used this in my classroom yet, I’m thinking that this book might inspire some tornado research on the original storm in 1980 and can’t wait to try it!

5. Planet Earth is Blue by Nicole Pantel

I LOVED this book for so many reasons!

The main character is a 12 year old, non-verbal girl with Autism who loves space. The book takes place in the ten days leading up to the Challenger Disaster.

The author did a great job of sprinkling in historic details and space facts throughout the novel.

Planet Earth is Blue would be a great book to introduce during your space unit. You can have students interview adults who remember the Challenger Disaster and compare their experience to the main character in the story.

Planet Earth is Blue discussion guide

Short on Time?

Here’s a few ideas to fit science novels into your middle school classroom.

  • Beginning of class –Begin class with a few pages of the novel to get the class settled and focused.
  • bookIntroduce a unit  – Use the first chapter or excerpt to introduce a new unit.
  • Cross-curricular  –Combine with ELA and have students write short summaries of the novel.
  • Exposure – Select books that are related to your unit of study and read only the first chapter to expose them. Set aside copies in the school library for students to borrow.

Want more middle school science novels?

If you want more science novels for middle school students, check out this previous post where I share 8 more of my favorite science novels!

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