AIE’s Smart Summer Reading List

Welcome to our first blog post!

Adventures in Engineering’s smart summer reading list is back to give your STEAM-loving children awesome suggestions on books to keep them engaged and learning this summer!

Take a look at all 20 books on our list! Whether your child loves chapter books or picture books, has a thirst for some non-fiction knowledge, or just wants something to do, our list has the perfect books for you!

For your convenience, please click on a book’s image to take you to its link on for purchase. Please remember to designate Adventures in Engineering as your Amazon Smile non-profit!

Add your comment to the blog with your recommendations on additional STEAM books as well – we would love to hear from you!






By Prudence Breitrose

In this fast-paced, hilarious novel, mice are more evolved than humans imagine, and they want to get their paws on the Thumbtop, a tiny computer invented by ten-year-old Meghan. If you like computers, action, and a mouse leader named The Big Cheese, this book is for you!


the wild robot

The Wild Robot

By Peter Brown

Imagine being stranded alone on an island, surrounded by unfamiliar plants and vicious animals…and you’re a robot. This survival story follows Roz and her struggle to forget her haunting past and adapt to her dangerous present.


nerd camp

Nerd Camp

By Elissa Brent Wissman

This fun read follows middle-schooler Gabe as he heads off to a six week sleepaway camp at the Summer Center for Gifted Enrichment. Amidst the math and puzzle solving, Gabe begins to wonder if his soon-to-be step brother Zack, who hails from trendy Los Angeles, thinks he is a geek. After Gabe experiences a wild adventure at camp, they realize they really aren’t so different.



Escape From Mr. Lemoncello’s Library

By Chris Grabenstein

Kyle Keeley, the #1 fan of renowned gamemaker Luigi Lemoncello, is in for the adventure of a lifetime when he participates in the grand opening of a public library designed by Mr. Lemoncello, but then must solve clues and puzzles so that he can escape!


franny k stein

The Franny K. Stein Series

By Jim Benton

Follow Franny along on all of her wild, mad scientist adventures in this complete series of the beloved children’s novels!


jake drake

Jake Drake, Know It All

By Andrew Clements

This book in the Jake Drake series shows how Jake, incented by an awesome prize, enters the science fair, and ends up learning a lot about friendship, as well as electromagnetism!


your very own robot

Your Very Own Robot

By R.A. Montgomery

In this choose-your-own-adventure book, you decide what happens next after you discover some robot parts that your inventor parents have thrown in the trash! What will happen to the robot you’ve created?




the most magnificent thing

The Most Magnificent Thing

By Ashley Spires

A charming story about a little girl, her canine sidekick, and the importance of perseverance to achieve success.


how big is a million

How Big is a Million?

By Anna Milbourne

Follow Pipkin the tiny penguin as he meets new friends and sees 1,000 snowflakes on his quest to find out, “How big is a million?” The story is beautifully complemented with illustrations by Serena Riglietti, the artist behind the Italian editions of the Harry Potter series.


clover anne

Yes I Can! I’m Clover Anne!

By Cheryl A. Cunningham

Written by a professional engineer, the first book of this series introduces us to Clover Anne, who discovers the joys of engineering when she solves her creek’s flooding problem so that she can have fun on her playground, even after it rains!


cinder edna

Cinder Edna

By Ellen Jackson

Everyone knows the story of Cinderella, but not many people know about her neighbor, Cinder Edna. Both grew up under an evil stepmother, but only Cinderella is saved by a fairy godmother. Cinder Edna lives happily ever after through a combination of her own spunk, hard work, and creativity!




By Jean-Luc Fromental

In this crazy adventure, a family desperately tries to navigate the streets of Paris to reach the airport, but a series of ridiculous, Rube-Goldberg-esque events keep standing in their way!



The Octonauts: Great Ghost Reef

By Meomi

Introduce your child to the books that inspired the hit TV series! In this book, the Octonauts discover that the reef in Great Reef City is lifeless because of buildings blocking much-needed sunlight. Learn about the ecosystem around us from some of the cutest illustrations in children’s books.


robo sauce


By Adam Rubin

A humorous tale about magical robo sauce that turns humans into awesome robots, complete with a fold-out surprise ending!




big book of why

National Geographic Little Kids First Big Book of Why

By Amy Shields

This fun and colorful picture book answers all of those “but WHY?” questions from your curious child!


i fly

I, Fly

By Bridget Heos

Learn about flies in this fascinating fact book! Who knew that flies flap their wings 200 times per second?  The book even references how scientists use flies to do everything from studying disease to solving crimes.


flight school

Flight School

By Nicholas Barnard

This perfect book for your budding pilot has both a “Ground School” section to teach the mechanics and physics of avionics, and also an “Airborne” section that explains how to use airplane controls to actually fly!




crazy action contraptions

Crazy Action Contraptions

By Pat Murphy and the Scientists of Klutz Labs

Learn how to build 16 awesome different LEGO creations, such as the Squeezeclaw Grabster! The best part: LEGO parts are included in this kit!



Howtoons: Tools of Mass Construction

By Saul Griffith

This series of graphic novels provides both entertainment and DIY project instructions from brother-and-sister pair Celine and Tucker, who show that they truly can make lots of things other than trouble!


logic puzzles

Challenging Logic Puzzles

By Barry R. Clarke

Stretch your brain with Mensa challenges that include mix-and-match, illustrations, and tables. Increasing difficulty helps you build your skills, and if you get stuck, each puzzle’s explanation is included.

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  • STEM classes are the future of engineering and it's important that students develop skills that help them think outside the box, approach a problem creatively and learn to work with others to maximize each team member's talents. My son really benefitted from Mrs. Saville's STEM classes and her hands-on approach. Mary Saville's enthusiasm and passion for STEM classes is contagious and the students not only learn the core concepts, but are able to extend and demonstrate that learning!

    -Mother of a middle school student
  • I would definitely recommend taking a class from Mrs. Saville because she uses STEM activities all the time, and those are the activities that help you learn how to solve real world problems. She shows how STEM classes will help you succeed in the real world!

    -11-year old student
  • You have really sparked his enthusiasm for the whole engineering pursuit

    -Mother of a student
  • It is the best class that I ever took! I learned a lot, but at the same time it was very fun. Thursdays were always the high point of the week!

    -High school student
  • I like how we got to use toys to build something new!

    -1st grade student, in reference to an invention challenge
  • I did a teacher education seminar on the weekend for Makedo and showed off your handy work. Teachers were totally inspired. Thank you and thank your class. Your outputs have exceeded my expectations! It’s so exciting to see, and I love how you say that you don’ see it as trash but as materials – that was always our intention with this product. I would absolutely love your lesson plans for these classes.

    -Makedo, a corporate partner who donated material that was then incorporated into our lesson plan
  • Thank you so much for making this possible by taking an interest in our son during class time - he really enjoyed learning from you.

    -Family of an Intro to Engineering student who became a National Merit Scholarship Finalist
  • For the record it was the time I spent in your classes that developed my love of engineering. I am really looking forward to college, and feel that I am well prepared for the challenges. You have been an amazing teacher

    -High school student about to enter college as an engineering major
  • I greatly enjoyed you as a teacher last year. You got me started on SketchUp and I wanted to show you how far I have come: I made a 3D-designed house!

    -14-year old student, after receiving computer design lessons for a semester
  • Mrs. Saville’s Engineering knowledge and STEM approach was invaluable to our son during his high school years. Her enthusiasm and engaging approach helped direct him into pursuing a mechanical engineering degree in college at a school that is in the top 20 engineering programs in the country.

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