Homeschooling

8 Picture Books Featuring African-American Female Scientists (That Kept My Little Kids’ Attention)

We go to the library each week, and I’m always on the lookout for picture books with stories featuring multicultural characters to read to my two younger children, ages seven and four. In the past few weeks, I’ve found myself drawn to choosing picture books about African-American, female scientists, in particular.

Finding science books (that includes a bit history) for preschool through early elementary aged children can be like finding a needle in a haystack. I’ve found that using picture books to tell these stories and teach concepts at the same time makes it easy peasy for the kids to learn. There’s something about picture books that makes learning come alive!

Whether they are fictional smart girls or real-life pioneers, we have truly enjoyed reading their stories, and I wanted to share them with you!


Cece, a budding and inquisitive scientist, and her equally curious best friend, Isaac, conduct experiments to see whether Cece’s dog, Einstein, will eat his vegetables. (Ages 4-8) https://amzn.to/3271koE

In this STEM-themed picture book, the second in a series, Cece and her Adventure Girls troop use science, technology, engineering, and math to solve problems and earn their camping pin. (Ages 5-8) https://amzn.to/2N5h3AC

This book will inspire other young girls to reach for the stars, to aspire for the impossible, and to persist with childlike imagination. (Ages 4-8) https://amzn.to/2pwGXnN

As a girl coming of age during the Civil Rights Movement, Patricia Bath made it her mission to become a doctor. When obstacles like racism, poverty, and sexism threatened this goal, she persevered―brightening the world with a game-changing treatment for blindness!
(Ages 5-10) https://amzn.to/34vJ627

Ada Twist’s head is full of questions. Like her classmates Iggy and Rosie—stars of their own New York Times bestselling picture books Iggy Peck, Architect and Rosie Revere, Engineer—Ada has always been endlessly curious. Even when her fact-finding missions and elaborate scientific experiments don’t go as planned, Ada learns the value of thinking her way through problems and continuing to stay curious. (Ages 5-7 ) https://amzn.to/2qWuj1F

From Katherine’s early beginnings as a gifted student to her heroic accomplishments as a prominent mathematician at NASA, Counting on Katherine is the story of a groundbreaking American woman who not only calculated the course of moon landings but, in turn, saved lives and made enormous contributions to history. (Ages 5-9) https://amzn.to/2q8nj1x

Izzy Gizmo’s inventions are marvelous, magnificent . . . and often malfunction. But when she finds a crow with a broken wing, she has to help! Izzy tries again and again to build a new pair of wings, but nothing is working. Can Izzy overcome her failures? Or is her friend destined to live as a crow who can’t fly? (Ages 4-8) https://amzn.to/2PyQe9D

While Raye Montague wasn’t a scientist, she was the first female African-American naval engineer,
and this book was great! Definitely one to read aloud.

After touring a German submarine in the early 1940s, young Raye set her sights on becoming an engineer. Little did she know sexism and racial inequality would challenge that dream every step of the way, even keeping her greatest career accomplishment a secret for decades. Through it all, the gifted mathematician persisted―finally gaining her well-deserved title in history: a pioneer who changed the course of ship design forever.
(Ages 5-10) https://amzn.to/2pnxkrH

Are there some titles I missed? Leave a comment, and let me know what else we should add to our reading list.

Happy homeschooling! ❤

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