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Michael Lampert

Professional Education Expert

Best School Science Books & Best High School Science Books

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In twenty of years of teaching, I am still impressed that my students enjoy reading. You might think that computers and games have overtaken this fundamental pastime, but I can say from experience that kids just love to read. Everyone has their favorite books and here are a few about science that I think high school kids will enjoy.

Choose the best school science books for your high school students with our help. These engaging best high school science books feature fascinating facts and stories that will inspire kids to do science.

Best Science Books High School by Michael Lampert

The Best You Can Get

  • Surely You’re Joking, Mr. Feynman!

    Michael says: I offer this book as extra credit when my students fail one of my physics exams. It is a delightful account of Nobel Laureate Richard Feynman’s early career in physics. He recounts wonderfully humorous stories about his college years to his participation in the Manhattan project. Along the way, kids will pick up some interesting physics from the “guru” of American scientists. A truly unique and entertaining book, I highly recommend it.

    • Subtitle: Adventures of a Curious Character
    • By Richard P. Feynman
    • Easy reading
    • Humorous
    • Focuses on physics and math
  • Longitude: The True Story of a Lone Genius Who Solved the Greatest Scientific Problem of His Time

    Michael says: This is a very well written book. It documents the amazing problem of trying to figure out where a boat is longitudinally. While latitude is a relatively easy measurement, longitude requires accurate clocks. Dava Sobel writes with scientific beauty and captures the personal intrigue of the inventors of the time. I like this book because it motivates students and shows that hard work can yield great results. Students who like history and science will love this book.

    • By Dava Sobel
    • Historic
    • Fascinating
    • Focuses on clock making and navigation
  • Cosmos

    Michael says: I had a student pack my groceries the other day and he asked me, “Mr. Lampert, is it true that when we look at a star that it may have already blown up millions of years ago?” When I said yes, his eyes lit up and he said he wished he had taken astronomy. Kids are fascinated with this topic and no author does a better job at explaining it all then Carl Sagan did with his famous Cosmos series. I still use many of his video clips to teach my students. This updated edition contains many new photos of the Mars landings. I recommend this for anyone interested in astronomy.

    • By Carl Sagan
    • Classic
    • Enjoyable reading
    • Focuses on astronomy
  • The Double Helix: A Personal Account of the Discovery of the Structure of DNA

    Michael says: I remember when my mother gave me this book to read back in high school. I really enjoyed the way Watson wrote, his pleasant story telling mixed in with the science of one of the most important discoveries of our time. Today, Watson has been criticized for many of his personal views and for the lack of credit given to Rosalind Franklin for her scientific contributions. I think this all adds to the importance of reading this book and getting a clear look into the personalities of scientists and the work they do. I highly recommend this book.

    • By James D. Watson
    • A benchmark book in science
    • Entertaining
    • Focuses on biology
  • John Muir: Nature Writings

    Michael says: Science is all about understanding nature and John Muir is by far one of the great naturalists of our time. I think this book brings about a spirit of harmony and respect about nature. His observations are deep and thoughtful and while there are no great science concepts discussed his simple story telling is captivating for high school kids. Many students now are pursuing careers in environmental engineering, so I feel that this classic book is an important reading for them.

    • Subtitle: The Story of My Boyhood and Youth; My First Summer in the Sierra; The Mountains of California; Stickeen; Essays
    • Classic
    • Easy to read
    • Focuses on nature

You will be happy with any of these

  • Verse and Universe: Poems About Science and Mathematics

    Michael says: When I was teaching at the community college, I would read a few of these poems in class. I do like poetry and I have found that many students enjoy dabbling in it. I recall a student coming back to visit me and he was so proud that one of his poems had been published. There definitely is an interest among high school students and the collection of poems in this book span quite an array of topics. While the poems sometimes speak indirectly to science, they do make you think. It is a nice starting point for the student who enjoys literature. Some poems may need a PG rating though.

    • By Kurt Brown
    • Science poetry
    • Anthology of American poets
    • Focuses on science and math
  • Uncle Tungsten: Memories of a Chemical Boyhood

    Michael says: My own son loved this book and decided on a major in Chemistry because of it. I think it appeals to the high school crowd because kids can relate to the story of his boyhood. I like that this is one of the few books out there that discuss chemistry in an entertaining way. I feel that kids will enjoy learning what it is like to grow up in a scientific household. I would recommend this to any aspiring chemist.

    • By Oliver Sacks
    • Well written
    • Youthful
    • Focuses on chemistry and history
  • Einstein Simplified – Cartoons on Science

    Michael says: Sydney Harris is well known in the science community as one of the best cartoonists. His humor is subtle and intellectual and always makes you think. One of my favorite cartoons shows two scientists talking to each other; the first tells the other that he has invented a way to slow down the speed of sound. In the next frame, you see the bubble of his words moving closer to the second scientist. Finally, the last frame shows the second scientist walk away because it takes too long to hear. His work for the science community is best compared to what Gary Larson did for the world with his Far Side cartoons. Any of the many collected works by Harris will delight a high school student. I recommend his work highly.

    • By Sydney Harris
    • Humorous
    • Intellectual
    • Focuses on all aspects of science
  • The Illustrated A Brief History of Time

    Michael says: When I first heard Stephen Hawking speak I was amazed at his strength and the brevity of his words. Talking through a computer, he summarized the history of the universe and capsulized all life on earth as a brief organic period. I had not thought of it that way. This book is not easy reading in my opinion, but I feel it deserves to be on the list of best science books. I find the topics difficult to comprehend, yet it is written well. The illustrated new edition is a great improvement over the original book. I think it helps the layperson try to grasp the major concepts of a new era in astrophysics. I have had students read this book and enjoy it. While the concepts are deep, students will gain vocabulary and begin to question how the universe is mathematically constructed.

    • By Stephen Hawking
    • Bestseller
    • Iconic figure
    • Focuses on astrophysics
  • My Life with the Chimpanzees

    Michael says: I read this book many years ago and found Jane Goodall to be a superb storyteller and an avid researcher. She was my guidance in life, and she is a stellar model for students. I tell all my students to follow their passion for learning as she did. Later in life, I had the pleasure of listening to Jane speak and recount her stories. They are vivid and heart warming. Jane has lived a selfless life devoted to educating the public and works tirelessly helping students from around the world. I feel this book is the easiest to read of the many books she has written and will certainly inspire a few aspiring behaviorists.

    • By Jane Goodall
    • Easy reading
    • Great for all ages
    • Focuses on animal behavior

Related Articles

Kids will enjoy the best school science books that we compile. We suggest the best high school science books that tell a good tale and leave your kids inspired to go into science. With these high school science books, you never know, your kids could become the next Nobel Prize winner or an astronaut that explores galaxies far far away.