By Isabella Notarpietro 

I don’t know about you, but my favourite thing to do during the holidays is to go to the beach, a park or just stay in bed and start picking my way through the huge pile of books I collect throughout the year. Whether you’re an avid reader like me, an occasional book dabbler or just looking for some end-of-year gifts for friends, check out this list of top STEM-related books for this summer.

Year 7 to 9

The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind

This inspirational true story narrates the journey of William Kamkwamba, a teenager from Malawi who built a windmill out of scrap materials to power his village. It’s a testament to the power of curiosity and the importance of electricity. It’s even got a Netflix adaptation coming out soon (great for anyone who isn’t into reading)! 


Girls Who Code Series

These fictitious stories follow the lives of young female coders. From hackathon mishaps to eventful coding challenges, the books are a great introduction into what coding is really like (with a fair amount of drama thrown in for fun)! 


Smithsonian Maker Lab  

Holidays are a great time to be creative and get making! Supplement your monthly GIE newsletter making tutorials with this how-to guide on some epic projects, such as creating a lemon battery or a soap powered boat. 

Year 10 to 12

Sand Talk

This book is a wonderful introduction to Indigenous knowledge systems. The information is humorously presented and encourages readers to ponder some deep but essential questions about the world and Western science. This is my favourite book of the year… Definitely worth the read! 


Invisible Women: Exposing Data Bias in a World Designed for Men

This ambitious book uses data to quantify the unconscious gender biases plaguing STEM fields, politics and life in general. It’s a testament to the power of big data and how it can be used to highlight injustices and even the gender playing field. You’ll finish this book feeling simultaneously outraged and inspired! 


Women in Science – 50 Fearless Pioneers Who Changed the World

If you’re anything like me, the names Mary Anning, Patricia Bath and Katherine Johnson mean little despite the amazing contributions these amazing women have made to the world. So this summer, combat history’s neglect of female scientists (while learning about a bunch of interesting STEM fields) with this beautifully illustrated book.