Incorporating SCIENCE with BOOKS!

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BOCES MultiMedia has a selection of books that feature scientific disciplines that students will find interesting and engaging. If there is a book you would like to use with your students that you do not see here, please contact me.

Primary Materials

The Magic School Bus in the Time of the Dinosaurs (350105)

Joanna Cole; Lexile: 410L; multiple books, P

The classroom is decorated as Dinosaur Land, but Ms. Frizzle-inspired by an archeological dig-craves a more authentic experience. The Magic School Bus turns into a time machine and transports the class back millions of years to an adventure where they learn about dinosaurs, their habitats and diets, and even a Maiasaura nesting ground.


Can You Survive in the Wilderness? An Interactive Survival Adventure (350564)

Matt Doeden; Lexile: 680L; multiple books, PI

The wilderness is a place of beauty and peace. But it is also filled with fierce predators, poisonous plants, and raging rivers. Will you: Try to survive the harsh mountains of Alaska after being abandoned during an outdoor training trip? Struggle to make your way out of the deep forests after becoming lost in Australia's Blue Mountains? Attempt to find help for your injured brother in Washington's Cascade Mountains?


Investigating The Scientific Method With Max Axiom (350263)

Donald B. Lemke; Lexile: GN760L; multiple books, P

In graphic novel format, follows the adventures of Max Axiom as he explains the scientific method.


The Boy Who Invented TV: The Story of Philo Farnsworth (350532)

Kathleen Krull; Lexile: 860L; multiple books, IJ

Plowing a potato field in 1920, a 14-year-old farm boy from Idaho saw in the parallel rows of overturned earth a way to “make pictures fly through the air.” This boy was not a magician; he was a scientific genius and just eight years later he made his brainstorm in the potato field a reality by transmitting the world’s first television image. This fascinating picture-book biography of Philo Farnsworth covers his early interest in machines and electricity, leading up to how he put it all together in one of the greatest inventions of the 20th century. The author’s afterword discusses the lawsuit Farnsworth waged and won against RCA when his high school science teacher testified that Philo’s invention of television was years before RCA’s.


A Drop of Water (350506)

Walter Wick; Lexile: 870L; multiple books, PI

The most spectacular photographs ever created on the subject of water appear in this unique science book by Walter Wick. The camera stops the action and magnifies it so that all the amazing states of water can be observed — water as ice, rainbow, steam, frost, and dew. Readers can examine a drop of water as it falls from a faucet, see a drop of water as it splashes on a hard surface, count the points of an actual snowflake, and contemplate how drops of water form clouds. Evaporation, condensation, capillary action, and surface tension are explained through simple text and illustrated by pictures that reveal water in its many awesome transformations. The last pages of the book feature experiments that welcome the reader into the world of scientific investigation. In A Drop of Water, Walter Wick embraces two disciplines, art and science, and stimulates the reader as aesthetic and scientific observer.


Endangered (350575)

Eliot Schrefer; Lexile: 900L; multiple books, IJ

Sophie is not happy to be back in the Congo for the summer, but when she rescues an abused baby bonobo she becomes more involved in her mother's sanctuary--and when fighting breaks out and the sanctuary is attacked, it is up to Sophie to rescue the apes and somehow survive in the jungle.


The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind (350369)

William Kamkwamba and Bryan Mealer; Lexile: 910L; multiple books, PI

When fourteen-year-old William Kamkwamba's Malawi village was hit by a drought, everyone's crops began to fail. Without enough money for food, let alone school, William spent his days in the library . . . and figured out how to bring electricity to his village. Persevering against the odds, William built a functioning windmill out of junkyard scraps, and thus became the local hero who harnessed the wind.


The Frog Scientist (Scientists in the Field Series) (350385)

Pamela S. Turner; Lexile: 950L; multiple books, IJ

The critically acclaimed Scientist in the Field book about how one boy's interest in backyard science inspired a career in scientific discovery. Growing up in South Carolina, Tyrone Hayes didn’t worry about pesticides. He just liked to collect frogs, and later found his calling in an amphibian research lab. While scientists around the globe discovered frogs were dying of habitat loss and disease, Tyrone learned the most commonly used pesticide in the United States, atrazine, might also play a role. When he tested it in his Berkeley lab, it caused some of the males to mutate into half-male, half-female frogs. He wanted to know what was happening and why, so he traveled America to do the research and find out.


Face to Face with Wolves (Face to Face with Animals) (350531)

Jim Brandenburg; Lexile: 970L; multiple books, IJ

The Arctic wolf inches towards you. Like you, he is torn between fear and curiosity. His instinct leads him towards the scent of your leather boots. Your instinct is to reach out to this curious white canine. Suddenly, he snarls, and you’re face to face with a wild animal. For years, photographer Jim Brandenburg has observed lone wolves by moonlight, Arctic wolves leaping onto ice floes, and wolves hunting and foraging for food. Packs of gray wolves surround his house in Minnesota. Let him lead you on an intimate journey through their mysterious world, making a persuasive case for the protection of this threatened species, and showing how wolves and humans can live together.


Animal Behavior: Animal Defenses (350550)

Christina Wilsdon; Lexile: N/A; multiple books, IJ

Insects that look like leaves, snakes that play dead, fish that fly, and toads with poisonous skin—these creatures are among many that defend themselves in fascinating ways. Animal Defenses presents the wide variety of physical and behavioral adaptations used by animals and insects in their struggle to survive and shows how scientists continue to make new discoveries about the age-old maneuvering between predator and prey.


One Well: The Story of Water on Earth (350469)

Rochelle Strauss; Lexile: IG960L; multiple books, PI

Seen from space, our planet looks blue. This is because almost 70 percent of Earth's surface is covered with water. Earth is the only planet with liquid water -- and therefore the only planet that can support life. All water is connected. Every raindrop, lake, underground river and glacier is part of a single global well. Water has the power to change everything -- a single splash can sprout a seed, quench a thirst, provide a habitat, generate energy and sustain life. How we treat the water in the well will affect every species on the planet, now and for years to come. One Well shows how every one of us has the power to conserve and protect our global well. One Well is part of CitizenKid: A collection of books that inform children about the world and inspire them to be better global citizens.


Moonshot: The Flight of Apollo 11 (350540)

Brian Floca; Lexile: 990L; multiple books, PI

Simply told, grandly shown, here is the flight of Apollo 11. Here for a new generation of readers and explorers are the steady astronauts, clicking themselves into gloves and helmets, strapping themselves into sideways seats. Here are their great machines in all their detail and monumentality, the ROAR of rockets, and the silence of the Moon. Here is a story of adventure and discovery -- a story of leaving and returning during the summer of 1969, and a story of home, seen whole, from far away.


A Warmer World (350393)

Caroline Arnold; Lexile: 1110L; multiple books, PI

Over the past several decades, our world has been warming at a faster rate than ever before. Acclaimed nonfiction author Caroline Arnold describes how the climate change has affected ecosystems around the world and how animals within these ecosystems have adapted.

Intermediate Materials

Blizzard! (350344)

By Jim Murphy; Lexile: 1080L; multiple books, IJ

On March 10, 1888, people were picnicking on the east coast. Two days later, a massive and unpredicted snowstorm was raging. From Delaware to Maine, the coast was paralyzed by hurricane force winds and unrelenting snow. Many places had more than four feet of snow. Hundreds of ships were lost at sea; tens of thousands of workers were stranded; telephone and telegraph wires went dead; and food and coal become scarce. In New York City alone, eight hundred died. Use of first person accounts, diaries, letters and individual stories charting the course of the storm enables readers to experience the drama of the disaster firsthand. At the same time, readers are presented with a fascinating window into late 19th Century science, transportation, communication, and daily life.


The Most Beautiful Roof in the World: Exploring the Rainforest Canopy (350380)

Katherine Lasky; Lexile: 1160L; multiple books, IJ

Journey along with Dr. Meg Lowman, a scientist who, with the help of slings, suspended walkways, and mountain-climbing equipment, has managed to ascend into one of our planet's least accessible and most fascinating ecosystems — the rain-forest canopy, an area unexplored until the last ten years and home to previously unknown species of plants and animals.


The Elephant Scientist (Scientists in the Field Series) (350355)

Caitlin O'Connell & Donna M. Jackson; Lexile: NC1260; multiple books, IJ

In the sprawling African scrub desert of Etosha National Park, they call her "the mother of all elephants." Camouflaged and peering through binoculars, Caitlin O'Connell--the American scientist who traveled to Namibia to study African elephants in their natural habitat--could not believe what she was seeing. As the mighty matriarch scanned the horizon, the other elephants followed suit, stopping mid-stride and standing as still as statues. The observation would be one of many to guide O'Connell to a groundbreaking discovery!


The Polar Bear Scientists (Scientists in the Field Series) (350386)

Peter Lourie; Lexile: NC1260; multiple books, IJ

Follow scientists as they scan the Alaskan wilderness for these magnificent creatures. It is springtime on the North Slope of Alaska, and the U.S. Geological Survey team - the polar bear biologists Kristin Simac and Mike Lockhart- is gearing up for polar bear capturing. During a capture, all information is collected on the sea ice. The scientists locate bears from a helicopter, tranquilize them, give them tattoo ID numbers and tags, and collect data such as height, weight, and body fat measurements and samples such as blood, hair, feces, and even teeth. All this information goes into a large database studied by scientists such as Drs. Steven Amstrup and George Durner, the former and current leaders of the Polar Bear Research Project. For more than forty years, scientists have been capturing bears in order to get information. What has this information been telling scientists about polar bears and global warming?


Mother of God: An Extraordinary Journey into the Uncharted Tributaries of the Western Amazon (350018)

918.4404; Paul Rosolie; Lexile: N/A; multiple books, JS

In the Madre de Dios—Mother of God—region of Peru, where the Amazon River begins its massive flow, the Andean Mountain cloud forests fall into lowland Amazon Rainforest, creating the most biodiversity-rich place on the planet. In January 2006, when he was just a restless eighteen-year-old hungry for adventure, Paul Rosolie embarked on a journey to the west Amazon that would transform his life. Venturing alone into some of the most inaccessible reaches of the jungle, he encountered giant snakes, floating forests, isolated tribes untouched by outsiders, prowling jaguars, orphaned baby anteaters, poachers in the black market trade in endangered species, and much more. Yet today, the primordial forests of the Madre de Dios are in danger from developers, oil giants, and gold miners eager to exploit its natural resources.


The Big Thirst: The Secret Life and Turbulent Future of Water (350561)

Charles Fishman; Lexile: N/A; multiple books, S

The Big Thirst brilliantly explores our strange and complex relationship to water. We delight in watching waves roll in from the ocean; we take great comfort from sliding into a hot bath; and we will pay a thousand times the price of tap water to drink our preferred brand of the bottled version. We love water—but at the moment, we don't appreciate it or respect it. Just as we've begun to re-imagine our relationship to food, a change that is driving the growth of the organic and local food movements, we must also rethink how we approach and use water. The good news is that we can. As Fishman shows, a host of advances are under way, from the simplicity of harvesting rainwater to the brilliant innovations devised by companies such as IBM, GE, and Royal Caribbean that are making impressive breakthroughs in water productivity. Knowing what to do is not the problem. Ultimately, the hardest part is changing our water consciousness.

Junior-Senior Materials

Phineas Gage: A Gruesome but True Story about Brain Science (350203)

John Fleischman; Lexile: 1030L; multiple books, IJ

Phineas Gage was truly a man with a hole in his head. Phineas, a railroad construction foreman, was blasting rock near Cavendish, Vermont, in 1848 when a thirteen-pound iron rod was shot through his brain. Miraculously, he survived to live another eleven years and become a textbook case in brain science. At the time, Phineas Gage seemed to completely recover from his accident. He could walk, talk, work, and travel, but he was changed. Gage "was no longer Gage," said his Vermont doctor, meaning that the old Phineas was dependable and well liked, and the new Phineas was crude and unpredictable.His case astonished doctors in his day and still fascinates doctors today. What happened and what didn’t happen inside the brain of Phineas Gage will tell you a lot about how your brain works and how you act human.


Flip Flop Fly Ball: An Infographic Baseball Adventure (350375)

Craig Robinson; Lexile: 1120L; multiple books, IJS

How many miles does a baseball team travel in one season?

How tall would A-Rod's annual salary be in pennies? What does Nolan Ryan have to do with the Supremes and Mariah Carey? You might never have asked yourself any of these questions, but Craig Robinson's Flip Flop Fly Ball will make you glad to know the answers. Baseball, almost from the first moment Robinson saw it, was more than a sport. It was history, a nearly infinite ocean of information that begged to be organized. He realized that understanding the game, which he fell in love with as an adult, would never be possible just through watching games and reading articles. He turned his obsession into a dizzyingly entertaining collection of graphics that turned into an Internet sensation.


Sugar Changed the World: A Story of Magic, Spice, Slavery, Freedom, and Science (350558)

Marc Aronson and Marina Budhos; Lexile: 1130L; multiple books, JS

When this award-winning husband-and-wife team discovered that they each had sugar in their family history, they were inspired to trace the globe-spanning story of the sweet substance and to seek out the voices of those who led bitter sugar lives. The trail ran like a bright band from religious ceremonies in India to Europe’s Middle Ages, then on to Columbus, who brought the first cane cuttings to the Americas. Sugar was the substance that drove the bloody slave trade and caused the loss of countless lives but it also planted the seeds of revolution that led to freedom in the American colonies, Haiti, and France. With songs, oral histories, maps, and over 80 archival illustrations, here is the story of how one product allows us to see the grand currents of world history in new ways.


An American Plague (350224)

Jim Murphy; Lexile: 1130L; multiple books, IJS

Provides an account of the yellow fever epidemic that swept through Philadelphia in 1793, discussing the chaos that erupted when people began evacuating in droves, leaving the city without government, goods, or services, and examining efforts by physicians, the Free African Society, and others to cure and care for the sick.


Moonbird: A Year on the Wind with the Great Survivor B95 (350596)

Phillip Hoose; Lexile: 1150L; multiple books, IJS

Moonbird is a nickname scientists have given to a small Eastern shorebird known for both his unusually long life and his enormously long annual migration. Hoose intertwines the story of this bird's remarkable survival with detailed accounts of the rufa red knot's physical changes through its yearlong cycle of migrating from the bottom of the world (usually Tierra del Fuego) to its Arctic breeding grounds and back again at summer's end-a round trip of some 18,000 miles. Moonbird, known usually by the identifying label "B95" on his orange leg band, was first banded in 1995, when it was thought that he was at least three years old, and Hoose notes sightings of him through early 2011 just as the book was reaching completion. At that point it was estimated that over 20 years' time, B95 had flown "more than 325,000 miles in his life-the distance to the moon and nearly halfway back."


Cod: A Biography of the Fish that Changed the World (350542)

Mark Kurlansky; Lexile: 1200L; multiple books, S

Cod, Mark Kurlansky's third work of nonfiction and winner of the 1999 James Beard Award, is the biography of a single species of fish, but it may as well be a world history with this humble fish as its recurring main character. Cod, it turns out, is the reason Europeans set sail across the Atlantic, and it is the only reason they could. What did the Vikings eat in icy Greenland and on the five expeditions to America recorded in the Icelandic sagas? Cod, frozen and dried in the frosty air, then broken into pieces and eaten like hardtack. What was the staple of the medieval diet? Cod again, sold salted by the Basques, an enigmatic people with a mysterious, unlimited supply of cod. As we make our way through the centuries of cod history, we also find a delicious legacy of recipes, and the tragic story of environmental failure, of depleted fishing stocks where once their numbers were legendary.


The World Without Fish (350533)

Mark Kurlansky; Lexile: 1230L; multiple books, JS

Mark Kurlansky, beloved author of the award-winning bestseller Cod: A Biography of the Fish That Changed the World, offers a riveting new book for kids about what’s happening to fish, the oceans, and our environment, and what, armed with knowledge, kids can do about it.


Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers (350480)

Mary Roach; Lexile: 1230L; multiple books, JS

Stiff is an oddly compelling, often hilarious exploration of the strange lives of our bodies postmortem. For two thousand years, cadavers— some willingly, some unwittingly— have been involved in science's boldest strides and weirdest undertakings. They've tested France's first guillotines, ridden the NASA Space Shuttle, been crucified in a Parisian laboratory to test the authenticity of the Shroud of Turin, and helped solve the mystery of TWA Flight 800. For every new surgical procedure, from heart transplants to gender reassignment surgery, cadavers have been there alongside surgeons, making history in their quiet way. In this fascinating, ennobling account, Mary Roach visits the good deeds of cadavers over the centuries— from the anatomy labs and human-sourced pharmacies of medieval and nineteenth-century Europe to a human decay research facility in Tennessee, to a plastic surgery practice lab, to a Scandinavian funeral directors' conference on human composting.


The Disappearing Spoon: And Other True Tales of Madness, Love, and the History of the World from the Periodic Table of the Elements (350302)

Sam Kean; Lexile: 1300L; multiple books, JS

The Periodic Table: One of man’s crowning scientific achievements … and a treasure trove of passion, adventure, betrayal, and obsession. Why did Gandhi hate iodine (I, 53)? Why did the Japanese kill Godzilla with missiles made of cadmium (Cd, 48)? How did radium (Ra, 88) nearly ruin Marie Curie’s reputation? And why did tellurium (Te, 52) lead to the most bizarre gold rush in history? The Periodic Table is one of our crowning scientific achievements, but it’s also a treasure trove of passion, adventure, betrayal, and obsession. The fascinating tales in The Disappearing Spoon follow carbon, neon, silicon, gold, and every single element on the table as they play out their parts in human history, finance, mythology, conflict, the arts, medicine, and the lives of the (frequently) mad scientists who discovered them.


Napoleon's buttons : 17 molecules that changed history (350029)

540 LE; Penny Le Couteur & Jay Burreson; Lexile: 1340L; multiple books, JS

Napoleon's Buttons is the fascinating account of seventeen groups of molecules that have greatly influenced the course of history. These molecules provided the impetus for early exploration, and made possible the voyages of discovery that ensued. The molecules resulted in grand feats of engineering and spurred advances in medicine and law; they determined what we now eat, drink, and wear. A change as small as the position of an atom can lead to enormous alterations in the properties of a substance-which, in turn, can result in great historical shifts.


The Mysteries of Beethoven's Hair (350023)

780 MAR; Russell Martin & Lydia Nibley; Lexile: 1400L; multiple books, JS

At the time of Ludwig van Beethoven’s death, it was a common practice to take a lock of hair from the deceased as a remembrance, a sacred remnant of the person who meant so much when alive. One such lock of Beethoven’s hair survived through the years and eventually became the joint property of two men who, in 1995, opened the sealed frame that encased the hair and began the process of unlocking the mysteries of Beethoven’s life, death, and possibly his genius. Follow the trail of Beethoven’s hair as it was passed on from the boy who cut it to his son and down through the years, as it was safeguarded from Nazi Germany and eventually sold at auction in 1994. Through careful forensic testing, the hairs in the lock revealed the causes of Beethoven’s deafness and his many illnesses. This fascinating story is not only a study of the secrets that forensics can reveal, but a moving history of many people’s devotion to Beethoven’s music.


No impact man : the adventures of a guilty liberal who attempts to save the planet, and the discoveries he makes about himself and our way of life in the process (350420)

Colin Beavan; Lexile: N/A; multiple books, JS

Bill McKibben meets Bill Bryson in this seriously engaging look at one man's decision to put his money where his mouth is and go off the grid for one year--while still living in New York City--to see if it's possible to make no net impact on the environment. In other words, no trash, no toxins in the water, no elevators, no subway, no products in packaging, no air-conditioning, no television. After this mad endeavor, Beavan explains to the rest of us how we can realistically live a more "eco-effective" and by turns more content life in an age of inconvenient truths.

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