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2021 Outstanding Science Trade Books List

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NSTA and CBC Announce the 2021 List of Top Science Trade Books for K-12 Students

Arlington, VA (December 8, 2020)— The National Science Teaching Association, in conjunction with the Children’s Book Council, has released its annual list of “Outstanding Science Trade Books for Students K-12: 2021.” The list represents the best science trade books published in 2019 for students in kindergarten through 12th grade. 

“Science trade books are an important tool for children to use to make sense of the world around them, while also stimulating an interest in reading,” said Dr. Elizabeth Allan, NSTA President. “The books featured on the 2021 Outstanding Science Trade Books list motivate students to read. They include captivating stories, compelling characters, and beautiful illustrations that will leave children and adults alike wanting to read the books over and over again.” 

Members of a book review panel made up of science educators and literacy professionals, appointed by NSTA, selected 35 books for the list from a roster of submissions. The list of winning titles includes topics that range from condor’s to radium.

The review panel used rigorous guidelines to select the top books. Criteria include the amount of science content; presentation of material in a clear, accurate, and up-to-date manner; avoidance of over-simplification; the use of data to support generalizations; and freedom from gender, ethnic, and socioeconomic bias. The panel also considers appropriate content level for the intended audience and the accuracy of illustrations.

NSTA and CBC have collaborated on the list of Outstanding Science Trade Books for Students since 1973 in an effort to help science educators and family members access quality books that support learning in science. In addition to the NSTA and CBC websites, the list will appear in the February issues of NSTA’s elementary, middle level, and high school journals for teachers. 


About NSTA
The Arlington, VA-based National Science Teaching Association is the largest professional organization in the world promoting excellence in science teaching and learning, preschool through college. NSTA’s membership includes approximately 40,000 science teachers, science supervisors, administrators, scientists, business representatives, and others involved in science education.

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