All About Adolescent Literacy

All about adolescent literacy. Resources for parents and educators of kids in grades 4-12.
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Science & Technology

A YALSA committee of librarians selected these books to open doors on new worlds, exciting ideas, eccentric personalities, unfamiliar cultures, and distant time periods. Use it to broaden students' horizons as they prepare for college entrance exams and courses.

Lost Discoveries

Lost Discoveries

Age Level: 16-18

Living in our modern technological society it's easy to believe ancient cultures had little scientific or mathematical knowledge. Teresi, however, demonstrates that modern science is much older than we think, and shows how scientific and mathematical concepts of ancient cultures are the foundation of today's technology.

The Genomics Age

The Genomics Age

Age Level: 16-18

From Crick and Watson's discovery of the double helix, to "designer" embryos, learn the history and truth behind the controversies in today's news. Smith, a former network news technology consultant, gives the hard scientific facts in an enjoyable easy to read manner.

The Radioactive Boy Scout

The Radioactive Boy Scout

Age Level: 16-18

What would you do if you came home to find your neighborhood quarantined? Learn the true story of how David Hahn's teenage obsession prompted government agents to descend on his suburban backyard.

Hidden Face of God

Hidden Face of God

Age Level: 16-18

This somewhat controversial book investigates the relationship between physics and metaphysics, science and religion, but doesn't provide any specific answers. It will evoke a sense of wonder about the cosmos and life itself for those who have an open mind.

Stiff

Stiff

Age Level: 16-18

Discover the amazing life-after-death adventures of human bodies in this examination of how medical and research scientists use cadavers to make our lives better.

The Wild Trees

The Wild Trees

Age Level: 16-18

Three buddies on spring break climb into a California redwood and discover a new ecosystem atop the trees. Join this group of young scientists in the canopy as they learn safe climbing techniques for the oldest and tallest trees of North America, and encounter new species of plants, animals, and love.

The Botany of Desire

The Botany of Desire

Age Level: 16-18

Through the sweetness of apples, the beauty of tulips, the intoxication of marijuana, and potato control; Pollan proves mankind manipulates plants and they, in turn, entice us to do their bidding.

Greasy Rider

Greasy Rider

Age Level: 16-18

Take a humorous, green road trip with the author and his college buddy in a converted 1980's Mercedes from Vermont to California, and learn a little about how to be more eco-friendly along the way.

American Earth

American Earth

Age Level: 16-18

Experience the growth of the environmental movement in poetry, essay, song, and prose from its infancy to present day through the eyes of its champions.

The Way We Work

The Way We Work

Age Level: 16-18

Concerned about taking freshman biology? Get a leg up on the course by letting Macaulay take you on a whirlwind tour of the human body with detailed illustrations and succinct explanations of its building blocks and systems.

Mosque

Mosque

Age Level: 16-18

Enter a community Mosque of the sixteenth century, and discover the techniques used to raise towering minarets and a beautiful prayer hall dome. This simplistic book for all ages glorifies these magnificent buildings that served as the center of religion, and also housed travelers, stored food, and provided public baths.

A Sand County Almanac

A Sand County Almanac

Age Level: 16-18

This classic of environmental and nature writing, arranged by season, provides a poetic view through the window of the Leopold family farm in the Wisconsin meadows. Even 60 years after this book's original publication, Leopold’s closing comments on land ethic and conservation are surprisingly relevant.

Out of Orbit

Out of Orbit

Age Level: 16-18

The mission seemed jinxed from the start and nothing could have prepared the team for the challenge of being stranded in earth's orbit after the destruction of the shuttle Columbia and its crew. Finding a way home was a herculean feat of teamwork on and off the planet.

The Race to Save the Lord God Bird

The Race to Save the Lord God Bird

Age Level: 16-18

The ivory-billed woodpecker is thought to be extinct, but some disagree. Hoose documents the scientific and bird-watching communities’ attempts to find this lost species and save its habitat in the Southern United States.

The Big Necessity

The Big Necessity

Age Level: 16-18

It isn't hidden behind the bathroom door or quietly flushed down the toilet in this book: a look at the dirty details of what happens to human waste around the globe and how it affects our health and sanitation.

The Weather Makers

The Weather Makers

Age Level: 16-18

What are melting glaciers, disappearing frogs and a season of perfect storms trying to tell us about the conditions of the planet we call home and what can we do to prevent a catastrophe?

Another Day in the Frontal Lobe

Another Day in the Frontal Lobe

Age Level: 16-18

Firlik brings honest appraisal of her work with less heroism and more day-to-day problem solving as she moves from intern to doctor. Along the way she removes a nail in a carpenter’s head and allows maggots to clean pus out of an infected brain in this humorous and candid memoir.

The Taste of Sweet

The Taste of Sweet

Age Level: 16-18

Why does chocolate taste so good but broccoli turns many of us off? The science, history and social changes behind the American sweet-tooth are explored from taste buds on our tongues, to slaves on the sugar plantations.

The Devil’s Teeth

The Devil’s Teeth

Age Level: 16-18

While studying migratory birds on the remote Farallones Islands, 30 miles off the coast of San Francisco, biologists noticed red blotches in the surrounding waters. These sightings evolve into a full blown scientific study of great white sharks revealing unknown secrets of this prehistoric beast.

A Short History of Nearly Everything

A Short History of Nearly Everything

Age Level: 16-18

A renowned travel writer brings complex scientific concepts to life by describing how the universe and life as we know it came to be.

Damned Lies and Statistics

Damned Lies and Statistics

Age Level: 16-18

Confused by all the contradicting statistical data being bantered around by advertisers and the media? Best explains how these statistics are created and their social implications, which will help you distinguish truth from hype.

Super Crunchers

Super Crunchers

Age Level: 16-18

With real-life examples from sports, medicine, online dating, and airline pricing, Ayres describes how data about all of us is collected and "crunched" by statisticians and computers to profile consumers benefitting both the consumer and the companies interested in selling to them.

God’s Debris: a Thought Experiment

God’s Debris: a Thought Experiment

Age Level: 16-18

Take a metaphysical journey into man’s first science, the search for meaning, as you try to deliver a package to the smartest man in the world who won't take it until you understand.

Little Brother

Little Brother

Age Level: 14-16

In near future San Franciso, 17-year-old Marcus, also known as w1n5t0n (or Winston), is running from the Department of Homeland Security after he is detained under suspicion of participating in a terrorist attack. Marcus and his friends are using technology to further their cause.

Feed

Feed

Age Level: 14-16

In this society your brain cyberfeed provides an endless stream of information, entertainment and advertising. When Violet’s feed is disrupted, she’s cast adrift and everyone is forced to examine the power of the feed in his/her life.