Strat4Kids Back to School Reading List 2018

6 MINS READAug 13, 2018 | 09:00 GMT
An apple sits atop a stack of books.
Editor's Note

With so many new moms and dads at Stratfor, there's a lot of thought being given as to what are the best ways to prepare a child to navigate this increasingly complex world. Naturally, we're pretty fond of books. We encourage you to share these educational, geopolitically relevant books with the children in your lives, and to think back on the books from your youth that sparked your interest in history, science, politics and the world around you. What are some others we should add to our list? 

Rosie Revere, Engineer and Ada Twist, Scientist

Author: Andrea Beaty
Illustrator: David Roberts
Publisher & Publishing Date: Harry N. Abrams, 2013, 2016
Number of Pages: 32
Suitable for Age: 3+ (Publishers' recommendation is 5-8)

Teaching children the power of science and scientific inquiry is, I think, one of the greatest endeavors out there. These books take children along the path of a series of second graders, all in the same class, as they explore their passions. Rosie learns, through failure, how to keep trying to pursue her engineering dreams while she is building a flying contraption for her great, great Aunt Rose (a nod to the famous riveter). 

Ada Marie (a nod to Ada Lovelace and Marie Curie) asks question after question about how the world works, solving the mysteries of her daily life and teaching her family the value of curiosity. The series also includes Iggy Peck, Architect (published 2007) and activity books unique to each character. I read these to my daughter (age 3) on a regular basis at bedtime. Hopefully the message about challenging and trusting yourself sticks! Science and technology are transformative projects in the geopolitical realm, but they also can be on an individual level as well. Rebecca Keller, Senior Science and Technology Analyst

This Is How We Do It: One Day in the Lives of Seven Kids from around the World

Author: Matt Lamothe
Publisher & Publishing Date: Chronicle Books LLC, 2017
Number of Pages: 52
Suitable for Age: 4 - 6 years

This is How We Do It is a window into the everyday lives of seven children from around the world. Colorful illustrations introduce readers to each of the kids and show where and how they live, including what they wear, what a typical breakfast looks like, how they write their name and more. — Matt Vance, Director of Software Development

Mighty Mira

Author: Chloe Chick
Illustrator: Natalie Kwee
Publisher & Publishing Date: WS Education (World Science Publishing Co), 2017
Number of Pages: 36
Suitable for Age: 3+ (Publishers' recommendation is 5-6 years)

This book tells the inspirational life story of Nepali long distance runner Mira Rai while giving children a glimpse into the Himalayan country of Nepal. Mighty Mira describes the Nepalese lifestyle and uses simple but detailed illustrations to open the door to further exploration about a country that is very distant for those of us living in the United States. The book's theme of "live the moment, live the now" is inspirational in itself, but the book's setting also encourages children to explore different countries and cultures. — Rebecca Keller, Senior Science and Technology Analyst

The Journey

Author: Francesca Sanna
Publisher & Publishing Date: Flying Eye Books, 2016
Number of Pages: 48
Suitable for Age: 5-7

With haunting echoes of the current refugee crisis, this beautifully illustrated book explores the unimaginable decisions a family must make as they leave their home and everything they know to escape the turmoil and tragedy brought by war. This book, which the author says was inspired by two girls she met at a refugee center in Italy, will stay with you long after the last page is turned. — Joshua Cook, Director of Public Relations


Author: Roald Dahl
Publisher & Publishing Date: Viking Kestrel, 1988
Number of Pages: 232
Suitable for Age: 8+

Let's be honest; in a world where it's becoming increasingly difficult to pry your kid away from the on-demand entertainment that tech provides, imagination — a child's most valuable asset — is at risk of getting stifled. Roald Dahl has the antidote to your kid's tech tantrums. Dahl has an unparalleled knack for fantastical, hilarious and imaginative stories that tickle the brain. Even the many movie productions of hits like Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, The BFG and The Witches fail to do justice to the colorful images and voices that fill your head when reading one of his stories for the first time. An old favorite is Matilda, the story of a brainy little girl who finds refuge from her brutish family in books. When she discovers that she has magical powers to move objects with her mind, Matilda finds her way to justice with the help of a compassionate teacher named Miss Honey. — Reva Goujon, Vice President of Global Analysis

Grow! Raise! Catch!: How We Get Our Food

Author: Shelley Rotner
Publisher & Publishing Date: Holiday House, 2017
Number of Pages: 32
Suitable for Age: 4 - 8 years

Grow! Raise! Catch! tells the story of food and where it comes from. Readers get to see how food is farmed, ranched and fished to produce a meal. Along the way, the book introduces ideas about what makes up a healthy diet. — Matt Vance, Director of Software Development

Women in Science

Author: Rachel Ignotofsky
Publisher & Publishing Date: Ten Speed Press, 2016
Number of Pages: 128
Suitable for Age: 10-17

A charmingly illustrated and highly educational book, New York Times bestseller Women in Science highlights the contributions of fifty notable women to the fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) from ancient to modern times. Full of striking, singular art, this fascinating collection also contains infographics about relevant topics such as lab equipment, rates of women currently working in STEM fields, and an illustrated scientific glossary. The trailblazing women profiled include well-known figures like primatologist Jane Goodall, as well as lesser-known pioneers such as Katherine Johnson, the African-American physicist and mathematician who calculated the trajectory of the 1969 Apollo 11 mission to the moon. — Raine Willcox, Marketing Manager

Ed Emberley's Drawing Book: Make a World

Author: Edward R Emberley
Publisher & Publishing Date: LB Kids, 1972
Number of Pages: 32
Suitable for Age: 4 and up

With a little imagination, this book can deliver on its title by allowing readers to "make a world" of their own by drawing. With small step-by-step illustrations using simple colors, the book shows readers how to draw a bustling world of tiny buildings, people, animals and more. — Matt Vance, Director of Software Development

I am Gandhi (from the Ordinary People Change the World series)

Author: Brad Meltzer
Publisher & Publishing Date: Dial Books, 2017
Number of Pages: 40
Suitable for Age: 5-8

Brad Meltzer chronicles the life and lessons of the world's most inspiring leaders in this fun and educational biography series. Meltzer digs into history to pick out the most interesting tidbits for young readers to learn how leaders like Mohandas K. Gandhi, Rosa Parks, Albert Einstein, Amelia Earhart and Abraham Lincoln formed their core convictions from an early age to change the world. Each book ends with an enlightening quote from the leader along with a historical timeline and photos. — Reva Goujon, Vice President of Global Analysis

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