STEAM School 2023 Battle of the Books

STEAM School students nominated nearly 100 books for our second annual Battle of the Books! Wow! We narrowed it down to 36 books and beginning this Tuesday we will begin voting on our favorite picture books, juvenile fiction books, graphic novels, and young adult fiction books.

Nominees for the 1st Round of Voting

Picture BooksJuvenile FictionGraphic NovelsYoung/Adult Fic
Cookie’s Week vs
Pigeon Needs a Bath
Fancy Nancy vs WonderDog Man Series vs
Calvin & Hobbes
A Promised Land vs
The Hate U Give
Dragon’s Love Tacos vs The Very Hungry CaterpillarDiary of A Wimpy Kid Series vs Wings of Fire SeriesWings of Fire Graphic Novel vs Animal Crossing SeriesNorse Mythology vs Aurora Rising
There’s a Bear On My Chair vs Pete The CatSisters Ever After vs HolesMy Hero Academia Series vs The Boy, the Mole, the Fox, and the HorseThe Giver vs Mortal Engines
Narwhal Unicorn of the Sea vs Mr Putter and Tabby Walk the DogHarry Potter Series vs Percy Jackson seriesThe Runaway Princess vs Warrior Cats Graphic NovelReady Player One vs Hunger Games

There were so many wonderful books nominated that didn’t make the cut. Below is the full list of STEAM School students favorite books to read.

STEAM Students Recommended Reading

Picture BooksGraphic NovelsJuvenile FictionYA/AF
Narwhal Unicorn of the Sea by Ben ClantonPower Rangers Graphic Novel Series by Kyle HigginsXander and the Rainbow Barfing Unicorn series by Matthew ManningThe Hobbit by JRR Tolkien
There’s a Bear on my Chair by Ross CollinsWarrior Cats Graphic Novel by Erin HunterAru Shah series by Roshani ChokshiThe Giver by Lois Lowry
The Pigeon Finds a Hot Dog by Mo WillemsWings of Fire Graphic Novel by Tui T SutherlandGreen Ember by SD SmithMortal Engines by Philip Reeve
Fred is that you? By Mavis SmithThe Boy, the Mole, the Fox, and the Horse by Charlie MackeseyWonderstruck by Brian SelznickThe Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams
Cookie’s Week by Cindy WardThe Runaway Princess by Johann TroianowskiThe Growly series by Erin Ulrich and Phillip UlrichWorld War Z by Max Brooks
Bootsie Barker Bites by Barbara BottnerMy Hero Academia Series by Kohei HorikoshiMinecraft BooksReady Player One by Ernest Cline
Naked Mole Rat Gets Dressed by Mo WillemDog Man series by Dav PilkeyCaptain Underpants by Dave PilkeyThe Hate U Give by Angie Thomas
Let’s Go For A Drive by Mo WillemsFive Worlds by Mark Siegel and Alexis SiegelMinecraft Woodsword Chronicles by Nick EliopulusThe Iliad by Homer
Fletcher and the Springtime Blossoms by Julia RawlinsonZita the Spacegirl by Ben HatkeDragon Kingdom of Wrenly by Jordan QuinnA Promised Land by Barack Obama
Pigeon Needs a Bath by Mo WillemsCalvin and Hobbes by Bill WattersonWild Kratts booksNorse Mythology by Neil Gaiman
Pete the Cat by James Dean and Kimberly DeanFoxtrot by Bill AmendPercy Jackson (series) – The Lightening Thief by Rick RiordanThe Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater
Dragons Love Tacos by Adam RubinCat Kid Comic Club Series by Dav PilkeyBarbie BooksAurora Rising by Amy Kaufman and Jay Kristoff
Dino Trux by Chris GallAnimal Crossing series by Kokonasu RumbaFancy Nancy by Jane O’ConnerThe Storm Light Archive Series by Brandon Sanderson
The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric CarlePea, Bee & Jay by Brian SmithWings of Fire Series by Tui T SutherlandGregor the Overlander by Suzanne Collins
The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack KeatsElla and Owen by Jaden KentUltimate Book of Home Plans by Editors of Creative Homeowner
Monster Trucks (Step Into Reading) by Susan E GoodmanZoey and Sassafras series by Asia CitroPools and Spas by Fran J Donegan
If You Give a Dog a Donut by Laura NumeroffDragon Masters by Tracy WestHot Tubs, Saunas and Steam Baths by Alan Sanderfoot
Mr. Putter and Tabby Walk the Dog by Cynthia RylantMouse and the Motorcycle by Beverly ClearyHunger Games by Suzanne Collins
The Perfect Nest by Catherine FriendThe Last Firehawk series by Katrina Charman
Forgotten Fairy Tales of Brave and Brilliant Girls (Illustrated Story Collection by Various Authors)Harry Potter series by JK Rowling
A Little Princess by Frances Hodgeson Burnett
Unusual Chickens for the Exceptional Poultry Farmer by Kelly Jones
Explorer Academy by Trudi Trueit
The One and Only Ivan by Katherine Applegate
Magic Tree House Series by Mary Pope Osborne
Peter Pan by JM Barrie
Diary of a Wimpy Kid Series by Jeff Kinney
The Girl Who Drank the Moon by Kelly Barnhill
The Last Dragonslayer by Jasper Fforde
Big Nate series by Lincoln Pierce
Warrior Cat Series by Erin Hunter
The Red Pyramid by Rick Riordan
Fazbear Frights Series by Scott Cawthon
Junie B Jones by Barbara Park
Nancy Drew by Carolyn Keene
Car Science by Richard Hammond
Wonder by RJ Palacio
Minecraft: The Island by Max Brooks
A Tale Dark and Grimm by Adam Gidwitz
The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman
Holes by Louis Sachar
The Story of Diva and Flea by Mo Willems
Sisters Ever After seriers by Leah Cypress
Be Real, Macy Weaver by Lakita Wilson

A Great End To STEAM’s School Year

If you attended STEAM’s end of year Student Showcase, you may have seen artwork, sculpture, robots, creative stories, informational displays, comics, and more. STEAM students each decked out their personal display areas with favorite creations from the 2018-2019 school year and it looked something like this:

I was able to interview several students at the Student Showcase and find out the answer to this question:

What was your favorite thing about STEAM School this year?

I told them it could be ANYTHING, and here were some of the responses:

“Baking sugar cookies.”

“The forts!”


“Coding and Robotics class.”

“Making boats out of cardboard and duct tape.”

“Swinging in the hammock.”

“Science…and all the nature!”

“Programming with Lego WeDo”

“Making the yearbook.”

“Having lunch and being with my friends.”



Have a great summer and we’ll see you in September!

How does your garden grow?

Our home garden is planted!

I’m no expert, but I am learning along the way. The kids helped me dig, till, weed, create rows and plant seeds. We ended up starting cherry tomatoes and bell peppers inside. The cats have gotten into them a few times, but I’m hopeful several seedlings will survive.
We planted mostly cold season vegetables, but I did take a risk and put some potatoes and corn in the ground early. Fingers crossed we don’t get a hard frost. If we lose the plants, I’ll try again later. 

Our garden

  • Corn
  • Cucumber
  • Carrots
  • Basil
  • Oregano
  • Thyme
  • Peas
  • Broccoli
  • Kale
  • Lettuce
  • Beets
  • Cabbage
  • Potatoes
  • Raspberries
  • Blueberry
  • Flowers

This is the only broccoli to grow so far. I think it’s broccoli!

Potatoes require hilling every two weeks to keep the new potatoes covered and prevent them from becoming green from too much sun. Thank you internet!

Our indoor peppers are growing well.

This oregano survived two winters and is continuing to produce well. I’ve been drying my own and it tastes great.

Engineering for kids

If at first you don’t succeed, try, try, try again!

At the STEAM school, we will use the design process to solve real problems. Check out this great resource from PBS Kids on how to teach kids to use the design process (page 2). The most important aspect of design thinking is that there is no single “correct” solution, rather a series of attempts, redesigns and retests along the bumpy road toward an awesome product. This type of thinking encourages kids to continue trying new approaches until they have a great solution.

When kids use design thinking, it builds their resilience, persistence, diligence and confidence!

Click to access DS_Act_Guide_complete.pdf