5 of Our Favorite STEM Books for Students

Popular books about science, math, and engineering

We know, you get home from school and the last thing you probably want to do is read more books about what you just studied. Well, before you go, these books are so much more than what you’ve been reading in school, (plus we’ve got a certain AI Ace up our sleeves to help you with that). We love these books because they accurately explain STEM topics and concepts as well as their real-world applications. Have you ever found yourself saying: “What’s the point of learning this stuff?” well, consider these your reasons why. 

The Code Breaker

Popular book about STEM, genetics book.

Anyone interested in genetics should check out The Code Breaker by Walter Isaacson. This book covers the career of Jennifer Doudna and her discovery of CRISPR-Cas9, a revolutionary gene-editing tool. With his signature storytelling style, Isaacson brings to life the intense scientific pursuit, the ethical dilemmas, and the potential of this incredible technology.

Throughout the novel, Isaacson breaks down complex scientific concepts in a way that is engaging and accessible, making it easy for readers to grasp the significance of Doudna’s breakthrough. Through vivid anecdotes and relatable examples, he demonstrates how CRISPR-Cas9 holds the power to revolutionize medicine and agriculture, and even reshape the very nature of life itself. Whether you’re a science enthusiast or simply curious about the frontiers of genetic research, this book will leave you inspired and informed about the incredible possibilities that lie ahead.

Astrophysics for People in a Hurry

Neil deGrasse Tyson, popular STEM book, astrophysics.

Bestselling author, Neil deGrasse Tyson wrote the perfect book for those curious about the mysteries of the universe: Astrophysics for People in a Hurry.

In this book, Tyson takes complex astrophysical concepts and breaks them down into bite-sized, digestible pieces, making them accessible and enjoyable for high school and college students alike. From the Big Bang to black holes, Tyson casually and humorously covers a wide range of fascinating topics. 

With his engaging storytelling style, Tyson seamlessly weaves together scientific explanations and real-world applications, making the study of astrophysics feel relevant and exciting. Whether you’re a student cramming for exams or simply curious about the mysteries of the universe, this book is a must-read.

The Innovators

The Innovators is another standout STEM novel written once again by Walter Isaacson. This novel explores the digital revolution and the brilliant minds behind it. Everything involving the history of technology, from the invention of the computer to the creation of the internet is covered within. With his engaging storytelling style, he introduces us to the visionaries and pioneers who shaped the world as we know it today.

Surely You’re Joking, Mr. Feynman!

Nobel prize-winning physicist Richard Feynman explores his life work in a blunt and casual manner in his autobiography, Surely You’re Joking, Mr. Feynman!. Covering his time spent in astrophysics and pioneering quantum computing to his time spent working on the Manhattan Project and investigating The Challenger Disaster. Learn about some of the most famous instances of history with one of the key figures that helped shape them through this collection of anecdotes.

The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind

Bestselling STEM book about engineering, now a netflix movie

New York Times bestseller turned movie, The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind follows the journey of a young boy from Malawi who, in the face of adversity, uses his ingenuity and determination to bring hope and change to his community. Written by William Kamkwamba, this book is a must-read for high school and college students. It not only offers a fascinating glimpse into the life of a young inventor but also serves as a powerful reminder that one person’s determination and creativity can make a significant impact on the world. William Kamkwamba’s story will inspire you to dream big, overcome challenges, and believe in the power of your own ideas.

The Wrap-Up

That wraps up our list of five must-read STEM books for high school and college students. Whether you’re looking to learn a bit more about the successes of STEM, ignite your curiosity, or simply enjoy a captivating read, these books have something for everyone. Interested in more? Check out our last must-read list!


  • Rob Shield

    Rob Shield is based out of Columbus, Ohio. As Numerade's copywriter, Rob uses their extensive background in education to inform and shape the topics and content posted to the blog for educators, parents, and students alike.