Historical Fiction Books with a Dash of Science!

Combining history with science is easy!

As a relaxed homeschool mom of many, finding ways to pack as much learning into shorter lessons has become my “specialty.” When you have as many kids as I do, spending 6 hours a day doing homeschooling lessons just isn’t possible, or even desirable if I’m going to be honest!

One of my favorite ways to do this is by combining subjects. While practically any two (or more!) subjects can be blended together, integrating history and science together is the most fun, if you ask me. 😉

For that reason, today I thought I’d share with you a list of historical fiction books that also cover science. To me, there is no gentler, yet more effective, way to learn than through a good book.

Historical Fiction with a Dash of Science

(This post contains affiliate links.)

*The Magician’s Apprentice – Sidney Rosen

This was one of the very first read-alouds I shared with my children in which I realized how naturally science and history could be completed together.

*Carry on, Mr. Bowditch – Jean Lee Latham

We just finished this book today in our Explorers unit study. This book is packed with both historical and navigational information, and the fact that it’s based on a true story makes it even more interesting for the kids.

Leonardo and the Flying Boy – Laurence Anholt

This colorful picture book is the perfect tool to show your kids that daVinci was not only an artist, but so much more.

*Magic Tree House: Monday with a Mad Genius – Mary Pope Osborne

If your children like the Magic Tree House books, they’ll love this one focusing on Leonardo da Vinci.

Leonardo: Beautiful Dreamer – Robert Byrd

I know, I know. Yes…this one is also about da Vinci. But seriously, how can you NOT think of da Vinci when it comes to science, history, and art.

Now & Ben: The Modern Inventions of Benjamin Franklin – Gene Barretta

When most people think of Ben Franklin, they associate him with the American Revolution, but let’s not forget that he was a scientist, as well!

Benjamin Franklin, American Genius: His Life and Ideas with 21 Activities – Brandon Marie Miller

If you’re learning about Benjamin Franklin, this is a fantastic book to consider since it contains Franklin-inspired activities for kids.

Mesmerized: How Ben Franklin Solved a Mystery that Baffled All of France – Mara Rockliff

Few people realize that Ben Franklin spent quite a bit of time in France. This picture book is a fun way to find out some things he accomplished while he was there.

*Magic Tree House: To the Future, Ben Franklin! – Mary Pope Osborne

Really. Is there any subject Magic Tree House doesn’t cover??

Nikola Tesla’s Diary – How I Lit Up The World – Melissa Young

Nikola Tesla was probably one of the most brilliant scientists ever to exist, yet he is sadly underexposed. Teach your kids about this unsung hero who deserved so much more than he got.

Nikola Tesla for Kids: His Life, Ideas, and Inventions, with 21 Activities – Amy M. O’Quinn

Supplement any study on Tesla (no, not the car!) with these hands-on activities.

*Who Was Nikola Tesla? – Jim Gigliotti

The Who Was? series is an engaging way for any child to learn about history…and science! 😉

*Who Was Benjamin Franklin? – Brindell Fradin, Dennis

Yup, there’s one on Ben Franklin, too. But of course!

*Island of the Blue Dolphins – Scott O’Dell

This Newbery Medal winner is considered one of the best children’s books in the world. Have you read it?

*The Swiss Family Robinson – ‎Johann David Wyss

This is honestly one of the best books I’ve ever read. The amount of science in this almost qualifies it as a scientific encyclopedia!

*The Sign of the Beaver – Elizabeth George Speare

This Newbery Medal winner provides a brilliant look at the relationships between settlers and natives in the 1700s.

*Little House Series – Laura Ingalls Wilder

I couldn’t even pick just one. It had to be the whole series. It’s that good.

*I Survived the Sinking of the Titanic, 1912 – Lauren Tarshis

Your kids will gain insightful knowledge about the sinking of the Titanic in this book from the I Survived series.

*Where the Red Fern Grows – Wilson Rawls

Tackle a novel science topic in this book about a boy training hunting dogs.

*I Survived The Great Molasses Flood, 1919 – Lauren Tarshis

Travel back in time with your kids to learn about a town that was flooded with molasses. Yes, you read that right!

*I Survived the Children’s Blizzard, 1888 – Lauren Tarshis

With the arrival of fall, many of us are bracing for the upcoming winter. But none of us will likely have to deal with the 10 feet of snow that once fell on the American prairie.

*Rush Revere and the Brave Pilgrims: Time-Travel Adventures with Exceptional Americans – Rush Limbaugh

Your kids will love this book about a time traveling history teacher!

*A Long Way From Chicago – Richard Peck

I’ll bet your kids don’t have a grandmother like Joey and Mary Alice!


*Chapter books

Do you have a favorite book that covers history and science? Leave a comment!



Author: Shelly Sangrey

I'm Shelly, a Christ-following, homeschooling Mom of eleven children ( okay, not ALL children. My oldest is 23.) I met my husband right after graduation, and we've been together ever since. Though my life can be hectic at times... okay, ALL the time, I wouldn't change it for anything.

9 thoughts on “Historical Fiction Books with a Dash of Science!”

  1. Great list! We have read Island of the Blue Dolphins! It was the first “Unit Study” I created for my girls when we started eclectic homeschooling, of which you were the greatest influence and we have much to thank you for!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. You pulled together a great list, Shelly! I’m excited for Marcus to read Island of the Blue Dolphins for English this year. It was one of my favorites growing up. His English studies are focused on the history of language and literature this year. A few years ago we read The Swiss Family Robinson together and you’re right, a lot of science! We listened to Rush Revere on audio book in our car rides to and from his scripture study class. I thought it was a fun series.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. What a great list! It’s reminded me that we might like to try Island of the Blue Dolphins. We’ve enjoyed The Sign of the Beaver more than once and I’m so glad to see the Magic Treehouse series there. That entire series was such a staple to my youngest son learning about all sorts of things.

    A book suggestion that we just discovered (from an author suggestion by Mary at Homegrown Learners) is “Bomb” (The Race to Build – and Steal- The World’s Most Dangerous Weapon) by Steve Sheinkin. I wasn’t familiar with his books but what an incredible combo of historical fiction and science.

    Liked by 2 people

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