funny math science chapter books for boys ages 9 and up

Funny Science-y Math-y Chapter Books for ages 7 and up

There seems to be a new sub-genre in children’s books that target boys to get them reading. It’s for boys like my own who graduated from potty and underwear humor (ok, maybe they never do!) and still want funny but with a science twist.

This is not to say that these books are science fiction; it’s more like Diary of a Wimpy Kid meets Mad Scientist. In any case, these are fun books to get boys reading. If they like chapter books. And science. And humor. And potty humor never hurts either!

What are your favorite books for boys (or girls!) that are funny but with a science bent? Please share and I’ll keep adding to the list. Thanks!


Science-y Chapter Books

Cloneward Bound: The Clone Chronicles #2 by M. E. Castle

Fisher’s just in middle school but he has the smarts to clone himself only his clone, Two, isn’t exactly like him. This clone likes the Hollywood limelight. Luckily Fisher’s class trip is to TV show  Strange Science in Hollywood so he has a chance to hunt Two down before everyone finds out about his genetic miracle. Fisher’s high-tech gadget inventions will come in handy to pull this off!

This is a good book for kids who like (or did when they were younger) robots and dinosaurs! [chapter book, ages 9 and up]

Contagious Colors of Murphy Middle School by Fowler DeWitt, illustrated by Rodolfo Montalvo

Wilmer’s classmates are turning strange colors and patterns and it’s up to him to figure out why it’s happening and how to cure them. And his cure might also help him win the science fair prize from his arch-enemy Claudius Dill! [chapter book, ages 9 and up]

The trailer is funny too!

Iggy Loomis: Superkid in Training by Jennifer Allison, illustrated by Mike Moran

Daniel’s younger brother Iggy has only been potty trained for a few months but now he’s sporting weird insect based superpowers. Daniel figures out that this is from the bugs Iggy digested from the new neighbor kid’s insect collection. Only he learns that his new neighbors are aliens from another planet who might know how to cure Iggy. [easy chapter book, ages 7 and up]

Vincent Shadow: Toy Inventor series by Tim Kehoe

11-year-old Vincent gets blackouts during which he envisions fantastic toy creations. He’s like a Willy Wonka of toy invention except with an unsual invention process. There’s also a Cinderella element to Vincent’s story. His deceased mother was an artist who helped Vincent create a secret laboratory. Now that his father remarried with three step kids, Vincent feels mistreated and spends most of his time hiding out there. When Vincent hears about a competition by famous toy maker Howard G. Whiz, he’s determined to win the prize of a summer job which will give him a break from his family. [chapter book, ages 8 and up]

The Templeton Twins: Have an Idea Book 1 series by Ellis Weiner

The Templeton kids are 12-year-old fraternal twins, a boy and girl named John and Abigail Templeton, with a genius inventor father. There are another set of evil adult twins, Dean D. Dean and Dan D. Dean, who want their dad’s inventions and resort to kidnapping the Templeton twins and their dog to accomplish this.

This series is narrated in a delightfully snarky but funny way reminiscent of Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events. If you like that style of humor, this series would be a good fit!

[chapter book, ages 8 and up]


Serious Science-y Chapter Books for Boys OR Girls

And now we segue into a more serious mood. These chapter books also have science-y themes in them but are not humorous. Would a kid who likes funny science-y chapter books like these too? I think that depends. Perhaps at different ages? Still, these are all great reads and worth presenting to kids who like potty humor.

The Green Glass Sea by Ellen Klages

It’s 1943, and eleven-year-old Dewey Kerrigan is en route to New Mexico to live with her mathematician father. Soon she arrives at a town that, officially, doesn’t exist. It is called Los Alamos, and it is abuzz with activity, as scientists and mathematicians from all over America and Europe work on the biggest secret of all–“the gadget.” None of them–not J. Robert Oppenheimer, the director of the Manhattan Project; not the mathematicians and scientists; and least of all, Dewey–know how much “the gadget” is about to change their lives.

While this book is historical fiction-ish about the creation of the atom bomb, this chapter book hones in on the story from the point of view of an 11-year-old girl who is sent to live with her mathmatician father and has a science talent of her own. The story focuses more on her life, and as a middle school age girl, means relationships and popularity. The atom bomb is really a backdrop to a coming of age story of Dewey Kerrigan and the new friends she makes. [chapter book, ages 9 and up]

The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate by Jacqueline Kelly

11-year-old Calpurnia Tate lives in Fentress, Texas (near Austin) in the year 1899. At this turn of the century, things are changing even in small town Fentress. Calpurnia’s grandfather is at the forefront of this change, and he embraces it as a naturalist scientist and early member of the National Geographic Society. Calpurnia grativates towards her grandfather learning about science and keenly observing all around her. But one thing she does notice, besides the flora and fauna, is that girls are expected to marry and keep house, and not go to college. Calpurnia’s evolution is to test this theory of homemaking versus college for girls. But anything is possible at the start of a new century, or is it? [chapter book, ages 9 and up]


Math-y Chapter Books

The 14 Fibs of Gregory K. by Gregory Pincus

Gregory K comes from a seriously math-y family. His obnoxious older brother won the city wide math competition but Gregory actually likes writing. Poetry to be specific! Now that his best friend Kelly is moving away, author camp is their only time to spend together but Gregory ends up committing to the math competition instead and lying to everyone around him.

It’s the Fibonacci numbers that solve Gregory’s dilemma. They inspire Gregory’s math competition entry but he gets to do it his way, kn the form of poems. And maybe these Fibs can help him untangle his problems with his family and his friendship with Kelly! [chapter book, ages 8 and up]

Short Seller by Elissa Brent Weissman

For kids who are interested in playing the stock market, this would be a good introduction.

It all starts when seventh grader Lindy Sachs is granted $100 and access to her father’s online trading account as a way to alleviate her boredom while she’s home sick from school.

Lindy learns something immediately—she is very, very good at e-trading. Her $100 becomes $200. Then $400. And more. With trading talent and access to her parents’ savings, the opportunity to make some real dough is too tempting to pass up. In fact, given how well Lindy’s stocks are doing, it would be a disservice to not invest it all… Right?

What Do We Do All Have Day? has a wonderful list of Math Chapter Books and Story Collections.


Anthropology Chapter Book

The Monster in the Mudball (Artifact Inspector) by S. P. Gates

Jin’s grandmother has an artifact from her native Africa, a mudball that is actually a slumbering monster called Zilombo, on the top of her wardrobe. When his little brother drools on it, the moisture sets it free. Thankfully the Chief Inspector of Ancient Artifacts, Mizz Z, has arrived to help subdue Zilombo before it can eat its favorite prey, babies … and Jin’s baby brother is in its clutches!

This is a good example of every day diversity; it just so happens that there are multi-racial characters but that is not really the point of this action adventure chapter book.

[chapter book, ages 9 and up]

To examine any book more closely at Amazon, please click on image of book.

funny math science chapter books for boys ages 9 and up

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By Mia Wenjen, PragmaticMom


  1. Thanks for sharing this great selection. It has so much diversity and creates a broad appeal for a variety of ages.

  2. Great list, Mia! I loved Calpurnia Tate thought the 14 Fibs book was sweet.

    Kate Messner’s Sugar & Ice also touches upon Fibonacci. Messner’s Eye of the Storm is a futuristic thriller about killer tornados and there is a lot of meteorological science in it; Wake Up Missing is another thriller about kids with severe head injuries all sent to a remote brain center in the Everglades where things are not what they seem. It wasn’t my favorite, but it’s very suspenseful.

    Jackie Davies has a lovely coming of age tale that also takes place at Los Alamos: Where the Ground Meets the Sky

    Carl Hiassen books are good for environmental issues (Hoot; Flush; Chomp)

  3. This is a great, great list, Mia! So many of our favorites on here!
    Erica recently posted…Zentangles with a 5 Year OldMy Profile

  4. My mg book, The Stone Lions, also teaches a math concept, band symmetry.

    • Hi Gwen,
      Thanks so much for telling us about your book! It sounds fascinating:

      “In the last throes of the 14th century, Islamic Spain is under pressure from Castile and Aragon. Ara, the twelve-year old daughter to the Sultan, finds herself in the center of a political intrigue when her eunuch tutor is magically transformed by the evil Wazir. Can a little girl save her friend and tutor with the help of a Sufi mathemagician.

      Intertwined in a mystery of math, art and magic, Ara races to find the seven broken symmetries before time runs out? Will she succeed or will the Alhambra fall and with it all that she loves?

      And will the stone lions awaken in time to help her?

      This cross-cultural fantasy combines mystery and math to teach the geometry of symmetry.”
      Pragmatic Mom recently posted…My Son’s First Fencing LessonMy Profile

  5. What a great collection of books – all new to me!
    maryanne recently posted…Setting Goals Month by Month: March 2014My Profile

  6. I have not read any of these, so thank you so much for sharing them. They sound fantastic and love their connections to other areas. I have lots of books added to my TBR list now. :)~Jess

  7. I just love all of your book recommendations. They are so helpful and such great resources. I’ve pinned them all to use as my boys grow.

    Thank you for such valuable information! I’ve nominated you for a Liebster award! I’d love to learn more about you and look forward to following your blog! Check out the link below and read more. Would love to have you join in the fun!
    Katy Blevins recently posted…Liebster AwardMy Profile

  8. This is a fabulous list. I want to read The Contagious Colours Of Mumpley Middle School. You know, I couldn’t get into the Templeton Twins, the narrator drove me bonkers, LOL, but I know that it has great reviews so I will try reading it again he he. Thanks for some great recommendations on the Kid Lit Blog Hop
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  9. Renee @ MDBR

    Awesome! Just what I was looking for. I’m finding it increasingly difficult to find books for my voracious 7 year-old reader. I was just on your site yesterday with my 10 year old daughter who is asking for a new book series to get into. I told her, “I know just where to look!” 😉
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