Smart Reads: Gene Luen Yang Picks the Best Graphic Novels About Math & Science
With their new book, Secret Coders, writer Gene Luen Yang and illustrator Mike Holmes set out to do something many of us might consider near-impossible; turn the head-scratching world of computer coding into an adventure tale fit for a middle-grade audience. Yet by combining a mystery story with a series of compelling logic puzzles, the authors have actually succeeded in creating the sort of book that could inspire the next generation of computer geniuses.
And it turns out using comics to inspire young scientists and mathematicians is not at all impossible. Gene Luen Yang provided us with five more examples of excellent educational comics that turn potentially daunting topics into engaging comic book tales. Check them out below.
HowToonsSaul Griffith, Joost Bonsen, and Nick Dragotta
This ingenious comic book series teaches you how to turn common household items into the most amazing contraptions. Soda bottle submarines! PVC pipe marshmallow guns! Drinking straw robot hands! It's all here! A sure-fire hit with the maker set.
PrimatesJim Ottaviani and Maris Wicks
Through their study of primates, scientists Jane Goodall, Dian Fossey, and Biruté Galdikas not only challenged prejudices against women in science, but also fundamentally changed humankind's understanding of ourselves. Jim Ottaviani and Maris Wicks bring their stories to wonderful, four-color life.
Jason Shiga's choose-your-own-adventure masterpiece is half comic book, half maze. By solving math puzzles and making good choices about ice cream flavors, you can help young Jimmy figure out the secret of his world.
Last of the SandwalkersJay Hosler
Lucy's a consummate scientist — curious, determined, and fearless. Also, she's a beetle. Lucy leads a team of her fellow hyper-intelligent beetles on an expedition of her dreams, and together they discover that the world is bigger and more complex than they'd ever imagined.
Logicomix: An Epic Search for TruthApostolos Doxiadis, Christos Papadimitriou, Alecos Papadatos and Annie Di Donna
What are the logical foundations of mathematics? Young Bertrand Russell is obsessed with this question, and this epic graphic novel describes his search for the answer.