Middle School to Young Adult Books

Theme: Curiosity and Curiosities

A Book of Scientific Curiosities: Everything You Need to Know About Science--But Never Had Time to Ask - (ISBN: 978-0786718658)

by Cyril Aydon

This book presents science in narrative, anecdotal style with a smattering of history blended with fascinating facts. Read it all, explore just a bit at a time, or use the index to check out what really interests you.

Civil War Curiosities: Strange Stories, Oddities, Events, and Coincidences - (ISBN: 978-1558533158)

by Webb Garrison

Many unusual characteristics made Abraham Lincoln and other Civil War leaders anything but run of the mill. Bizarre events and unusual happenings occurred throughout the period of the Civil War. Even if you are not a history buff, this book will grab your attention.

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time - (ISBN: 978-1400032716)

by Mark Haddon

A high-functioning, autistic boy attempts to track a murderer while battling his own disability. His curiosity and concern for the fate of a lost neighborhood dog lead to a fascinating tale full of innovative observations and lots of humor. How does his thinking process differ from yours?

The Old Curiosity Shop - (ISBN: 978-0486426792)

by Charles Dickens

Enjoy this classic tale once again; read how young Nell and her grandfather flee their antique store when the old man’s money lender finds out about the man’s gambling habits. As they roam the countryside, Nell becomes the “parent,” taking care of her ever-weakening relative. If you prefer, you can read this book online (see Activities).

The Shadows of Ghadames - (ISBN: 978-0440419495)

by Joelle Stolz

An adolescent Libyan girl about to be confined to the world of veiled women gains a greater appreciation for the women in her family after she learns they are secretly helping an injured man. Her relationship with the man has its benefits too; he helps her learn to read. Her curiosity about the wider world, while feeling stifled living among women, has a chance of being fed as changes come to the culture. At the same time, she is amazed at the power of the lives of the secluded women. What characteristics does this young woman share with Western teenagers?

Why Do Horses Sleep Standing Up? - (ISBN: 978-0757306082)

by Marty Becker D.V.M., Audrey Pavia, Gina Spadafori, Teresa Becker

For teens curious about horses, this book contains facts, puzzles, information about horse behavior, and strange but little-known tidbits. The question-answer format provides understanding about the strong bond between these animals and their owners and riders. What other questions would you like to see answered?

Catalogue of the Universe - (ISBN: 9780689503917)

by Margaret Mahy

Why Do Dogs Drink Out of the Toilet? - (ISBN: 978-0757305726)

by Marty Becker D.V.M. Gina Spadafori

Winchester Mystery House - (ISBN: 978-0965699204)

by Cynthia Anderson

Activities for this Theme

Make your own jewelry box with a secret drawer.


Enjoy the online version of The Old Curiosity Shop.


Learn about “curious” things all across the U.S.


Design another curious metal contraption (like the Forevertron) after viewing Dr. Evermore’s Scrap Metal Park in rural Wisconsin.


View some of the strange but interesting things about the Winchester Mystery House.


Plan your next party as a Murder Mystery.