Recommended for ages 8-12
This interesting nonfiction book takes a look at the microbes that live on our bodies: in our hair, on our skin, and the ones we pick up everywhere we go. We’re microbiomes: a walking, talking collection of microbes, and Inside Your Insides introduces us to some of the most common microbes we share our surroundings with. We learn about bacteria, archaea, viruses, fingu, protists and mites; their preferred environments; and all the places they live on and around us. Complete with brightly colored, cartoony illustrations, makes this a good introduction or companion for middle grade science students.
There are some good callout facts and groan-worthy jokes scattered throughout the book, and a glossary and index round everything out. Kids will learn that not all bacteria are bad for you: you don’t need everything antibacterial, and it may be doing more harm than good, anyway! A section dedicated to saving our microbes goes into detail on how to take care of ourselves to attract the “good” microbes: play outside, eat lots of fruits and vegetables, and explore your world. The combination of clear, instructional writing with a humorous bent, and the eye-catching illustrations, kids will get a kick out of this intro to microbiology. It’s a good additional purchase for collections where science books circulate.
You can also direct kids to the Genetic Science Learning Center’s Human Microbiome site. There are teacher resources, interactive simulators, informative videos, and information that’s written in a clear, interesting way to get kids excited about learning more.