Book List

7 Books with Brainy Ladies in STEM

November 16, 2017
Julie Jarema
Riveted Editorial Board
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Women in STEM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics) have historically been underrepresented, but the spotlight is finally starting to shift to highlight awesome ladies doing cool things, from nuclear physics to robotics and beyond! Get inspired by these YA girls who are interested in science, math, technology, and changing the world. I hope to see this list grow along with the accomplishments of real women to come!

When Dimple Met Rishi by Sandhya Menon

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Dimple Shah is thrilled when her parents agree to let her attend a summer program for aspirating web developers. Dimple is as incredibly caring as she is intelligent, which is why she’s intent on developing a game that will help her father keep better track of his health and monitor his diabetes without feeling dread and anxiety. Dimple’s character demonstrates that intelligence, confidence, and craftiness are all things to be admired. She also shows that these traits definitely don’t have to be sacrificed in the name of love.


The Unexpected Everything by Morgan Matson

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Andie is a planner with her sights set on getting into a top-tier med school. Her summer is all planned out until a political scandal costs Andie her summer pre-med internship. This lands both she and Dad back in the same house together for the first time in years. Suddenly she’s doing things that aren’t Andie at all—working as a dog walker, doing an epic scavenger hunt with her dad, and maybe, just maybe, letting the super cute Clark get closer than she expected. Her best friends, Palmer, Bri, and Toby, tell her to embrace all the chaos, but can she really let go of her control?


The Nowhere Girls by Amy Reed

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Erin Delillo is one of the three Nowhere Girls, obsessed with marine biology and Star Trek: The Next Generation. Along with Grace Salter, the new girl, and Rosina Suarez, the queer punk girl from a conservative Mexican immigrant family who has dreams of playing music, they fight to avenge the rape of a fellow classmate and in the process trigger a change in the misogynist culture at their high school.


American Panda by Gloria Chao

*coming out in 2018!

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Seventeen-year-old Mei should be in high school, but skipping fourth grade was part of her parents’ master plan. Now a freshman at MIT, she is on track to fulfill the rest of this predetermined future: become a doctor, marry a preapproved Taiwanese Ivy Leaguer, produce a litter of babies.

With everything her parents have sacrificed to make her cushy life a reality, Mei can’t bring herself to tell them the truth—that she (1) hates germs, (2) falls asleep in biology lectures, and (3) has a crush on her classmate Darren Takahashi, who is decidedly not Taiwanese. Mei starts to wonder if all the secrets are truly worth it. Can she find a way to be herself, whoever that is, before her web of lies unravels?


Every Hidden Thing by Kenneth Oppel

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Rachel Cartland is on a quest to find a skeleton of a massive dinosaur since it could be her ticket to a different life, one where her loves of science and adventure aren’t just relegated to books and sitting rooms. Because if she can’t prove herself on this expedition with her professor father, the only adventures she may have to look forward to are marriage or spinsterhood.

As her path crosses with Samuel Bolt, the rivalry between their fathers becomes more intense. They’re pushed closer together, but both are eyeing the same prize. Can they join forces to find their quarry or will old enmities and prejudices keep them from both the rex and each other ?


You’ll Miss Me When I’m Gone by Rachel Solomon

*coming out in 2018!

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Eighteen-year-old twins Adina and Tovah have little in common besides their ambitious nature. Viola prodigy Adina yearns to become a soloist—and to convince her music teacher he wants her the way she wants him. Overachiever Tovah awaits her acceptance to Johns Hopkins, the first step on her path toward med school and a career as a surgeon.

But one thing could wreck their carefully planned futures: a genetic test for Huntington’s, a rare degenerative disease that slowly steals control of the body and mind. It’s turned their Israeli mother into a near stranger and fractured the sisters’ own bond in ways they’ll never admit. When the results come in, one twin tests negative for Huntington’s, and the other tests positive.These opposite outcomes push them farther apart as they wrestle with guilt, betrayal, and the unexpected thrill of first love. How can they repair their relationship, and is it even worth saving?


This Mortal Coil by Emily Suvada

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Catarina Agatta is a hacker. She can cripple mainframes and crash though firewalls, but that’s not what makes her special. In Cat’s world, people are implanted with technology to recode their DNA, allowing them to change their bodies in any way they want. And Cat happens to be a gene-hacking genius.

That’s no surprise, since Cat’s father is Dr. Lachlan Agatta, a legendary geneticist who may be the last hope for defeating a plague that has brought humanity to the brink of extinction. But during the outbreak, Lachlan was kidnapped by a shadowy organization called Cartaxus, leaving Cat to survive the last two years on her own.When a Cartaxus soldier, Cole, arrives with news that her father has been killed, Cat’s instincts tell her it’s just another Cartaxus lie. But Cole also brings a message: before Lachlan died, he managed to create a vaccine, and Cole needs Cat’s help to release it and save the human race.

Now Cat must decide who she can trust: The soldier with secrets of his own? The father who made her promise to hide from Cartaxus at all costs? In a world where nature itself can be rewritten, how much can she even trust herself?

One Response to 7 Books with Brainy Ladies in STEM


  1. alyssayuri says:

    Ohhhhhh! I didn’t know some of this!!! Love this list! ❤

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