A common comment from adult readers about the topics of Elaine's books is, "I really thought I had no interest in the subject, but once I started reading it was all so fascinating and engaging that I was drawn in."

Many of Elaine's books are available through Recorded Books. Class sets include 10 copies of the book, a recorded book, and teacher guides. Read-along and print copies of some titles are also available through Recorded Books.

Amazon and out-of-print book services like Alibris have new and used copies of Elaine's books available. Close Encounters is also available in Braille through the Library of Congress National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped.


“Scott’s lively reporting is packed with fascinating details; ...certainly has insight into what will appeal to young readers.”—The Horn Book

Click here for links to teacher guides, articles, and other resources to use with Elaine's books.

Dollars and Sense

Charlesbridge, 2016. 978-1580893961, $16.95

"At first glance, this title appears to be a guide to budgeting and spending money wisely, but upon closer inspection, readers will discover this work to be an overview of the history of money—from the exchange of goods and services to the current economic climate." --SLJ


Our Moon

Clarion, 2016. 978-0547483948, $18.99

A wealth of captivating, kid-friendly information, covering everything from the newest theories on how the moon formed, to the recent, startling discovery of water on its surface and the very real possibility of future moon colonies.

"Scott excels at rendering complex ideas intelligible: radioactive dating, the science of craters, the role of a planet's atmosphere, and much more are clearly presented. Well-captioned illustrations and photographs, diagrams, and pithy text boxes round out this handsome package."  --Kirkus, December 2016


Buried Alive!: How 33 Miners Survived 69 Days Deep Under the Chilean Desert

Clarion, 2012. 978-0547707785; $17.99 (Grades 4-8)

 "An engaging, suspenseful look at a tragedy averted that also provides a glimpse of a challenging way of life." --Kirkus

2013 IRA Teacher's Choice Award

Space, Stars, and the Beginning of Time

Clarion, 2011. 978-0547241890; $17.99 (Grades 3-6)

A Texas Institue of Letters Award Finalist

Austin Public Library Friends Foundation Award for Best Children's Book

An ALA 2012 Notable Children's Book

"When kids begin to find books on the solar system a bit too parochial, it’s time to ramp up space study with some bigger, more controversial, truly mind-boggling ideas. ...gasp-worthy photographs should fire up the most sluggish imaginations." --Bulletin of the Center for Children's Book

Space, Stars and the Beginning of Time: What the Hubble Telescope Saw is a straight out masterpiece. Its amazing captioned space photographs and easily explained concepts make it a wonderful and informative book. Some (and unfortunately, most) nonfiction books may become boring after awhile, but not this one! Whether you're interested in space or not, this book will have you hooked! --Reviewer Age:11

Mars and the Search for Life

Clarion, 2008. 978-0618766956; $17.00 (Grades 3-7)

"A well-researched examination of our fascinating relationship with the Red Planet, and of the possibility of life (intelligent or otherwise) existing (or having existed) in its stark, rugged landscapes. ...this clearly written, carefully constructed book will shine like the Red Planet seen on a clear, moonless night."–Starred Review SLJ, February 2009.

Additional attention is focused on the technological challenges of designing and launching spacecraft capable of making it to Mars intact. Abundant color, color-enhanced, and black-and-white images give readers a real feel for the Martian surface, and artistic renderings illustrate current and future technologies that get spacecraft to Mars—and someday, hopefully, back to Earth again. -- The Horn Book

“Scott, who so ably handled Pluto’s recent identity crisis, now turns to Earth’s mysterious next-door neighbor to discuss the Mars Exploration Rover and tantalizing findings that suggest that conditions on the red planet may once have been hospitable to life. . . . Sidebar information ranges from the predictably useful (Martian gravity and time) to the outright quirky (Pieces of World Trade Center wreckage were incorporated into the Rock Abrasion Tool).” -- Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books


All About Sleep From A to Zzzz

Viking, 2008. 978-0670061884; $17.99 (Grades 3-6)

"This excellent overview is packed with interesting tidbits, such as the fact that most people are paralyzed during sleep. Scott is careful to point out which information is factual and which is theory, an important distinction. Chapters include the history of what we know about sleep, what happens while you sleep, theories about dreams, and sleep disorders." --School Library Journal

"In ten brief chapters dotted with the occasional black-and-white cartoon illustration and inset factlet, Scott relates a great deal of interesting information about the nature of sleep." -- Kirkus

"Though historical figures such as Aristotle and Freud come up in the discussion, Scott makes clear that scientists today are continually learning more about the nature and significance of sleep." -- Booklist

Named an Outstanding Science Trade Book for 2009 by The Miss Rumphius Effect.

A Junior Literary Guild Selection, January 2009

Secrets of the Cirque Medrano

Charlesbridge, 2008. ISBN 978-1-57091-712-7; $15.95

Elaine Scott vividly recreates the drama and excitement that charged the intellectual world of avant-garde artists and writers in Paris at the turn of the twentieth century.

"Great art often seems to have a story behind it, and Scott has imagined a suspenseful one about the circus acrobats featured in Picasso’s Family of Saltambiques." -- Booklist

"Scott ties the story of the circus (the source of Picasso's Family of Saltimbanques), the growth of the Russian Secret Police in Paris and the change in Montmartre from village to a vibrant part of the city to Brigitte's adjustment to her new life." -- Kirkus

Secrets of the Cirque Medrano has been named one of Bank Street College's Best Children's Books of the Year!


Recommended by Cynsations! Read the updated interview with Cynthia Leitich Smith.

"Young readers will follow Brigitte’s coming of age with great interest as she becomes involved in international espionage, aids her new friends who are mistreated by a corrupt circus owner, and touches the lives of artists who changed the world." --YoungadultARCs

"...mixes history, mystery, and art into an interesting story of amazing adventures that will keep pages turning." --ParentWise Austin

"those who enjoy fiction built up with history and biography will be interested in this window into Picasso's famous painting.--School Library Journal

For a free teacher's guide, click here.

When Is a Planet Not a Planet?: The Story of Pluto

Clarion, 2007. 9780618898329; $17.00

The Texas State Reading Association selected When is a Planet Not a Planet? as the 2008 winner of their Golden Spur Award for Children's Literature. It was also selected for the Librarians Choices list by Texas Woman's University. The International Reading Association has named When is a Planet Not a Planet? as a 2008 Teacher's Choice book. When is a Planet Not a Planet?: The Story of Pluto has been named to the Maine Student Book Awards list.

Scott is the first to put the answer to the title question into terms simple enough for a very young audience to understand, based upon the new definitions determined by the International Astronomical Union. Check out the article and teacher resources in the March 2008 issue of Library Sparks.

"Beautifully designed from cover to cover and including numerous captioned color photos and other illustrations from a variety of sources, this book entices browsers to look closely. Serious readers will find plenty of detail and well-chosen references for further research. A great resource." --School Library Journal (starred review)

"Sometimes it's good to go back to basics in order to make sense of things, and that's exactly what Elaine Scott has done with When Is a Planet Not a Planet: The Story of Pluto. It's a thin volume (only 48 pages in hardcover, and only a single CD in audiobook) aimed at school-age kids, but still perfectly enjoyable and educational for adults." -- SciFi Dimensions

"But how did this heavenly body [Pluto] get the job in the first place? And why the scientific pink slip? Scott connects these two questions with the certainty that future discussions will change, because scientific knowledge is not static." -- The Horn Book



Poles Apart: Why Penguins and Polar Bears Will Never Be Neighbors (Viking, October 2004)

Poles Apart was named to the CBC-NCSS Notable Social Studies Trade Books for Young People list for 2005. It has also been named to Chicago Public Library's Best of the Best list and The Cooperative Children's Book Center at the University of Wisconsin named it to their CCBC Choices 2005 list.

Recommended by Columbus (OH) Metropolitan Library and the Pennsylvania Library Association.

The perfect book to supplement the blockbuster films, The March of the Penguins or Happy Feet!

Reviews of Poles Apart

Kirkus: Mid-level readers still a bit hazy on what our planet's poles, both geographic and magnetic, are all about will benefit from Scott's painstaking review of their nature, origins, differences, and human discovery. Along with explanations of rotation, orbits, seasons, magnetism, auroras, continental drift, and a plethora of related topics, she contrasts the climates and wildlife of the Arctic and Antarctic, chronicles the arrival of Inuit and Norse settlers, as well as the exploits of explorers from Captain Cook to Roald Amundsen. She closes with a glimpse of modern research and a discussion of the likely effects of global warming.

School Library Journal: Gr 5-7-This slender, handsome book presents the literal ends of the Earth (if a globular mass can be said to have ends). From the peregrinations of Antarctica as it drifted away from Gondwanaland to descriptions of the magnetic poles, from penguins to polar bears, Scott provides an attractive window on the disparities of two cold places. (December 2004)

Friends (Atheneum, 2000)

Photographs by Margaret Miller

"This well-executed concept book ... explores the joys and dilemmas of friendship and encourages children to think about what they do in similar situations." School Library Journal


Close Encounters: Exploring the Universe with the Hubble Space Telescope (Hyperion Books for Children, 1998)

Winner 1999 Science Writing Award from the American Institute of Physics; 1999 Outstanding Trade Book for Children National Science Teachers Association

"Scott follows up her Adventure in Space: The Flight to Fix the Hubble with this equally outstanding explanation of why the effort to repair the orbiting telescope's faulty components was worthwhile....a meaty, cogent report." School Library Journal (starred review.)

This title is available from Recorded Books, Inc.

Twins! (Atheneum Books for Young Readers, 1998)

Photographs by Margaret Miller

"Clear, colorful photographs of twins in action will draw children to this appealing photo-essay...With the increasing frequency of multiple births, many children know or see twins in their schools and communities, so this well-designed book is an excellent resource for parents and teachers to have on hand." ALA Booklist

Adventure in Space: The Flight to Fix the Hubble (Hyperion Books for Children, 1995)

Photographs by NASA and Margaret Miller

"A rare look behind the scenes at NASA.... The exceptionally clear, full-color photographs, some from NASA, and others taken by Margaret Miller, work seamlessly with the text. An excellent presentation. Booklist (starred review) *

Children's Literature Choices, 1996 Choice List; School Library Journal Best Book of the Year for 1995; Booklist Editor's Choice for 1995; VOYA Nonfiction Honor List for 1995; Nominee, The Beehive Award, 1996.

This title is available from Recorded Books, Inc.

"Runger loves children. He has narrated several books for kids including the fascinating "Adventures in Space: The Flight to Fix the Hubble" by Elaine Scott, which will keep the little ones and their parents on the edge of their seats." -- Excerpt from audiobookstoday.com, December 2, 2002.

A teacher's curriculum guide for Adventure in Space is available by clicking here. A research project for use with Adventure in Space is available online by clicking here.

Movie Magic: Behind the Scenes with Special Effects (Morrow Junior Books, 1995)

"From the imploding house in Poltergeist to the ultrarealistic T. Rex in Jurassic Park, the fascinating world of special effects comes to life in this ... addition to Elaine Scott's popular behind-the-scenes series."

This title is available from Recorded Books, Inc.

Look for these out-of-print books at your local library or through Amazon.com's out-of-print search service. Some titles are also available through Recorded Books, Inc.

Adoption (1980)

Banking Book (1981)

Choices (1989)

Doodlebugging, The Treasure Hunt For Oil (1982)

Funny Papers: Behind the Scenes of the Comics (1993)--This title is available from Recorded Books, Inc.

Kidnapped!: Could It Happen To You? (1989)

Look Alive: Behind the Scenes of an Animated Film (1992)

Oil!: Getting It, Shipping It, Selling It (1984)

Ramona: Behind the Scenes of a Television Show (1988) A Reading Rainbow Book (Bionic Bunny Episode)

Safe in the Spotlight: The Dawn Animal Agency and the Sanctuary for Animals (1991)--This title is available from Recorded Books, Inc.

Stocks And Bonds, Profits and Losses (1985)





This page updated August 24, 2016.

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