The Magic School Bus series has been delighting — and educating — young readers with its unique approach to science since the first book was published in 1986. Almost 40 years later, red-haired Ms. Frizzle is still the most eccentric teacher in children’s literature, giving students a true front-row seat to natural disasters, the furthest reaches of space, and even the inside of the human body.
Inspired by a Scholastic editor’s love of field trips, The Magic School Bus has enjoyed continued success over the last four decades in part because of the zany teaching style of its memorable driver, but more so for the way it makes science fun for kids. The books introduce STEAM concepts (that’s Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math) through detailed illustrations and wacky story lines, so reading them feels like an adventure instead of learning. As with Ms. Frizzles’ methods, these immersive tours are anything but textbook.
Children’s book author Ross Burach, who’s written STEAM-related titles like Hi-Five Farm and Don’t Worry, Bee Happy, recently told Scholastic Parents that books featuring these topics are important not just because they promote innovation and creative thinking, but also values like perseverance and confidence.
“STEAM books are important because they instill readers with a sense of wonder and a desire to discover more about the world around them,” Burach told Scholastic Parents.
Over the years, The Magic School Bus has expanded its literary fleet. Fans of the series can now explore new books within the Frizzle-sphere, including The Magic School Bus Rides Again — designed for Level 2 developing readers, and recently adapted into a streaming series for Netflix — and a chapter-book version for older, more advanced readers.
Shop engaging titles in The Magic School Bus series below, including lab kits for do-it-yourself science experiments! Plus, explore our Scholastic Parents book lists to discover the best children's books by age, interest, and more. You can find more books and activities at The Scholastic Store.