top of page
On this page

vehicles (4)

robots (2)

telecomms (1)

engineering (5)

​computers (33)

45 books

Last updated October 2017

What do I know about this?

Are you a geek or a nerd? Then is the page for you. It's all about techy books. Most of them are about computers and the internet, but there's a sprinking of vehicles and robots, too.

My first children's books were about the internet when it was pretty much alien territory to most people. I first used the web in either late 1994 or early 1995 (using a browser called Mosaic which was pretty much string and pixels). I'd already been writing about using computers with children for years. And I'd been using email, FTP and other internetish things since the early 1980s. The first computer I used was a Commodore Pet in 1977, and I learned to program in Strathclyde BASIC. Anyone remember that? It's basically pteradactyls counting on their binary toes.

Well, I soon decided programming was a mug's game as you spend days looking for one stupid syntax error that is always a missing quotation mark or space. But it did mean I could write Word macros in the days when Word supported Visual BASIC.  Ho hum, we've not got much further than the mammoth stage of evolution here. Well, time passed and in 1997 I had my first website. It got slowly upgraded, with bits of Javascript. It's always been purple.

Don't even ask what my car's like. It's small and blue and sweet but certainly not extreme or a record-breaker.

Extreme Machines (Carlton, 2017)

The most extreme machines on the planet —and off the planet!

Mega Machine Record Breakers (Carlton, 2014)

Wait and see! Smallest submarine, biggest helicopter, furthest-travelling probe...

—Runner-up for the ALCS award, 2015

Slipstream: World's Fastest (Hachette, 2012)

They're not all vehicles; I do know that neither Usain Bolt nor a cheetah are vehicles. Easy to read.

Aerospace Engineering (Crabtree, 2013)

How flying machines work, from glders to space rockets, and how engineers work to deisgn and build them. Perfect for anyone who might want to work in aerospace.

Robots aren't all just clanking tin men with flashing lights on the top. I'm not sure any of them are... They are much smarter than that. Some might one day be able to think for themselves. But that is a debatable question. (It's considered in the grown-up book The Story of Philosophy.)

Cutting Edge Science: Machines in Medicine (Franklin Watts, 2006)

Robotic limbs and tiny implants sound like something from a sci-fi movie, but they're hear already.


Tomorrow's Science: Artificial Intelligence (Chrysalis, 2003)

Should you love a robotic pet? Could you ever be cared for by a robot nurse when you’re sick? Can machines think and feel? Should be allowed to be cruel to machines?

This books looks at ethical issues surrounding computer technologies. There are more books on ethical issues on past + present. There are more books in this series on alive!


I know – one of the three things I was never going to write about (along with music and sport). There aren't so many of them, yet, if you don't count those vehicle books above.

Genetic Engineering

(Crabtree, 2016)

It's a different kind of 'engineering' that involves messing about with genes and DNA. Don't bring your spanner this time.

Agricultural Engineering

(Crabtree, 2015)

Farming, agriculture, growing things—call it what you will. But there's more engineering in it than you might imagine.

Optical Engineering
(Crabtree, 2014)

All the engineering of seeing things with lenses, telescopes, cameras, light action...

Audio Engineering
(Crabtree, 2014)

If you aren't musical enough to be in a band, maybe you could do the sound. Or if you are musical enough to be in a band, it's a good idea to find out about all the tech that goes into supporting your sounds.


Aerospace Engineering
(Crabtree, 2013)

Plances and rockets and other cool stuff that goes in the sky. Who wouldn't want to work with that?

This one little book doesn't really justify a great big heading. But it's lonely, so I'm indulging it.

Technology All Around Us: Telecommunications
(Franklin Watts, 2005)

Do you know how a mobile phone works, or how we communicate with a space probe on Mars? Could you find an explorer lost in the arctic waste? How do we look inside a sealed pyramid? You never know when you will be lost in an Arctic waste on Mars, outside a sealed pyramid.

Let's get the safety bit over and done with first. The emergency exits are here, here, here and here. If you're sub-adult and going to use the computer, you need to know how to do it safely.

​You Wouldn't Want to Live Without the Internet

(Salaryia, 2015)

Well, you wouldn't, would you?


Keeping Safe Online

(Franklin Watts, 2014)

How not to get into big trouble. Or even small trouble.


Anatomy of an Investigation: Investigating a Cyber Attack (Raintree, 2014)

How cybercrime is investigated, what it involves, and precautions against becoming the victim of an attack.

Internet Safety (Hachette, 2011)

​How to stay safe using your computer and mobile phone. Advice on avoiding bullying, nasty websites and other risks in the online world. There are more books about dealing with bullies on the page about the  present.

Here are three rather random books about computers. Each is part of a larger series (you'll spot some elsewhere on this page, but there's no prize).

​The Cutting Edge: Computers (Heinemann, 2006)

The latest developments in computer technology and how they will affect our lives, from the newest robots to computers we can wear or have implanted in our bodies.

Technology All Around Us: Computers (Franklin Watts, 2005)

Find out how computers help us reconstruct the faces of mummified Egyptian kings, learn to fly a space craft and teach robots to jump!

Tomorrow's Science: Internet Technologies (Chyrsalis, 2003)

Is it fair that rich nations spread their culture round the world using the web? Does it matter if you download pirate copies of movies or music?

This books looks at ethical issues surrounding computer technologies. There are more books on ethical issues on past + present. There are more books in this series on alive!

This is a series for smallish people (7-11) on how to do some exciting projects with a computer. Together, these give full coverage of the ICT curriculum for Key Stage 2, but they don't have to be used at school.

They've been reissued a few times, so don't worry if you have these and the covers don't look the same. Publishers like to produce new covers now and then. They obviously don't have enough to do.

Learn ICT series (QED, 2005), six titles

First published in 2004 with the titles Fact Factory, Working with Words, Communicate Online, Take Control, Picture This, What if?

These books sold so well they were bundled into this HUGE book!

The Great Big Book of Computing (QED, 2010)

And this is a similar series for even smaller people (5-6).

Here's a 'spot the difference' activity for you. (Really I can't find the image for the latest title for that one. But just pretend it's a game, OK?)

Let's Learn ICT series (QED, 2005), six titles

This series combines fun facts, puzzles and quizzes with a story: How can you keep in touch with the tooth fairy? Can a Furby travel through time? Could you look after a witch’s wild and scary pets? Could you track a troll?

Shooting Stars series: Fact Attack, Communication Crazy, Media Magic, Techno Tricks (Chrysalis, 2003), four titles

These books form the first series I ever wrote, and they were very early for a series of books about computers for kids. No one thought kids would be interested in computers... You won't want to buy these now, as they are so out of date, but the covers are colourful so they're here to jazz the page up and for a little nostalgia spot.

Whizz Kids series (Belitha, 2001), eight titles

This the first children's book I wrote – or, the first that was published, ignoring those early efforts. There were only a million web pages. Can you believe there ever was such a time? I created a Neopets account to do this book – I was one of the first 200 Neopet users. Yay! Claim to fame! I've lost the login details, though.

Internet action: Chilling Out (Belitha, 2000)

Do you want to find out about more science books? There are books about:

>> our planet (and its neighbours)

>> you and other living things

>> science just for fun

bottom of page