LEGO Library

Something most casual LEGO fans don't realize is that there's an extensive library of books celebrating different parts of the classic toy, and inspiring how LEGO can be used not just at home, but as a constructive (that could be a pun, but I'm classy) tool in the classroom. I've broken down the following books by Curriculum, Ideas, Robotics and Mindstorms, and some that are simply Fun.

Curriculum: History, Geography, Architecture, ELA, Art,  STEM 

Brick History: A Brick History of the World in LEGO More than 50 different vignettes and sculptures representing history from the Big Bang, through the Renaissance, and into the 21st Century. Each of the books in this series includes high quality photos of LEGO builds, and instructions for building some of the smaller models featured in the book.
Brick Wonders: Ancient, Modern, and Natural Wonders Made from LEGO Collection of builds from the seven wonders of the ancient world to the Panama Canal and the Great Barrier Reef.
Brick City: Global Icons to Make from LEGO Modern landmarks from around the world, including skyscrapers, monuments, and national symbols.
Brick Vehicles: Amazing Air, Land, and Sea Machines to Build from LEGO 40 vehicles, machines and devices arranged by mode of transportation. Some strong STEM connections here.

The LEGO Architect Like an introduction to architecture, this book shows examples in LEGO form of different styles and time periods of building, including neoclassical, art deco, prairie, and postmodern. Includes instructions for mini-models of each style.
The Art of the Brick: A Life in LEGO Nathan Sawaya has become known as a bona fide "LEGO artist," and uses LEGO as a medium for sculpture just as other artists use clay and stone. Sawaya has several touring exhibitions, and this book is a fine collection of his work.
Brick Flicks: A Comprehensive Guide to Making Your Own Stop-Motion LEGO Movies Kids love making and watching stop motion LEGO movies on YouTube; they make a great assessment for alternative projects. This book is a good introduction for teachers, but is accessible for kids too.
Medieval LEGO Vignettes and short chapters of English medieval history, many in summaries written by historians and other scholars.

Revolution! The Brick Chronicle of the American Revolution and the Inspiring Fight for Liberty and Equality that Shook the World The guy who brought us the Brick Bible (see below) provides a comic book-style look at the American and French Revolutions. The LEGO makes them undeniably cute, but the author includes the bloodier aspects of both events as well. Probably not for elementary students wholecloth, but could be used in pieces.
Assassination! The Brick Chronicle of Attempts on the Lives of Twelve U.S. Presidents Sure, we know about the four successful assassinations of Presidents of the United States, but there were many other attempts. The nature of assassination means that even though this is "cute" being made in LEGO and all, there is a lot of violence.
United States of LEGO: A Brick Tour of America Jeff Friesen has won acclaim with his vignettes representing all fifty states (and Canada's provinces) --this book collects those scenes, and adds fun facts and models to build throughout.
Klutz LEGO Chain Reactions Craft Kit Klutz has a few different kits that include the pieces needed to build some simple engineering projects and books with the instructions. They're a great start for anyone wanting to takes some baby steps toward LEGO in their STEM classrooms.

The Brick Bible: A New Spin on the Old Testament A comic book-style retelling of the stories of the Old Testament, using LEGO minifigures and builds as the characters and settings of the Holy Land. It's a good reminder that the Old Testament was more graphic than most of us got in Sunday School.
The Brick Bible: New Testament A New Spin on the Story of Jesus See above, but, like, New Testament.
Brick Fairy Tales: Cinderella, Rapunzel, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, Hansel and Gretel, and More retellings of the classic fairy tales, based more on the darker version of the stories instead of the Disney Version.
Brick Dracula and Frankenstein: Two Classic Horror Tales Told in a Whole New Way Get this: it's two classic horror tales told in a whole new way. Sometimes the subtitle says it all.

Brick Greek Myths: The Stories of Heracles, Athena, Pandora, Poseidon, and Other Ancient Heroes of Mount Olympus Many of the major Greek myths retold using, you guessed it, LEGO.
Brick Shakespeare: The Tragedies - Hamlet, Macbeth, Romeo and Juliet, and Julius Caesar using LEGO and much of the bard's original language, with the drama and deaths that any good Shakespearean tragedy requires.
Brick Shakespeare: The Comedies - A Midsummer Night's Dream, The Tempest, Much Ado About Nothing, and Taming of the Shrew all of the above, but with fewer deaths. Usually.

Idea Books: Inspiration for Your Own Creations

The LEGO Ideas Book: Unlock Your Imagination a combination of practical ideas that any kid could create, and large-scale creations that are built and photographed by master builders.
LEGO Play Book: Ideas to Bring Your Bricks to Life more of those great ideas, from the official LEGO people at LEGO.
The Art of LEGO Scale Modeling incredibly detailed and accurately-scaled creations, including tips for how to build scale models of just about anything.
Extreme Bricks: Spectacular, Record-Breaking, and Astounding LEGO Projects from Around the World a collection of builds from various world-famous (to geeks) LEGO builders.

The LEGO Adventure Book Vol. 1: Cars, Castles, Dinosaurs and More! 
The LEGO Adventure Book Vol. 2: Spaceships, Pirates, Dragons and More!
The LEGO Adventure Book Vol. 3: Robots, Planes, Cities and More! Megan Rothrock's LEGO Adventure series has a narrative following some LEGO characters on a journey around the world and into space, with a mix of LEGO models and building techniques that will teach everyone from beginners to pros how to build better.
Cool Creations in 35 Pieces So many LEGO books are all about building big -- this great book reminds us that creativity can happen with just a handful of bricks.

Cool Creations in 101 Pieces Similar to the "35 Pieces" book, but you know. 101 Pieces.
Cool Castles
Cool Robots
Cool City the "Cool" series are perfect for elementary-aged students, with ideas and instructions simple enough for young readers, but still definitely cool.

Robotics and Engineering

The instructions and idea books that accompany with the EV3 robotics sets have plenty of ideas and easy-to-follow directions...but these books from No Starch Press have even more. If you and your students are looking for more ways to use the equipment you've got, these are a great resource. 
The Art of LEGO Mindstorms EV3 Programming

Not "robotics" per se, the Power Functions modules are the motors and controls that make the simplest of LEGO mechanisms. These idea books will take your students beyond the beginner's stages.
The LEGO Power Functions Idea Book Vol. 1: Machines and Mechanisms
The LEGO Power Functions Idea Book Vol. 2: Cars and Contraptions

Fun LEGO is Fun

Sometimes LEGO is just about fun. And if you don't get that, you might be missing the point. With that in mind, here are some of my favorite books that won't necessarily help you teach your class, but you may just fall in love with yourself. Art books, Star Wars, and some walks down Memory Lane -- we've got it all. Because Everything is Awesome.

Beautiful LEGO
Beautiful LEGO Dark
Beautiful LEGO Wild
Bricksy: Unauthorized Underground Street Art

LEGO Star Wars: Small Scenes from a Big Galaxy
LEGO Star Wars: Character Encyclopedia
LEGO Star Wars: The Dark Side
LEGO Star Wars: The Visual Dictionary

LEGO Space: Building the Future
Great LEGO Sets: A Visual History
Steampunk LEGO
Brick Flicks:60 Iconic Movie Scenes and Posters to Make from LEGO  

About LEGO and People Who Love LEGO

Besides being a toy (and yes, I know it's actually a toy, for children) LEGO is a bona fide phenomenon for those who are devotees. These books look at the history of LEGO, including some perilous years when it seemed the plastic brick was going the way of the dinosaurs--and also some personal stories that come close to my own experience with the brick. I didn't write LEGO: A Love Story, but man. I wish I did. 


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