Genetics and DNA make us who we are. As our world and community is gripped by a fearsome pandemic, we are all increasingly aware of the power of genes and the importance of genetic research. PBS Books compiled a list of books to read with your children to better understand the history of genes and DNA. In April 2020, Ken Burns Presents The Gene: An Intimate History – a two-part, four-hour film based on Pulitzer Prize-winning author Dr. Siddhartha Mukherjee’s book – was released on PBS. It weaves together science, history and personal stories for a historical biography of the human genome. Check out a companion animated series The Gene Explained (For Those Without Microscopes) streaming online at; it includes seven videos (<3 minutes), which explain mysteries of how genes work, how they make us, and how they may look in the future. Download as a PDF >