Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl
A palace made entirely out of chocolate seemed like a good idea at the time . . .
Uglies by Scott Westerfield
This trilogy (which includes Pretties and Specials) explores the importance of appearance and fitting in to social expectations, rather than being an individual, as well as the interaction between technological advances and the environment. Spoiler: technology can be good, bad, and . . . well, you know.
Holes by Louis Sachar
Although the protagonist's father struggles to be a successful inventor, this book is really about Stanley's journey to re-invent himself. It begins when Stanley is unjustly sentenced to work digging holes in Camp Green Lake. This book is packed with delicious villains and fantastic plot connections.
The Mysterious Benedict Society by Trenton Lee Stewart
This intriguing blend of mystery and science fiction is also an excellent celebration of different kinds of intelligence in children. How will four kids stop a massive technological takeover?
Fantastic Contraption -- Online Building Machines Game
Toothpick City -- Models of World-Famous Structures Made of Toothpicks
Whenever I look at Stan Munro's work, I am almost as jealous as I am when I hear Olivia Olson singing in Love Actually.
Invention Contests -- National Museum of Education's List of Contests for Kids
From rubber bands to bubble wrap, young inventors have a wide range of opportunities to build their way to a better tomorrow. Or cash and recognition.
Goldberger to Go -- Build an Online Rube Goldberg-style machine with ZOOM