Monday, March 26, 2018

ELLIE, ENGINEER by Jackson Pearce for Marvelous Middle Grade Monday


Since my daughter recently graduated as an engineer, I was extra-excited to read this one!

Description from Amazon:

Ellie is an engineer. With a tool belt strapped over her favorite skirt (who says you can't wear a dress and have two kinds of screwdrivers handy, just in case?), she invents and builds amazing creations in her backyard workshop. Together with her best friend Kit, Ellie can make anything. 

As Kit's birthday nears, Ellie doesn't know what gift to make until the girls overhear Kit's mom talking about her present--the dog Kit always wanted! Ellie plans to make an amazing doghouse, but her plans grow so elaborate that she has to enlist help from the neighbor boys and crafty girls, even though the two groups don't get along. Will Ellie be able to pull off her biggest project yet, all while keeping a secret from Kit?


Why you want to read this book… 

I especially loved all the illustrations with Ellie’s sketches and plans! Along with the typical conflicts between friends that is characteristic of middle grade books, there are lots of pranks and a lot of creative problem-solving. Ellie is a very positive and energetic character and I wanted to hang out with her and make something.

Opening:

Ellie Bell was in her workshop. Technically, it was a playhouse, because it was the little covered bit on her playset. But this was where Ellie worked, so that made it a workshop, if you asked her.


If you’re a writer… 

I loved the way the story kept me interested through lots of action and fun story events (like the pranks and Ellie’s inventions). It’s a great example for anyone writing middle grade who wants to embed science or STEM in an engaging way.

When a boy ran up and rang the doorbell, stepping on the mat would send a big poof of red paint powder up at him from the ground.

If you’re a teacher…

This book is noteworthy since it showcases girls who love science and building as well as tea parties and French-braiding. It also shows how sometimes many different attempts are needed to solve a problem. 

“You don’t need a special class to build things. Maybe to build really big things, like skyscrapers or lasers, but you can build things just for fun.”

3 comments:

  1. I enjoyed this one, too. A much needed book, especially for girls who might be hesitant about science. Thanks for sharing.

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  2. I just read that when children are asked to draw a scientist they usually draw a man; however, there is a difference in the percentages between the 60s and today. In the 60s 90% of the figures were men; today only a third. I guess you could say that's progress. Now we need to know how these children would draw an engineer.

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  3. I love the new STEM chapter books coming out about girls wanting to be engineers, astronauts etc. This book sounds like a fun read that I would have loved as a kid. I loved to build things as a kid.

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