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Ara the Star Engineer

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This is a STEM book and more! An inspiring, inclusive, whimsical way to learn about computers and technology from real-life trailblazers.

Ara is a young girl who loves BIG numbers. She wants to count all the stars in the sky… but how? This is an upbeat adventure of Ara and her sidekick droid, DeeDee (“Beep!”). They use smarts and grit to solve a BIG problem and discover an amazing algorithm! A quest that takes them through a whirlwind of intriguing locations at Innovation Plex -- Data Centre, Ideas Lab, Coding Pods, and X-Space. Along the way, they encounter real-life women tech trailblazers of diverse backgrounds, including a Tenacious Troubleshooter, an Intrepid Innovator, a Code Commander, and a Prolific Problem Solver. They tinker-and-tailor, build-and-fail, launch-and-iterate, and in the end discover an amazing algorithm of success -- coding, courage, creativity, and collaboration (“Beeeeep!”).

Read the book, download hands-on activities, follow further learning resources. Experience the story in immersive ways never done before… coming soon!

Ara is making a splash with industry CEOs and best-selling kids authors.

“We’ve always said ‘If she can see it, she can be it’. With this story, girls can see leaders and be inspired to become one. A book for all ages and genders!”
- Geena Davis , Founder and Chair of Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media

33 pages, Kindle Edition

First published January 1, 2018

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About the author

Komal Singh

14 books7 followers

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5 stars
147 (51%)
4 stars
85 (30%)
3 stars
33 (11%)
2 stars
7 (2%)
1 star
11 (3%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 45 reviews
Profile Image for Figgy.
678 reviews219 followers
February 22, 2019
This is an interesting concept, and it's great to see some more STEM based books with girls at the front, aimed at a range of ages.

Unfortunately, at times this one gets a little bogged down in the wording.

It'd be difficult to do this with fewer words, but as such it'd likely be better for 8+, rather than the standard picture book ranges.
Profile Image for Jillian Heise.
2,320 reviews483 followers
January 5, 2021
An inclusive book about girls in STEM. Inspired by Google (where the author works), this story walks through the steps needed to solve a problem: courage, creativity, code, and collaboration - with explanations about making a plan, designing an algorithm, writing the code, and troubleshooting when it doesn't work the first time. Back matter highlights the real, diverse women working at Google who inspired the women in the book who mentor and help Ara in her task. Don't miss Ara's notebook at the end! This serves as a sort of primer for the steps it takes, and the collaboration involved, in computer science. Themes of determination abound.
Pair with coding books How to Code a Sandcastle & How to Code a Rollercoaster alongside books on "superheroes in computer science" Ada Lovelace: The Poet of Science, Who Says Women Can't Be Computer Programmers?: The Story of Ada Lovelace, Ada's Ideas: The Story of Ada Lovelace, the World's First Computer Programmer, Grace Hopper: Queen of Computer Code, Counting on Katherine: How Katherine Johnson Saved Apollo 13, A Computer Called Katherine: How Katherine Johnson Helped Put America on the Moon, Counting the Stars: The Story of Katherine Johnson, NASA Mathematician, & Hidden Figures: The True Story of Four Black Women and the Space Race.
Profile Image for Barbara Ann.
Author 21 books180 followers
February 20, 2019
I loved this picture book which featured a determined young girl named Ara. She is aptly named for a constellation that contains seven stars. Ara is obsessed with big numbers. She introduces her readers to a number with 100 zeros, a googol. Together with her computer robot, DeeDee, Ara sets out to find out how many stars exist. They visit Innovation Plex, where Ara seeks experts to help her in her quest.

She meets Kripa, a problem solver, in the Data Center who tells her to have courage. Big Problems are solved with a plan. Next, she greets Parisa in the Ideas Lab, who creates the algorithms that permit computers to solve big problems. The next stop is the Coding Center where Diane writes code that allows the algorithm to communicate with the computer. When Ara and Dee put the plan into action, they come up with an error. So Ara visits Maria, the Troubleshooter, who installs more computing power with a new processor and memory chip. At last, they achieve success. Ara learns that collaboration and teamwork solve problems.

At the end of the book, readers find a journal record of the steps Ara followed as well as an introduction to some superheroes in computer science. There is also a glossary of technical terms from the story. The author targets this book for ages five through seven, though I would highly recommend it for older boys and girls as well. The design of the book features many bright colors and multicultural female role models. They certainly draw the eye inward but may be a bit too much stimulation for the younger reader. Hope to see many more books in this series.
Profile Image for Mary Stergioti.
173 reviews6 followers
June 16, 2021
Αρκετά δύσκολο ακόμα για εμάς που ούτε 3 είμαστε καλά καλά αλλά είπα να του το πάρω που τρελαίνεται με το διάστημα και τα άστρα.
Τα πήγαμε καλύτερα στη κουβέντα γύρω από το βιβλίο από όσο περίμενα.
Εμένα προσωπικά μου άρεσε πάρα πολύ και νομίζω πως σίγουρα δεν είναι από τα κλασικά παιδικά βιβλία για την τόνωση του θάρρους, της αυτοπεποίθησης κλπ. Πολύ ενδιαφέρον το όλο concept πάνω στο οποίο είναι το βιβλίο χτισμένο και πιστεύω θα ήθελα να δω και άλλα βιβλία γύρω από τα STEM (επιστήμη, τεχνολογία, μηχανική και μαθηματικά) για περισσότερες ηλικιακές κατηγορίες.
395 reviews
December 30, 2020
A sweet little book. This is a a fun take on software development cycles in very approachable terms like 'solving a problem' and 'thinking creatively' along with introductions to programmatic thinking. More importantly, a book full of female engineer protagonists all solving problems together.

It is also a commercial for Google in the background, but I think only adults will notice or care. The woman focused view of software engineering seems more important.
Profile Image for Courtney.
4,290 reviews
February 19, 2019

Books like this are so informational for children and hold such a wealth of knowledge. I really enjoy reading books, like this one and many others to my children, for if you start them young then they will grow to have a love for reading and adventure!
Profile Image for Holly Lenz.
830 reviews1 follower
February 23, 2019
A fun, educational picture book about engineering and robotics

Ara the Star Engineer is a cute book about engineering, robotics, coding, and more. The story is fun for kids with its creative illustrations and educational as well.
Profile Image for Tony Parsons.
4,156 reviews79 followers
September 30, 2020
Ara introduced her sidekick droid DeeDee “Beep.
They both love big numbers.
Ara is the name of a constellation that has 7 stars.
Can you estimate how many constellations there are in the sky?
How about the stars?
Ara & DeeDee were off to visit Innovation Plex.

Data Centre. There they meet Kripa (Prolific Problem solver).
Computers are everywhere.
Ideas Lab. Next, they meet Parisa (Intrepid Innovator).
How about designing an algorithm?
Coding Pods. Diane (Code Commander) introduces herself to Ara & DeeDee.
X-Space. And finally, Ara & DeeDee must go see Marian (tenacious troubleshooter).
What were the 4 things Ara & DeeDee learned?

I do not receive any type of compensation for reading & reviewing free books from publishers & authors. Therefore, I am under no obligation to write a positive review, only an honest one.

An awesome book cover, great hand-drawn colored pictures, charming illustrations & proper font & writing style. A very professionally written children’s (preschool/elementary age) outer space storybook. It was quite easy for me to read/follow from start/finish & never a dull moment. There were no grammar/typo errors, nor any repetitive or out of line sequence sentences. Lots of exciting scenarios, with several twists/turns & a great set of unique characters, settings, etc. to keep track of. This could also make another great children’s educational presentation (outer space), movie, an animated cartoon, or better yet a mini TV series. There is no doubt in my mind this is an extremely easy rating of 5 stars.

Thank you for the free author(s); Page Two Books; FreeBooksy; Amazon Digital Services LLC.; book
Tony Parsons MSW (Washburn)
Profile Image for Jen.
1,242 reviews13 followers
February 28, 2019
If you've ever wanted to count the number of stars in the sky, you might need the help of some scientific principles and processes, which are explored in Kamal Singh's Ara the Star Engineer.

To read this, and other book reviews, visit my website: http://makinggoodstories.wordpress.com/.

Ara wants to count the number of stars in the sky, but is overwhelmed with the prospect of trying to count the immense number. With plenty of determination and the assistance of her droid friend DeeDee and some inspiring, intelligent women, based on real-life scientific minds, in various departments at the Innovation Plex, Ara pieces together a successful algorithm to help her count the stars.

The story parses out the complexities of scientific, engineering, and coding principles in a manner that is more readily accessible, understandable, and empowering to the target audience of female children, while also providing further information in the form of a glossary to more directly address the more technical jargon that was introduced in the story. The text is fairly simple and easy to follow and the colorful illustrations complements the narrative well. Though I thoroughly understand and appreciate the need to demonstrate to young girls that STEM isn't just for boys, I was a bit surprised that there weren't any strong male figures, in addition to the female ones offered, within the book to also help encourage the pursuit of knowledge in this area for readers.
Profile Image for Emily✨.
1,694 reviews33 followers
December 18, 2018
Ara has a problem she needs to solve. She visits with four scientists who teach her skills and help her learn how to find her answer. This book is like a non-fiction book in disguise, because it teaches the reader about different STEM processes and vocabulary along the way.

Admittedly, I only skimmed this one, as it is quite wordy with a lot of technical jargon, and I was at work. But the illustrations and the concept are so great, and I love that all of the scientists Ara talks to are women of various ethnicities-- and they're all real-life scientists! The back of the book has little bios for each of them.
Profile Image for Traci.
654 reviews12 followers
July 9, 2020
Pop Sugar Challenge 2020: book by or about a woman in STEM

So this was free and I wasn’t too excited about it the prompt (sorry, just not usually my area of interest) but this was a cute book! I love that all the women Ara talks to to help with her problem are women of color (and just women at that!) and they’re based on real women that work at Google. Like others, I agree that there is some big vocabulary but when talking about engineering that’s going to happen - and it’s not necessarily a bad thing to expose your children to that vocabulary and teach them not to shy away from it.
Profile Image for DarthLolita.
87 reviews10 followers
April 20, 2019
It's beautifully illustrated and breaks down a lot of potentially complex words with simple concepts, plus it earns extra points that the women featured in the book are real-life engineers, directors, and VPs. Despite being a picture book, I'd say this is aimed at slightly older kids who already show an interest in computers; some might not find it all that engaging, but the illustrations alone are worth checking out.
Profile Image for Amanda.
3,763 reviews33 followers
June 22, 2019
For science!

I loved how this made STEM so approachable and showed women in key roles. The illustrations were bright, colorful, and engaging. This Google-like work setting made me want to visit and play and want to come up with a problem to try and solve. The women working there were mentoring and I want to give a shout-out to the real life women that these characters are based on (more about them can be found at the end of the book). Cute story told in a clear fashion.
Profile Image for Jess.
1,055 reviews3 followers
April 14, 2022
I have to laugh because this book in part feels like a total Google promotional ad, BUT if it is, it's a pretty awesome ad. I love that this book was written by female engineers at Google, most women of color. And I am a thousand percent on board with more representation of girls and women in STEM! There was really cool diversity in this book and I thought it was a clever and understandable intro to several coding concepts.
408 reviews4 followers
November 21, 2018
Ahhhh! This was so great! A picture book for a slightly older reader (maybe 6-8? it's quite wordy) but great for kids of all ages, especially girls. Ara poses a scientific question, and then learns how to answer it with the help of four female scientists, who teach her four key skills. I loved that each of the women she meets is a real person who works in tech!
July 12, 2021
Googol!!! Loved it!!!

I absolutely enjoyed reading this book for my 4 year old who has autism. I learned about a few things I didn't know myself (Googol). I felt smarter after reading it lol. Great story and explains engineering in a fun and wonderful way. Great job! Loved the illustrations too!!!
November 27, 2021
This story teaches about the main ideas of courage, creativity, code, and collaboration. Ara is young girl who loves numbers. She wants her droid DeeDee to count all the stars. To do this she hires the help of four friends. Each friend symbolizes one of the four themes. Allowing for students to understand what each concept entails.
Profile Image for Stacy Nelson.
22 reviews5 followers
January 14, 2020
New Heroines For Smart Girls

Love the opening of doorways for smart girls and I love the diversity represented. My granddaughter’s favorite part wasn’t actually the story, but seeing that the characters are real life women. Highly recommended bedtime reading.
Profile Image for Eileen Patterson.
166 reviews20 followers
December 7, 2020
Great Book For Kids Interested in STEM

This is a great book about a smart kid named Ara who wants to program her personal computer to count the number of stars in the galaxy, so she gets help from some scientists and engineers.
Profile Image for Erin.
2,271 reviews
January 25, 2021
A great book for kids interested in science. It is definitely female centered, but boys would like it too. It's full of science terms, but they are explained well. The story is pretty matter-of-fact, and there's not really an arc to it, but it could be a valuable book for teaching what coding is.
Profile Image for Melissa (Nissa_the.bookworm).
561 reviews49 followers
April 17, 2021
Interesting and informative

This is a great book for everyone, all ages! As an adult, even I found myself learning a lot of new information that I didn’t previously have. I love all of the notes from Ara’s notebook in the back of the book as well.
Profile Image for Nicole Garnet.
40 reviews2 followers
May 26, 2021
This book will encourage children to develop an interest in engineering(if not interested already)
The language is easy for a child to understand. I love the fact the characters are all women. A must-read for sure with your kids
15 reviews
September 23, 2022
Making science approachable

Great graphics, fun colors and characters. Ara fives in to learn an approachable way to solve her problem. Not too in depth but enough to start a conversation. Late elementary or middle grade appropriate.
285 reviews
February 25, 2023
Ara is a girl and she has a robot assistant called DeeDee. They went to Innovation Plex, where they counted how many galaxies there were in space. While they were counting Dee Dee had an error so they visited an engineer for her to fix it.
Profile Image for Adibah Syahzani.
28 reviews14 followers
July 21, 2019
A cute book with an awesome illustrations of Ara's mini adventure! I hope I found this book sooner (when I was a kid). The symbolization, the exposure to the STEM world is interesting and cute!
24 reviews1 follower
August 14, 2019
Cool quick read, a fun picture book with an uplifting story. I found it free on Google Play which is a cool bonus :)
8 reviews
August 16, 2019
Interesting book.

This book gives you information in a fun sort of way. You are learning something without realizing you are learning.
Displaying 1 - 30 of 45 reviews

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