Great Middle Grade Reads discussion

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GENERAL DISCUSSIONS > Women in STEM

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message 1: by Justine (new)

Justine Laismith (justinelaismith) | 300 comments I'm looking for fiction books where one of its character is a woman in STEM (Science, Tech, Engineering, Math). An example is Petty Potts from Ali Sparkes in her SWITCH series Spider Stampede. She can be good or evil, batty or normal. I just want to compile a list of books for ages 6-12 to inspire girls into the STEM subjects.


message 2: by Jemima (new)

Jemima Pett | 1299 comments Mod
I've read a couple but I'm not sure they'd help encourage people into STEM, since they tend to feature girls who are already completely into maths (so much so that even I'm left behind). One's definitely ya/adult, the other might be suitable for the 10 and up group - Jennifer Ellis's marvellous series starting with A Pair of Docks

Julie Anne Grasso's Frankie Dupont and the Science Fair Sabotage Is a good detective romp with prominent girl characters, even if they aren't overly involved in the science aspect of things (from memory). It's totally on age from 6-12, though!


message 3: by Justine (new)

Justine Laismith (justinelaismith) | 300 comments Thanks Jemima. I'll check them out. The other character I thought of is Mrs Coulter in The Golden Compass, except it's YA. It's seems quite obscure, mentors in a story who are women in STEM.


message 4: by wanderer (new)

wanderer (vwanderer) | 50 comments Not entirely sure what you're asking, but the Alice Jones books have a female mc who loves math. Here's a link to the first one:

Alice Jones The Impossible Clue (Alice Jones 1) by Sarah Rubin

Also, I just read The Toothpaste Millionaire to my middle-grade students and they loved it. Lots of math problems (and humor!) and the narrator is a mg girl.

The Toothpaste Millionaire by Jean Merrill


message 5: by Emily (new)

Emily Freeman | 13 comments How about the Eliza Boom series for the younger end of your range?

Check out Eliza Boom: The Explosive Diary by Emily Gale
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/1...


message 6: by Melody (new)

Melody Bremen (melodyjbremen) | 66 comments I know this discussion is almost a year old, but hopefully this is still helpful.
The Miscalculations of Lightning Girl follows a middle grade student who is a math genius. She uses math to help more dogs get adopted at the local animal shelter, so there are cute dogs involved.


message 7: by Justine (new)

Justine Laismith (justinelaismith) | 300 comments Thanks Melody. It’s not too late as I haven’t found a good list. I will check out your suggestion. What I’ve read so far with involves an MC, a child 10-12 ish, being completely into a STEM subject, and adults all around are baffoons. So he/she saves the day for being smart. But I am looking for books where the adult is also smart and is a fountain of knowledge in that STEM subject. Like Dumbledore in HP.
Please keep the suggestions coming in.


message 8: by Jemima (new)

Jemima Pett | 1299 comments Mod
Justine said : "Please keep the suggestions coming in."

Indeed - it is never too late for more suggestions that will get girls thinking science, technology, engineering, maths is not just for boys. Even better, STEM books that make boys realise they're not just for boys!


message 9: by Melody (new)

Melody Bremen (melodyjbremen) | 66 comments Justine wrote: "Thanks Melody. It’s not too late as I haven’t found a good list. I will check out your suggestion. What I’ve read so far with involves an MC, a child 10-12 ish, being completely into a STEM subject..."
The book I mentioned actually has a great math teacher who the protagonist looks up to.


message 10: by Justine (new)

Justine Laismith (justinelaismith) | 300 comments Fab! I found a copy of the book yesterday. Can't wait to start reading it.


message 11: by Rebecca (new)

Rebecca Douglass (rdouglass) | 1668 comments Mod
This is a great topic, and important! I'd forgotten about it, but now I'm trying to remember if I've read any that qualify. In any case, I'm going to take a look at some of these.


message 12: by Justine (new)

Justine Laismith (justinelaismith) | 300 comments Melody, thanks for recommending The Miscalculations of Lightning Girl. It is a well written MG book with STEM themes. I will certainly be recommending this book to people. Unfortunately the mentor isn't quite I was looking for. He is a good teacher, but he is male, and he didn't really inspire her anymore as she's such a genius.

On a separate note, I discovered Brightstorm, which fits the bill, so I'm adding it to the list here in case anyone is looking for the same thing. In this book, Harriet is a great STEM role model. She designed and made the sky-ship that does not drain natural resources nor pollute the air. She imparts her engineering and navigation knowledge to Maudie, who shows great interest in all things mechanical. Despite her intelligence, Harriet is thoughtful of her crew members.


message 13: by Manybooks (last edited Nov 25, 2018 01:55AM) (new)

Manybooks | 336 comments Joyce Sidman's The Girl Who Drew Butterflies: How Maria Merian's Art Changed Science about 17th/early 18th century German artist (as well as ecologist and by many now considered to have been the first entomologist) Maria Sibylla Merian is also great (and incredibly informative, a wonderful introduction to Merian's life, with many of her artwork included).

And Mary Anning's Curiosity by Monica Kulling is a great Middle Grade introduction to how in the early 19th century Mary Anning found the first complete fossil of an ancient marine reptile.


message 14: by Justine (new)

Justine Laismith (justinelaismith) | 300 comments Thanks Manybooks. Yes, there are several books about little known real females in STEM who have admirably made a difference despite the environment. But I'm looking for fictional female STEM mentors. This seems rather elusive. Maybe things will start changing as there is a call for more books with representation.


message 15: by Destiny (new)

Destiny | 9 comments I just read a graphic novel recently called Sanity & Tallulah Sanity & Tallulah by Molly Brooks that promotes women in STEM in a subtle but strong way. Tallulah's mother is the head engineer of their space program (and prominently featured throughout the story), and Sanity is a young genius scientist. Tallulah's mom tries her best to steer Sanity's in the right direction with her crazy experiments.


message 16: by Rebecca (new)

Rebecca Douglass (rdouglass) | 1668 comments Mod
Destiny wrote: "I just read a graphic novel recently called Sanity & Tallulah Sanity & Tallulah by Molly Brooks that promotes women in STEM in a subtle but strong way. Tallulah's mother is the head engineer o..."

That sounds spot on.

You are now making me wonder if I could write the book we are looking for :)


message 17: by Justine (new)

Justine Laismith (justinelaismith) | 300 comments Please do Rebecca! Yes, the book sounds like what I’m looking for.... hmmm, it’s not in my library. I’ll have a hunt around.


message 18: by Rebecca (new)

Rebecca Douglass (rdouglass) | 1668 comments Mod
Justine wrote: "Please do Rebecca! Yes, the book sounds like what I’m looking for.... hmmm, it’s not in my library. I’ll have a hunt around."
That would be out of my usual area, though to be sure, I kind of made the 3rd Ninja Librarian book about women in math, albeit in a tall-tale world that's not quite real :) So maybe I could pull off the sort of book we are thinking of.


message 19: by Jemima (new)

Jemima Pett | 1299 comments Mod
You never know till you try :)


message 20: by Rebecca (new)

Rebecca Douglass (rdouglass) | 1668 comments Mod
Jemima wrote: "You never know till you try :)"

I'll pencil it in between finishing "Death By Library" and hiking the Milford Track.


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