Two Rhyming Mighty Girl Books

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Ada Twist, Scientist
Written by Andrea Beaty • Illustrated by David Roberts

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Ada Twist, a young girl with insatiable curiosity, embarks on fact-finding missions and conducts elaborate scientific experiments to find answers to the questions that fill her head. When her experiments to discover the source of a mysterious stink go too far, her exasperated parents banish her to the Thinking Chair. Will Ada’s budding science career be cut off just as it begins?

Reasons I love it:

  1. Ada Marie Twist (named after Ada Lovelace and Marie Curie) is a young Black girl with a gift for science. She asks questions that lead to more questions and she is determined to find answers. She is unafraid of failure, passionate and persistent. Her curiosity and daring experimentation are infectious to her classmates, family and audience!
  2. Ada’s family contradict some negative stereotypes about Black families. Her parents and older brother support her growth, participate in her experiments, and nurture her passion.
  3. It is the perfect starting point for learning about the scientific method and scientific inquiry. This book could be used from elementary school up to high school to hook students into science. It is a celebration of STEAM.
  4. Upbeat rhyming text. The rhythms make for a fun read aloud.
  5. Beautiful, detailed illustrations. I particularly love the mother’s fashion. I’d wear those dresses if I could!

One Wish: I wish more books about children of color were written by authors of color. This is more of a comment on the industry and not one specifically targeted at Ada Twist, Scientist.

Interstellar Cinderella
Written by Deborah Underwood • Illustrated by Meg Hunt

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In a girl-power retelling of a well-known fairy tale, our heroine is a mechanic who loves fixing space ships. When Cinderella is abandoned at home, Murgatroyd the mouse and Cinderella’s fairy god-robot must get her to the Royal Space Parade. On the way, Cinderella sees the prince’s ship in smoke and she must zipzap with her socket wrench and swoop in for the rescue!

Reasons I love it:

  1. It is a fairy-tale retelling that empowers girls. Cinderella is a problem-solving girl with an aptitude for fixing things. She is more interested in pursuing her passion than marrying the prince. The book subtly, but clearly, shows readers that girls can and should dream past the boundaries outlined for them by tradition.
  2. The prince is a man of color; he is desirable, he has power, and he is kind. It is rare to find “good” characters of color in fairy-tales, if at all. I appreciate the interracial friendship illustrated in the story.img_7434
  3. The illustrations are eye-catching and colorful. The style is unique and bold with details to discover with every read.
  4. Fun rhymes that introduce creative vocabulary make this another fun read aloud.

One Wish: A few leaps in the story feel like we skip forward and miss connecting details. While the illustrations fill in some gaps, there are a couple places where the reader must fill in the holes themselves.

Happy reading!

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