Early Chapter Books feat. Girls & STEM

Getting girls excited about STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) as well as recognizing structural barriers to the participation of women and girls in STEM fields, have been part of public discourse for awhile now. I’ve reviewed several children’s picture books that explore important contributions women have made to STEM fields, including books written by Julia Finley Mosca for Innovation Press’ Amazing Scientists series about Patricia Bath and Temple Grandin. Other available books seek to make STEM accessible and exciting to young readers while prompting them to imagine themselves as creators. Picture books that take that strategy include Josh Funk’s How to Code a Sandcastle and Laura Roettiger’s Aliana Reaches for the Moon.

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Erin Twamley and Joshua Sneideman’s Everyday Superheroes: Women in STEM Careers

Authors: Erin Twamley and Joshua Sneideman

Illustrator: A Collective

Publisher: Wise Ink Creative Publishing

Published: 2019

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If asked to name STEM careers many of us will immediately form a mental image of an astronaut, maybe even a paleontologist or zoologist, but few of us are likely to imagine many of the careers explored in Everyday Superheroes Women in STEM Careers (2019). These careers include virtual-world creator, cartographer, environmental lawyer, and machine learning engineer. This book provides a much-needed look at a variety of science, technology, math, and engineering jobs as well as women’s contributions to them. Continue reading

Miranda Paul and Baptiste Paul’s I Am Farmer: Growing an Environmental Movement in Cameroon

I Am Farmer: Growing an Environmental Movement in Cameroon

I Am Farmer: Growing an Environmental Movement in Cameroon, written by Miranda Paul and Baptiste Paul and illustrated by Elizabeth Zunon, is a non-fiction account of environmental activism in Cameroon told through the story of farmer and activist Tantoh Nforba who works to bring organic gardening and clean water to Cameroon. Continue reading

Josh Funk’s How to Code a Sandcastle

How to Code a Sandcastle, written by Josh Funk and illustrated by Sara Palacios, is a silly take on a serious subject – the lack of women, especially minority women, in coding. The text begins with a foreword by Reshma Saujani, the founder of Girls Who Code. Saujani suggests that coding should be “a familiar part of every child’s world.” Funk’s book certainly contributes to this project. Pearl, the pigtailed russet-brown protagonist and narrator, makes core concepts in coding engaging and accessible for even very young audiences.

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