STEM Friday

Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics Books

Rosie Revere, Engineer

3 Comments

Rosie Revere engineerRosie Revere, Engineer

by Andrea Beaty; illus. by David Roberts

32 pages; ages 5 and up

Abrams Books for Young Readers, 2013

 OK, I admit it: I picked this book for its cover. How could I resist the graph paper with bits of erector set and dis-assembled toys scattered across the bottom? Or the first line: “This is the story of Rosie Revere, who dreamed of becoming a great engineer”?

 Rosie’s the shy girl at school. But back home, she creates wondrous gizmos from recycled stuff: straws, toilet-paper tubes, springs, doll arms… inventions she shared until her uncle laughed at her attempts. After that, Rosie quit showing anyone the things she creates.

Until…

 … one day great-great-aunt Rose shows up. Aunt Rose, who helped build airplanes a long time ago. Aunt Rose who encourages Rosie to build a flying machine and, when it crashes, laughs till her eyes fill with tears. Rosie is ready to give up. It’s a failure, she thinks.

 Not so fast, says Aunt Rose; before it crashed, it flew. It’s not a failure, but a Brilliant First Flop. A Brilliant First Flop that was “a raging success”. With that in mind, Rosie discovers (as do all engineers) that you’ve got to work through a lot of flops before you get that final design that works.

 This book is great on so many levels: it encourages girls to explore engineering; it puts “failure” into the correct context of “just a stage on the road to discovery”; and it reminds us of the “can do” spirit of Rosie the Riveter. Not only that, the graph-lined endpapers provide room for young inventors to doodle their own designs.

It’s STEM Friday! If you’re sharing a review of a STEM book on your blog, please join us by leaving a link in the comments. And if you’re looking for some hands-on engineering ideas, head over to Archimedes Notebook.

STEM Friday

 (STEM is Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics)

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Author: Sue Heavenrich

I write about science and environmental issues for children and their families.

3 thoughts on “Rosie Revere, Engineer

  1. Hi Sue,

    Aunt Rose sounds like a wise woman.

    Getting excited about the upcoming Great Backyard Bird Count in February, I have “Brilliant Birds” at Wrapped in Foil http://blog.wrappedinfoil.com/2014/01/brilliant-birds-2/

    Hum, I wonder how many people will have flamingos in their counts?

  2. I haven’t counted anything but mockingbirds recently! I do love flamingos. Hello, Sue–girls and engineers, what’s not to like? We’re blogging at Teaching STEM these days and it features a book I wrote a while back–Enterprise STEM.
    http://teachingstem.wordpress.com/

  3. Nice Sue! Great review.