- Age Range: 5 - 7 years
- Grade Level: Kindergarten - 2
- Lexile Measure: 550 (What's this?)
- Hardcover: 32 pages
- Publisher: Harry N. Abrams (September 6, 2016)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1419721372
- ISBN-13: 978-1419721373
- Product Dimensions: 9 x 0.5 x 11 inches
- Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars See all reviews (261 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #181 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Ada Twist, Scientist Hardcover – September 6, 2016
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From School Library Journal
K-Gr 2—Ada Marie Twist is an inquisitive African American second grader and a born scientist. She possesses a keen yet peculiar need to question everything she encounters, whether it be a tick-tocking clock, a pointy-stemmed rose, or the hairs in her dad's nose. Ada's parents and her teacher, Miss Greer, have their hands full as the child's science experiments wreak day-to-day havoc. On the first day of spring, the title character is tinkering outside her home when she notices an unpleasant odor. She sets out to discover what might have caused it. Beaty shows Ada using the scientific method in developing hypotheses in her smelly pursuit. The little girl demonstrates trial and error in her endeavors, while appreciating her family's full support. In one experiment, she douses fragrances on her cat and then attempts to place the feline in the washing machine. Her parents, startled by her actions, send her to the Thinking Chair, where she starts to reflect on the art of questioning by writing her thoughts on the wall—now the Great Thinking Hall. Ada shines on each page as a young scientist, like her cohorts in the author's charming series. The rhyming text playfully complements the cartoon illustrations, drawing readers into the narrative. VERDICT A winner for storytime reading and for young children interested in STEM activities. Pair with science nonfiction for an interesting elementary cross-curricular project.—Krista Welz, North Bergen High School, NJ
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Top Customer Reviews
I wanted to love it, was so excited to see it, ordered two copies to gift it, but was disappointed.
It is cute. The family adjusts to their child's wild interests. I shouldn't compare this title to the other two, but Iggy Peck gets to save his whole class from the madness of ill-fortune. Rosie's purpose is at least clearly available with the flying machine. Ada is just going around making a mess and asking interesting questions.
-she's seen as slow at the beginning given she doesn't speak for 3 years
-she is put in time out by her family as a result of her experiments
-her science at school is described as "young Ada's chaos wrecked havoc at school."
I appreciate the attempts at loving a kid with the talent and interest in STEM that each of the 3 books illustrate, but, sadly, the 3 stories are not equal.
A few things I love about it:
1) It seems as though Ada may possibly be autistic or have Asperger's. As the mom of a kid with autism, I really loved that Ada is a little bit different, and her parents have to adjust their parenting style and expectations to meet her needs. It's great for kids to see that sometimes parents have to make changes too.
2) I love the emphasis on a curious mind and asking lots of questions. I think a lot of times kids are discouraged from really asking lots of WHY because it annoys adults. Curiosity is what leads to great discoveries. I love Ada's innovation in creating tools to test her scientific hypotheses.
3) The style. Let's face it - these books are just oozing with style. I love that the Eames chair makes a cameo appearance here.
I hope Andrea Beaty writes lots more of these fantastic books.
My kids favorite part (other than her great escape at 3) is the part where she starts to put the cat in the washer to freshen it up because it stinks. LOL... _hilarious_ in how wrong they know that is! & how much THEY'D like to try it out to see what would happen.....what kind of reaction will THEIR parents have?! Mmmhmmm.
Ada's parents are calm and while they discuss what should be done, Ada's natural curiosity gets her into another mess. I liked how throughout the book, her family allowed her the freedom to be true to interests and kept calm and found creative ways to honor her intense personality that worked for them all.
So here's my take:
1. I LOOOVE the illustrations. David Roberts uses watercolor, pen and ink, and uses these materials to create precise, colorful pictures. Ada's parents are really stylish and snappy dressers, too! I like how detailed everything is.
2. It is really fun to notice the subtle reference to the other two books. If you look carefully, you can see the back yards of Iggy Peck (the Sphinx peeking over the fence) and Rosie Revere (the flying machine perched on her roof) from across the way when Ada is outside in her yard. I also love that all three children are in the same 2nd grade class, and it's fun to go back into the first two books to see Ada in the class, knowing we hadn't heard her individual story yet. We've studied the other kids in the class to speculate who else might be featured in their own book in the future. I do hope it is another of the children representing diversity, however. The children of color make up slightly more than 1/3 of the class, so TECHNICALLY Andrea Beaty has done her due diligence in accurately representing the class make-up with her choice of hero/heroines as a whole, but in today's day and age we need to see more representation than this. I hope she has the same thing in mind. She has additional races of children in the class other than African American and white; some of whom are virtually non-existent in children's literature at the moment, so it would be cool to see a book with a Middle-Eastern lead character, for example.
3. I've read some speculation in the reviews about whether or not Ada is meant to be autistic, since she "said not a word til the day she turned three." I have an autistic son, but that wasn't something I thought about until I read the reviews. The author might be championing autistic children and their unique talents and interests, but it's just as likely that it's simply a part of the story. "Clearly, young Ada, with lots in her head, would have something to say when it ought to be said." To me, this implies that she intentionally chose to stay silent, whereas many autistic children can't speak without therapy. Anyway, that detail doesn't change the story either way; you can use the book as a way to encourage an autistic child as well as one without autism. My daughter, who does not have autism, doesn't feel left out of this story in terms of being able to relate to it.
4. A few other reviewers seem to be upset that her parents get frustrated and put her in timeout for attempting to put the cat in the washing machine, as if this is stifling her curiosity and in some way unsupportive. Look, my own kids are interested in STEM subjects and have an insatiable curiosity and imagination, and I encourage that in every way I can because I think it's very important, but if one of them were to attempt the same, I guarantee you there would be words. Disciplining your kids and letting teaching them limits isn't the same as squashing dreams. And come on, every story needs a climax! Personally, I think her parents are extremely patient and tolerant, all things considering. I'm not sure I'd be okay with my child marking up the entire wall; however, by that point in the story, her folks seem to have adopted a "well, if you can't beat 'em, join 'em" attitude, which seems perfectly understandable.
5. On the other hand, other reviewers are upset that her parents put up with ANY of this. Andrea Beaty cannot win, and neither can these fictional parents. I've noticed that a lot of whether or not some reviewers like the book or not depends on their own parenting style; I can't remember the last time I've read so many judgy reviews.
6. The "mystery" is not left unsolved, as claimed by some. Pay close attention to the illustrations and you'll know exactly what is causing that smell. And it makes perfect sense to leave it "unsolved" as far as Ada is concerned - one of the things I like best about the book is the implication that following the scientific method is a never-ending quest - that questions only lead to more questions - rather than solving a problem in a matter of days like a Rubik's Cube.
I know I seem to be reviewing other reviewers, but I felt like I needed to defend this book. And its characters. And the author.