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Ellie, Engineer Hardcover – January 16, 2018
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From School Library Journal
Gr 2–4—A charming book featuring an engineer who makes mistakes when navigating the roads of friendship. Ellie Bell decides to build a doghouse for her best friend Kit's birthday with the help of her neighbor Toby. When she also gets help from three neighborhood girls who don't like boys, (including Toby), she begins to lie to keep from making anyone angry. At the same time, her friendship with Kit starts to suffer because she is keeping the doghouse a surprise. In the end, Ellie finds a way to bridge the gap between the boys and the girls while saving her best friendship. The book touches on gender bias by showing that activities should not be categorized as "boy things" or "girl things." Girls can like engineering and soccer while boys can like tea parties. Pencil illustrations of Ellie's sketches and designs are included throughout the book. The end contains a guide to Ellie's favorite tools. In addition to spotlighting engineering, the narrative contains strong themes of friendship and working together toward a common goal. VERDICT A solid addition to chapter book collections.—V. Lynn Christiansen, Wiley International Studies Magnet Elementary School, Raleigh, NC
"Charming. . . . In addition to spotlighting engineering, the narrative contains strong themes of friendship and working together toward a common goal." - School Library Journal
"Ellie’s easily relatable as an everyday kid . . . Aspiring inventors will appreciate the descriptions and black and white sketches of Ellie’s various creations, so be sure to make some room in the makerspace for Ellie’s new fans." - BCCB
"Pearce emphasizes Ellie’s persistence and individuality. . . . Mourning’s notebook-style images help give a sense of how Ellie’s brain works." - Publishers Weekly
"Explicitly rejects the idea that activities and objects are gendered (e.g., boys and girls can both like engineering and tea parties). The twist ending is not what most readers will expect. A spirited, duplicable depiction of STEM fun." - Kirkus Reviews
"An entertaining and memorable story. . . Pearce sets the stage for what could easily become a favorite series." - Publishers Weekly on THE DOUBLECROSS
"Oddball characters with plenty of heart and nifty gadgets will draw in readers who appreciate humorous underdog stories." - Booklist on THE DOUBLECROSS
"A fun-filled adventure from start to finish." - Booklist on THE INSIDE JOB
"This sequel will continue to thrill fans of the series. Wacky and action-packed." - Kirkus Reviews on THE INSIDE JOB
Top customer reviews
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I predict that Ellie, Engineer will inspire a generation of tool-carrying, invention-drawing kids in the same way that Harriet the Spy inspired note-scribbling, sneaking kids in my generation. Readers will root for Ellie as she designs solutions to problems and gets herself out of scrapes. Themes include questioning gender roles, friendship, and inventiveness. For teachers looking for strong girls and STEM connections, you'll find them in this delightful new series.
Ellie, Engineer is the first of Jackson Pearce's books I've read, but I'm now inspired to look for more. You can bet I'll be waiting expectantly for the next book in the Ellie, Engineer series to come out.
While the invention itself is cool, I adored the reason WHY Ellie needed to build a giant water balloon launcher. The neighborhood boys are playing soccer a few backyards over, but when Ellie asked to join, they told her that only boys were allowed to play. So Ellie created the Water Empress to shoot water balloons across a few backyards at them.
I was delighted to discover that Ellie isn’t just a one-sided character (which was the root of my apprehension as I began the book). She isn’t simply a tool to create a STEM book, but a girl with wide-ranging interests and personality traits.
I highly recommend Ellie, Engineer for your boys and girls. It is fun to read, and informative (we even get a lesson on flat-head and Phillips screwdrivers). I am grateful to have received an advance reader copy of this book in exchange for my unbiased review.
This book incorporated a STEM aspect into it without hitting the reader over the head with it or getting too technical for the intended age group – two through fourth grade. Ellie loves projects but she’s a well-rounded kid with tons of personality. She likes tea parties too. I liked that before she started a project, she sketched it out and that the sketch was included in the book. That’s really helpful for readers like me that have trouble picturing those types of things in their heads. I’ve never seen a home-made French braider before! There is also a handy dandy illustrated glossary of tools at the end. I think this book will appeal to girls and boys alike, no matter how handy they themselves actually are. It’s a great story that shows that girls can be into more than just dolls and tea parties. Highly recommended.