Ellie Engineer: The Next Level
by Jackson Pearce, published 2018
“Ellie hated it when her friends got in trouble in front of her, especially when she had something to do with it. She thought about what her dad said – that engineering was supposed to help people- and her stomach went squiggly.”
This is a lovely, easy-to-read children’s book on a terrific subject for middle school – the dangers of stereotypes. That’s another way of saying it also deals with sexism and ageism, but those sound so harsh, and this is a very gentle and enjoyable children’s book. Basically, it challenges the assumptions that may still be lurking in some minds- girls are not engineers, boys don’t play with dolls, and old people just sit around all day and drink tea. Beyond that, this book also makes a beautiful point that it is team work, with everyone’s skills, that makes the world go round.
The book is also a fun read for everyone, engineer or not, as it includes several nice sketches of the engineering ideas that Ellie and her friends come up with. I especially enjoyed the creation of a sheep saddle made by using the legs from broken dolls… the image is superb.
Beyond that, there’s not much else to add. This children’s book is easy to read, and probably best for ages 8 to 10, but it is certainly enjoyable at any age. Most importantly, it continues to break the left-over concepts.