Girl Power! ft. ‘Fantastically Great Women Who Changed the World,’ and ‘Ada Twist, Scientist.’

There’s been a lot of publicity recently, aimed at encouraging girls to pursue careers involving STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths.)

This post celebrates all things ‘girl power’ as I review some of the titles I’ve been sent which focus on inspirational women and breaking down stereotypes.  But don’t worry – they’re funny, endearing and aspirational!

Our first title is: ‘Fantastically Great Women Who Changed the World,’ by Kate Pankhurst. (Published by Bloomsbury.)

This fantastically amazing book takes us on a journey with some of the world’s most extraordinary women. From Hampshire’s own Jane Austen to the legendary Emmeline Pankhurst, this book is packed full of facts and gorgeous illustrations to introduce you an awe-inspiring bunch.

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Written and illustrated by Kate Pankhurst (descendant of Emmeline), this book highlights the lives, struggles and achievements of women from all areas of life: nurses, artists, scientists, daredevils, secret agents, fashion designers and people just like you and me.  I challenge you not to be inspired to get up and try something new!

Each aspirational figure has a double-page spread dedicated to them, with tonnes of quirky illustrations, facts and figures.  Each page is a visual treat, guaranteed to capture the imaginations of young readers and educate them at the same time.

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I love the fact that women from a wide range of cultures and professions are represented, allowing all children to find someone they can identify with and aspire to be like.

If you’d like to learn more about some of these women, follow the link below to a downloadable resource pack:

http://media.bloomsbury.com/rep/files/fantasticallygreatwomen_activity_pack.pdf

Our next brilliant title is: ‘Ada Twist, Scientist,’  by Andrea Beaty and David Roberts, who are also the creative geniuses behind ‘Iggy Peck, Architect’ and ‘Rosie Revere, Engineer’ so you know you’re going to be in for a treat! (Published by Abrams Books for Young Readers).

Ada Twist was a very unusual child; she didn’t speak a word until she was three years old, instead spending her time bouncing and climbing and leaving a trail of chaos behind her.  But when she DID finally speak, she simply asked, “Why?”

Ada was full of questions and would stop at nothing to find out the answers.  She soon moved on to ask, “What? How? When? And why?” Her frazzled parents encouraged her as much as they could and allowed their daughter to fly.  Until, one day, Ada asked a question that she couldn’t find the answer to: “What is the source of that terrible stink?”  She experimented and experimented and thought and thought but no solution would come.  But did Ada give up? No!

I think this book will ring true with any parent of a small child.  I’ve certainly had to answer some strange questions from my own children: “Is nectar hot or cold Mummy?” “What would be faster – a bullet or a lightning bolt?”

Ada Twist is a shining beacon of all that a child should be: curious, bold and determined.  I love that her inquisitive mind refuses to be silenced and that she perseveres in the face of a challenge – a truly excellent role model for all children.  I wonder what she’ll become when she grows up?

I bet Ada would love this poster of female scientists by the excellent Elise Gravel….

 

 

To download a copy of the poster for yourself (with the artist’s full permission), click on the Ada’s namesake – Ada Lovelace.

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If those books have got you in the mood for a bit of girl power, try reading them again with these tunes on in the background:

#1 Salute by Little Mix

#2 Run the World (Girls) by Beyonce

#3 Independent Women by Destiny’s Child

#4 Wannabe by The Spice Girls

#5 R-E-S-P-E-C-T by Aretha Franklin

I hope you enjoy them – Who runs the world? Girls!

Library Girl.

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